Modeling protein-protein interactions in axon initial segment to understand their potential impact on action potential initiation

Neural Regen Res. 2021 Apr;16(4):700-706. doi: 10.4103/1673-5374.295332.


The axon initial segment (AIS) region is crucial for action potential initiation due to the presence of high-density AIS protein voltage-gated sodium channels (Nav). Nav channels comprise several serine residues responsible for the recruitment of Nav channels into the structure of AIS through interactions with ankyrin-G (AnkG). In this study, a series of computational experiments are performed to understand the role of AIS proteins casein kinase 2 and AnkG on Nav channel recruitment into the AIS. The computational simulation results using Virtual cell software indicate that Nav channels with all serine sites available for phosphorylation bind to AnkG with strong affinity. At the low initial concentration of AnkG and casein kinase 2, the concentration of Nav channels reduces significantly, suggesting the importance of casein kinase 2 and AnkG in the recruitment of Nav channels.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; ankyrin-G; axon initial segment; casein kinase-2; microtubules; voltage-gated potassium channel; voltage-gated sodium channel.