The cardiac voltage-gated Na(+) channel Na(v)1.5 generates the cardiac Na(+) current (INa). Mutations in SCN5A, the gene encoding Na(v)1.5, have been linked to many cardiac phenotypes, including the congenital and acquired long QT syndrome, Brugada syndrome, conduction slowing, sick sinus syndrome, atrial fibrillation, and dilated cardiomyopathy. The mutations in SCN5A define a sub-group of Na(v)1.5/SCN5A-related phenotypes among cardiac genetic channelopathies. Several research groups have proposed that Na(v)1.5 may be part of multi-protein complexes composed of Na(v)1.5-interacting proteins which regulate channel expression and function. The genes encoding these regulatory proteins have also been found to be mutated in patients with inherited forms of cardiac arrhythmias. The proteins that associate with Na(v)1.5 may be classified as (1) anchoring/adaptor proteins, (2) enzymes interacting with and modifying the channel, and (3) proteins modulating the biophysical properties of Na(v)1.5 upon binding. The aim of this article is to review these Na(v)1.5 partner proteins and to discuss how they may regulate the channel's biology and function. These recent investigations have revealed that the expression level, cellular localization, and activity of Na(v)1.5 are finely regulated by complex molecular and cellular mechanisms that we are only beginning to understand.
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