An intersubunit salt bridge near the selectivity filter stabilizes the active state of Kir1.1.
ABSTRACT: ROMK (Kir1.1) potassium channels are closed by internal acidification with a pKa of 6.7 +/- 0.01 in 100 mM external K and a pKa of 7.0 +/- 0.01 in 1 mM external K. Internal acidification in 1 mM K (but not 100 mM K) not only closed the pH gate but also inactivated Kir1.1, such that realkalization did not restore channel activity until high K was returned to the bath. We identified a new putative intersubunit salt bridge (R128-E132-Kir1.1b) in the P-loop of the channel near the selectivity filter that affected the K sensitivity of the inactivation process. Mutation of either R128-Kir1.1b or E132-Kir1.1b caused inactivation in both 1 mM and 100 mM external K during oocyte acidification. However, 300 mM external K (but not 200 mM Na + 100 mM K) protected both E132Q and R128Y from inactivation. External application of a modified honey-bee toxin, tertiapin Q (TPNQ), also protected Kir1.1 from inactivation in 1 mM K and protected E132Q and R128Y from inactivation in 100 mM K, which suggests that TPNQ binding to the outer mouth of the channel stabilizes the active state. Pretreatment of Kir1.1 with external Ba prevented Kir1.1 inactivation, similar to pretreatment with TPNQ. In addition, mutations that disrupted transmembrane helix H-bonding (K61M-Kir1.1b) or stabilized a selectivity filter to helix-pore linkage (V121T-Kir1.1b) also protected both E132Q and R128Y from inactivation in 1 mM K and 100 mM K. Our results are consistent with Kir inactivation arising from conformational changes near the selectivity filter, analogous to C-type inactivation.
Project description:Three residues (E132, F127, and R128) at the outer mouth of Kir1.1b directly affected inward rectifier gating by external K, independent of pH gating. Each of the individual mutations E132Q, F127V, F127D, and R128Y changed the normal K dependence of macroscopic conductance from hyperbolic (Km = 6 ± 2 mM) to linear, up to 500 mM, without changing the hyperbolic K dependence of single-channel conductance. This suggests that E132, F127, and R128 are responsible for maximal Kir1.1b activation by external K. In addition, these same residues were also essential for recovery of Kir1.1b activity after complete removal of external K by 18-Crown-6 polyether. In contrast, charge-altering mutations at neighboring residues (E92A, E104A, D97V, or Q133E) near the outer mouth of the channel did not affect Kir1.1b recovery after chelation of external K. The collective role of E132, R128, and F127 in preventing Kir1.1b inactivation by either cytoplasmic acidification or external K removal implies that pH inactivation and the external K sensor share a common mechanism, whereby E132, R128, and F127 stabilize the Kir1.1b selectivity filter gate in an open conformation, allowing rapid recovery of channel activity after a period of external K depletion.
Project description:Kir1.1 inactivation, associated with transient internal acidification, is strongly dependent on external K, Ca, and Mg. Here, we show that in 1 mM K, a 15 min internal acidification (pH 6.3) followed by a 30 min recovery (pH 8.0) produced 84 ± 3% inactivation in 2 mM Ca but only 18 ± 4% inactivation in the absence of external Ca and Mg. In 100 mM external K, the same acidification protocol produced 29 ± 4% inactivation in 10 mM external Ca but no inactivation when extracellular Ca was reduced below 2 mM (with 0 Mg). However, chelation of external K with 15 mM of 18-Crown-6 (a crown ether) restored inactivation even in the absence of external divalents. External Ca was more effective than external Mg at producing inactivation, but Mg caused a greater degree of open channel block than Ca, making it unlikely that Kir1.1 inactivation arises from divalent block per se. Because the Ca sensitivity of inactivation persisted in 100 mM external K, it is also unlikely that Ca enhanced Kir1.1 inactivation by reducing the local K concentration at the outer mouth of the channel. The removal of four surface, negative side chains at E92, D97, E104, and E132 (Kir1.1b) increased the sensitivity of inactivation to external Ca (and Mg), whereas addition of a negative surface charge (N105E-Kir1.1b) decreased the sensitivity of inactivation to Ca and Mg. This result is consistent with the notion that negative surface charges stabilize external K in the selectivity filter or at the S(0)-K binding site just outside the filter. Extracellular Ca and Mg probably potentiate the slow, K-dependent inactivation of Kir1.1 by decreasing the affinity of the channel for external K independently of divalent block. The removal of external Ca and Mg largely eliminated both Kir1.1 inactivation and the K-dependence of pH gating, thereby uncoupling the selectivity filter gate from the cytoplasmic-side bundle-crossing gate.
Project description:ROMK (Kir1.1) channels are important for K secretion and recycling in the collecting duct, connecting tubule and thick ascending limb of the mammalian nephron. We have identified a highly conserved Arg in the P loop of the channel near the selectivity filter that controls Rb/K selectivity. Mutation of this Arg to a Tyr (R128Y-Kir1.1b, R147Y-Kir1.1a) increased the macroscopic conductance ratio, G(Rb)/G(K) by 17 ± 3 fold and altered the selectivity sequence from NH(4) > K > Tl > Rb >> Cs in wt-Kir1.1 to: Rb > Cs > Tl > NH(4) >> K in R128Y, without significant change in the high K/Na permeability ratio of Kir1.1. R128M produced similar, but smaller, increases in Rb, Tl, NH(4) and Cs conductance relative to K. R128Y remained susceptible to block by both external Ba and the honeybee toxin, TPNQ, although R128Y had a reduced affinity for TPNQ, relative to wild-type. The effect of R128Y-Kir1.1b on the G(Rb)/G(K) ratio can be partly explained by a larger single-channel Rb conductance (12.4 ± 0.5 pS) than K conductance (<1.5 pS) in this mutant. The kinetics of R128Y gating at -120 mV with Rb as the permeant ion were similar to those of wt-Kir1.1 conducting Rb, but with a longer open time (129 ms vs. 6 ms for wt) and two closed states (13 ms, 905 ms), resulting in an open probability (Po) of 0.5, compared to a Po of 0.9 for wt-Kir1.1, which had a single closed state of 1 ms at -120 mV. Single-channel R128Y rectification was eliminated in excised, insideout patches with symmetrical Rb solutions. The large increase in the Rb/K conductance ratio, with no change in K/Na permeability or rectification, is consistent with R128Y-Kir1.1b causing a subtle change in the selectivity filter, perhaps by disruption of an intra-subunit salt bridge (R128-E118) near the filter.
Project description:The closed-state crystal structure of prokaryotic inward rectifier, KirBac1.1, has implicated four inner helical phenylalanines near the cytoplasmic side as a possible locus of the channel gate. In the present study, we investigate whether this structural feature corresponds to the physiological pH gate of the renal inward rectifier, Kir1.1 (ROMK, KCNJ1). Kir1.1 is endogenous to the mammalian renal collecting duct and the thick ascending limb of Henle and is strongly gated by internal pH in the physiological range. It has four leucines (L160-Kir1.1b), homologous to the phenylalanines of KirBac1.1, which could function as steric gates near the convergence of the inner (M2) helices. Replacing these Leu-160 residues of Kir1.1b by smaller glycines abolished pH gating; however, replacement with alanines, whose side chains are intermediate in size between leucine and glycine, did not eliminate normal pH gating. Furthermore, a double mutant, constructed by adding the I163M-Kir1.1b mutation to the L160G mutation, also lacked normal pH gating, although the I163M mutation by itself enhanced the pH sensitivity of the channel. In addition to size, side-chain hydrophobicity at 160-Kir1.1b was also important for normal pH gating. Mutants with polar side chains (L160S, L160T) did not gate normally and were as insensitive to internal pH as the L160G mutant. Hence, either small or highly polar side chains at 160-Kir1.1b stabilize the open state of the channel. A homology model of the Kir1.1 closed state, based on the crystal structure of KirBac1.1, was consistent with our electrophysiological data and implies that closure of the Kir1.1 pH gate results from steric occlusion of the permeation path by the convergence of four leucines at the cytoplasmic apex of the inner transmembrane helices. In the open state, K crosses the pH gate together with its hydration shell.
Project description:Gating of inward rectifier Kir1.1 potassium channels by internal pH is believed to occur when large hydrophobic leucines, on each of the four subunits, obstruct the permeation path at the cytoplasmic end of the inner transmembrane helices (TM2). In this study, we examined whether closure of the channel at this point involves bending of the inner helix at one or both of two highly conserved glycine residues (corresponding to G134 and G143 in KirBac1.1) that have been proposed as putative "gating hinges" for potassium channels. Replacement of these conserved inner helical glycines by less flexible alanines did not abolish gating but shifted the apparent pKa from 6.6 +/- 0.01 (wild-type) to 7.1 +/- 0.01 for G157A-Kir1.1b, and to 7.3 +/- 0.01 for G148A-Kir1.1b. When both glycines were mutated the effect was additive, shifting the pKa by 1.2 pH units to 7.8 +/- 0.04 for the double mutant: G157A+G148A. At this pKa, the double mutant would remain completely closed under physiological conditions. In contrast, when the glycine at G148 was replaced by a proline, the pKa was shifted in the opposite direction from 6.6 +/- 0.01 (wild-type) to 5.7 +/- 0.01 for G148P. Although conserved glycines at G148 and G157 made it significantly easier to open the channel, they were not an absolute requirement for pH gating in Kir1.1. In addition, none of the glycine mutants produced more than small changes in either the cell-attached or excised single-channel kinetics which, in this channel, argues against changes in the selectivity filter. The putative pH sensor at K61-Kir1.1b, (equivalent to K80-Kir1.1a) was also examined. Mutation of this lysine to an untitratable methionine did not abolish pH gating, but shifted the pKa into an acid range from 6.6 +/- 0.01 to 5.4 +/- 0.04, similar to pH gating in Kir2.1. Hence K61-Kir1.1b cannot function as the exclusive pH sensor for the channel, although it may act as one of multiple pH sensors, or as a link between a cytoplasmic sensor and the channel gate. K61-Kir1.1b also interacted differently with the two glycine mutations. Gating of the double mutant: K61M+G148A was indistinguishable from K61M alone, whereas gating of K61M+G157A was midway between the alkaline pKa of G157A and the acid pKa of K61M. Finally, closure of ROMK, G148A, G157A, and K61M all required the same L160-Kir1.1b residue at the cytoplasmic end of the inner transmembrane helix. Hence in wild-type and mutant channels, closure occurs by steric occlusion of the permeation path by four leucine side chains (L160-Kir1.1b) at the helix bundle crossing. This is facilitated by the conserved glycines on TM2, but pH gating in Kir1.1 does not absolutely require glycine hinges in this region.
Project description:The effect of external potassium (K) and cesium (Cs) on the inwardly rectifying K channel ROMK2 (K(ir)1.1b) was studied in Xenopus oocytes. Elevating external K from 1 to 10 mM increased whole-cell outward conductance by a factor of 3.4 +/- 0.4 in 15 min and by a factor of 5.7 +/- 0.9 in 30 min (n = 22). Replacing external Na by Cs blocked inward conductance but increased whole-cell conductance by a factor of 4.5 +/- 0.5 over a period of 40 min (n = 15). In addition to this slow increase in conductance, there was also a small, rapid increase in conductance that occurred as soon as ROMK was exposed to external cesium or 10 mM K. This rapid increase could be explained by the observed increase in ROMK single-channel conductance from 6.4 +/- 0.8 pS to 11.1 +/- 0.8 pS (10 mM K, n = 8) or 11.7 +/- 1.2 pS (Cs, n = 8). There was no effect of either 10 mM K or cesium on the high open probability (P(o) = 0.97 +/- 0.01; n = 12) of ROMK outward currents. In patch-clamp recordings, the number of active channels increased when the K concentration at the outside surface was raised from 1 to 50 mM K. In cell-attached patches, exposure to 50 mM external K produced one or more additional channels in 9/16 patches. No change in channel number was observed in patches continuously exposed to 50 mM external K. Hence, the slow increase in whole-cell conductance is interpreted as activation of pre-existing ROMK channels that had been inactivated by low external K. This type of time-dependent channel activation was not seen with IRK1 (K(ir)2.1) or in ROMK2 mutants in which any one of 6 residues, F129, Q133, E132, V121, L117, or K61, were replaced by their respective IRK1 homologs. These results are consistent with a model in which ROMK can exist in either an activated mode or an inactivated mode. Within the activated mode, individual channels undergo rapid transitions between open and closed states. High (10 mM) external K or Cs stabilizes the activated mode, and low external K stabilizes the inactivated mode. Mutation of a pH-sensing site (ROMK2-K61) prevents transitions from activated to inactivated modes. This is consistent with a direct effect of external K or Cs on the gating of ROMK by internal pH.
Project description:Gating of the mammalian inward rectifier Kir1.1 at the helix bundle crossing (HBC) by intracellular pH is believed to be mediated by conformational changes in the C-terminal domain (CTD). However, the exact motion of the CTD during Kir gating remains controversial. Crystal structures and single-molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer of KirBac channels have implied a rigid body rotation and/or a contraction of the CTD as possible triggers for opening of the HBC gate. In our study, we used lanthanide-based resonance energy transfer on single-Cys dimeric constructs of the mammalian renal inward rectifier, Kir1.1b, incorporated into anionic liposomes plus PIP<sub>2</sub>, to determine unambiguous, state-dependent distances between paired Cys residues on diagonally opposite subunits. Functionality and pH dependence of our proteoliposome channels were verified in separate electrophysiological experiments. The lanthanide-based resonance energy transfer distances measured in closed (pH 6) and open (pH 8) conditions indicated neither expansion nor contraction of the CTD during gating, whereas the HBC gate widened by 8.8 ± 4 Å, from 6.3 ± 2 to 15.1 ± 6 Å, during opening. These results are consistent with a Kir gating model in which rigid body rotation of the large CTD around the permeation axis is correlated with opening of the HBC hydrophobic gate, allowing permeation of a 7 Å hydrated K ion.
Project description:We investigated the effects of changing extracellular K(+) concentrations on block of the weak inward-rectifier K(+) channel Kir1.1b (ROMK2) by the three intracellular cations Mg(2+), Na(+), and TEA(+). Single-channel currents were monitored in inside-out patches made from Xenopus laevis oocytes expressing the channels. With 110 mM K(+) in the inside (cytoplasmic) solution and 11 mM K(+) in the outside (extracellular) solution, these three cations blocked K(+) currents with a range of apparent affinities (K(i) (0) = 1.6 mM for Mg(2+), 160 mM for Na(+), and 1.8 mM for TEA(+)) but with similar voltage dependence (z? = 0.58 for Mg(2+), 0.71 for Na(+), and 0.61 for TEA(+)) despite having different valences. When external K(+) was increased to 110 mM, the apparent affinity of all three blockers was decreased approximately threefold with no significant change in the voltage dependence of block. The possibility that the transmembrane cavity is the site of block was explored by making mutations at the N152 residue, a position previously shown to affect rectification in Kir channels. N152D increased the affinity for block by Mg(2+) but not for Na(+) or TEA(+). In contrast, the N152Y mutation increased the affinity for block by TEA(+) but not for Na(+) or Mg(2+). Replacing the C terminus of the channel with that of the strong inward-rectifier Kir2.1 increased the affinity of block by Mg(2+) but had a small effect on that by Na(+). TEA(+) block was enhanced and had a larger voltage dependence. We used an eight-state kinetic model to simulate these results. The effects of voltage and external K(+) could be explained by a model in which the blockers occupy a site, presumably in the transmembrane cavity, at a position that is largely unaffected by changes in the electric field. The effects of voltage and extracellular K(+) are explained by shifts in the occupancy of sites within the selectivity filter by K(+) ions.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Bacillus subtilis encounters a wide range of environmental pH. The bacteria maintain cytoplasmic pH within a narrow range. Response to acid stress is a poorly understood function of external pH and of permeant acids that conduct protons into the cytoplasm. METHODS AND PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:Cytoplasmic acidification and the benzoate transcriptome were observed in Bacillus subtilis. Cytoplasmic pH was measured with 4-s time resolution using GFPmut3b fluorimetry. Rapid external acidification (pH 7.5 to 6.0) acidified the B. subtilis cytoplasm, followed by partial recovery. Benzoate addition up to 60 mM at external pH 7 depressed cytoplasmic pH but left a transmembrane Delta pH permitting growth; this robust adaptation to benzoate exceeds that seen in E. coli. Cytoplasmic pH was depressed by 0.3 units during growth with 30 mM benzoate. The transcriptome of benzoate-adapted cells was determined by comparing 4,095 gene expression indices following growth at pH 7, +/- 30 mM benzoate. 164 ORFs showed > or = 2-fold up-regulation by benzoate (30 mM benzoate/0 mM), and 102 ORFs showed > or = 2-fold down-regulation. 42% of benzoate-dependent genes are regulated up or down, respectively, at pH 6 versus pH 7; they are candidates for cytoplasmic pH response. Acid-stress genes up-regulated by benzoate included drug resistance genes (yhbI, yhcA, yuxJ, ywoGH); an oligopeptide transporter (opp); glycine catabolism (gcvPA-PB); acetate degradation (acsA); dehydrogenases (ald, fdhD, serA, yrhEFG, yjgCD); the TCA cycle (citZ, icd, mdh, sucD); and oxidative stress (OYE-family yqjM, ohrB). Base-stress genes down-regulated by benzoate included malate metabolism (maeN), sporulation control (spo0M, spo0E), and the SigW alkali shock regulon. Cytoplasmic pH could mediate alkali-shock induction of SigW. CONCLUSIONS:B. subtilis maintains partial pH homeostasis during growth, and withstands high concentrations of permeant acid stress, higher than for gram-negative neutralophile E. coli. The benzoate adaptation transcriptome substantially overlaps that of external acid, contributing to a cytoplasmic pH transcriptome.
Project description:Mammalian polyamine transporters have not thus far been biochemically characterized. Since essential carboxy groups in the polyamine carrier might participate in the transport process, the ability of two different carbodi-imides to affect [3H]spermidine uptake was assessed in Chinese hamster ovary cells. Both the hydrophobic 1,3-dicyclohexylcarbodi-imide (DCC) and the more polar 1-ethyl-3-(3-dimethylaminopropyl)carbodi-imide (EDC) irreversibly inhibited spermidine transport with EC50 values of 11 +/- 4 and 96 +/- 16 microM after 30 min at 22 degrees C respectively. Prior treatment with EDC in the absence of substrate decreased both the Vmax and K(m) for spermidine uptake in a time- and concentration-dependent manner. Spermidine-transport inactivation by EDC (1 mM) was temperature-dependent, with 60 and 90% inhibition observed after 10 min at 22 and 37 degrees C respectively. Spermine (10 microM) almost fully protected against spermidine-transport inactivation by EDC at 22 degrees C, and decreased the rate of inactivation at 37 degrees C by about 80%. Putrescine, spermidine and spermine were all effective in protecting against EDC-mediated inactivation of [3H]spermidine and [3H]putrescine uptake at 22 degrees C with EC50 values estimated at 10, 1 and less than 1 microM respectively. The nucleophile glycine ethyl ester (up to 50 mM) prevented the inhibition brought about by 1 mM EDC. Inhibition by 1 mM EDC was greater at pH 7.2 than at pH 5.8 (89 +/- 3 compared with 44 +/- 5%), whereas the converse was true for 100 microM DCC (81 +/- 3 compared with 92 +/- 5%). On the other hand, spermine did not protect against inactivation of spermidine uptake by DCC. Moreover, DCC, but not EDC, inhibited Na(+)-dependent amino acid uptake. The present data indicate that (i) EDC and DCC inhibit polyamine transport through distinct mechanisms, (ii) substrate binding occludes one or several carboxy groups lying in a polar environment of the carrier and (iii) these carboxyl residues might be activated by EDC to crosslink a neighbouring nucleophile side group, resulting in a conformation of the polyamine carrier which is inactive for transport.