Interactions of external K+ and internal blockers in a weak inward-rectifier K+ channel.
ABSTRACT: 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:Distinct domains within the SNARE (soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive fusion protein attachment protein receptor) proteins, STX1A (syntaxin 1A) and SNAP-25 (synaptosome-associated protein-25 kDa), regulate hormone secretion by their actions on the cell's exocytotic machinery, as well as voltage-gated Ca2+ and K+ channels. We examined the action of distinct domains within SNAP-25 on Kv2.1 (voltage gated K+ 2.1) channel gating. Dialysis of N-terminal SNAP-25 domains, S197 (SNAP-25(1-197)) and S180 (SNAP-25(1-180)), but not S206 (full-length SNAP-25(1-206)) increased the rate of Kv2.1 channel activation and slowed channel inactivation. Remarkably, these N-terminal SNAP-25 domains, acting on the Kv2.1 cytoplasmic N-terminus, potentiated the external TEA (tetraethylammonium)-mediated block of Kv2.1. To further examine whether these are effects of the channel pore domain, internal K+ was replaced with Na+ and external K+ was decreased from 4 to 1 mM, which decreased the IC50 of the TEA block from 6.8+/-0.9 mM to >100 mM. Under these conditions S180 completely restored TEA sensitivity (7.9+/-1.5 mM). SNAP-25 C-terminal domains, SNAP-25(198-206) and SNAP-25(181-197), had no effect on Kv2.1 gating kinetics. We conclude that different domains within SNAP-25 can form distinct complexes with Kv2.1 to execute a fine allosteric regulation of channel gating and the architecture of the outer pore structure in order to modulate cell excitability.
Project description:Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) can self-renew while maintaining their pluripotency. Direct reprogramming of adult somatic cells to induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) has been reported. Although hESCs and human iPSCs have been shown to share a number of similarities, such basic properties as the electrophysiology of iPSCs have not been explored. Previously, we reported that several specialized ion channels are functionally expressed in hESCs. Using transcriptomic analyses as a guide, we observed tetraethylammonium (TEA)-sensitive (IC(50) = 3.3 +/- 2.7 mM) delayed rectifier K(+) currents (I(KDR)) in 105 of 110 single iPSCs (15.4 +/- 0.9 pF). I(KDR) in iPSCs displayed a current density of 7.6 +/- 3.8 pA/pF at +40 mV. The voltage for 50% activation (V(1/2)) was -7.9 +/- 2.0 mV, slope factor k = 9.1 +/- 1.5. However, Ca(2+)-activated K(+) current (I(KCa)), hyperpolarization-activated pacemaker current (I(f)), and voltage-gated sodium channel (Na(V)) and voltage-gated calcium channel (Ca(V)) currents could not be measured. TEA inhibited iPSC proliferation (EC(50) = 7.8 +/- 1.2 mM) and viability (EC(50) = 5.5 +/- 1.0 mM). By contrast, 4-aminopyridine (4-AP) inhibited viability (EC(50) = 4.5 +/- 0.5 mM) but had less effect on proliferation (EC(50) = 0.9 +/- 0.5 mM). Cell cycle analysis further revealed that K(+) channel blockers inhibited proliferation primarily by arresting the mitotic phase. TEA and 4-AP had no effect on iPSC differentiation as gauged by ability to form embryoid bodies and expression of germ layer markers after induction of differentiation. Neither iberiotoxin nor apamin had any function effects, consistent with the lack of I(KCa) in iPSCs. Our results reveal further differences and similarities between human iPSCs and hESCs. A better understanding of the basic biology of iPSCs may facilitate their ultimate clinical application.
Project description:Unlike other neostriatal neurons, cholinergic interneurons exhibit spontaneous, low-frequency, repetitive firing. To gain an understanding of the K+ channels regulating this behavior, acutely isolated adult rat cholinergic interneurons were studied using whole-cell voltage-clamp and single-cell reverse transcription-PCR techniques. Cholinergic interneurons were identified by the presence of choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) mRNA. Depolarization-activated potassium currents in cholinergic interneurons were dominated by a rapidly inactivating, K+-selective A current that became active at subthreshold potentials. Depolarizing prepulses inactivated this component of the current, leaving a delayed, rectifier-like current. Micromolar concentrations of Cd2+ dramatically shifted the voltage dependence of the A current without significantly affecting the delayed rectifier. The A-channel antagonist 4-aminopyridine (4-AP) produced a voltage-dependent block (IC50, approximately 1 mM) with a prominent crossover at millimolar concentrations. On the other hand, TEA preferentially blocked the sustained current component at concentrations <10 mM. Single-cell mRNA profiling of subunits known to give rise to rapidly inactivating K+ currents revealed the coexpression of Kv4.1, Kv4.2, and Kv1.4 mRNAs but low or undetectable levels of Kv4.3 and Kv3.4 mRNAs. Kv1.1, beta1, and beta2 subunit mRNAs, but not beta3, were also commonly detected. The inactivation recovery kinetics of the A-type current were found to match those of Kv4.2 and 4.1 channels and not those of Kv1.4 or Kv1. 1 and beta1 channels. Immunocytochemical analysis confirmed the presence of Kv4.2 but not Kv1.4 subunits in the somatodendritic membrane of ChAT-immunoreactive neurons. These results argue that the depolarization-activated somatodendritic K+ currents in cholinergic interneurons are dominated by Kv4.2- and Kv4. 1-containing channels. The properties of these channels are consistent with their playing a prominent role in governing the slow, repetitive discharge of interneurons seen in vivo.
Project description:Block of Na(+) channel conductance by ranolazine displays marked atrial selectivity that is an order of magnitude higher that of other class I antiarrhythmic drugs. Here, we present a Markovian model of the Na(+) channel gating, which includes activation-inactivation coupling, aimed at elucidating the mechanisms underlying this potent atrial selectivity of ranolazine. The model incorporates experimentally observed differences between atrial and ventricular Na(+) channel gating, including a more negative position of the steady-state inactivation curve in atrial versus ventricular cells. The model assumes that ranolazine requires a hydrophilic access pathway to the channel binding site, which is modulated by both activation and inactivation gates of the channel. Kinetic rate constants were obtained using guarded receptor analysis of the use-dependent block of the fast Na(+) current (I(Na)). The model successfully reproduces all experimentally observed phenomena, including the shift of channel availability, the sensitivity of block to holding or diastolic potential, and the preferential block of slow versus fast I(Na.) Using atrial and ventricular action potential-shaped voltage pulses, the model confirms significantly greater use-dependent block of peak I(Na) in atrial versus ventricular cells. The model highlights the importance of action potential prolongation and of a steeper voltage dependence of the time constant of unbinding of ranolazine from the atrial Na(+) channel in the development of use-dependent I(Na) block. Our model predictions indicate that differences in channel gating properties as well as action potential morphology between atrial and ventricular cells contribute equally to the atrial selectivity of ranolazine. The model indicates that the steep voltage dependence of ranolazine interaction with the Na(+) channel at negative potentials underlies the mechanism of the predominant block of I(Na) in atrial cells by ranolazine.
Project description:Slo2.1 channels conduct an outwardly rectifying K(+) current when activated by high [Na(+)](i). Here, we show that gating of these channels can also be activated by fenamates such as niflumic acid (NFA), even in the absence of intracellular Na(+). In Xenopus oocytes injected with <10 ng cRNA, heterologously expressed human Slo2.1 current was negligible, but rapidly activated by extracellular application of NFA (EC(50) = 2.1 mM) or flufenamic acid (EC(50) = 1.4 mM). Slo2.1 channels activated by 1 mM NFA exhibited weak voltage dependence. In high [K(+)](e), the conductance-voltage (G-V) relationship had a V(1/2) of +95 mV and an effective valence, z, of 0.48 e. Higher concentrations of NFA shifted V(1/2) to more negative potentials (EC(50) = 2.1 mM) and increased the minimum value of G/G(max) (EC(50) = 2.4 mM); at 6 mM NFA, Slo2.1 channel activation was voltage independent. In contrast, V(1/2) of the G-V relationship was shifted to more positive potentials when [K(+)](e) was elevated from 1 to 300 mM (EC(50) = 21.2 mM). The slope conductance measured at the reversal potential exhibited the same [K(+)](e) dependency (EC(50) = 23.5 mM). Conductance was also [Na(+)](e) dependent. Outward currents were reduced when Na(+) was replaced with choline or mannitol, but unaffected by substitution with Rb(+) or Li(+). Neutralization of charged residues in the S1-S4 domains did not appreciably alter the voltage dependence of Slo2.1 activation. Thus, the weak voltage dependence of Slo2.1 channel activation is independent of charged residues in the S1-S4 segments. In contrast, mutation of R190 located in the adjacent S4-S5 linker to a neutral (Ala or Gln) or acidic (Glu) residue induced constitutive channel activity that was reduced by high [K(+)](e). Collectively, these findings indicate that Slo2.1 channel gating is modulated by [K(+)](e) and [Na(+)](e), and that NFA uncouples channel activation from its modulation by transmembrane voltage and intracellular Na(+).
Project description:pH-regulated Slo3 channels, perhaps exclusively expressed in mammalian sperm, may play a role in alkalization-mediated K(+) fluxes associated with sperm capacitation. The Slo3 channel shares extensive homology with Ca(2+)- and voltage-regulated BK-type Slo1 K(+) channels. Here, using heterologous expression in oocytes, we define distinctive differences in pharmacological properties of Slo3 and Slo1 currents, examine blockade in terms of distinct blocking models, and, for some blockers, use mutated constructs to evaluate determinants of block. Slo3 is resistant to block by the standard Slo1 blockers, iberiotoxin, charybdotoxin and extracellular TEA. Slo3 is relatively insensitive to extracellular 4-AP up to 100 mM, while Slo1 is blocked in a voltage-dependent fashion consistent with block on the extracellular side of the channel. Block of both Slo1 and Slo3 by cytosolic 4-AP can be described by open channel block, with Slo3 being approximately 10-15-fold more sensitive, but exhibiting weaker voltage-dependence of block. The cytosolic concentrations of 4-AP required to block Slo3 make it unlikely that the effects of 4-AP on volume regulation in mammalian sperm is mediated by Slo3. Quinidine was more effective in blocking Slo3 than Slo1. For Slo1, quinidine block was favored by depolarization, irrespective of the side of application. For Slo3, quinidine block was relieved by depolarization, irrespective of the side of application, with strong block by less than 10 microM quinidine at potentials near 0 mV. The unusual voltage-dependence of block of Slo3 by quinidine may result from preferential binding of quinidine to closed Slo3 channels. The quinidine concentrations effective in blocking Slo3 suggest, that in experiments that have examined quinidine effects on sperm, any Slo3 currents would be almost completely inhibited.
Project description:Inward rectifier K(+) channels (Kir2.1) exhibit an extraordinary rectifying feature in the current-voltage relationship. We have previously showed that the bundle-crossing region of the transmembrane domain constitutes the crucial segment responsible for the polyamine block. In this study, we demonstrated that the major blocking effect of intracellular Mg(2+) on Kir2.1 channels is also closely correlated with K(+) current flow, and the coupled movements of Mg(2+) and K(+) seem to happen in the same flux-coupling segment of the pore as polyamines. With a preponderant outward K(+) flow, intracellular Mg(2+) would also be pushed to and thus stay at the outermost site of a flux-coupling segment in the bundle-crossing region of Kir2.1 channels to block the pore, although with a much lower apparent affinity than spermine (SPM). However, in contrast to the evident possibilities of outward exit of SPM through the channel pore especially during strong membrane depolarization, intracellular Mg(2+) does not seem to traverse the Kir2.1 channel pore in any case. Intracellular Mg(2+) and SPM therefore may have a synergistic action on the pore-blocking effect, presumably via prohibition of the outward exit of the higher-affinity blocking SPM by the lower-affinity Mg(2+).
Project description:Cellular electrophysiology experiments, important for understanding cardiac arrhythmia mechanisms, are usually performed with channels expressed in non myocytes, or with non-human myocytes. Differences between cell types and species affect results. Thus, an accurate model for the undiseased human ventricular action potential (AP) which reproduces a broad range of physiological behaviors is needed. Such a model requires extensive experimental data, but essential elements have been unavailable. Here, we develop a human ventricular AP model using new undiseased human ventricular data: Ca(2+) versus voltage dependent inactivation of L-type Ca(2+) current (I(CaL)); kinetics for the transient outward, rapid delayed rectifier (I(Kr)), Na(+)/Ca(2+) exchange (I(NaCa)), and inward rectifier currents; AP recordings at all physiological cycle lengths; and rate dependence and restitution of AP duration (APD) with and without a variety of specific channel blockers. Simulated APs reproduced the experimental AP morphology, APD rate dependence, and restitution. Using undiseased human mRNA and protein data, models for different transmural cell types were developed. Experiments for rate dependence of Ca(2+) (including peak and decay) and intracellular sodium ([Na(+)](i)) in undiseased human myocytes were quantitatively reproduced by the model. Early afterdepolarizations were induced by I(Kr) block during slow pacing, and AP and Ca(2+) alternans appeared at rates >200 bpm, as observed in the nonfailing human ventricle. Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMK) modulated rate dependence of Ca(2+) cycling. I(NaCa) linked Ca(2+) alternation to AP alternans. CaMK suppression or SERCA upregulation eliminated alternans. Steady state APD rate dependence was caused primarily by changes in [Na(+)](i), via its modulation of the electrogenic Na(+)/K(+) ATPase current. At fast pacing rates, late Na(+) current and I(CaL) were also contributors. APD shortening during restitution was primarily dependent on reduced late Na(+) and I(CaL) currents due to inactivation at short diastolic intervals, with additional contribution from elevated I(Kr) due to incomplete deactivation.
Project description:Voltage-gated Na channels of cerebellar Purkinje neurons express an endogenous open-channel blocking protein. This blocker binds channels at positive potentials and unbinds at negative potentials, generating a resurgent Na current and permitting rapid firing. The macroscopic voltage dependence of resurgent current raises the question of whether the blocker directly senses membrane potential or whether voltage dependence is conferred indirectly. Because we previously found that inwardly permeating Na ions facilitate dissociation of the blocker, we measured voltage-clamped currents in different Na gradients to test the role of permeating ions in generating the voltage dependence of unblock. In reverse gradients, outward resurgent currents were tiny or absent, suggesting that unblock normally requires "knockoff" by Na. Inward resurgent currents at strongly negative potentials, however, were larger in reverse than in control gradients. Moreover, occupancy of the blocked state was prolonged both in reverse gradients and in control gradients with reduced Na concentrations, indicating that block is more stable when inward currents are small. Accordingly, reverse gradients shifted the voltage dependence of block, such that resurgent currents were evoked even after conditioning at negative potentials. Additionally, in control gradients, peak resurgent currents decreased linearly with driving force during the conditioning step, suggesting that the stability of block varies directly with inward Na current amplitude. Thus, the voltage dependence of blocker unbinding results almost entirely from repulsion by Na ions occupying the external pore. The lack of voltage sensitivity of the blocking protein suggests that the blocker's binding site lies outside the membrane field, in the permeation pathway.
Project description:Although chloroquine remains an important therapeutic agent for treatment of malaria in many parts of the world, its safety margin is very narrow. Chloroquine inhibits the cardiac inward rectifier K(+) current I(K1) and can induce lethal ventricular arrhythmias. In this study, we characterized the biophysical and molecular basis of chloroquine block of Kir2.1 channels that underlie cardiac I(K1). The voltage- and K(+)-dependence of chloroquine block implied that the binding site was located within the ion-conduction pathway. Site-directed mutagenesis revealed the location of the chloroquine-binding site within the cytoplasmic pore domain rather than within the transmembrane pore. Molecular modeling suggested that chloroquine blocks Kir2.1 channels by plugging the cytoplasmic conduction pathway, stabilized by negatively charged and aromatic amino acids within a central pocket. Unlike most ion-channel blockers, chloroquine does not bind within the transmembrane pore and thus can reach its binding site, even while polyamines remain deeper within the channel vestibule. These findings explain how a relatively low-affinity blocker like chloroquine can effectively block I(K1) even in the presence of high-affinity endogenous blockers. Moreover, our findings provide the structural framework for the design of safer, alternative compounds that are devoid of Kir2.1-blocking properties.