Voltage-gated Na channels of Purkinje cells are specialized to maintain high availability during high-frequency repetitive firing. They enter fast-inactivated states relatively slowly and undergo a voltage-dependent open-channel block by an intracellular protein (or proteins) that prevents stable fast inactivation and generates resurgent Na current. These properties depend on the pore-forming α subunits, as well as modulatory subunits within the Na channel complex. The identity of the factors responsible for open-channel block remains a question. Here we investigate the effects of genetic mutation of two Na channel auxiliary subunits highly expressed in Purkinje cells, NaVβ4 and FGF14, on modulating Na channel blocked as well as inactivated states. We find that although both NaVβ4 and the FGF14 splice variant FGF14-1a contain sequences that can generate resurgent-like currents when applied to Na channels in peptide form, deletion of either protein, or both proteins simultaneously, does not eliminate resurgent current in acutely dissociated Purkinje cell bodies. Loss of FGF14 expression does, however, reduce resurgent current amplitude and leads to an acceleration and stabilization of inactivation that is not reversed by application of the site-3 toxin, anemone toxin II (ATX). Tetrodotoxin (TTX) sensitivity is higher for resurgent than transient components of Na current, and loss of FGF14 preferentially affects a highly TTX-sensitive subset of Purkinje α subunits. The data suggest that NaV1.6 channels, which are known to generate the majority of Purkinje cell resurgent current, bind TTX with high affinity and are modulated by FGF14 to facilitate open-channel block.
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