In their recent paper published in Cell, researchers from the University of Washington School of Medicine have reported the cryo-EM structures of Nav1.5 at 3.2–3.5 Å resolution. Nav1.5, known as a cardiac sodium channel, is a voltage-gated ion channel that generates cardiac action potentials and initiates the heartbeat. Dysfunctions of Nav1.5 are associated with a number of cardiac diseases, and therefore Nav1.5 has long been a common antiarrhythmic drug target.
These novel findings provide valuable structural information for understanding cardiac sodium channel pharmacology, function, and dysfunctions. This structural information is essential for the development of improved drugs for cardiac diseases.
Daohua Jiang, Hui Shi, Lige Tonggu, Tamer M. Gamal El-Din, Michael J. Lenaeus, Yan Zhao, Craig Yoshioka, Ning Zheng, William A. Catterall. Structure of the Cardiac Sodium Channel. Cell, 13 Dec 2019.