PubMed 21843503

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: Kv1.2 , Kv2.1

Title: Water wires in atomistic models of the Hv1 proton channel.

Authors: Mona L Wood, Eric V Schow, J Alfredo Freites, Stephen H White, Francesco Tombola, Douglas J Tobias

Journal, date & volume: Biochim. Biophys. Acta, 2012 Feb , 1818, 286-93

PubMed link:

The voltage-gated proton channel (Hv1) is homologous to the voltage-sensing domain (VSD) of voltage-gated potassium (Kv) channels but lacks a separate pore domain. The Hv1 monomer has dual functions: it gates the proton current and also serves as the proton conduction pathway. To gain insight into the structure and dynamics of the yet unresolved proton permeation pathway, we performed all-atom molecular dynamics simulations of two different Hv1 homology models in a lipid bilayer in excess water. The structure of the Kv1.2-Kv2.1 paddle-chimera VSD was used as template to generate both models, but they differ in the sequence alignment of the S4 segment. In both models, we observe a water wire that extends through the membrane, whereas the corresponding region is dry in simulations of the Kv1.2-Kv2.1 paddle-chimera. We find that the kinetic stability of the water wire is dependent upon the identity and location of the residues lining the permeation pathway, in particular, the S4 arginines. A measurement of water transport kinetics indicates that the water wire is a relatively static feature of the permeation pathway. Taken together, our results suggest that proton conduction in Hv1 may occur via Grotthuss hopping along a robust water wire, with exchange of water molecules between inner and outer ends of the permeation pathway minimized by specific water-protein interactions. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Membrane protein structure and function.