PubMed 11527975

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: SK2 , SK3 , Slo1

Title: Design and characterization of a highly selective peptide inhibitor of the small conductance calcium-activated K+ channel, SkCa2.

Authors: V G Shakkottai, I Regaya, H Wulff, Z Fajloun, H Tomita, M Fathallah, M D Cahalan, J J Gargus, J M Sabatier, K G Chandy

Journal, date & volume: J. Biol. Chem., 2001 Nov 16 , 276, 43145-51

PubMed link:

Apamin-sensitive small conductance calcium-activated potassium channels (SKCa1-3) mediate the slow afterhyperpolarization in neurons, but the molecular identity of the channel has not been defined because of the lack of specific inhibitors. Here we describe the structure-based design of a selective inhibitor of SKCa2. Leiurotoxin I (Lei) and PO5, peptide toxins that share the RXCQ motif, potently blocked human SKCa2 and SKCa3 but not SKCa1, whereas maurotoxin, Pi1, Tskappa, and PO1 were ineffective. Lei blocked these channels more potently than PO5 because of the presence of Ala(1), Phe(2), and Met(7). By replacing Met(7) in the RXCQ motif of Lei with the shorter, unnatural, positively charged diaminobutanoic acid (Dab), we generated Lei-Dab(7), a selective SKCa2 inhibitor (K(d) = 3.8 nm) that interacts with residues in the external vestibule of the channel. SKCa3 was rendered sensitive to Lei-Dab(7) by replacing His(521) with the corresponding SKCa2 residue (Asn(367)). Intracerebroventricular injection of Lei-Dab(7) into mice resulted in no gross central nervous system toxicity at concentrations that specifically blocked SKCa2 homotetramers. Lei-Dab(7) will be a useful tool to investigate the functional role of SKCa2 in mammalian tissues.