Comparing the temperature-dependent conductance of the two structurally similar E. coli porins OmpC and OmpF.
ABSTRACT: The temperature-dependent ion conductance of OmpC, a major outer membrane channel of Escherichia coli, is predicted using all-atom molecular dynamics simulations and experimentally verified. To generalize previous results, OmpC is compared to its structural homolog OmpF at different KCl concentrations, pH values, and a broad temperature range. At low salt concentrations and up to room temperature, the molecular modeling predicts the experimental conductance accurately. At high salt concentrations above 1 M KCl and above room temperature, the simulations underestimate the conductance. Moreover, the temperature dependence of the channel conductance is different from that of the bulk, both in experiment and simulation, indicating a strong contribution of surface effects to the ion conductance. With respect to OmpC, subconductance levels can be observed in experiments only. Subconductance and gating levels can be clearly distinguished by their differences in conductance values and temperature-dependent behavior. With increasing temperature, the probability of a subconductance state to occur, increases, while the dwell time is decreased. The open probability, frequency, and dwell time of such states is largely pH- and KCl concentration-independent, while their amplitudes show a lower increase with increasing salt concentration than gating amplitudes. Voltage dependence of subconductance has been found to be negligible within the uncertainty of the measurements.
Project description:Sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) K(+) channels are voltage-regulated channels that are thought to be actively gating when the membrane potential across the SR is close to zero as is expected physiologically. A characteristic of SR K(+) channels is that they gate to subconductance open states but the relevance of the subconductance events and their contribution to the overall current flowing through the channels at physiological membrane potentials is not known. We have investigated the relationship between subconductance and full conductance openings and developed kinetic models to describe the voltage sensitivity of channel gating. Because there may be two subtypes of SR K(+) channels (TRIC-A and TRIC-B) present in most tissues, to conduct our study on a homogeneous population of SR K(+) channels, we incorporated SR vesicles derived from Tric-a knockout mice into artificial membranes to examine the remaining SR K(+) channel (TRIC-B) function. The channels displayed very low open probability (Po) at negative potentials (?0 mV) and opened predominantly to subconductance open states. Positive holding potentials primarily increased the frequency of subconductance state openings and thereby increased the number of subsequent transitions into the full open state, although a slowing of transitions back to the sublevels was also important. We investigated whether the subconductance gating could arise as an artifact of incomplete resolution of rapid transitions between full open and closed states; however, we were not able to produce a model that could fit the data as well as one that included multiple distinct current amplitudes. Our results suggest that the apparent subconductance openings will provide most of the K(+) flux when the SR membrane potential is close to zero. The relative contribution played by openings to the full open state would increase if negative charge developed within the SR thus increasing the capacity of the channel to compensate for ionic imbalances.
Project description:Previous studies have identified two salt bridges in human CFTR chloride ion channels, Arg(352)-Asp(993) and Arg(347)-Asp(924), that are required for normal channel function. In the present study, we determined how the two salt bridges cooperate to maintain the open pore architecture of CFTR. Our data suggest that Arg(347) not only interacts with Asp(924) but also interacts with Asp(993). The tripartite interaction Arg(347)-Asp(924)-Asp(993) mainly contributes to maintaining a stable s2 open subconductance state. The Arg(352)-Asp(993) salt bridge, in contrast, is involved in stabilizing both the s2 and full (f) open conductance states, with the main contribution being to the f state. The s1 subconductance state does not require either salt bridge. In confirmation of the role of Arg(352) and Asp(993), channels bearing cysteines at these sites could be latched into a full open state using the bifunctional cross-linker 1,2-ethanediyl bismethanethiosulfonate, but only when applied in the open state. Channels remained latched open even after washout of ATP. The results suggest that these interacting residues contribute differently to stabilizing the open pore in different phases of the gating cycle.
Project description:Two classes of small homologous basic proteins, mamba snake dendrotoxins (DTX) and bovine pancreatic trypsin inhibitor (BPTI), block the large conductance Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channel (BKCa, KCa1.1) by production of discrete subconductance events when added to the intracellular side of the membrane. This toxin-channel interaction is unlikely to be pharmacologically relevant to the action of mamba venom, but as a fortuitous ligand-protein interaction, it has certain biophysical implications for the mechanism of BKCa channel gating. In this work we examined the subconductance behavior of 9 natural dendrotoxin homologs and 6 charge neutralization mutants of ?-dendrotoxin in the context of current structural information on the intracellular gating ring domain of the BKCa channel. Calculation of an electrostatic surface map of the BKCa gating ring based on the Poisson-Boltzmann equation reveals a predominantly electronegative surface due to an abundance of solvent-accessible side chains of negatively charged amino acids. Available structure-activity information suggests that cationic DTX/BPTI molecules bind by electrostatic attraction to site(s) on the gating ring located in or near the cytoplasmic side portals where the inactivation ball peptide of the ?2 subunit enters to block the channel. Such an interaction may decrease the apparent unitary conductance by altering the dynamic balance of open versus closed states of BKCa channel activation gating.
Project description:We have investigated the effect of cholesterol and two abundant phytosterols (sitosterol and stigmasterol) on the voltage-dependent anion-selective channel (VDAC) purified from mitochondria of bean seeds (Phaseolus coccineus). These sterols differ by the degree of freedom of their lateral chain. We show that VDAC displays sensitivity to the lipid-sterol ratio and to the type of sterol found in the membrane. The main findings of this study are: 1), cholesterol and phytosterols modulate the selectivity but only stigmasterol alters the voltage-dependence of the plant VDAC in the range of sterol fraction found in the plant mitochondrial membrane; 2), VDAC unitary conductance is not affected by the addition of sterols; 3), the effect of sterols on the VDAC is reversible upon sterol depletion with 10 ?M methyl-?-cyclodextrins; and 4), phytosterols are essential for the channel gating at salt concentration prevailing in vivo. A quantitative analysis of the voltage-dependence indicates that stigmasterol inhibits the transition of the VDAC in the lowest subconductance states.
Project description:The "hypothetical protein" AQ_1862 was isolated from the membrane fraction of Aquifex aeolicus and identified as the major porin. In experiments with one conducting unit (molecule) a conductance of 1.4 nS was observed in 0.1 M KCl at pH 7.5. This stable (basic) conductance was superimposed by conductance fluctuations of approximately 0.25 nS. Because both events were always observed simultaneously, it is suggested that they are caused by the same molecular entity. Nonetheless they show very different properties. The basic conductance is anion selective at neutral pH with a conductance sequence Cl- approximately Br- approximately NO3->F->gluconate approximately acetate approximately propionate and does not saturate up to 0.5 M KCl. At alkaline pH and in the presence of large anions, it becomes unselective and the conductance saturates at low concentrations (Km approximately 20 mM). In contrast the fluctuating component is mainly cation selective with a conductance sequence K+ approximately Rb+>NH4+>Na+ approximately Li+ approximately Cs+. It saturates at low salt concentrations (Km approximately 15 mM) and is not affected by pH. In view of the diverging properties of both conductance components, it seems appropriate to assume that AQ_1862 has two different conducting pathways rather than one with two different open states.
Project description:The cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) is a Cl(-) channel gated by ATP-driven nucleotide-binding domain (NBD) dimerization. Here we exploit species differences between human and murine CFTR to investigate CFTR channel gating. Using homologous recombination, we constructed human-murine CFTR (hmCFTR) chimeras with sequences from NBD1, NBD2, or the regulatory domain (RD) of human CFTR replaced by the equivalent regions of murine CFTR. The gating behavior of hmRD and human CFTR were indistinguishable, whereas hmNBD1 and hmNBD2 had subtle effects on channel gating, prolonging both burst duration and interburst interval. By contrast, hmNBD1+2, containing both NBDs of murine CFTR, reproduced the gating behavior of the subconductance state of murine CFTR, which has dramatically prolonged channel openings. The CFTR potentiator pyrophosphate (PP(i)) enhanced human, hmRD, and hmNBD1 CFTR Cl(-) currents, but not those of hmNBD2, hmNBD1+2, and murine CFTR. By analyzing the rate-equilibrium free-energy relationships of chimeric channels, we obtained snapshots of the conformation of the NBDs during ATP-driven dimerization. Our data demonstrate that the conformation of NBD1 changes before that of NBD2 during channel opening. This finding suggests that NBD dimerization does not proceed by a symmetric tweezer-like motion, but instead in an asymmetric fashion led by NBD1. We conclude that the NBDs of murine CFTR determine the unique gating behavior of its subconductance state, whereas NBD2 controls channel potentiation by PP(i).
Project description:The flow of ions through membrane channels is precisely regulated by gates. The architecture and function of these elements have been studied extensively, shedding light on the mechanisms underlying gating. Recent investigations have focused on ion occupancy of the channel's selectivity filter and its ability to alter gating, with most studies involving prokaryotic K(+) channels. Some studies used large quaternary ammonium blocker molecules to examine the effects of altered ionic flux on gating. However, the absence of blocking events that are visibly distinct from closing events in K(+) channels makes unambiguous interpretation of data from single channel recordings difficult. In this study, the large K(+) conductance of the RyR2 channel permits direct observation of blocking events as distinct subconductance states and for the first time demonstrates the differential effects of blocker molecules on channel gating. This experimental platform provides valuable insights into mechanisms of blocker-induced modulation of ion channel gating.
Project description:The Ca2+-dependent gating mechanism of large-conductance calcium-activated K+ (BK) channels from cultured rat skeletal muscle was examined from low (4 microM) to high (1,024 microM) intracellular concentrations of calcium (Ca2+i) using single-channel recording. Open probability (Po) increased with increasing Ca2+i (K0. 5 11.2 +/- 0.3 microM at +30 mV, Hill coefficient of 3.5 +/- 0.3), reaching a maximum of approximately 0.97 for Ca2+i approximately 100 microM. Increasing Ca2+i further to 1,024 microM had little additional effect on either Po or the single-channel kinetics. The channels gated among at least three to four open and four to five closed states at high levels of Ca2+i (>100 microM), compared with three to four open and five to seven closed states at lower Ca2+i. The ability of kinetic schemes to account for the single-channel kinetics was examined with simultaneous maximum likelihood fitting of two-dimensional (2-D) dwell-time distributions obtained from low to high Ca2+i. Kinetic schemes drawn from the 10-state Monod-Wyman-Changeux model could not describe the dwell-time distributions from low to high Ca2+i. Kinetic schemes drawn from Eigen's general model for a ligand-activated tetrameric protein could approximate the dwell-time distributions but not the dependency (correlations) between adjacent intervals at high Ca2+i. However, models drawn from a general 50 state two-tiered scheme, in which there were 25 closed states on the upper tier and 25 open states on the lower tier, could approximate both the dwell-time distributions and the dependency from low to high Ca2+i. In the two-tiered model, the BK channel can open directly from each closed state, and a minimum of five open and five closed states are available for gating at any given Ca2+i. A model that assumed that the apparent Ca2+-binding steps can reach a maximum rate at high Ca2+i could also approximate the gating from low to high Ca2+i. The considered models can serve as working hypotheses for the gating of BK channels.
Project description:All-atom molecular dynamics simulations of the ion current through OmpF, the major porin in the outer membrane of Escherichia coli, were performed. Starting from the crystal structure, the all-atom modeling allows us to calculate a parameter-free ion conductance in semiquantitative agreement with experiment. Discrepancies between modeling and experiment occur, e.g., at salt concentrations above 1 M KCl or at high temperatures. At lower salt concentrations, the ions have separate pathways along the channel surface. The constriction zone in the channel contains, on one side, a series of positively charges (R42, R82, R132), and on the opposite side, two negatively charged residues (D113, E117). Mutations generated in the constriction zone by removing cationic residues enhance the otherwise small cation selectivity, whereas removing the anionic residues reverses the selectivity. Reduction of the negatively charged residues decreases the conductance by half, whereas cationic residues enhance the conductance. Experiments on mutants confirm the results of the molecular-level simulations.
Project description:Biological nanopores provide a unique single-molecule sensing platform to detect target molecules based on their specific electrical signatures. The ?-hemolysin (?-HL) protein produced by Staphylococcus aureus is able to assemble into an octamer nanopore with a ?2.3 nm diameter ?-barrel. Herein, we demonstrate the first application of ?-HL nanopore for DNA structural analysis. To optimize conditions for ion-channel recording, the properties of the ?-HL pore (e.g., conductance, voltage-dependent gating, and ion-selectivity) were characterized at different pH, temperature, and electrolyte concentrations. The optimal condition for DNA analysis using ?-HL corresponds to 3 M KCl, pH 5, and T = 20 °C. The ?-HL protein nanopore is able to translocate dsDNA at about ?20 bp/ms, and the unique current-signature of captured dsDNA can directly distinguish guanine-to-inosine substitutions at the single-molecule level with ?99% accuracy. The slow dsDNA threading and translocation processes indicate this wild-type ?-HL channel has potential to detect other base modifications in dsDNA.