Benchmarking the stability of human detergent-solubilised voltage-gated sodium channels for structural studies using eel as a reference.
ABSTRACT: With the ultimate goal of detailed structural analysis of mammalian and particularly human voltage-gated sodium channels (VGSCs), we have investigated the relative stability of human and rat VGSCs and compared them with electric eel VGSC. We found that NaV1.3 from rat was the most stable after detergent solubilisation. The order of stability was rNaV1.3>hNaV1.2>hNaV1.1>hNaV1.6>hNaV1.3>hNaV1.4. However, a comparison with the VGSC from Electrophorus electricus, which is most similar to NaV1.4, shows that the eel VGSC is considerably more stable in detergent than the human VGSCs examined. We conclude that current methods of structural analysis, such as single particle electron cryomicroscopy (cryoEM), may be most usefully targeted to eel VGSC or rNaV1.3, but that structural analysis on the full spectrum of VGSCs, by methods that require greater stability such as crystallisation and X-ray crystallography, will require further stabilisation of the channel.
Project description:Here, we report the discovery of a novel anticonvulsant drug with a molecular organization based on the unique scaffold of rufinamide, an anti-epileptic compound used in a clinical setting to treat severe epilepsy disorders such as Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Although accumulating evidence supports a working mechanism through voltage-gated sodium (Nav) channels, we found that a clinically relevant rufinamide concentration inhibits human (h)Nav1.1 activation, a distinct working mechanism among anticonvulsants and a feature worth exploring for treating a growing number of debilitating disorders involving hNav1.1. Subsequent structure-activity relationship experiments with related N-benzyl triazole compounds on four brain hNav channel isoforms revealed a novel drug variant that (1) shifts hNav1.1 opening to more depolarized voltages without further alterations in the gating properties of hNav1.1, hNav1.2, hNav1.3, and hNav1.6; (2) increases the threshold to action potential initiation in hippocampal neurons; and (3) greatly reduces the frequency of seizures in three animal models. Altogether, our results provide novel molecular insights into the rational development of Nav channel-targeting molecules based on the unique rufinamide scaffold, an outcome that may be exploited to design drugs for treating disorders involving particular Nav channel isoforms while limiting adverse effects.
Project description:Voltage-gated sodium (NaV) channels are essential for the transmission of pain signals in humans making them prime targets for the development of new analgesics. Spider venoms are a rich source of peptide modulators useful to study ion channel structure and function. Here we describe ?/?-TRTX-Pre1a, a 35-residue tarantula peptide that selectively interacts with neuronal NaV channels inhibiting peak current of hNaV1.1, rNaV1.2, hNaV1.6, and hNaV1.7 while concurrently inhibiting fast inactivation of hNaV1.1 and rNaV1.3. The DII and DIV S3-S4 loops of NaV channel voltage sensors are important for the interaction of Pre1a with NaV channels but cannot account for its unique subtype selectivity. Through analysis of the binding regions we ascertained that the variability of the S1-S2 loops between NaV channels contributes substantially to the selectivity profile observed for Pre1a, particularly with regards to fast inactivation. A serine residue on the DIV S2 helix was found to be sufficient to explain Pre1a's potent and selective inhibitory effect on the fast inactivation process of NaV1.1 and 1.3. This work highlights that interactions with both S1-S2 and S3-S4 of NaV channels may be necessary for functional modulation, and that targeting the diverse S1-S2 region within voltage-sensing domains provides an avenue to develop subtype selective tools.
Project description:Peptide toxins with high affinity, divergent pharmacological functions, and isoform-specific selectivity are powerful tools for investigating the structure-function relationships of voltage-gated sodium channels (VGSCs). Although a number of interesting inhibitors have been reported from tarantula venoms, little is known about the mechanism for their interaction with VGSCs. We show that huwentoxin-IV (HWTX-IV), a 35-residue peptide from tarantula Ornithoctonus huwena venom, preferentially inhibits neuronal VGSC subtypes rNav1.2, rNav1.3, and hNav1.7 compared with muscle subtypes rNav1.4 and hNav1.5. Of the five VGSCs examined, hNav1.7 was most sensitive to HWTX-IV (IC(50) approximately 26 nM). Following application of 1 microm HWTX-IV, hNav1.7 currents could only be elicited with extreme depolarizations (>+100 mV). Recovery of hNav1.7 channels from HWTX-IV inhibition could be induced by extreme depolarizations or moderate depolarizations lasting several minutes. Site-directed mutagenesis analysis indicated that the toxin docked at neurotoxin receptor site 4 located at the extracellular S3-S4 linker of domain II. Mutations E818Q and D816N in hNav1.7 decreased toxin affinity for hNav1.7 by approximately 300-fold, whereas the reverse mutations in rNav1.4 (N655D/Q657E) and the corresponding mutations in hNav1.5 (R812D/S814E) greatly increased the sensitivity of the muscle VGSCs to HWTX-IV. Our data identify a novel mechanism for sodium channel inhibition by tarantula toxins involving binding to neurotoxin receptor site 4. In contrast to scorpion beta-toxins that trap the IIS4 voltage sensor in an outward configuration, we propose that HWTX-IV traps the voltage sensor of domain II in the inward, closed configuration.
Project description:Voltage-gated sodium channels (VGSCs) are strategically positioned to mediate neuronal plasticity because of their influence on action potential waveform. VGSC function may be strongly inhibited by local anesthetic and antiepileptic drugs and modestly modulated via second messenger pathways. Here, we report that the allosteric modulators of the calcium-sensing receptor (CaSR) cinacalcet, calindol, calhex, and NPS 2143 completely inhibit VGSC current in the vast majority of cultured mouse neocortical neurons. This form of VGSC current block persisted in CaSR-deficient neurons, indicating a CaSR-independent mechanism. Cinacalcet-mediated blockade of VGSCs was prevented by the guanosine diphosphate (GDP) analog GDP?s, indicating that G-proteins mediated this effect. Cinacalcet inhibited VGSCs by increasing channel inactivation, and block was reversed by prolonged hyperpolarization. Strong cinacalcet inhibition of VGSC currents was also present in acutely isolated mouse cortical neurons. These data identify a dynamic signaling pathway by which G-proteins regulate VGSC current to indirectly modulate central neuronal excitability.
Project description:Voltage-gated sodium channel (VGSC) activity has previously been reported in endothelial cells (ECs). However, the exact isoforms of VGSCs present, their mode(s) of action, and potential role(s) in angiogenesis have not been investigated. The main aims of this study were to determine the role of VGSC activity in angiogenic functions and to elucidate the potentially associated signaling mechanisms using human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) as a model system. Real-time PCR showed that the primary functional VGSC ?- and ?-subunit isoforms in HUVECs were Nav1.5, Nav1.7, VGSC?1, and VGSC?3. Western blots verified that VGSC? proteins were expressed in HUVECs, and immunohistochemistry revealed VGSC? expression in mouse aortic ECs in vivo. Electrophysiological recordings showed that the channels were functional and suppressed by tetrodotoxin (TTX). VGSC activity modulated the following angiogenic properties of HUVECs: VEGF-induced proliferation or chemotaxis, tubular differentiation, and substrate adhesion. Interestingly, different aspects of angiogenesis were controlled by the different VGSC isoforms based on TTX sensitivity and effects of siRNA-mediated gene silencing. Additionally, we show for the first time that TTX-resistant (TTX-R) VGSCs (Nav1.5) potentiate VEGF-induced ERK1/2 activation through the PKC?-B-RAF signaling axis. We postulate that this potentiation occurs through modulation of VEGF-induced HUVEC depolarization and [Ca(2+)](i). We conclude that VGSCs regulate multiple angiogenic functions and VEGF signaling in HUVECs. Our results imply that targeting VGSC expression/activity could be a novel strategy for controlling angiogenesis.
Project description:Although survival rates of breast, colon, and prostate cancers are improving, deaths from these tumors frequently occur due to metastasis. Voltage-gated Na(+) channels (VGSCs) are membrane proteins, which regulate membrane current and cellular migration during nervous system organogenesis. VGSCs are also expressed in fibroblasts, immune cells, glia, and metastatic cancer cells. VGSCs regulate migration and invasion of breast, bowel, and prostate cancer cells, suggesting that they may be novel anti-metastatic targets. We conducted a systematic review of clinical and preclinical studies testing the effects of VGSC-inhibiting drugs in cancer. Two-hundred and four publications were identified, of which two human, two mouse, and 20 in vitro publications were included. In the clinical studies, the effect of these drugs on survival and metastatic relapse is not clear. The 22 preclinical studies collectively suggest that several VGSC-inhibiting drugs inhibit cancer proliferation, migration, and invasion. None of the human and only six of the preclinical studies directly investigated the effect of the drugs on VGSC activity. Studies were difficult to compare due to lack of standardized methodology and outcome measures. We conclude that the benefits of VGSC inhibitors require further investigation. Standardization of future studies and outcome measures should enable meaningful study comparisons.
Project description:Functional expression of voltage-gated Na(+) channels (VGSCs) has been demonstrated in multiple cancer cell types where channel activity induces invasive activity. The signaling mechanisms by which VGSCs promote oncogenesis remain poorly understood. We explored the signal transduction process critical to VGSC-mediated invasion on the basis of reports linking channel activity to gene expression changes in excitable cells. Coincidentally, many genes transcriptionally regulated by the SCN5A isoform in colon cancer have an over-representation of cis-acting sites for transcription factors phosphorylated by ERK1/2 MAPK. We hypothesized that VGSC activity promotes MAPK activation to induce transcriptional changes in invasion-related genes. Using pharmacological inhibitors/activators and siRNA-mediated gene knockdowns, we correlated channel activity with Rap1-dependent persistent MAPK activation in the SW620 human colon cancer cell line. We further demonstrated that VGSC activity induces downstream changes in invasion-related gene expression via a PKA/ERK/c-JUN/ELK-1/ETS-1 transcriptional pathway. This is the first study illustrating a molecular mechanism linking functional activity of VGSCs to transcriptional activation of invasion-related genes.
Project description:The molecular mechanisms of pain associated with alphaherpesvirus latency are not clear. We hypothesize that the voltage-gated sodium channels (VGSC) on the dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons controlling electrical impulses may have abnormal activity during latent viral infection and reactivation. We used herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) to infect the human DRG-derived neuronal cell line HD10.6 in order to study the establishment and maintenance of viral latency, viral reactivation, and changes in the functional expression of VGSCs. Differentiated cells exhibited robust tetrodotoxin (TTX)-sensitive sodium currents, and acute infection significantly reduced the functional expression of VGSCs within 24?h and completely abolished VGSC activity within 3?days. A quiescent state of infection mimicking latency can be achieved in the presence of acyclovir (ACV) for 7?days followed by 5?days of ACV washout, and then the viruses can remain dormant for another 3 weeks. It was noted that during the establishment of HSV-1 latency, the loss of VGSC activity caused by HSV-1 infection could not be blocked by ACV treatment. However, neurons with continued ACV treatment for another 4?days showed a gradual recovery of VGSC functional expression. Furthermore, the latently infected neurons exhibited higher VGSC activity than controls. The overall regulation of VGSCs by HSV-1 during quiescent infection was proved by increased transcription and possible translation of Nav1.7. Together, these observations demonstrated a very complex pattern of electrophysiological changes during HSV infection of DRG neurons, which may have implications for understanding of the mechanisms of virus-mediated pain linked to latency and reactivation.IMPORTANCE The reactivation of herpesviruses, most commonly varicella-zoster virus (VZV) and pseudorabies virus (PRV), may cause cranial nerve disorder and unbearable pain. Clinical studies have also reported that HSV-1 causes postherpetic neuralgia and chronic occipital neuralgia in humans. The current work meticulously studies the functional expression profile changes of VGSCs during the processes of HSV-1 latency establishment and reactivation using human dorsal root ganglion-derived neuronal HD10.6 cells as an in vitro model. Our results indicated that VGSC activity was eliminated upon infection but steadily recovered during latency establishment and that latent neurons exhibited even higher VGSC activity. This finding advances our knowledge of how ganglion neurons generate uncharacteristic electrical impulses due to abnormal VGSC functional expression influenced by the latent virus.
Project description:Voltage-gated Na(+) channels (VGSCs) are heteromeric protein complexes containing pore-forming ? subunits together with non-pore-forming ? subunits. There are nine ? subunits, Nav1.1-Nav1.9, and four ? subunits, ?1-?4. The ? subunits are multifunctional, modulating channel activity, cell surface expression, and are members of the immunoglobulin superfamily of cell adhesion molecules. VGSCs are classically responsible for action potential initiation and conduction in electrically excitable cells, including neurons and muscle cells. In addition, through the ?1 subunit, VGSCs regulate neurite outgrowth and pathfinding in the developing central nervous system. Reciprocal signalling through Nav1.6 and ?1 collectively regulates Na(+) current, electrical excitability and neurite outgrowth in cerebellar granule neurons. Thus, ? and ? subunits may have diverse interacting roles dependent on cell/tissue type. VGSCs are also expressed in non-excitable cells, including cells derived from a number of types of cancer. In cancer cells, VGSC ? and ? subunits regulate cellular morphology, migration, invasion and metastasis. VGSC expression associates with poor prognosis in several studies. It is hypothesised that VGSCs are up-regulated in metastatic tumours, favouring an invasive phenotype. Thus, VGSCs may have utility as prognostic markers, and/or as novel therapeutic targets for reducing/preventing metastatic disease burden. VGSCs appear to regulate a number of key cellular processes, both during normal postnatal development of the CNS and during cancer metastasis, by a combination of conducting (i.e. via Na(+) current) and non-conducting mechanisms.
Project description:KCNQ2/3 (Kv7.2/7.3) channels and voltage-gated sodium channels (VGSCs) are enriched in the axon initial segment (AIS) where they bind to ankyrin-G and coregulate membrane potential in central nervous system neurons. The molecular mechanisms supporting coordinated regulation of KCNQ and VGSCs and the cellular mechanisms governing KCNQ trafficking to the AIS are incompletely understood. Here, we show that fibroblast growth factor 14 (FGF14), previously described as a VGSC regulator, also affects KCNQ function and localization. FGF14 knockdown leads to a reduction of KCNQ2 in the AIS and a reduction in whole-cell KCNQ currents. FGF14 positively regulates KCNQ2/3 channels in a simplified expression system. FGF14 interacts with KCNQ2 at a site distinct from the FGF14-VGSC interaction surface, thus enabling the bridging of NaV1.6 and KCNQ2. These data implicate FGF14 as an organizer of channel localization in the AIS and provide insight into the coordination of KCNQ and VGSC conductances in the regulation of membrane potential.