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External IDsGeneCards: [1]
RefSeq (mRNA)



RefSeq (protein)



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Nav1.1, also known as the sodium channel, voltage-gated, type I, alpha subunit (SCN1A), is a protein which in humans is encoded by the SCN1A gene.[1][2][3][4]


The vertebrate sodium channel is a voltage-gated ion channel essential for the generation and propagation of action potentials, chiefly in nerve and muscle. Voltage-sensitive sodium channels are heteromeric complexes consisting of a large central pore-forming glycosylated alpha subunit and 2 smaller auxiliary beta subunits. Functional studies have indicated that the transmembrane alpha subunit of the brain sodium channels is sufficient for expression of functional sodium channels.[5] Brain sodium channel alpha subunits form a gene subfamily with several structurally distinct isoforms clustering on chromosome 2q24, types I, II (Nav1.2), and III (Nav1.3). There are also several distinct sodium channel alpha subunit isoforms in skeletal and cardiac muscle (Nav1.4[6] and Nav1.5,[7] respectively).

Clinical significance

Mutations in the SCN1A gene cause inherited febrile seizures and GEFS+, type 2.[8][9][10][11]

Patent controversy

On 29 November 2008, The Sydney Morning Herald reported the first evidence of private intellectual property rights over human DNA[12] having adversely affected medical care. The Melbourne company Genetic Technologies (GTG) controls rights to the gene, and requires royalties for tests on the gene, which can help identify Dravet syndrome. Doctors on the Children's Hospital in Westmead, Australia have told journalists that they would test 50% more infants for the gene, if they could conduct the test on site.


Nav1.1 has been shown to interact with syntrophin, alpha 1.[13]

See also


  1. "Entrez Gene: SCN1A sodium channel, voltage-gated, type I, alpha subunit".
  2. Malo MS, Blanchard BJ, Andresen JM, Srivastava K, Chen XN, Li X, Jabs EW, Korenberg JR, Ingram VM (1994). "Localization of a putative human brain sodium channel gene (SCN1A) to chromosome band 2q24". Cytogenetics and Cell Genetics. 67 (3): 178–86. doi:10.1159/000133818. PMID 8062593.
  3. Ito M, Nagafuji H, Okazawa H, Yamakawa K, Sugawara T, Mazaki-Miyazaki E, Hirose S, Fukuma G, Mitsudome A, Wada K, Kaneko S (Jan 2002). "Autosomal dominant epilepsy with febrile seizures plus with missense mutations of the (Na+)-channel alpha 1 subunit gene, SCN1A". Epilepsy Research. 48 (1–2): 15–23. doi:10.1016/S0920-1211(01)00313-8. PMID 11823106.
  4. Catterall WA, Goldin AL, Waxman SG (Dec 2005). "International Union of Pharmacology. XLVII. Nomenclature and structure-function relationships of voltage-gated sodium channels". Pharmacological Reviews. 57 (4): 397–409. doi:10.1124/pr.57.4.4. PMID 16382098.
  5. Goldin AL, Snutch T, Lübbert H, Dowsett A, Marshall J, Auld V, Downey W, Fritz LC, Lester HA, Dunn R (Oct 1986). "Messenger RNA coding for only the alpha subunit of the rat brain Na channel is sufficient for expression of functional channels in Xenopus oocytes". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 83 (19): 7503–7. doi:10.1073/pnas.83.19.7503. PMC 386747. PMID 2429308.
  6. George AL, Komisarof J, Kallen RG, Barchi RL (Feb 1992). "Primary structure of the adult human skeletal muscle voltage-dependent sodium channel". Annals of Neurology. 31 (2): 131–7. doi:10.1002/ana.410310203. PMID 1315496.
  7. Gellens ME, George AL, Chen LQ, Chahine M, Horn R, Barchi RL, Kallen RG (Jan 1992). "Primary structure and functional expression of the human cardiac tetrodotoxin-insensitive voltage-dependent sodium channel". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 89 (2): 554–8. doi:10.1073/pnas.89.2.554. PMC 48277. PMID 1309946.
  8. Escayg A, MacDonald BT, Meisler MH, Baulac S, Huberfeld G, An-Gourfinkel I, Brice A, LeGuern E, Moulard B, Chaigne D, Buresi C, Malafosse A (Apr 2000). "Mutations of SCN1A, encoding a neuronal sodium channel, in two families with GEFS+2". Nature Genetics. 24 (4): 343–5. doi:10.1038/74159. PMID 10742094.
  9. Spampanato J, Escayg A, Meisler MH, Goldin AL (Oct 2001). "Functional effects of two voltage-gated sodium channel mutations that cause generalized epilepsy with febrile seizures plus type 2". The Journal of Neuroscience. 21 (19): 7481–90. PMID 11567038.
  10. Nabbout R, Gennaro E, Dalla Bernardina B, Dulac O, Madia F, Bertini E, Capovilla G, Chiron C, Cristofori G, Elia M, Fontana E, Gaggero R, Granata T, Guerrini R, Loi M, La Selva L, Lispi ML, Matricardi A, Romeo A, Tzolas V, Valseriati D, Veggiotti P, Vigevano F, Vallée L, Dagna Bricarelli F, Bianchi A, Zara F (Jun 2003). "Spectrum of SCN1A mutations in severe myoclonic epilepsy of infancy". Neurology. 60 (12): 1961–7. doi:10.1212/01.wnl.0000069463.41870.2f. PMID 12821740.
  11. Lossin C. "SCN1A infobase". Retrieved 2009-10-30. compilation of genetic variations in the SCN1A gene that alter the expression or function of Nav1.1
  12. Robotham J (29 November 2008). "Sick babies denied treatment in DNA row –". National News. Sidney Morning Herald – Retrieved 2008-12-03.
  13. Gee SH, Madhavan R, Levinson SR, Caldwell JH, Sealock R, Froehner SC (Jan 1998). "Interaction of muscle and brain sodium channels with multiple members of the syntrophin family of dystrophin-associated proteins". The Journal of Neuroscience. 18 (1): 128–37. PMID 9412493.

Further reading

External links

This article incorporates text from the United States National Library of Medicine, which is in the public domain.