PubMed 18955593

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: Kv1.2 , Kv11.1 , Slo1

Title: hERG gating microdomains defined by S6 mutagenesis and molecular modeling.

Authors: Sarah L Wynia-Smith, Anne Lynn Gillian-Daniel, Kenneth A Satyshur, Gail A Robertson

Journal, date & volume: J. Gen. Physiol., 2008 Nov , 132, 507-20

PubMed link:

Human ether-à-go-go-related gene (hERG) channels mediate cardiac repolarization and bind drugs that can cause acquired long QT syndrome and life-threatening arrhythmias. Drugs bind in the vestibule formed by the S6 transmembrane domain, which also contains the activation gate that traps drugs in the vestibule and contributes to their efficacy of block. Although drug-binding residues have been identified, we know little about the roles of specific S6 residues in gating. We introduced cysteine mutations into the hERG channel S6 domain and measured mutational effects on the steady-state distribution and kinetics of transitions between the closed and open states. Energy-minimized molecular models based on the crystal structures of rKv1.2 (open state) and MlotiK1 and KcsA (closed state) provided structural contexts for evaluating mutant residues. The majority of mutations slowed deactivation, shifted conductance voltage curves to more negative potentials, or conferred a constitutive conductance over voltages that normally cause the channel to close. At the most intracellular extreme of the S6 region, Q664, Y667, and S668 were especially sensitive and together formed a ringed domain that occludes the pore in the closed state model. In contrast, mutation of S660, more than a full helical turn away and corresponding by alignment to a critical Shaker gate residue (V478), had little effect on gating. Multiple substitutions of chemically distinct amino acids at the adjacent V659 suggested that, upon closing, the native V659 side chain moves into a hydrophobic pocket but likely does not form the occluding gate itself. Overall, the study indicated that S6 mutagenesis disrupts the energetics primarily of channel closing and identified several residues critical for this process in the native channel.