Axonal voltage-gated ion channels mediate diverse electrical events, the most fundamental being the propagation of anterograde action potentials from the soma to the presynaptic terminal. This and other axonal electrical events depend on the appropriate expression, localization, and function of a repertoire of axonal ion channels that together allow for efficient transmission of electrical signals. This article discusses the ion channels found on axons and the complex molecular interactions that generate and maintain their densities and activities at precise sites in axons. Disruption of ion channel localization by disease, injury, or genetic defect leads to conduction failures and neuropathological symptoms that, depending on the type of neuron affected, can include pain, blindness, ataxia, or epilepsy.
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