PubMed 20568735

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: Kv12.1

Title: Cation Selectivity by the CorA Mg2+ Channel Requires a Fully Hydrated Cation.

Authors: Andrea S Moomaw, Michael E Maguire

Journal, date & volume: , 2010 Jun 22 , ,

PubMed link:

The CorA Mg(2+) channel is the primary uptake system in about half of all bacteria and archaea. However, the basis for its Mg(2+) selectivity is unknown. Previous data suggested that CorA binds a fully hydrated Mg(2+) ion, unlike other ion channels. The crystal structure of Thermotoga maritima CorA shows a homopentamer with two transmembrane segments per monomer connected by a short periplasmic loop. This highly conserved loop, (281)EFMPELKWS(289) in Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium CorA, is the only portion of the channel outside of the cell, suggesting a role in cation selectivity. Mutation of charged residues in the loop, E281 and K287, to any of several amino acids had little effect, demonstrating that despite conservation electrostatic interactions with these residues are not essential. While mutation of the universally conserved E285 gave a minimally functional channel, E285A and E285K mutants were the most functional, again indicating that the negative charge at this position is not a determining factor. Several mutations at K287 and W288 behaved anomalously in a transport assay. Analysis indicated that mutation of K287 and W288 disrupts cooperative interactions between distinct Mg(2+) binding sites. Overall, these results are not compatible with electrostatic interaction of the Mg(2+) ion with the periplasmic loop. Instead, the loop appears to form an initial binding site for hydrated Mg(2+), not for the dehydrated cation. The loop residues may function to accelerate dehydration of the before entry of Mg(2+) into the pore of the channel.