A Quantitative Model of the GIRK1/2 Channel Reveals That Its Basal and Evoked Activities Are Controlled by Unequal Stoichiometry of G? and G??.
ABSTRACT: G protein-gated K+ channels (GIRK; Kir3), activated by G?? subunits derived from Gi/o proteins, regulate heartbeat and neuronal excitability and plasticity. Both neurotransmitter-evoked (Ievoked) and neurotransmitter-independent basal (Ibasal) GIRK activities are physiologically important, but mechanisms of Ibasal and its relation to Ievoked are unclear. We have previously shown for heterologously expressed neuronal GIRK1/2, and now show for native GIRK in hippocampal neurons, that Ibasal and Ievoked are interrelated: the extent of activation by neurotransmitter (activation index, Ra) is inversely related to Ibasal. To unveil the underlying mechanisms, we have developed a quantitative model of GIRK1/2 function. We characterized single-channel and macroscopic GIRK1/2 currents, and surface densities of GIRK1/2 and G?? expressed in Xenopus oocytes. Based on experimental results, we constructed a mathematical model of GIRK1/2 activity under steady-state conditions before and after activation by neurotransmitter. Our model accurately recapitulates Ibasal and Ievoked in Xenopus oocytes, HEK293 cells and hippocampal neurons; correctly predicts the dose-dependent activation of GIRK1/2 by coexpressed G?? and fully accounts for the inverse Ibasal-Ra correlation. Modeling indicates that, under all conditions and at different channel expression levels, between 3 and 4 G?? dimers are available for each GIRK1/2 channel. In contrast, available G?i/o decreases from ~2 to less than one G? per channel as GIRK1/2's density increases. The persistent G??/channel (but not G?/channel) ratio support a strong association of GIRK1/2 with G??, consistent with recruitment to the cell surface of G??, but not G?, by GIRK1/2. Our analysis suggests a maximal stoichiometry of 4 G?? but only 2 G?i/o per one GIRK1/2 channel. The unique, unequal association of GIRK1/2 with G protein subunits, and the cooperative nature of GIRK gating by G??, underlie the complex pattern of basal and agonist-evoked activities and allow GIRK1/2 to act as a sensitive bidirectional detector of both G?? and G?.
Project description:The G protein-activated Inwardly Rectifying K+-channel (GIRK) modulates heart rate and neuronal excitability. Following G-Protein Coupled Receptor (GPCR)-mediated activation of heterotrimeric G proteins (G???), opening of the channel is obtained by direct binding of G?? subunits. Interestingly, GIRKs are solely activated by G?? subunits released from G?i/o-coupled GPCRs, despite the fact that all receptor types, for instance G?q-coupled, are also able to provide G?? subunits. It is proposed that this specificity and fast kinetics of activation stem from pre-coupling (or pre-assembly) of proteins within this signaling cascade. However, many studies, including our own, point towards a diffusion-limited mechanism, namely collision coupling. Here, we set out to address this long-standing question by combining electrophysiology, imaging, and mathematical modeling. Muscarinic-2 receptors (M2R) and neuronal GIRK1/2 channels were coexpressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes, where we monitored protein surface expression, current amplitude, and activation kinetics. Densities of expressed M2R were assessed using a fluorescently labeled GIRK channel as a molecular ruler. We then incorporated our results, along with available kinetic data reported for the G-protein cycle and for GIRK1/2 activation, to generate a comprehensive mathematical model for the M2R-G-protein-GIRK1/2 signaling cascade. We find that, without assuming any irreversible interactions, our collision coupling kinetic model faithfully reproduces the rate of channel activation, the changes in agonist-evoked currents and the acceleration of channel activation by increased receptor densities.
Project description:G protein-coupled inward rectifier K(+) (GIRK) channels regulate cellular excitability and neurotransmission. The GIRK channels are activated by a number of inhibitory neurotransmitters through the G protein betagamma subunit (G(betagamma)) after activation of G protein-coupled receptors and inhibited by several excitatory neurotransmitters through activation of phospholipase C. If the inhibition is produced by PKC, there should be PKC phosphorylation sites in GIRK channel proteins. To identify the PKC phosphorylation sites, we performed systematic mutagenesis analysis on GIRK4 and GIRK1 subunits expressed in Xenopus oocytes. Our data showed that the heteromeric GIRK1/GIRK4 channels were inhibited by a PKC activator phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) through reduction of single channel open-state probability. Direct application of the catalytic subunit of PKC to excised patches had a similar inhibitory effect. This inhibition was greatly eliminated by mutation of Ser-185 in GIRK1 and Ser-191 in GIRK4 that remained G protein sensitive. The PKC-dependent phosphorylation seems to mediate the channel inhibition by the excitatory neurotransmitter substance P (SP) as specific PKC inhibitors and mutation of these PKC phosphorylation sites abolished the SP-induced inhibition of GIRK1/GIRK4 channels. Thus, these results indicate that the PKC-dependent phosphorylation underscores the inhibition of GIRK channels by SP, and Ser-185 in GIRK1 and Ser-191 in GIRK4 are the PKC phosphorylation sites.
Project description:G-protein-gated inwardly-rectifying K<sup>+</sup> (GIRK) channels are targets of G<sub>i/o</sub>-protein-signaling systems that inhibit cell excitability. GIRK channels exist as homotetramers (GIRK2 and GIRK4) or heterotetramers with nonfunctional homomeric subunits (GIRK1 and GIRK3). Although they have been implicated in multiple conditions, the lack of selective GIRK drugs that discriminate among the different GIRK channel subtypes has hampered investigations into their precise physiological relevance and therapeutic potential. Here, we report on a highly-specific, potent, and efficacious activator of brain GIRK1/2 channels. Using a chemical screen and electrophysiological assays, we found that this activator, the bromothiophene-substituted small molecule GAT1508, is specific for brain-expressed GIRK1/2 channels rather than for cardiac GIRK1/4 channels. Computational models predicted a GAT1508-binding site validated by experimental mutagenesis experiments, providing insights into how urea-based compounds engage distant GIRK1 residues required for channel activation. Furthermore, we provide computational and experimental evidence that GAT1508 is an allosteric modulator of channel-phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate interactions. Through brain-slice electrophysiology, we show that subthreshold GAT1508 concentrations directly stimulate GIRK currents in the basolateral amygdala (BLA) and potentiate baclofen-induced currents. Of note, GAT1508 effectively extinguished conditioned fear in rodents and lacked cardiac and behavioral side effects, suggesting its potential for use in pharmacotherapy for post-traumatic stress disorder. In summary, our findings indicate that the small molecule GAT1508 has high specificity for brain GIRK1/2 channel subunits, directly or allosterically activates GIRK1/2 channels in the BLA, and facilitates fear extinction in a rodent model.
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.
Project description:Various antidepressants are commonly used for the treatment of depression and several other neuropsychiatric disorders. In addition to their primary effects on serotonergic or noradrenergic neurotransmitter systems, antidepressants have been shown to interact with several receptors and ion channels. However, the molecular mechanisms that underlie the effects of antidepressants have not yet been sufficiently clarified. G protein-activated inwardly rectifying K(+) (GIRK, Kir3) channels play an important role in regulating neuronal excitability and heart rate, and GIRK channel modulation has been suggested to have therapeutic potential for several neuropsychiatric disorders and cardiac arrhythmias. In the present study, we investigated the effects of various classes of antidepressants on GIRK channels using the Xenopus oocyte expression assay. In oocytes injected with mRNA for GIRK1/GIRK2 or GIRK1/GIRK4 subunits, extracellular application of sertraline, duloxetine, and amoxapine effectively reduced GIRK currents, whereas nefazodone, venlafaxine, mianserin, and mirtazapine weakly inhibited GIRK currents even at toxic levels. The inhibitory effects were concentration-dependent, with various degrees of potency and effectiveness. Furthermore, the effects of sertraline were voltage-independent and time-independent during each voltage pulse, whereas the effects of duloxetine were voltage-dependent with weaker inhibition with negative membrane potentials and time-dependent with a gradual decrease in each voltage pulse. However, Kir2.1 channels were insensitive to all of the drugs. Moreover, the GIRK currents induced by ethanol were inhibited by sertraline but not by intracellularly applied sertraline. The present results suggest that GIRK channel inhibition may reveal a novel characteristic of the commonly used antidepressants, particularly sertraline, and contributes to some of the therapeutic effects and adverse effects.
Project description:To investigate the effects of various chemical classes of antipsychotic drugs: haloperidol, thioridazine, pimozide and clozapine, on the G-protein-activated inwardly rectifying K(+) (GIRK) channels, we carried out Xenopus oocyte functional assays with GIRK1 and GIRK2 mRNAs or GIRK1 and GIRK4 mRNAs. In oocytes co-injected with GIRK1 and GIRK2 mRNAs, application of each of the various antipsychotic drugs immediately caused a reduction of inward currents through the basally active GIRK channels. These responses were not observed in the presence of 3 mM Ba(2+), which blocks the GIRK channels. In addition, in uninjected oocytes, none of the drugs tested produced any significant current response. These results indicate that all the antipsychotic drugs tested inhibited the brain-type GIRK1/2 heteromultimeric channels. Furthermore, similar results were obtained in oocytes co-injected with GIRK1 and GIRK4 mRNAs, indicating that the antipsychotic drugs also inhibited the cardiac-type GIRK1/4 heteromultimeric channels. All the drugs tested inhibited, in a concentration-dependent manner, both types of GIRK channels with varying degrees of potency and effectiveness at micromolar concentrations. Only pimozide caused slight inhibition of these channels at nanomolar concentrations. We conclude that the various antipsychotic drugs acted as inhibitors at the brain-type and cardiac-type GIRK channels. Our results suggest that inhibition of both types of GIRK channels by these drugs underlies some of the side effects, in particular seizures and sinus tachycardia, observed in clinical practice.
Project description:Atomoxetine and reboxetine are commonly used as selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (NRIs) for the treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and depression, respectively. Furthermore, recent studies have suggested that NRIs may be useful for the treatment of several other psychiatric disorders. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the various effects of NRIs have not yet been sufficiently clarified. G-protein-activated inwardly rectifying K(+) (GIRK or Kir3) channels have an important function in regulating neuronal excitability and heart rate, and GIRK channel modulation has been suggested to be a potential treatment for several neuropsychiatric disorders and cardiac arrhythmias. In this study, we investigated the effects of atomoxetine and reboxetine on GIRK channels using the Xenopus oocyte expression assay. In oocytes injected with mRNA for GIRK1/GIRK2, GIRK2, or GIRK1/GIRK4 subunits, extracellular application of atomoxetine or reboxetine reversibly reduced GIRK currents. The inhibitory effects were concentration-dependent, but voltage-independent, and time-independent during each voltage pulse. However, Kir1.1 and Kir2.1 channels were insensitive to atomoxetine and reboxetine. Atomoxetine and reboxetine also inhibited GIRK currents induced by activation of cloned A(1) adenosine receptors or by intracellularly applied GTPgammaS, a nonhydrolyzable GTP analogue. Furthermore, the GIRK currents induced by ethanol were concentration-dependently inhibited by extracellularly applied atomoxetine but not by intracellularly applied atomoxetine. The present results suggest that atomoxetine and reboxetine inhibit brain- and cardiac-type GIRK channels, revealing a novel characteristic of clinically used NRIs. GIRK channel inhibition may contribute to some of the therapeutic effects of NRIs and adverse side effects related to nervous system and heart function.
Project description:The tetrameric G protein-gated K+ channels (GIRKs) mediate inhibitory effects of neurotransmitters that activate Gi/o-coupled receptors. GIRKs are activated by binding of the G?? dimer, via contacts with G?. G? underlies membrane targeting of G??, but has not been implicated in channel gating. We observed that, in Xenopus oocytes, expression of G? alone activated homotetrameric GIRK1* and heterotetrameric GIRK1/3 channels, without affecting the surface expression of GIRK or G?. G? and G? acted interdependently: the effect of G? required the presence of ambient G? and was enhanced by low doses of coexpressed G?, whereas excess of either G? or G? imparted suboptimal activation, possibly by sequestering the other subunit "away" from the channel. The unique distal C-terminus of GIRK1, G1-dCT, was important but insufficient for G? action. Notably, GIRK2 and GIRK1/2 were not activated by G?. Our results suggest that G? regulates GIRK1* and GIRK1/3 channel's gating, aiding G? to trigger the channel's opening. We hypothesize that G? helps to relax the inhibitory effect of a gating element ("lock") encompassed, in part, by the G1-dCT; GIRK2 acts to occlude the effect of G?, either by setting in motion the same mechanism as G?, or by triggering an opposing gating effect.
Project description:1. Taking advantage of the functional coupling of the opioid receptors with the G-protein-activated K+ (GIRK) channel, we investigated the effects of sigma (sigma) ligands of various structural and pharmacological classes, (+)-N-allylnormetazocine ((+)-SKF10047) and (+)-cyclazocine, (+)-3-(3-hydroxyphenyl)-N-(1-propyl)piperidine ((+)-3PPP), 1,3-di-(2-tolyl)guanidine (DTG), carbetapentane and haloperidol, on the inward K+ current responses in Xenopus oocytes co-injected with each of the cloned mu-, delta- and kappa-opioid receptor mRNAs and the GIRK1 mRNA. 2. (+)-SKF10047 acted as a delta- and kappa-agonist (EC50 values (microM) = 0.618 and 0.652, respectively) and mu-antagonist (IC50 value (microM) = 8.51). (+)-Cyclazocine acted as a kappa-agonist and mu-antagonist (IC50 = 33.2). (+)-3PPP acted as a kappa-agonist (EC50 = 18.08 and a mu-antagonist. DTG acted as a mu- and kappa-agonist (EC50 = more than 30 and 14.88, respectively). Carbetapentane acted as a kappa-agonist and mu-antagonist (IC50 = 11.2). Haloperidol acted as a mu- and delta-agonist (EC50 = 5.683 and 7.389, respectively). 3. All currents induced by sigma ligands were reduced by 1 microM naloxone, an opioid receptor antagonist, and blocked by 300 microM Ba2+, a GIRK channel blocker. It was also indicated that the antagonism by naloxone at the delta-- and kappa-opioid receptors was weaker than that of naloxone at the mu-opioid receptor. The sigma ligands tested had no effect on the current responses in the oocytes injected with each of the opioid receptor mRNAs alone or with the GIRK1 mRNA alone. 4. We conclude that various sigma ligands directly interact with the cloned mu-, delta- and kappa-opioid receptors in Xenopus oocytes. Our results suggest that the effects of the sigma ligands may be partly mediated by the opioid receptors.
Project description:Previous data from our laboratory have indicated that there is a functional link between the beta-adrenergic receptor signaling pathway and the G-protein inwardly rectifying potassium channel (GIRK1) in breast cancer cell lines and that these pathways are involved in growth regulation of these cells. To determine functionality, MDA-MB-453 breast cancer cells were stimulated with ethanol, known to open GIRK channels. Decreased GIRK1 protein levels were seen after treatment with 0.12% ethanol. In addition, serum-free media completely inhibited GIRK1 protein expression. This data indicates that there are functional GIRK channels in breast cancer cells and that these channels are involved in cellular signaling. In the present research, to further define the signaling pathways involved, we performed RNA interference (siRNA) studies. Three stealth siRNA constructs were made starting at bases 1104, 1315, and 1490 of the GIRK1 sequence. These constructs were transfected into MDA-MB-453 cells, and both RNA and protein were isolated. GIRK1, ?(2)-adrenergic and 18S control levels were determined using real-time PCR 24 hours after transfection. All three constructs decreased GIRK1 mRNA levels. However, ?(2) mRNA levels were unchanged by the GIRK1 knockdown. GIRK1 protein levels were also reduced by the knockdown, and this knockdown led to decreases in beta-adrenergic, MAP kinase and Akt signaling.