PubMed 23473737

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: KCNQ1 , Kv11.1 , Kv7.1

Title: An NMR investigation of the structure, function and role of the hERG channel selectivity filter in the long QT syndrome.

Authors: Andrée E Gravel, Alexandre A Arnold, Erick J Dufourc, Isabelle Marcotte

Journal, date & volume: Biochim. Biophys. Acta, 2013 Jun , 1828, 1494-502

PubMed link:

The human ether-a-go-go-related gene (hERG) voltage-gated K(+) channels are located in heart cell membranes and hold a unique selectivity filter (SF) amino acid sequence (SVGFG) as compared to other K(+) channels (TVGYG). The hERG provokes the acquired long QT syndrome (ALQTS) when blocked, as a side effect of drugs, leading to arrhythmia or heart failure. Its pore domain - including the SF - is believed to be a cardiotoxic drug target. In this study combining solution and solid-state NMR experiments we examine the structure and function of hERG's L(622)-K(638) segment which comprises the SF, as well as its role in the ALQTS using reported active drugs. We first show that the SF segment is unstructured in solution with and without K(+) ions in its surroundings, consistent with the expected flexibility required for the change between the different channel conductive states predicted by computational studies. We also show that the SF segment has the potential to perturb the membrane, but that the presence of K(+) ions cancels this interaction. The SF moiety appears to be a possible target for promethazine in the ALQTS mechanism, but not as much for bepridil, cetirizine, diphenhydramine and fluvoxamine. The membrane affinity of the SF is also affected by the presence of drugs which also perturb model DMPC-based membranes. These results thus suggest that the membrane could play a role in the ALQTS by promoting the access to transmembrane or intracellular targets on the hERG channel, or perturbing the lipid-protein synergy.