Abstract 15925: Localization of Nav1.5 at the Intercellular Junctions Resolved by Diffraction-Unlimited Microscopy in Three Dimensions and by Correlative Light-Electron Microscopy
Sodium current amplitude, kinetics and regulation depend on the properties of the pore-forming protein (mostly NaV1.5 in adult heart) and on the specific molecular partners with which the channel protein associates. The composition of the voltage-gated sodium channel macromolecular complex is location-specific; yet, the exact position of NaV1.5 in the subcellular landscape of the intercalated disc (ID), remains unclear. We implemented diffraction unlimited microscopy (direct stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy, or “dSTORM”) to localize the pore-forming subunit of the cardiac sodium channel NaV1.5 with a resolution of 20nm on the XY plane. In isolated adult ventricular myocytes, NaV1.5 was found in distinct semi-circular clusters. When the entire population of clusters within a 500 nm window from the ID was considered (more than 350 individual clusters analyzed), 75% of them localized to N-cadherin rich sites. NaV1.5-distal clusters were found at an average 313±15 nm from the cell end. Introducing an astigmatic lens in the light path allowed us to solve cluster location in three dimensions, at resolutions of 20 nm in XY and 40 nm in the z plane. Three-dimensional images confirmed the preferential localization at or near N-cadherin plaques, and further suggested that NaV1.5 arrives to the membrane via N-cadherin-anchored paths, most likely microtubules. In additional experiments, we developed a novel approach to correlate the image of NaV1.5 clusters by dSTORM with the cellular ultrastructure as resolved by electron microscopy on the same sample. This “correlative light-electron microscopy” method confirmed the preference of NaV1.5 clusters at sites of mechanical coupling. Overall, we provide the first ultrastructural description of NaV1.5 at the cardiac ID and its relation with the major electron-dense domains of the adult heart. Our data support a model by which microtubule-mediated delivery of NaV1.5 anchors at N-cadherin-rich sites, likely “mixed junctions” also containing desmosomal molecules (such as plakophilin-2; see Cerrone et al; Circulation 129:1092-1103, 2014) and connexin43. These findings have major implications to the understanding of sodium current disruption in diseases affecting the integrity of the ID.
Author Disclosures: A. Leo-Macias: None. E. Agullo-Pascual: None. E. Rothenberg: None. M. Delmar: None.
This research has received full or partial funding support from the American Heart Association.
- © 2014 by American Heart Association, Inc.