Overview of the voltage-gated sodium channel family

Genome Biol. 2003;4(3):207. doi: 10.1186/gb-2003-4-3-207. Epub 2003 Feb 24.


Selective permeation of sodium ions through voltage-dependent sodium channels is fundamental to the generation of action potentials in excitable cells such as neurons. These channels are large integral membrane proteins and are encoded by at least ten genes in mammals. The different sodium channels have remarkably similar functional properties, but small changes in sodium-channel function are biologically relevant, as underscored by mutations that cause several human diseases of hyperexcitability.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / genetics
  • Action Potentials / physiology
  • Animals
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Humans
  • Ion Channel Gating / genetics
  • Ion Channel Gating / physiology*
  • Multigene Family
  • Sodium Channels / chemistry
  • Sodium Channels / physiology*
  • Synaptic Transmission / genetics
  • Synaptic Transmission / physiology


  • Sodium Channels