PIP(2)-binding site in Kir channels: definition by multiscale biomolecular simulations.
ABSTRACT: Phosphatidylinositol bisphosphate (PIP(2)) is an activator of mammalian inwardly rectifying potassium (Kir) channels. Multiscale simulations, via a sequential combination of coarse-grained and atomistic molecular dynamics, enabled exploration of the interactions of PIP(2) molecules within the inner leaflet of a lipid bilayer membrane with possible binding sites on Kir channels. Three Kir channel structures were investigated: X-ray structures of KirBac1.1 and of a Kir3.1-KirBac1.3 chimera and a homology model of Kir6.2. Coarse-grained simulations of the Kir channels in PIP(2)-containing lipid bilayers identified the PIP(2)-binding site on each channel. These models of the PIP(2)-channel complexes were refined by conversion to an atomistic representation followed by molecular dynamics simulation in a lipid bilayer. All three channels were revealed to contain a conserved binding site at the N-terminal end of the slide (M0) helix, at the interface between adjacent subunits of the channel. This binding site agrees with mutagenesis data and is in the proximity of the site occupied by a detergent molecule in the Kir chimera channel crystal. Polar contacts in the coarse-grained simulations corresponded to long-lived electrostatic and H-bonding interactions between the channel and PIP(2) in the atomistic simulations, enabling identification of key side chains.
Project description:Protein-lipid interactions regulate many membrane protein functions. Using a multiscale approach that combines coarse-grained and atomistic molecular dynamics simulations, we have predicted the binding site for the anionic phospholipid phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP(2)) on the Kir2.2 inwardly rectifying (Kir) potassium channel. Comparison of the predicted binding site to that observed in the recent PIP(2)-bound crystal structure of Kir2.2 reveals good agreement between simulation and experiment. In addition to providing insight into the mechanism by which PIP(2) binds to Kir2.2, these results help to establish the validity of this multiscale simulation approach and its future application in the examination of novel membrane protein-lipid interactions in the increasing number of high-resolution membrane protein structures that are now available.
Project description:Inwardly rectifying potassium (Kir) channels are characterized by a long pore comprised of continuous transmembrane and cytosolic portions. A high-resolution structure of a Kir3.1 chimera revealed the presence of the cytosolic (G-loop) gate captured in the closed or open conformations. Here, we conducted molecular-dynamics simulations of these two channel states in the presence and absence of phosphatidylinositol bisphosphate (PIP(2)), a phospholipid that is known to gate Kir channels. Simulations of the closed state with PIP(2) revealed an intermediate state between the closed and open conformations involving direct transient interactions with PIP(2), as well as a network of transitional inter- and intrasubunit interactions. Key elements in the G-loop gating transition involved a PIP(2)-driven movement of the N-terminus and C-linker that removed constraining intermolecular interactions and led to CD-loop stabilization of the G-loop gate in the open state. To our knowledge, this is the first dynamic molecular view of PIP(2)-induced channel gating that is consistent with existing experimental data.
Project description:Cell membranes are crowded and complex environments. To investigate the effect of protein-lipid interactions on dynamic organization in mammalian cell membranes, we have performed coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations containing >100 copies of an inwardly rectifying potassium (Kir) channel which forms specific interactions with the regulatory lipid phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2). The tendency of protein molecules to cluster has the effect of organizing the membrane into dynamic compartments. At the same time, the diversity of lipids present has a marked effect on the clustering behavior of ion channels. Sub-diffusion of proteins and lipids is observed. Protein crowding alters the sub-diffusive behavior of proteins and lipids such as PIP2 which interact tightly with Kir channels. Protein crowding also affects bilayer properties, such as membrane undulations and bending rigidity, in a PIP2-dependent manner. This interplay between the diffusion and the dynamic organization of Kir channels may have important implications for channel function.
Project description:Kir3 channels control heart rate and neuronal excitability through GTP-binding (G) protein and phosphoinositide signaling pathways. These channels were the first characterized effectors of the ?? subunits of G proteins. Because we currently lack structures of complexes between G proteins and Kir3 channels, their interactions leading to modulation of channel function are not well understood. The recent crystal structure of a chimera between the cytosolic domain of a mammalian Kir3.1 and the transmembrane region of a prokaryotic KirBac1.3 (Kir3.1 chimera) has provided invaluable structural insight. However, it was not known whether this chimera could form functional K(+) channels. Here, we achieved the functional reconstitution of purified Kir3.1 chimera in planar lipid bilayers. The chimera behaved like a bona fide Kir channel displaying an absolute requirement for PIP(2) and Mg(2+)-dependent inward rectification. The channel could also be blocked by external tertiapin Q. The three-dimensional reconstruction of the chimera by single particle electron microscopy revealed a structure consistent with the crystal structure. Channel activity could be stimulated by ethanol and activated G proteins. Remarkably, the presence of both activated G? and G?? subunits was required for gating of the channel. These results confirm the Kir3.1 chimera as a valid structural and functional model of Kir3 channels.
Project description:ATP-sensitive potassium (K(ATP)) channels couple cell metabolism to electrical activity by regulating K(+) fluxes across the plasma membrane. Channel closure is facilitated by ATP, which binds to the pore-forming subunit (Kir6.2). Conversely, channel opening is potentiated by phosphoinositol bisphosphate (PIP(2)), which binds to Kir6.2 and reduces channel inhibition by ATP. Here, we use homology modelling and ligand docking to identify the PIP(2)-binding site on Kir6.2. The model is consistent with a large amount of functional data and was further tested by mutagenesis. The fatty acyl tails of PIP(2) lie within the membrane and the head group extends downwards to interact with residues in the N terminus (K39, N41, R54), transmembrane domains (K67) and C terminus (R176, R177, E179, R301) of Kir6.2. Our model suggests how PIP(2) increases channel opening and decreases ATP binding and channel inhibition. It is likely to be applicable to the PIP(2)-binding site of other Kir channels, as the residues identified are conserved and influence PIP(2) sensitivity in other Kir channel family members.
Project description:The regulation of M-type (KCNQ [Kv7]) K(+) channels by phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP(2)) has perhaps the best correspondence to physiological signaling, but the site of action and structural motif of PIP(2) on these channels have not been established. Using single-channel recordings of chimeras of Kv7.3 and 7.4 channels with highly differential PIP(2) sensitivities, we localized a carboxy-terminal inter-helix linker as the primary site of PIP(2) action. Point mutants within this linker in Kv7.2 and Kv7.3 identified a conserved cluster of basic residues that interact with the lipid using electrostatic and hydrogen bonds. Homology modeling of this putative PIP(2)-binding linker in Kv7.2 and Kv7.3 using the solved structure of Kir2.1 and Kir3.1 channels as templates predicts a structure of Kv7.2 and 7.3 very similar to the Kir channels, and to the seven-beta-sheet barrel motif common to other PIP(2)-binding domains. Phosphoinositide-docking simulations predict affinities and interaction energies in accord with the experimental data, and furthermore indicate that the precise identity of residues in the interacting pocket alter channel-PIP(2) interactions not only by altering electrostatic energies, but also by allosterically shifting the structure of the lipid-binding surface. The results are likely to shed light on the general structural mechanisms of phosphoinositide regulation of ion channels.
Project description:Atomistic molecular dynamics simulations of membrane proteins have been shown to be extremely useful for characterizing the molecular features underlying their function, but require high computational power, limiting the understanding of complex events in membrane proteins, e.g. ion channels gating, GPCRs activation. To overcome this issue, it has been shown that coarse-grained approaches, although requiring less computational power, are still capable of correctly describing molecular events underlying big conformational changes in biological systems. Here, we present the Martini coarse-grained membrane protein dynamics (MERMAID), a publicly available web interface that allows the user to prepare and run coarse-grained molecular dynamics (CGMD) simulations and to analyse the trajectories.
Project description:Understanding the energetics of peripheral protein-membrane interactions is important to many areas of biophysical chemistry and cell biology. Estimating free-energy landscapes by molecular dynamics (MD) simulation is challenging for such systems, especially when membrane recognition involves complex lipids, e.g., phosphatidylinositol phosphates (PIPs). We combined coarse-grained MD simulations with umbrella sampling to quantify the binding of the well-explored GRP1 pleckstrin homology (PH) domain to model membranes containing PIP molecules. The experimentally observed preference of GRP1-PH for PIP3 over PIP2 was reproduced. Mutation of a key residue (K273A) within the canonical PIP-binding site significantly reduced the free energy of PIP binding. The presence of a noncanonical PIP-interaction site, observed experimentally in other PH domains but not previously in GRP1-PH, was also revealed. These studies demonstrate how combining coarse-grained simulations and umbrella sampling can unmask the molecular basis of the energetics of interactions between peripheral membrane proteins and complex cellular membranes.
Project description:ATP-sensitive potassium (K<sub>ATP</sub>) channels consist of an inwardly rectifying K<sup>+</sup> channel (Kir6.2) pore, to which four ATP-sensitive sulfonylurea receptor (SUR) domains are attached, thereby coupling K<sup>+</sup> permeation directly to the metabolic state of the cell. Dysfunction is linked to neonatal diabetes and other diseases. K<sup>+</sup> flux through these channels is controlled by conformational changes in the helix bundle region, which acts as a physical barrier for K<sup>+</sup> permeation. In addition, the G-loop, located in the cytoplasmic domain, and the selectivity filter might contribute to gating, as suggested by different disease-causing mutations. Gating of Kir channels is regulated by different ligands, like G<sub>βγ</sub>, H<sup>+</sup>, Na<sup>+</sup>, adenosine nucleotides, and the signaling lipid phosphatidyl-inositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP<sub>2</sub>), which is an essential activator for all eukaryotic Kir family members. Although molecular determinants of PIP<sub>2</sub> activation of K<sub>ATP</sub> channels have been investigated in functional studies, structural information of the binding site is still lacking as PIP<sub>2</sub> could not be resolved in Kir6.2 cryo-EM structures. In this study, we used Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulations to examine the dynamics of residues associated with gating in Kir6.2. By combining this structural information with functional data, we investigated the mechanism underlying Kir6.2 channel regulation by PIP<sub>2</sub>.
Project description:Lamellar and hexagonal lipid structures are of particular importance in the biological processes such as membrane fusion and budding. Atomistic simulations of formation of these phases and transitions between them are computationally prohibitive, hence development of coarse-grained models is an important part of the methodological development in this area. Here we apply systematic bottom-up coarse-graining to model different phase structures formed by 1,2-dioleoylphosphatidylethanolamine (DOPE) lipid molecules. We started from atomistic simulations of DOPE lipids in water carried out at two different water/lipid molar ratio corresponding to the lamellar L? and inverted hexagonal HII structures at low and high lipid concentrations respectively. The atomistic trajectories were mapped to coarse-grained trajectories, in which each lipid was represented by 14 coarse-grained sites. Then the inverse Monte Carlo method was used to compute the effective coarse-grained potentials which for the coarse-grain model reproduce the same structural properties as the atomistic simulations. The potentials derived from the low concentration atomistic simulation were only able to form a bilayer structure, while both L? and HII lipid phases were formed in simulations with potentials obtained at high concentration. The typical atomistic configurations of lipids at high concentration combine fragments of both lamellar and non-lamellar structures, that is reflected in the extracted coarse-grained potentials which become transferable and can form a wide range of structures including the inverted hexagonal, bilayer, tubule, vesicle and micellar structures.