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The enigmatic HCN channels: A cellular neurophysiology perspective

Mishra, P and Narayanan, c (2023) The enigmatic HCN channels: A cellular neurophysiology perspective. In: Proteins: Structure, Function and Bioinformatics .

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1002/prot.26643


What physiological role does a slow hyperpolarization-activated ion channel with mixed cation selectivity play in the fast world of neuronal action potentials that are driven by depolarization? That puzzling question has piqued the curiosity of physiology enthusiasts about the hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN) channels, which are widely expressed across the body and especially in neurons. In this review, we emphasize the need to assess HCN channels from the perspective of how they respond to time-varying signals, while also accounting for their interactions with other co-expressing channels and receptors. First, we illustrate how the unique structural and functional characteristics of HCN channels allow them to mediate a slow negative feedback loop in the neurons that they express in. We present the several physiological implications of this negative feedback loop to neuronal response characteristics including neuronal gain, voltage sag and rebound, temporal summation, membrane potential resonance, inductive phase lead, spike triggered average, and coincidence detection. Next, we argue that the overall impact of HCN channels on neuronal physiology critically relies on their interactions with other co-expressing channels and receptors. Interactions with other channels allow HCN channels to mediate intrinsic oscillations, earning them the �pacemaker channel� moniker, and to regulate spike frequency adaptation, plateau potentials, neurotransmitter release from presynaptic terminals, and spike initiation at the axonal initial segment. We also explore the impact of spatially non-homogeneous subcellular distributions of HCN channels in different neuronal subtypes and their interactions with other channels and receptors. Finally, we discuss how plasticity in HCN channels is widely prevalent and can mediate different encoding, homeostatic, and neuroprotective functions in a neuron. In summary, we argue that HCN channels form an important class of channels that mediate a diversity of neuronal functions owing to their unique gating kinetics that made them a puzzle in the first place. © 2023 The Authors. Proteins: Structure, Function, and Bioinformatics published by Wiley Periodicals LLC.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Proteins: Structure, Function and Bioinformatics
Publisher: John Wiley and Sons Inc
Additional Information: The copyright for this article belongs to author.
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Molecular Biophysics Unit
Date Deposited: 04 Mar 2024 08:14
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2024 08:14
URI: https://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/84310

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