About this Research Topic
A balanced expression of cardiac ion channels at the sarcolemma is of crucial importance for normal action potential formation and thus cardiac function. The cellular processes that transport channel proteins from the endoplasmic reticulum towards specified regions on the sarcolemmal membrane, and subsequently take them from the plasma membrane to the protein degradation machinery are commonly known as anterograde and retrograde transport, respectively, or in the words of J.R.R. Tolkien “There and Back Again”. During the last decade, this research field recognized that aberrant channel trafficking stands at the basis of many congenital and acquired arrhythmias. We are beginning to learn that ion channels traffic in channel-specific pathways using particular interacting proteins that target them to their destination membranes. This field is challenged by a multidisciplinary approach that incorporates robust molecular and cell biology, state-of-the-art cellular imaging techniques and advanced electrophysiological readout methods and translation of its findings to the clinic. Moreover, in the next decade cardiac ion channel trafficking research has to transit from ectopic cell expression systems, via isolated adult cardiomyocytes and tissue explants into in vivo approaches. This new knowledge will not only permit a more detailed understanding of pathophysiological mechanisms, but will also allow designing new therapeutic approaches and safer drugs.
We welcome experts on this research topic to share their original research on cardiac ion channel trafficking from the basic science lab and the clinic, to submit solid review papers on the intricate aspects of cardiac ion channel trafficking and to bring forward hypotheses that provide new avenues in this fascinating field with extraordinary clinical implications.
Keywords: Ion channel, trafficking, drugs, congenital, cell biology
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