Published February 23, 2023 | Version v1
Dataset Open

SUMOylation of NaV1.2 channels regulates the velocity of backpropagating action potentials in cortical pyramidal neurons

  • 1. Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
  • 2. University of California, Irvine
  • 3. Northeastern University


Voltage-gated sodium channels located in axon initial segments (AIS) trigger action potentials (AP) and play pivotal roles in the excitability of cortical pyramidal neurons. The differential electrophysiological properties and distributions of NaV1.2 and NaV1.6 channels lead to distinct contributions to AP initiation and backpropagation.  While NaV1.6 at the distal AIS promotes AP initiation and forward propagation, NaV1.2 at the proximal AIS promotes backpropagation of APs to the soma.  Here, we show the Small Ubiquitin-like Modifier (SUMO) pathway modulates persistent sodium current (INaP) generation at the AIS to increase neuronal gain and the speed of backpropagation.  Since SUMO does not affect NaV1.6, these effects were attributed to SUMOylation of NaV1.2.  Moreover, SUMO effects were absent in a mouse engineered to express NaV1.2-Lys38Gln channels that lack the site for SUMO linkage.  Thus, SUMOylation of NaV1.2 exclusively controls INaP generation and AP backpropagation, thereby playing a prominent role in synaptic integration and plasticity.


Electrical recordings (PClamp 9, Microcal Origin 6)

Fast fluorescence imaging (Neuroplex, RedShirt Imaging)

Compartmental modeling (Neuron, Yale)

Funding provided by: Israel Science Foundation
Crossref Funder Registry ID:
Award Number: 1384/19

Funding provided by: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
Crossref Funder Registry ID:
Award Number: R01HL10549


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