PubMed 20937866

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: BK

Title: Ion sensing in the RCK1 domain of BK channels.

Authors: Guohui Zhang, Sheng-You Huang, Junqiu Yang, Jingyi Shi, Xiao Yang, Alyssa Moller, Xiaoqin Zou, Jianmin Cui

Journal, date & volume: , 2010 Oct 11 , ,

PubMed link:

BK-type K(+) channels are activated by voltage and intracellular Ca(2+), which is important in modulating muscle contraction, neural transmission, and circadian pacemaker output. Previous studies suggest that the cytosolic domain of BK channels contains two different Ca(2+) binding sites, but the molecular composition of one of the sites is not completely known. Here we report, by systematic mutagenesis studies, the identification of E535 as part of this Ca(2+) binding site. This site is specific for binding to Ca(2+) but not Cd(2+). Experimental results and molecular modeling based on the X-ray crystallographic structures of the BK channel cytosolic domain suggest that the binding of Ca(2+) by the side chains of E535 and the previously identified D367 changes the conformation around the binding site and turns the side chain of M513 into a hydrophobic core, providing a basis to understand how Ca(2+) binding at this site opens the activation gate of the channel that is remotely located in the membrane.