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Determinants of activation kinetics in mammalian hyperpolarization-activated cation channels.

T M Ishii, M Takano, H Ohmori

J. Physiol. (Lond.), 2001 Nov 15 , 537, 93-100

1. The structural basis for the different activation kinetics of hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN) channels was investigated with the whole-cell patch clamp technique by using HCN1, HCN4, chimeric channels and mutants in a mammalian expression system (COS-7). 2. The activation time constant of HCN4 was about 40-fold longer than that of HCN1 when compared at -100 mV. 3. In chimeras between HCN1 and HCN4, the region of the S1 transmembrane domain and the exoplasmic S1-S2 linker markedly affected the activation kinetics. The cytoplasmic region between S6 and the cyclic nucleotide-binding domain (CNBD) also significantly affected the activation kinetics. 4. The S1 domain and S1-S2 linker of HCN1 differ from those of HCN4 at eight amino acid residues, and each single point mutation of them changed the activation kinetics less than 2-fold. However, the effects of those mutations were additive and the substitution of the whole S1 and S1-S2 region of HCN1 by that of HCN4 resulted in a 10- to 20-fold slowing. 5. The results indicate that S1 and S1-S2, and S6-CNBD are the crucial components for the activation gating of HCN channels.