Structure and function of cardiac sodium and potassium channels

Dan M. Roden*, Alfred L. George

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


The application of patch-clamp and molecular approaches has resulted in an increasingly refined understanding of the molecular entities underlying cardiac sodium and potassium currents. The sodium current results from expression of a single large α-subunit, whereas multiple potassium currents and potassium channel α-subunits have been identified. Recapitulation of some ion currents in heterologous expression systems requires not only expression of α-subunits but also ancillary (β) subunits. Domains common to functions such as activation, inactivation, and drug block are now being identified in α- and β-gene products. Variability in the expression or function of individual ion-channel genes is an increasingly recognized source of variability in the ion currents recorded in heart cells under physiological conditions (e.g. during development) as well as in disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H511-H525
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number2 42-2
StatePublished - 1997


  • Arrhythmia
  • Cardiac electrophysiology
  • Ion channels
  • Ion currents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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