Sodium channel selectivity filter regulates antiarrhythmic drug binding

Akihiko Sunami, Samuel C. Dudley, Harry A. Fozzard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

109 Scopus citations


Local anesthetic antiarrhythmic drugs block Na+ channels and have important clinical uses. However, the molecular mechanism by which these drugs block the channel has not been established. The family of drugs is characterized by having an ionizable amino group and a hydrophobic tail. We hypothesized that the charged amino group of the drug may interact with charged residues in the channel's selectivity filter. Mutation of the putative domain III selectivity filter residue of the adult rat skeletal muscle Na+ channel (μ1) K1237E increased resting lidocaine block, but no change was observed in block by neutral analogs of lidocaine. An intermediate effect on the lidocaine block resulted from K1237S and there was no effect from K1237R, implying an electrostatic effect of Lys. Mutation of the other selectivity residues, D400A (domain I), E755A (domain II), and A1529D (domain IV) allowed block by externally applied quaternary membrane-impermeant derivatives of lidocaine (QX314 and QX222) and accelerated recovery from block by internal QX314. Neo-saxitoxin and tetrodotoxin, which occlude the channel pore, reduced the amount of QX314 bound in D400A and A1529D, respectively. Block by outside QX314 in E755A was inhibited by mutation of residues in transmembrane segment S6 of domain IV that are thought to be part of an internal binding site. The results demonstrate that the Na+ channel selectivity filter is involved in interactions with the hydrophilic part of the drugs, and it normally limits extracellular access to and escape from their binding site just within the selectivity filter. Participation of the selectivity ring in antiarrhythmic drug binding and access locates this structure adjacent to the S6 segment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14126-14131
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number25
StatePublished - Dec 9 1997
Externally publishedYes


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