Neural expression of a sodium channel gene requires cell-specific interactions

Yasushi Okamura, Fumihito Ono, Ryugo Okagaki, Jayhong A. Chong, Gail Mandel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


In the protochordate Halocynthia roretzi, voltage-activated sodium current undergoes a change in kinetics within 48 hr of fertilization. Molecular cloning and microinjection of antisense DNA into single cells suggest that the kinetic changes are due to the increased expression of a putative neural-specific sodium channel gene, TuNa I. TuNa I gene transcription is first induced in late stage gastrulae, preceding the appearance of the rapidly inactivating sodium current unique to neural cells. In cleavage-arrested and intact embryos, cell interactions between specific animal and vegetal blastomeres are required for induction of TuNa I gene expression. Our results implicate cell contact, prior to neurulation, as a mechanism for selectively activating the TuNa I gene expressed in cells of the neural lineage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)937-948
Number of pages12
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Neural expression of a sodium channel gene requires cell-specific interactions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this