Engineering prokaryotic channels for control of mammalian tissue excitability.
The ability to directly enhance electrical excitability of human cells is hampered by the lack of methods to efficiently overexpress large mammalian voltage-gated sodium channels (VGSC). Here we describe the use of small prokaryotic sodium channels (BacNav) to create de novo excitable human tissues and augment impaired action potential conduction in vitro. Lentiviral co-expression of specific BacNav orthologues, an inward-rectifying potassium channel, and connexin-43 in primary human fibroblasts from the heart, skin or brain yields actively conducting cells with customizable electrophysiological phenotypes. Engineered fibroblasts ('E-Fibs') retain stable functional properties following extensive subculture or differentiation into myofibroblasts and rescue conduction slowing in an in vitro model of cardiac interstitial fibrosis. Co-expression of engineered BacNav with endogenous mammalian VGSCs enhances action potential conduction and prevents conduction failure during depolarization by elevated extracellular K+, decoupling or ischaemia. These studies establish the utility of engineered BacNav channels for induction, control and recovery of mammalian tissue excitability.
Nguyen, HX; Kirkton, RD; Bursac, N
Volume / Issue
Start / End Page
Pubmed Central ID
Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)