Two rings of negative charges in the cytosolic vestibule of type-1 ryanodine receptor modulate ion fluxes.
ABSTRACT: The tetrameric ryanodine receptor calcium release channels (RyRs) are cation-selective channels that have pore architecture similar to that of K+ channels. We recently identified, in close proximity to the selectivity filter motif GGGIG, a conserved lumenal DE motif that has a critical role in RyR ion permeation and selectivity. Here, we substituted three aspartate residues (D4938, D4945, D4953) with asparagine and four glutamate residues (E4942, E4948, E4952, E4955) with glutamine hypothesized to line the cytosolic vestibule of the skeletal muscle RyR (RyR1). Mutant single channel properties were determined using the planar lipid bilayer method. Two mutants (D4938N, D4945N) showed a reduced K+ ion conductance, with D4938N also exhibiting a reduced selectivity for Ca2+ compared to K+. The cytosolic location of D4938 and D4945 was confirmed using the polycation neomycin. Both D4938N and D4945N exhibited an attenuated block by neomycin to a greater extent from the cytosolic than lumenal side. By comparison, charge neutralization of lumenal loop residues (D4899Q, E4900N) eliminated the block from the lumenal but not the cytosolic side. The results suggest that, in addition to negatively charged residues on the lumenal side, rings of four negative charges formed by D4938 and D4945 in the cytosolic vestibule determine RyR ion fluxes.
Project description:Although no high-resolution structural information is available for the ryanodine receptor (RyR) channel pore-forming region (PFR), molecular modeling has revealed broad structural similarities between this region and the equivalent region of K(+) channels. This study predicts that, as is the case in K(+) channels, RyR has a cytosolic vestibule lined with predominantly hydrophobic residues of transmembrane helices (TM10). In K(+) channels, this vestibule is the binding site for blocking tetraalkylammonium (TAA) cations and Shaker B inactivation peptides (ShBPs), which are stabilized by hydrophobic interactions involving specific residues of the lining helices. We have tested the hypothesis that the cytosolic vestibule of RyR fulfils a similar role and that TAAs and ShBPs are stabilized by hydrophobic interactions with residues of TM10. Both TAAs and ShBPs block RyR from the cytosolic side of the channel. By varying the composition of TAAs and ShBPs, we demonstrate that the affinity of both species is determined by their hydrophobicity, with variations reflecting alterations in the dissociation rate of the bound blockers. We investigated the role of TM10 residues of RyR by monitoring block by TAAs and ShBPs in channels in which the hydrophobicity of individual TM10 residues was lowered by alanine substitution. Although substitutions changed the kinetics of TAA interaction, they produced no significant changes in ShBP kinetics, indicating the absence of specific hydrophobic sites of interactions between RyR and these peptides. Our investigations (a) provide significant new information on both the mechanisms and structural components of the RyR PFR involved in block by TAAs and ShBPs, (b) highlight important differences in the mechanisms and structures determining TAA and ShBP block in RyR and K(+) channels, and (c) demonstrate that although the PFRs of these channels contain analogous structural components, significant differences in structure determine the distinct ion-handling properties of the two species of channel.
Project description:Ryanodine receptors (RyR) are calcium release channels, playing a major role in the regulation of muscular contraction. Mutations in skeletal muscle RyR (RyR1) are associated with congenital diseases such as malignant hyperthermia and central core disease (CCD). The absence of high-resolution structures of RyR1 has limited our understanding of channel function and disease mechanisms at the molecular level. Previously, we have reported a hypothetical structure of the RyR1 pore-forming region, obtained by homology modeling and supported by mutational scans, electrophysiological measurements, and cryo-electron microscopy. Here, we utilize the expanded model encompassing six transmembrane helices to calculate the RyR1 pore region conductance, to analyze its structural stability, and to hypothesize the mechanism of the Ile4897 CCD-associated mutation. The calculated conductance of the wild-type RyR1 suggests that the proposed pore structure can sustain ion currents measured in single-channel experiments. We observe a stable pore structure on timescales of 0.2 ?s, with multiple cations occupying the selectivity filter and cytosolic vestibule, but not the inner chamber. We further suggest that stability of the selectivity filter critically depends on the interactions between the I4897 residue and several hydrophobic residues of the neighboring subunit. Loss of these interactions in the case of polar substitution I4897T results in destabilization of the selectivity filter, a possible cause of the CCD-specific reduced Ca(2+) conductance.
Project description:Ca2+ regulates ryanodine receptor's (RyR) activity through an activating and an inhibiting Ca2+-binding site located on the cytoplasmic side of the RyR channel. Their altered sensitivity plays an important role in the pathology of malignant hyperthermia and heart failure. We used lanthanide ions (Ln3+) as probes to investigate the Ca2+ sensors of RyR, because they specifically bind to Ca2+-binding proteins and they are impermeable to the channel. Eu3+'s and Sm3+'s action was tested on single RyR1 channels reconstituted into planar lipid bilayers. When the activating binding site was saturated by 50 ?M Ca2+, Ln3+ potently inhibited RyR's open probability (Kd Eu3+ = 167 ± 5 nM and Kd Sm3+ = 63 ± 3 nM), but in nominally 0 [Ca2+], low [Eu3+] activated the channel. These results suggest that Ln3+ acts as an agonist of both Ca2+-binding sites. More importantly, the voltage-dependent characteristics of Ln3+'s action led to the conclusion that the activating Ca2+ binding site is located within the electrical field of the channel (in the vestibule). This idea was tested by applying the pore blocker toxin maurocalcine on the cytoplasmic side of RyR. These experiments showed that RyR lost reactivity to changing cytosolic [Ca2+] from 50 ?M to 100 nM when the toxin occupied the vestibule. These results suggest that maurocalcine mechanically prevented Ca2+ from dissociating from its binding site and support our vestibular Ca2+ sensor-model further.
Project description:CRAC channels generate Ca(2+) signals critical for the activation of immune cells and exhibit an intriguing pore profile distinguished by extremely high Ca(2+) selectivity, low Cs(+) permeability, and small unitary conductance. To identify the ion conduction pathway and gain insight into the structural bases of these permeation characteristics, we introduced cysteine residues in the CRAC channel pore subunit, Orai1, and probed their accessibility to various thiol-reactive reagents. Our results indicate that the architecture of the ion conduction pathway is characterized by a flexible outer vestibule formed by the TM1-TM2 loop, which leads to a narrow pore flanked by residues of a helical TM1 segment. Residues in TM3, and specifically, E190, a residue considered important for ion selectivity, are not close to the pore. Moreover, the outer vestibule does not significantly contribute to ion selectivity, implying that Ca(2+) selectivity is conferred mainly by E106. The ion conduction pathway is sufficiently narrow along much of its length to permit stable coordination of Cd(2+) by several TM1 residues, which likely explains the slow flux of ions within the restrained geometry of the pore. These results provide a structural framework to understand the unique permeation properties of CRAC channels.
Project description:Piezo channels are mechanically activated ion channels that confer mechanosensitivity to a variety of different cell types. Piezos oligomerize as propeller-shaped homotrimers that are thought to locally curve the membrane into spherical domes that project into the cell. While several studies have identified domains and amino acids that control important properties such as ion permeability and selectivity as well as inactivation kinetics and voltage sensitivity, only little is known about intraprotein interactions that govern mechanosensitivity-the most unique feature of PIEZOs. Here we used site-directed mutagenesis and patch-clamp recordings to investigate the mechanogating mechanism of PIEZO2. We demonstrate that charged amino acids at the interface between the beam domain-i.e., a long ?-helix that protrudes from the intracellular side of the "propeller" blade toward the inner vestibule of the channel-and the C-terminal domain (CTD) as well as hydrophobic interactions between the highly conserved Y2807 of the CTD and pore-lining helices are required to ensure normal mechanosensitivity of PIEZO2. Moreover, single-channel recordings indicate that a previously unrecognized intrinsically disordered domain located adjacent to the beam acts as a cytosolic plug that limits ion permeation possibly by clogging the inner vestibule of both PIEZO1 and PIEZO2. Thus, we have identified several intraprotein domain interfaces that control the mechanical activation of PIEZO1 and PIEZO2 and which might thus serve as promising targets for drugs that modulate the mechanosensitivity of Piezo channels.
Project description:Recent determination of the crystal structures of bacterial voltage-gated sodium (NaV) channels have raised hopes that modeling of the mammalian counterparts could soon be achieved. However, there are substantial differences between the pore domains of the bacterial and mammalian NaV channels, which necessitates careful validation of mammalian homology models constructed from the bacterial NaV structures. Such a validated homology model for the NaV1.4 channel was constructed recently using the extensive mutagenesis data available for binding of ?-conotoxins. Here we use this NaV1.4 model to study the ion permeation mechanism in mammalian NaV channels. Linking of the DEKA residues in the selectivity filter with residues in the neighboring domains is found to be important for keeping the permeation pathway open. Molecular dynamics simulations and potential of mean force calculations reveal that there is a binding site for a Na+ ion just inside the DEKA locus, and 1-2 Na+ ions can occupy the vestibule near the EEDD ring. These sites are separated by a low free energy barrier, suggesting that inward conduction occurs when a Na+ ion in the vestibule goes over the free energy barrier and pushes the Na+ ion in the filter to the intracellular cavity, consistent with the classical knock-on mechanism. The NaV1.4 model also provides a good description of the observed Na+/K+ selectivity.
Project description:In K(+) channels, the selectivity filter, pore helix, and outer vestibule play a crucial role in gating mechanisms. The outer vestibule is an important structurally extended region of KcsA in which toxins, blockers, and metal ions bind and modulate the gating behavior of K(+) channels. Despite its functional significance, the gating-related structural dynamics at the outer vestibule are not well understood. Under steady-state conditions, inactivating WT and noninactivating E71A KcsA stabilize the nonconductive and conductive filter conformations upon opening the activation gate. Site-directed fluorescence polarization of 7-nitrobenz-2-oxa-1,3-diazol-4-yl (NBD)-labeled outer vestibule residues shows that the outer vestibule of open/conductive conformation is highly dynamic compared with the motional restriction experienced by the outer vestibule during inactivation gating. A wavelength-selective fluorescence approach shows a change in hydration dynamics in inactivated and noninactivated conformations, and supports a possible role of restricted/bound water molecules in C-type inactivation gating. Using a unique restrained ensemble simulation method, along with distance measurements by EPR, we show that, on average, the outer vestibule undergoes a modest backbone conformational change during its transition to various functional states, although the structural dynamics of the outer vestibule are significantly altered during activation and inactivation gating. Taken together, our results support the role of a hydrogen bond network behind the selectivity filter, side-chain conformational dynamics, and water molecules in the gating mechanisms of K(+) channels.
Project description:Ryanodine receptors (RyRs) are a class of giant ion channels with molecular mass over 2.2 mega-Daltons. These channels mediate calcium signaling in a variety of cells. Since more than 80% of the RyR protein is folded into the cytoplasmic assembly and the remaining residues form the transmembrane domain, it has been hypothesized that the activation and regulation of RyR channels occur through an as yet uncharacterized long-range allosteric mechanism. Here we report the characterization of a Ca(2+)-activated open-state RyR1 structure by cryo-electron microscopy. The structure has an overall resolution of 4.9 Å and a resolution of 4.2 Å for the core region. In comparison with the previously determined apo/closed-state structure, we observed long-range allosteric gating of the channel upon Ca(2+) activation. In-depth structural analyses elucidated a novel channel-gating mechanism and a novel ion selectivity mechanism of RyR1. Our work not only provides structural insights into the molecular mechanisms of channel gating and regulation of RyRs, but also sheds light on structural basis for channel-gating and ion selectivity mechanisms for the six-transmembrane-helix cation channel family.
Project description:P2X receptors are ATP-gated cation channels consisting of three subunits that are mutually intertwined and form an upper, central, and extracellular vestibule with three lateral portals and the channel pore. Here we used cysteine and alanine scanning mutagenesis of the rat P2X4R receptor V47-V61 and K326-N338 sequences to study structural and functional properties of extracellular vestibule during gating. Cysteine mutants were used to test the accessibility of these residue side chains to cadmium during closed-open-desensitized transitions, whereas alanine mutants served as controls. This study revealed the accessibility of residues E51, T57, S59, V61, K326, and M336 to cadmium in channels undergoing a transition from a closed-to-open state and the accessibility of residues V47, G53, D331, I332, I333, T335, I337, and N338 in channels undergoing a transition from an open-to-desensitized state; residues E56 and K329 were accessible during both transitions. The effect of cadmium on channel gating was stimulatory in all reactive V47-V61 mutants and inhibitory in the majority of reactive K326-N338 mutants. The rat P2X4 receptor homology model suggests that residues affected by cadmium in the closed-to-open transition were located within the lumen of the extracellular vestibule and toward the central vestibule; however, the residues affected by cadmium in the open-to-desensitized state were located at the bottom of the vestibule near the pore. Analysis of the model assumed that there is ion access to extracellular and central vestibules through lateral ports when the channel is closed, with residues above the first transmembrane domain being predominantly responsible for ion uptake. Upon receptor activation, there is passage of ions toward the residues located on the upper region of the second transmembrane domain, followed by permeation through the gate region.
Project description:Ion channels are membrane proteins that mediate efficient ion transport across the hydrophobic core of cell membranes, an unlikely process in their absence. K(+) channels discriminate K(+) over cations with similar radii with extraordinary selectivity and display a wide diversity of ion transport rates, covering differences of two orders of magnitude in unitary conductance. The pore domains of large- and small-conductance K(+) channels share a general architectural design comprising a conserved narrow selectivity filter, which forms intimate interactions with permeant ions, flanked by two wider vestibules toward the internal and external openings. In large-conductance K(+) channels, the inner vestibule is wide, whereas in small-conductance channels it is narrow. Here we raise the idea that the physical dimensions of the hydrophobic internal vestibule limit ion transport in K(+) channels, accounting for their diversity in unitary conductance.