A single amino acid difference between ether-a-go-go- related gene channel subtypes determines differential sensitivity to a small molecule activator.
ABSTRACT: Activators of human ether-a-go-go-related gene 1 (hERG1) channels, such as (3R,4R)-4-[3-(6-methoxy-quinolin-4-yl)-3-oxo-propyl]-1-[3-(2,3,5-trifluoro-phenyl)-prop-2-ynyl]-piperidine-3-carboxylic acid (RPR260243), reverse the effect of hERG1 blockers and shorten the duration of cardiac action potentials. RPR260243 (RPR) slows the rate of deactivation and shifts the voltage dependence of channel inactivation to more positive potentials. We recently mapped the binding site for RPR to several residues located near the cytoplasmic ends of the S5 and S6 helices of the hERG1 subunit. These residues are conserved in the highly homologous ether-a-go-go-related gene 3 (ERG3) subunit; however, RPR blocks ERG3 channels. Here, we compare hERG1 and rat ERG3 (rERG3) channels to explore the molecular basis for differential channel sensitivity to RPR. Channels were heterologously expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes, and currents were recorded using the two-electrode voltage-clamp technique. Site-directed mutagenesis was used to swap the two residues within the putative binding domain that differed between hERG1 and rERG3. The differential sensitivity of hERG1 and rERG3 channels to the agonist effect of RPR could be accounted for by a single S5 residue (Thr556 in hERG1, Ile558 in rERG3). A Thr in this position favors agonist activity, whereas an Ile reveals a secondary blocking effect of RPR.
Project description:Activation of human ether-a-go-go-related gene 1 (hERG1) K(+) channels mediates cardiac action potential repolarization. Drugs that activate hERG1 channels represent a mechanism-based approach for the treatment of long QT syndrome, a disorder of cardiac repolarization associated with ventricular arrhythmia and sudden death. Here, we characterize the mechanisms of action and the molecular determinants for binding of RPR260243 [(3R,4R)-4-[3-(6-methoxy-quinolin-4-yl)-3-oxo-propyl]-1-[3-(2,3,5-trifluoro-phenyl)-prop-2-ynyl]-piperidine-3-carboxylic acid] (RPR), a recently discovered hERG1 channel activator. Channels were heterologously expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes, and currents were measured by using the two-microelectrode voltage-clamp technique. RPR induced a concentration-dependent slowing in the rate of channel deactivation and enhanced current magnitude by shifting the voltage dependence of inactivation to more positive potentials. This mechanism was confirmed by demonstrating that RPR slowed the rate of deactivation, but did not increase current magnitude of inactivation-deficient mutant channels. The effects of RPR on hERG1 kinetics and magnitude could be simulated by reducing three rate constants in a Markov model of channel gating. Point mutations of specific residues located in the S4-S5 linker or cytoplasmic ends of the S5 and S6 domains greatly attenuated or ablated the effects of 3 microM RPR on deactivation (five residues), inactivation (one residue), or both gating mechanisms (four residues). These findings define a putative binding site for RPR and confirm the importance of an interaction between the S4-S5 linker and the S6 domain in electromechanical coupling of voltage-gated K(+) channels.
Project description:Compounds can activate human ether-à-go-go-related gene 1 (hERG1) channels by several different mechanisms, including a slowing of deactivation, an increase in single channel open probability, or a reduction in C-type inactivation. The first hERG1 activator to be discovered, RPR260243 ((3R,4R)-4-[3-(6-methoxyquinolin-4-yl)-3-oxo-propyl]-1-[3-(2,3,5-trifluorophenyl)-prop-2-ynyl]-piperidine-3-carboxylic acid) (RPR) induces a pronounced, voltage-dependent slowing of hERG1 deactivation. The putative binding site for RPR, previously mapped to a hydrophobic pocket located between two adjacent subunits, is fully conserved in the closely related rat ether-à-go-go-related gene 2 (rERG2), yet these channels are relatively insensitive to RPR. Here, we use site-directed mutagenesis and heterologous expression of channels in Xenopus oocytes to characterize the structural basis for the differential sensitivity of hERG1 and rERG2 channels to RPR. Analysis of hERG1-rERG2 chimeric channels indicated that the structural determinant of channel sensitivity to RPR was located within the cytoplasmic C-terminus. Analysis of a panel of mutant hERG1 and rERG2 channels further revealed that seven residues, five in the C-linker and two in the adjacent region of the cyclic nucleotide-binding homology domain, can fully account for the differential sensitivity of hERG1 and rERG2 channels to RPR. These findings provide further evidence that the C-linker is a key structural component of slow deactivation in ether-à-go-go-related gene channels.
Project description:Human ether-à-go-go-related gene 1 (hERG1) channels conduct the rapid delayed rectifier K+ current, I(Kr), an important determinant of action potential repolarization in mammals, including humans. Reduced I(Kr) function caused by mutations in KCNH2 or drug block of hERG1 channels prolongs the QT interval of the electrocardiogram and increases the risk of ventricular fibrillation and sudden cardiac death. Several activators of hERG1 channels have been discovered in recent years. These compounds shorten the duration of cardiac action potentials and have been proposed as a new therapeutic approach for the treatment of acquired or congenital long QT syndrome. We defined previously the mechanism of action of 1,3-bis-(2-hydroxy-5-trifluoromethyl-phenyl)-urea (NS1643), a compound that increases hERG1 currents by shifting the voltage-dependence of inactivation to more positive potentials. Here, we use scanning mutagenesis of hERG1 and functional characterization of 56 mutant channels heterologously expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes to define the molecular determinants of the binding site for NS1643. Most point mutations did not alter response to the drug; however, 10 mutant channels had reduced sensitivity, and F619A and I567A exhibited enhanced activation by the drug. Some of these residues form a cluster and, together with molecular modeling, suggest that NS1643 binds to a pocket near the extracellular ends of the S5/S6 segments of two adjacent hERG1 channel subunits. This putative binding site differs from the sites described previously for two other hERG1 activators, (3R,4R)-4-[3-(6-methoxy-quinolin-4-yl)-3-oxo-propyl]-1-[3-(2,3,5-trifluoro-phenyl)-prop-2-ynyl]-piperidine-3-carboxylic acid (RPR260243) and 2-(4-[2-(3,4-dichloro-phenyl)-ethyl]-phenylamino)-benzoic acid (PD-118057).
Project description:Emerging evidence suggests that K(+) channel inactivation involves coupling between residues in adjacent regions of the channel. Human ether-a-go-go-related gene-1 (hERG1) K(+) channels undergo a fast inactivation gating process that is crucial for maintaining electrical stability in the heart. The molecular mechanisms that drive inactivation in hERG1 channels are unknown. Using alanine scanning mutagenesis, we show that a pore helix residue (Thr-618) that points toward the S5 segment is critical for normal inactivation gating. Amino acid substitutions at position 618 modulate the free energy of inactivation gating, causing enhanced or reduced inactivation. Mutation of an S5 residue that is predicted to be adjacent to Thr-618 (W568L) abolishes inactivation and alters ion selectivity. The introduction of the Thr-618-equivalent residue in Kv1.5 enhances inactivation. Molecular dynamic simulations of the Kv1.2 tetramer reveal van der Waals coupling between hERG1 618- and 568-equivalent residues and a significant increase in interaction energies when threonine is introduced at the 618-equivalent position. We propose that coupling between the S5 segment and pore helix may participate in the inactivation process in hERG1 channels.
Project description:Human ether-a-go-go-related gene 1 (hERG1) K(+) channels mediate repolarization of cardiac action potentials. Unintended block of hERG1 channels by some drugs can prolong the QT interval and induce arrhythmia. Recently, hERG1 channel agonists were discovered and, based on their mechanisms of action can be classified into two types. RPR260243 [(3R,4R)-4-[3-(6-methoxy-quinolin-4-yl)-3-oxo-propyl]-1-[3-(2,3,5 trifluorophenyl)-prop-2-ynyl]-piperidine-3-carboxylic acid], a type 1 agonist, binds to residues located near the intracellular end of S5 and S6 transmembrane segments and activates hERG1 channels by a dual mechanism of slowed deactivation and attenuated P-type inactivation. As defined here, type 2 agonists such as PD-118057 [2-(4-[2-(3,4-dichloro-phenyl)-ethyl]-phenylamino)-benzoic acid] attenuate inactivation but do not slow deactivation. At 10 muM, PD-118057 shifted the half-point for inactivation of wild-type hERG1 channels by +19 mV and increased peak outward current by 136%. Scanning mutagenesis and functional characterization of 44 mutant channels expressed in Xenopus oocytes was used to identify the major structural determinants of the binding site for PD-118057. Single mutations of residues in the pore helix (F619) or the S6 segment (L646) of hERG1 eliminated agonist activity. Mutation of a nearby residues in the S6 segment (C643, M645) enhanced drug activity, presumably by reducing steric hindrance for drug binding. Molecular modeling indicates that PD-118057 binds to a hydrophobic pocket formed by L646 of one hERG1 subunit and F619 of an adjacent subunit. We conclude that direct interaction of PD-118057 with the pore helix attenuates fast P-type inactivation and increases open probability of hERG1 channels.
Project description:Human ether-à-go-go-related gene 1 (hERG1) channels mediate repolarization of cardiac action potentials. Inherited long QT syndrome (LQTS) caused by loss-of-function mutations, or unintended blockade of hERG1 channels by many drugs, can lead to severe arrhythmia and sudden death. Drugs that activate hERG1 are a novel pharmacological approach to treat LQTS. 3-Nitro-n-(4-phenoxyphenyl) benzamide [ICA-105574 (ICA)] has been discovered to activate hERG1 by strong attenuation of pore-type inactivation. Here, we used scanning mutagenesis of hERG1 to identify the molecular determinants of ICA action. Three mutations abolished the activator effects of 30 ?M ICA, including L622C in the pore helix, F557L in the S5 segment, and Y652A in the S6 segment. One mutation in S6 (A653M) switched the activity of ICA from an activator to an inhibitor, revealing its partial agonist activity. This was confirmed by showing that the noninactivating mutant hERG1 channel (G628C/S631C) was inhibited by ICA and that the addition of the F557L mutation rendered the channel drug-insensitive. Simulated molecular docking of ICA to homology models of hERG1 corroborated the scanning mutagenesis findings. Together, our findings indicate that ICA is a mixed agonist of hERG1 channels. Activation or inhibition of currents is mediated by the same or overlapping binding site located in the pore module between two adjacent subunits of the homotetrameric channel.
Project description:Ginsenoside 20(S)-Rg3 (Rg3) is a steroid glycoside that induces human ether-à-go-go-related gene type 1 (hERG1, Kv11.1) channels to activate at more negative potentials and to deactivate more slowly than normal. However, it is unknown whether this action is unique to hERG1 channels. Here we compare and contrast the mechanisms of actions of Rg3 on hERG1 with three other members of the ether-à-go-go (EAG) K(+) channel gene family, including EAG1 (Kv10.1), ERG3 (Kv11.3), and ELK1 (Kv12.1). All four channel types were heterologously expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes, and K(+) currents were measured using the two-microelectrode voltage-clamp technique. At a maximally effective concentration, Rg3 shifted the half-point of voltage-dependent activation of currents by -14 mV for ERG1 (EC50 = 414 nM), -20 mV for ERG3 (EC50 = 374 nM), -28 mV for EAG1 (EC50 = 1.18 ?M), and more than -100 mV for ELK1 (EC50 = 197 nM) channels. Rg3 also induced slowing of ERG1, ERG3, and ELK1 channel deactivation and accelerated the rate of EAG1 channel activation. A Markov model was developed to simulate gating and the effects of Rg3 on the voltage dependence of activation of hELK1 channels. Understanding the mechanism underlying the action of Rg3 may facilitate the development of more potent and selective EAG family channel activators as therapies for cardiovascular and neural disorders.
Project description:Activation of human ether-a-go-go-related gene 1 (hERG1) K(+) channels mediates repolarization of action potentials in cardiomyocytes. RPR-260243 [(3R,4R)-4-[3-(6-methoxy-quinolin-4-yl)-3-oxo-propyl]-1-[3-(2,3,5-trifluorophenyl)-prop-2-ynyl]-piperidine-3-carboxylic acid] (RPR) slows deactivation and attenuates inactivation of hERG1 channels. A detailed understanding of the molecular mechanism of hERG1 agonists such as RPR may facilitate the design of more selective and potent compounds for prevention of arrhythmia associated with abnormally prolonged ventricular repolarization. RPR binds to a hydrophobic pocket located between two adjacent hERG1 subunits, and, hence, a homotetrameric channel has four identical RPR binding sites. To investigate the stoichiometry of altered channel gating induced by RPR, we constructed and characterized tetrameric hERG1 concatemers containing a variable number of wild-type subunits and subunits containing a point mutation (L553A) that rendered the channel insensitive to RPR, ostensibly by preventing ligand binding. The slowing of deactivation by RPR was proportional to the number of wild-type subunits incorporated into a concatenated tetrameric channel, and four wild-type subunits were required to achieve maximal slowing of deactivation. In contrast, a single wild-type subunit within a concatenated tetramer was sufficient to achieve half of the maximal RPR-induced shift in the voltage dependence of hERG1 inactivation, and maximal effect was achieved in channels containing three or four wild-type subunits. Together our findings suggest that the allosteric modulation of channel gating involves distinct mechanisms of coupling between drug binding and altered deactivation and inactivation.
Project description:Human ether-à-go-go related gene (hERG) 1 channels conduct the rapid delayed rectifier K(+) current (IKr) and are essential for the repolarization of the cardiac action potential. hERG1 inhibition by structurally diverse drugs may lead to life threatening arrhythmia. Putative binding determinants of hERG1 channel blockers include T623, S624 and V625 on the pore helix, and residues G648, Y652 and F656, located on segment S6. We and others have previously hypothesized that additional binding determinants may be located on helix S5, which is in close contact with the S6 segments. In order to test this hypothesis, we performed a detailed investigation combining ionic current measurements with two-microelectrode voltage clamp and molecular modeling techniques. We identified a novel aromatic high affinity binding determinant for blockers located in helix S5, F557, which is equally potent as Y652. Modeling supports a direct interaction with the outer pore helix.
Project description:Both human ether-à-go-go-related gene (hERG1) and the closely related human ether-à-go-go (hEAG1) channel are aberrantly expressed in a large proportion of human cancers. In the present study, we demonstrate that transfection of hERG1 into mouse fibroblasts is sufficient to induce many features characteristic of malignant transformation. An important finding of this work is that this transformation could be reversed by chronic incubation (for 2-3 weeks) with the hERG channel blocker dofetilide (100 nM), whereas more acute applications (for 1-2 days) were ineffective. The hERG1 expression resulted in a profound loss of cell contact inhibition, multiple layers of overgrowing cells, and high saturation densities. Cells also changed from fibroblast-like to a more spindle-shaped morphology, which was associated with a smaller cell size, a dramatic increase in cell polarization, a reduction in the number of actin stress fibers, and less punctate labeling of focal adhesions. Analysis of single-cell migration and scratch-wound closure clearly demonstrated that hERG1-expressing cells migrated more rapidly than vector-transfected control cells. In contrast to previous studies on hEAG1, there were no increases in rates of proliferation, or loss of growth factor dependency; however, hERG1-expressing cells were capable of substrate-independent growth. Allogeneic transplantation of hERG1-expressing cells into nude mice resulted in an increased incidence of tumors. In contrast to hEAG1, the mechanism of cellular transformation is dependent on ion conduction. Trafficking-deficient and conduction-deficient hERG1 mutants also prevented cellular transformation. These results provide evidence that hERG1 expression is sufficient to induce cellular transformation by a mechanism distinct from hEAG1. The most important conclusion of this study is that selective hERG1 channel blockers have therapeutic potential in the treatment of hERG1-expressing cancers.