PubMed 23150565

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: Kv1.2

Title: Exploring conformational states of the bacterial voltage-gated sodium channel NavAb via molecular dynamics simulations.

Authors: Cristiano Amaral, Vincenzo Carnevale, Michael L Klein, Werner Treptow

Journal, date & volume: Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A., 2012 Dec 26 , 109, 21336-41

PubMed link:

The X-ray structure of the bacterial voltage-gated sodium channel NavAb has been reported in a conformation with a closed conduction pore. Comparison between this structure and the activated-open and resting-closed structures of the voltage-gated Kv1.2 potassium channel suggests that the voltage-sensor domains (VSDs) of the reported structure are not fully activated. Using the aforementioned structures of Kv1.2 as templates, molecular dynamics simulations are used to identify analogous functional conformations of NavAb. Specifically, starting from the NavAb crystal structure, conformations of the membrane-bound channel are sampled along likely pathways for activation of the VSD and opening of the pore domain. Gating charge computations suggest that a structural rearrangement comparable to that occurring between activated-open and resting-closed states is required to explain experimental values of the gating charge, thereby confirming that the reported VSD structure is likely an intermediate along the channel activation pathway. Our observation that the X-ray structure exhibits a low pore domain-opening propensity further supports this notion. The present molecular dynamics study also identifies conformations of NavAb that are seemingly related to the resting-closed and activated-open states. Our findings are consistent with recent structural and functional studies of the orthologous channels NavRh, NaChBac, and NavMs and offer possible structures for the functionally relevant conformations of NavAb.