PubMed 17353352

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: Cav3.1 , Kv10.1

Title: Structural determinants of the closed KCa3.1 channel pore in relation to channel gating: results from a substituted cysteine accessibility analysis.

Authors: Hélène Klein, Line Garneau, Umberto Banderali, Manuel Simoes, Lucie Parent, Rémy Sauvé

Journal, date & volume: J. Gen. Physiol., 2007 Apr , 129, 299-315

PubMed link:

In this work we address the question of the KCa3.1 channel pore structure in the closed configuration in relation to the contribution of the C-terminal end of the S6 segments to the Ca(2+)-dependent gating process. Our results based on SCAM (substituted cysteine accessibility method) experiments first demonstrate that the S6 transmembrane segment of the open KCa3.1 channel contains two distinct functional domains delimited by V282 with MTSEA and MTSET binding leading to a total channel inhibition at positions V275, T278, and V282 and to a steep channel activation at positions A283 and A286. The rates of modification by MTSEA (diameter 4.6 A) of the 275C (central cavity) and 286C residues (S6 C-terminal end) for the closed channel configuration were found to differ by less than sevenfold, whereas experiments performed with the larger MTSET reagent (diameter 5.8 A) resulted in modification rates 10(3)-10(4) faster for cysteines at 286 compared with 275. Consistent with these results, the modification rates of the cavity lining 275C residue by MTSEA, Et-Hg(+), and Ag(+) appeared poorly state dependent, whereas modification rates by MTSET were 10(3) faster for the open than the closed configuration. A SCAM analysis of the channel inner vestibule in the closed state revealed in addition that cysteine residues at 286 were accessible to MTS reagents as large as MTS-PtrEA, a result supported by the observation that binding of MTSET to cysteines at positions 283 or 286 could neither sterically nor electrostatically block the access of MTSEA to the closed channel cavity (275C). It follows that the closed KCa3.1 structure can hardly be accountable by an inverted teepee-like structure as described for KcsA, but is better represented by a narrow passage centered at V282 (equivalent to V474 in Shaker) connecting the channel central cavity to the cytosolic medium. This passage would not be however restrictive to the diffusion of small reagents such as MTSEA, Et-Hg(+), and Ag(+), arguing against the C-terminal end of S6 forming an obstructive barrier to the diffusion of K(+) ions for the closed channel configuration.