PubMed 19580747

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: Kv1.2 , Kv2.1 , Slo1

Title: Coupling of S4 helix translocation and S6 gating analyzed by molecular-dynamics simulations of mutated Kv channels.

Authors: Manami Nishizawa, Kazuhisa Nishizawa

Journal, date & volume: Biophys. J., 2009 Jul 8 , 97, 90-100

PubMed link:

The recently determined crystal structure of a chimeric Kv1.2-Kv2.1 Kv channel at 2.4 A resolution motivated this molecular-dynamics simulation study of the chimeric channel and its mutants embedded in a DPPC membrane. For the channel protein, we used two types of C-terminus: E+ and Eo. E+ contains, and Eo lacks, the EGEE residue quartet located distal to the S6 helix. For both E+ and Eo, the following trend was observed: When S4 helices were restrained at the same position as in the x-ray structure (S4high), the S6 gate remained open for 12 ns. The results were similar when the S4 helices were pulled downward 7 A (S4low). However, S4middle (or S4low) facilitated the S6 gate-narrowing for the following mutated channels (shown in order of increasing effect): 1), E395W; 2), E395W-F401A-F402A; and 3), E395W-F401A-F402A-V478W. The amino acid numbering system is that used for the Shaker channel. Even though all four subunits were set at S4low, S6 gate-narrowing was often brought about by movements of only two opposing S6 helices toward the central axis of the pore, resulting in a twofold symmetry-like structure. A free-energy profile analysis over the ion conduction pathway shows that the two opposing S6 helices whose peptide backbones are approximately 10.4 A distant from each other lead to an energetic barrier of approximately 25 kJ/mol. S6 movement was coupled with translocation of the S4-S5 linker toward the central axis of the same subunit, and the coupling was mediated by salt bridges formed between the inner (intracellular side) end of S4 and that of S6. Simulations in which S4 of only one subunit was pulled down to S4low showed that a weak intersubunit coordination is present for S5 movement, whereas the coupling between the S4-S5 linker and S6 is largely an intrasubunit one. In general, whereas subunit-based behavior appears to be dominant and to permit heteromeric conformations of the pore domain, direct intersubunit coupling of S5 or S6 is weak. Therefore, the "concerted transition" of the pore domain that has been predicted based on electrophysiological analyses is likely to be mediated mainly by the dual effects of S4 and the S4-S5 linker; these segments of one subunit can interact with both S5 of the same subunit and that of the adjacent subunit.