PubMed 10694260

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Title: Extracellular Mg(2+) modulates slow gating transitions and the opening of Drosophila ether-à-Go-Go potassium channels.

Authors: C Y Tang, F Bezanilla, D M Papazian

Journal, date & volume: J. Gen. Physiol., 2000 Mar , 115, 319-38

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We have characterized the effects of prepulse hyperpolarization and extracellular Mg(2+) on the ionic and gating currents of the Drosophila ether-à-go-go K(+) channel (eag). Hyperpolarizing prepulses significantly slowed channel opening elicited by a subsequent depolarization, revealing rate-limiting transitions for activation of the ionic currents. Extracellular Mg(2+) dramatically slowed activation of eag ionic currents evoked with or without prepulse hyperpolarization and regulated the kinetics of channel opening from a nearby closed state(s). These results suggest that Mg(2+) modulates voltage-dependent gating and pore opening in eag channels. To investigate the mechanism of this modulation, eag gating currents were recorded using the cut-open oocyte voltage clamp. Prepulse hyperpolarization and extracellular Mg(2+) slowed the time course of ON gating currents. These kinetic changes resembled the results at the ionic current level, but were much smaller in magnitude, suggesting that prepulse hyperpolarization and Mg(2+) modulate gating transitions that occur slowly and/or move relatively little gating charge. To determine whether quantitatively different effects on ionic and gating currents could be obtained from a sequential activation pathway, computer simulations were performed. Simulations using a sequential model for activation reproduced the key features of eag ionic and gating currents and their modulation by prepulse hyperpolarization and extracellular Mg(2+). We have also identified mutations in the S3-S4 loop that modify or eliminate the regulation of eag gating by prepulse hyperpolarization and Mg(2+), indicating an important role for this region in the voltage-dependent activation of eag.