Mechanisms of voltage-gated ion channel regulation: from gene expression to localization

Cell Mol Life Sci. 2008 Jul;65(14):2215-31. doi: 10.1007/s00018-008-8060-z.


The ion channel milieu present in a neuron in large part determines the inherent excitability of a given cell and is responsible for the translation of sensory transduction and synaptic input to axonal output. Intrinsic excitability is a dynamic process subject to multiple levels of regulation from channel gene expression to post-translational modifications that influence channel activity. The goal of this review is to provide an overview of some of the mechanisms by which channels can be modified in order to influence neuronal output. We focus on four levels of regulation: channel gene transcription, alternative splicing of channel transcripts, post-translational modifications that alter channel kinetics (phosphorylation), and subcellular localization and trafficking of channel proteins.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alternative Splicing
  • Animals
  • Gene Expression
  • Humans
  • Ion Channels / genetics*
  • Ion Channels / metabolism*
  • Kinetics
  • Models, Neurological
  • Neuronal Plasticity
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational
  • Signal Transduction
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • Ion Channels