Peter C Ruben

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The axon initial segment (AIS) is a specialized region in neurons where action potentials are initiated. It is commonly assumed that this process requires a high density of voltage-gated sodium (Na(+)) channels. Paradoxically, the results of patch-clamp studies suggest that the Na(+) channel density at the AIS is similar to that at the soma and proximal(More)
Using site-directed fluorescent labeling, we examined conformational changes in the S4 segment of each domain of the human skeletal muscle sodium channel (hSkM1). The fluorescence signals from S4 segments in domains I and II follow activation and are unaffected as fast inactivation settles. In contrast, the fluorescence signals from S4 segments in domains(More)
1. Paramyotonia congenita (PC) is a human hereditary disorder wherein missense mutations in the skeletal muscle sodium channel lead to cold-exacerbated muscle hyperexcitability. The most common site for PC mutations is the outermost arginine of domain i.v. segment 4 (human R1448, rat R1441). 2. We examined the rat homologues of two PC mutants with changes(More)
Understanding the molecular genetic basis of adaptations provides incomparable insight into the genetic mechanisms by which evolutionary diversification takes place. Whether the evolution of common traits in different lineages proceeds by similar or unique mutations, and the degree to which phenotypic evolution is controlled by changes in gene regulation as(More)
Rat skeletal muscle (Skm1) sodium channel alpha and beta 1 subunits were coexpressed in Xenopus oocytes, and resulting sodium currents were recorded from on-cell macropatches. First, the kinetics and steady-state probability of both fast and slow inactivation in Skm1 wild type (WT) sodium channels were characterized. Next, we confirmed that mutation of IFM(More)
Cleaning activity at specific cleaning stations was monitored over a depth range of 15–45 m at Salt River Submarine Canyon, St. Croix using the HYDROLAB underwater habitat. We observed over 4600 cleaning events involving 32 host species. Cleaners included the fishesGobiosoma evelynae (cleaning goby), juvenileBodianus rufus (Spanish hogfish) and(More)
Skeletal and heart muscle excitability is based upon the pool of available sodium channels as determined by both fast and slow inactivation. Slow inactivation in hH1 sodium channels significantly differs from slow inactivation in hSkM1. The beta(1)-subunit modulates fast inactivation in human skeletal sodium channels (hSkM1) but has little effect on fast(More)
The survival and outgrowth of neurons in culture has usually required conditioning factors. We now report that crustacean neurons, taken from the peptidergic neurosecretory system of the eyestalk of crabs (Cardisoma carnifex) and lobsters (Panulirus marginatus), show immediate outgrowth, sustained for a week or more, in defined medium as simple as(More)
Populations of the garter snake Thamnophis sirtalis have evolved geographically variable resistance to tetrodotoxin (TTX) in a coevolutionary arms race with their toxic prey, newts of the genus Taricha. Here, we identify a physiological mechanism, the expression of TTX-resistant sodium channels in skeletal muscle, responsible for adaptive diversification in(More)
1. The outermost charged amino acid of S4 segments in the alpha subunit of human skeletal muscle sodium channels was mutated to cysteine in domains I (R219C), II (R669C), III (K1126C), and IV (R1448C). Double mutations in DIS4 and DIVS4 (R219C/R1448C), DIIS4 and DIVS4 (R669C/R1448C), and DIIIS4 and DIVS4 (K1126C/R1448C) were introduced in other constructs.(More)