The molecular basis of neuronal excitability

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  17 Feb 1984:
Vol. 223, Issue 4637, pp. 653-661
DOI: 10.1126/science.6320365


Neurons process and transmit information in the form of electrical signals. Their electrical excitability is due to the presence of voltage-sensitive ion channels in the neuronal plasma membrane. In recent years, the voltage-sensitive sodium channel of mammalian brain has become the first of these important neuronal components to be studied at the molecular level. This article describes the distribution of sodium channels among the functional compartments of the neuron and reviews work leading to the identification, purification, and characterization of this membrane glycoprotein.

Stay Connected to Science