PubMed 18504314

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: Kv1.2

Title: Atomic constraints between the voltage sensor and the pore domain in a voltage-gated K+ channel of known structure.

Authors: Anthony Lewis, Vishwanath Jogini, Lydia Blachowicz, Muriel Lainé, Benoît Roux

Journal, date & volume: J. Gen. Physiol., 2008 Jun , 131, 549-61

PubMed link:

In voltage-gated K(+) channels (Kv), membrane depolarization promotes a structural reorganization of each of the four voltage sensor domains surrounding the conducting pore, inducing its opening. Although the crystal structure of Kv1.2 provided the first atomic resolution view of a eukaryotic Kv channel, several components of the voltage sensors remain poorly resolved. In particular, the position and orientation of the charged arginine side chains in the S4 transmembrane segments remain controversial. Here we investigate the proximity of S4 and the pore domain in functional Kv1.2 channels in a native membrane environment using electrophysiological analysis of intersubunit histidine metallic bridges formed between the first arginine of S4 (R294) and residues A351 or D352 of the pore domain. We show that histidine pairs are able to bind Zn(2+) or Cd(2+) with high affinity, demonstrating their close physical proximity. The results of molecular dynamics simulations, consistent with electrophysiological data, indicate that the position of the S4 helix in the functional open-activated state could be shifted by approximately 7-8 A and rotated counterclockwise by 37 degrees along its main axis relative to its position observed in the Kv1.2 x-ray structure. A structural model is provided for this conformation. The results further highlight the dynamic and flexible nature of the voltage sensor.