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Fast inactivation of voltage-dependent calcium channels. A hinged-lid mechanism?

S C Stotz, J Hamid, R L Spaetgens, S E Jarvis, G W Zamponi

J. Biol. Chem., 2000 Aug 11 , 275, 24575-82

We recently described domains II and III as important determinants of fast, voltage-dependent inactivation of R-type calcium channels (Spaetgens, R. L., and Zamponi, G. W. (1999) J. Biol. Chem. 274, 22428-22438). Here we examine in greater detail the structural determinants of inactivation using a series of chimeras comprising various regions of wild type alpha(1C) and alpha(1E) calcium channels. Substitution of the II S6 and/or III S6 segments of alpha(1E) into the alpha(1C) backbone resulted in rapid inactivation rates that closely approximated those of wild type alpha(1E) channels. However, neither individual or combined substitution of the II S6 and III S6 segments could account for the 60 mV more negative half-inactivation potential seen with wild type alpha(1E) channels, indicating that the S6 regions contribute only partially to the voltage dependence of inactivation. Interestingly, the converse replacement of alpha(1E) S6 segments of domains II, III, or II+III with those of alpha(1C) was insufficient to significantly slow inactivation rates. Only when the I-II linker region and the domain II and III S6 regions of alpha(1E) were concomitantly replaced with alpha(1C) sequence could inactivation be abolished. Conversely, introduction of the alpha(1E) domain I-II linker sequence into alpha(1C) conferred alpha(1E)-like inactivation rates, indicating that the domain I-II linker is a key contributor to calcium channel inactivation. Overall, our data are consistent with a mechanism in which inactivation of voltage-dependent calcium channels may occur via docking of the I-II linker region to a site comprising, at least in part, the domain II and III S6 segments.