PubMed 19114635

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: Kv10.1

Title: Mutations at the signature sequence of CFTR create a Cd(2+)-gated chloride channel.

Authors: Xiaohui Wang, Silvia G Bompadre, Min Li, Tzyh-Chang Hwang

Journal, date & volume: J. Gen. Physiol., 2009 Jan , 133, 69-77

PubMed link:

The canonical sequence LSGGQ, also known as the signature sequence, defines the adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-binding cassette transporter superfamily. Crystallographic studies reveal that the signature sequence, together with the Walker A and Walker B motifs, forms the ATP-binding pocket upon dimerization of the two nucleotide-binding domains (NBDs) in a head-to-tail configuration. The importance of the signature sequence is attested by the fact that a glycine to aspartate mutation (i.e., G551D) in cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) results in a severe phenotype of cystic fibrosis. We previously showed that the G551D mutation completely eliminates ATP-dependent gating of the CFTR chloride channel. Here, we report that micromolar [Cd(2+)] can dramatically increase the activity of G551D-CFTR in the absence of ATP. This effect of Cd(2+) is not seen in wild-type channels or in G551A. Pretreatment of G551D-CFTR with the cysteine modification reagent 2-aminoethyl methane thiosulfonate hydrobromide protects the channel from Cd(2+) activation, suggesting an involvement of endogenous cysteine residue(s) in mediating this effect of Cd(2+). The mutants G551C, L548C, and S549C, all in the signature sequence of CFTR's NBD1, show robust response to Cd(2+). On the other hand, negligible effects of Cd(2+) were seen with T547C, Q552C, and R553C, indicating that a specific region of the signature sequence is involved in transmitting the signal of Cd(2+) binding to the gate. Collectively, these results suggest that the effect of Cd(2+) is mediated by a metal bridge formation between yet to be identified cysteine residue(s) and the engineered aspartate or cysteine in the signature sequence. We propose that the signature sequence serves as a switch that transduces the signal of ligand binding to the channel gate.