Voltage-gated sodium channels (VGSCs) are heteromeric transmembrane protein complexes. Nine homologous members, SCN1A-11A, make up the VGSC gene family. Sodium channel isoforms display a wide range of kinetic properties endowing different neuronal types with distinctly varied firing properties. Among the VGSCs isoforms, Nav1.7, Nav1.8 and Nav1.9 are preferentially expressed in the peripheral nervous system. These isoforms are known to be crucial in the conduction of nociceptive stimuli with mutations in these channels thought to be the underlying cause of a variety of heritable pain disorders. This review provides an overview of the current literature concerning the role of VGSCs in the generation of pain and heritable pain disorders.
Keywords: Nav1.7; heritable disorders; pain; voltage-gated sodium channels.
© 2016 The Author(s). published by Portland Press Limited on behalf of the Biochemical Society.