PubMed 23471968

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: Kv11.1 , Kv8.2

Title: Pore helices play a dynamic role as integrators of domain motion during Kv11.1 channel inactivation gating.

Authors: Matthew D Perry, Chai Ann Ng, Jamie I Vandenberg

Journal, date & volume: J. Biol. Chem., 2013 Apr 19 , 288, 11482-91

PubMed link:

Proteins that form ion-selective pores in the membrane of cells are integral to many rapid signaling processes, including regulating the rhythm of the heartbeat. In potassium channels, the selectivity filter is critical for both endowing an exquisite selectivity for potassium ions, as well as for controlling the flow of ions through the pore. Subtle rearrangements in the complex hydrogen-bond network that link the selectivity filter to the surrounding pore helices differentiate conducting (open) from nonconducting (inactivated) conformations of the channel. Recent studies suggest that beyond the selectivity filter, inactivation involves widespread rearrangements of the channel protein. Here, we use rate equilibrium free energy relationship analysis to probe the structural changes that occur during selectivity filter gating in Kv11.1 channels, at near atomic resolution. We show that the pore helix plays a crucial dynamic role as a bidirectional interface during selectivity filter gating. We also define the molecular bases of the energetic coupling between the pore helix and outer helix of the pore domain that occurs early in the transition from open to inactivated states, as well as the coupling between the pore helix and inner helix late in the transition. Our data demonstrate that the pore helices are more than just static structural elements supporting the integrity of the selectivity filter; instead they play a crucial dynamic role during selectivity filter gating.