Crystal structure of the mammalian GIRK2 K+ channel and gating regulation by G proteins, PIP2, and sodium.
ABSTRACT: G protein-gated K(+) channels (Kir3.1-Kir3.4) control electrical excitability in many different cells. Among their functions relevant to human physiology and disease, they regulate the heart rate and govern a wide range of neuronal activities. Here, we present the first crystal structures of a G protein-gated K(+) channel. By comparing the wild-type structure to that of a constitutively active mutant, we identify a global conformational change through which G proteins could open a G loop gate in the cytoplasmic domain. The structures of both channels in the absence and presence of PIP(2) suggest that G proteins open only the G loop gate in the absence of PIP(2), but in the presence of PIP(2) the G loop gate and a second inner helix gate become coupled, so that both gates open. We also identify a strategically located Na(+) ion-binding site, which would allow intracellular Na(+) to modulate GIRK channel activity. These data provide a structural basis for understanding multiligand regulation of GIRK channel gating.
Project description:G-protein-gated inward rectifier K(+) (GIRK) channels allow neurotransmitters, through G-protein-coupled receptor stimulation, to control cellular electrical excitability. In cardiac and neuronal cells this control regulates heart rate and neural circuit activity, respectively. Here we present the 3.5?Å resolution crystal structure of the mammalian GIRK2 channel in complex with ?? G-protein subunits, the central signalling complex that links G-protein-coupled receptor stimulation to K(+) channel activity. Short-range atomic and long-range electrostatic interactions stabilize four ?? G-protein subunits at the interfaces between four K(+) channel subunits, inducing a pre-open state of the channel. The pre-open state exhibits a conformation that is intermediate between the closed conformation and the open conformation of the constitutively active mutant. The resultant structural picture is compatible with 'membrane delimited' activation of GIRK channels by G proteins and the characteristic burst kinetics of channel gating. The structures also permit a conceptual understanding of how the signalling lipid phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2) and intracellular Na(+) ions participate in multi-ligand regulation of GIRK channels.
Project description:Native and recombinant G protein-gated inwardly rectifying potassium (GIRK) channels are directly activated by the betagamma subunits of GTP-binding (G) proteins. The presence of phosphatidylinositol-bis-phosphate (PIP(2)) is required for G protein activation. Formation (via hydrolysis of ATP) of endogenous PIP(2) or application of exogenous PIP(2) increases the mean open time of GIRK channels and sensitizes them to gating by internal Na(+) ions. In the present study, we show that the activity of ATP- or PIP(2)-modified channels could also be stimulated by intracellular Mg(2+) ions. In addition, Mg(2+) ions reduced the single-channel conductance of GIRK channels, independently of their gating ability. Both Na(+) and Mg(2+) ions exert their gating effects independently of each other or of the activation by the G(betagamma) subunits. At high levels of PIP(2), synergistic interactions among Na(+), Mg(2+), and G(betagamma) subunits resulted in severalfold stimulated levels of channel activity. Changes in ionic concentrations and/or G protein subunits in the local environment of these K(+) channels could provide a rapid amplification mechanism for generation of graded activity, thereby adjusting the level of excitability of the cells.
Project description:We previously showed that activation of the human endothelin A receptor (HETAR) by endothelin-1 (Et-1) selectively inhibits the response to mu opioid receptor (MOR) activation of the G-protein-gated inwardly rectifying potassium channel (Kir3). The Et-1 effect resulted from PLA2 production of an eicosanoid that inhibited Kir3. In this study, we show that Kir3 inhibition by eicosanoids is channel subunit-specific, and we identify the site within the channel required for arachidonic acid sensitivity. Activation of the G-protein-coupled MOR by the selective opioid agonist D-Ala(2)Glyol, enkephalin, released Gbetagamma that activated Kir3. The response to MOR activation was significantly inhibited by Et-1 activation of HETAR in homomeric channels composed of either Kir3.2 or Kir3.4. In contrast, homomeric channels of Kir3.1 were substantially less sensitive. Domain deletion and channel chimera studies suggested that the sites within the channel required for Et-1-induced inhibition were within the region responsible for channel gating. Mutation of a single amino acid in the homomeric Kir3.1 to produce Kir3.1(F137S)(N217D) dramatically increased the channel sensitivity to arachidonic acid and Et-1 treatment. Complementary mutation of the equivalent amino acid in Kir3.4 to produce Kir3.4(S143T)(D223N) significantly reduced the sensitivity of the channel to arachidonic acid- and Et-1-induced inhibition. The critical aspartate residue required for eicosanoid sensitivity is the same residue required for Na(+) regulation of PIP(2) gating. The results suggest a model of Kir3 gating that incorporates a series of regulatory steps, including Gbetagamma, PIP(2), Na(+), and arachidonic acid binding to the channel gating domain.
Project description:G protein gated inward rectifier K(+) (GIRK) channels open and thereby silence cellular electrical activity when inhibitory G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) are stimulated. Here we describe an assay to measure neuronal GIRK2 activity as a function of membrane-anchored G protein concentration. Using this assay we show that four Gβγ subunits bind cooperatively to open GIRK2, and that intracellular Na(+) - which enters neurons during action potentials - further amplifies opening mostly by increasing Gβγ affinity. A Na(+) amplification function is characterized and used to estimate the concentration of Gβγ subunits that appear in the membrane of mouse dopamine neurons when GABAB receptors are stimulated. We conclude that GIRK2, through its dual responsiveness to Gβγ and Na(+), mediates a form of neuronal inhibition that is amplifiable in the setting of excess electrical activity.
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:Inward rectifier K(+) (Kir) channels are activated by phosphatidylinositol-(4,5)-bisphosphate (PIP(2)), but G protein-gated Kir (K(G)) channels further require either G protein βγ subunits (Gβγ) or intracellular Na(+) for their activation. To reveal the mechanism(s) underlying this regulation, we compared the crystal structures of the cytoplasmic domain of K(G) channel subunit Kir3.2 obtained in the presence and the absence of Na(+). The Na(+)-free Kir3.2, but not the Na(+)-plus Kir3.2, possessed an ionic bond connecting the N terminus and the CD loop of the C terminus. Functional analyses revealed that the ionic bond between His-69 on the N terminus and Asp-228 on the CD loop, which are known to be critically involved in Gβγ- and Na(+)-dependent activation, lowered PIP(2) sensitivity. The conservation of these residues within the K(G) channel family indicates that the ionic bond is a character that maintains the channels in a closed state by controlling the PIP(2) sensitivity.
Project description:G protein-gated inwardly rectifying K(+) (GIRK) channels are parasympathetic effectors in cardiac myocytes that act as points of integration of signals from diverse pathways. Neurotransmitters and hormones acting on the Gq protein regulate GIRK channels by phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP(2)) depletion. In previous studies, we found that endothelin-1, but not bradykinin, inhibited GIRK channels, even though both of them hydrolyze PIP(2) in cardiac myocytes, showing receptor specificity. The present study assessed whether the spatial organization of the PIP(2) signal into caveolar microdomains underlies the specificity of PIP(2)-mediated signaling. Using biochemical analysis, we examined the localization of GIRK and Gq protein-coupled receptors (GqPCRs) in mouse atrial myocytes. Agonist stimulation induced a transient co-localization of GIRK channels with endothelin receptors in the caveolae, excluding bradykinin receptors. Such redistribution was eliminated by caveolar disruption with methyl-?-cyclodextrin (M?CD). Patch clamp studies showed that the specific response of GIRK channels to GqPCR agonists was abolished by M?CD, indicating the functional significance of the caveolae-dependent spatial organization. To assess whether low PIP(2) mobility is essential for PIP(2)-mediated signaling, we blocked the cytoskeletal restriction of PIP(2) diffusion by latrunculin B. This abolished the GIRK channel regulation by GqPCRs without affecting their targeting to caveolae. These data suggest that without the hindered diffusion of PIP(2) from microdomains, PIP(2) loses its signaling efficacy. Taken together, these data suggest that specific targeting combined with restricted diffusion of PIP(2) allows the PIP(2) signal to be compartmentalized to the targets localized closely to the GqPCRs, enabling cells to discriminate between identical PIP(2) signaling that is triggered by different receptors.
Project description:GIRK channels control spike frequency in atrial pacemaker cells and inhibitory potentials in neurons. By directly responding to G proteins, PIP2 and Na(+), GIRK is under the control of multiple signaling pathways. In this study, the mammalian GIRK2 channel has been purified and reconstituted in planar lipid membranes and effects of G?, G??, PIP2 and Na(+) analyzed. G?? and PIP2 must be present simultaneously to activate GIRK2. Na(+) is not essential but modulates the effect of G?? and PIP2 over physiological concentrations. G?i1(GTP?S) has no effect, whereas G?i1(GDP) closes the channel through removal of G??. In the presence of G??, GIRK2 opens as a function of PIP2 mole fraction with Hill coefficient 2.5 and an affinity that poises GIRK2 to respond to natural variations of PIP2 concentration. The dual requirement for G?? and PIP2 can help to explain why GIRK2 is activated by Gi/o, but not Gq coupled GPCRs.
Project description:K+ activates many inward rectifier and voltage-gated K+ channels. In each case, an increase in K+ current through the channel can occur despite a reduced driving force. We have investigated the molecular mechanism of K+ activation of the inward rectifier K+ channel, Kir3.1/Kir3.4, and the voltage-gated K+ channel, Kv1.4. In the Kir3.1/Kir3.4 channel, mutation of an extracellular arginine residue, R155, in the Kir3.4 subunit markedly reduced K+ activation of the channel. The same mutation also abolished Mg2+ block of the channel. Mutation of the equivalent residue in Kv1.4 (K532) abolished K+ activation as well as C-type inactivation of the Kv1.4 channel. Thus, whereas C-type inactivation is a collapse of the selectivity filter, K+ activation could be an opening of the selectivity filter. K+ activation of the Kv1.4 channel was enhanced by acidic pH. Mutation of an extracellular histidine residue, H508, that mediates the inhibitory effect of protons on Kv1.4 current, abolished both K+ activation and the enhancement of K+ activation at acidic pH. These results suggest that the extracellular positive charges in both the Kir3.1/Kir3.4 and the Kv1.4 channels act as "guards" and regulate access of K+ to the selectivity filter and, thus, the open probability of the selectivity filter. Furthermore, these data suggest that, at acidic pH, protonation of H508 inhibits current through the Kv1.4 channel by decreasing K+ access to the selectivity filter, thus favoring the collapse of the selectivity filter.
Project description:G protein-gated inwardly rectifying K(+) (Girk/K(IR)3) channels mediate the inhibitory effect of many neurotransmitters on excitable cells. Girk channels are tetramers consisting of various combinations of four mammalian Girk subunits (Girk1 to -4). Although Girk1 is unable to form functional homomeric channels, its presence in cardiac and neuronal channel complexes correlates with robust channel activity. This study sought to better understand the potentiating influence of Girk1, using the GABA(B) receptor and Girk1/Girk2 heteromer as a model system. Girk1 did not increase the protein levels or alter the trafficking of Girk2-containing channels to the cell surface in transfected cells or hippocampal neurons, indicating that its potentiating influence involves enhancement of channel activity. Structural elements in both the distal carboxyl-terminal domain and channel core were identified as key determinants of robust channel activity. In the distal carboxyl-terminal domain, residue Q404 was identified as a key determinant of receptor-induced channel activity. In the Girk1 core, three unique residues in the pore (P) loop (F137, A142, Y150) were identified as a collective potentiating influence on both receptor-dependent and receptor-independent channel activity, exerting their influence, at least in part, by enhancing mean open time and single-channel conductance. Interestingly, the potentiating influence of the Girk1 P-loop is tempered by residue F162 in the second membrane-spanning domain. Thus, discontinuous and sometime opposing elements in Girk1 underlie the Girk1-dependent potentiation of receptor-dependent and receptor-independent heteromeric channel activity.