Voltage-gated sodium channels in insects and mammals: comparison of structure, function and toxin sensitivity
Professor Ke Dong
Department of Entomology, Genetics and Neuroscience Programs
Michigan State University
Tuesday, 23 April, 2013
C2-361 (Reading Room)
Abstract: Voltage-gated sodium channels are critical for the initiation and propagation of action potentials in nerve, muscle and other excitable cells. Due to their vital roles in regulating membrane excitability, various natural neurotoxins from plants and animals, therapeutic drugs and insecticides target sodium channels for their actions. Pharmacological, structural and functional studies of mammalian sodium channels in the past several decades have provided a clear view of the molecular basis for sodium channel function. The past decade also witnessed significant progress in the study of insect sodium channels in part because sodium channels are targets of an important class of insecticides: pyrethroids. Understanding insect sodium channel function is therefore crucial for understanding pyrethroid action and resistance. In my talk, I will discuss the molecular mechanisms by which mammals and insects generate functionally diverse sodium channels and the molecular basis of differential sensitivities of mammalian sodium channels vs. insect sodium channels to pyrethroid insecticides.