Channelpedia

PubMed 16524878


Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: Kv1.2 , Kv10.1 , Kv11.1



Title: The S4-S5 linker directly couples voltage sensor movement to the activation gate in the human ether-a'-go-go-related gene (hERG) K+ channel.

Authors: Tania Ferrer, Jason Rupp, David R Piper, Martin Tristani-Firouzi

Journal, date & volume: J. Biol. Chem., 2006 May 5 , 281, 12858-64

PubMed link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16524878


Abstract
A key unresolved question regarding the basic function of voltage-gated ion channels is how movement of the voltage sensor is coupled to channel opening. We previously proposed that the S4-S5 linker couples voltage sensor movement to the S6 domain in the human ether-a'-go-go-related gene (hERG) K+ channel. The recently solved crystal structure of the voltage-gated Kv1.2 channel reveals that the S4-S5 linker is the structural link between the voltage sensing and pore domains. In this study, we used chimeras constructed from hERG and ether-a'-go-go (EAG) channels to identify interactions between residues in the S4-S5 linker and S6 domain that were critical for stabilizing the channel in a closed state. To verify the spatial proximity of these regions, we introduced cysteines in the S4-S5 linker and at the C-terminal end of the S6 domain and then probed for the effect of oxidation. The D540C-L666C channel current decreased in an oxidizing environment in a state-dependent manner consistent with formation of a disulfide bond that locked the channel in a closed state. Disulfide bond formation also restricted movement of the voltage sensor, as measured by gating currents. Taken together, these data confirm that the S4-S5 linker directly couples voltage sensor movement to the activation gate. Moreover, rather than functioning simply as a mechanical lever, these findings imply that specific interactions between the S4-S5 linker and the activation gate stabilize the closed channel conformation.