Atomic determinants of state-dependent block of sodium channels by charged local anesthetics and benzocaine
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Molecular modeling predicts that a local anesthetic (LA) lidocaine binds to the resting and open Na(v)1.5 in different modes, interacting with LA-sensing residues known from experiments. Besides the major pathway via the open activation gate, LAs can reach the inner pore via a "sidewalk" between D3S6, D4S6, and D3P. The ammonium group of a cationic LA binds in the focus of the pore-helices macrodipoles, which also stabilize a Na(+) ion chelated by two benzocaine molecules. The LA's cationic group and a Na(+) ion in the selectivity filter repel each other suggesting that the Na(+) depletion upon slow inactivation would stabilize a LA, while a LA would stabilize slow-inactivated states.
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