The N-terminal Domain Allosterically Regulates Cleavage and Activation of the Epithelial Sodium Channel
ABSTRACT The epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) is activated upon endoproteolytic cleavage of specific segments in the extracellular domains of the α- and γ- subunits. Cleavage is accomplished by intracellular proteases prior to membrane insertion and by surface-expressed or extracellular soluble proteases once ENaC resides at the cell surface. These cleavage events are partially regulated by intracellular signaling through an unknown allosteric mechanism. Here we show that the intracellular N-terminus of γ-ENaC undergoes secondary structural transitions upon interaction with phosphoinositides. From ab initio folding simulations of the N-termini in the presence and absence of phosphatidylinositol 4,5 bisphosphate (PI(4,5)P2 or PIP2) we found that PIP2 increases alpha-helical propensity in the N-terminus of γ-ENaC. Electrophysiology and mutation experiments revealed that a highly conserved cluster of lysines in the γ-ENaC N-terminus regulates accessibility of extracellular cleavage sites in γ-ENaC. We also show that conditions that decrease PIP2 or enhance ubiquitination sharply limit access of the γ-ENaC extracellular domain to proteases. Further, the efficiency of allosteric control of ENaC proteolysis is dependent on Tyr370 in γ-ENaC. Our findings provide an allosteric mechanism for ENaC activation regulated by the N-termini and sheds light on potentially general mechanism of channel and receptor activation.
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ABSTRACT: The regulation of epithelial Na(+) channel (ENaC) activity by Na(+) was studied in Xenopus oocytes using two-electrode voltage clamp and patch-clamp recording techniques. Here we show that amiloride-sensitive Na(+) current (I(Na)) is downregulated when ENaC-expressing cells are exposed to high extracellular [Na(+)]. The reduction in macroscopic Na(+) current is accompanied by an increase in the concentration of intracellular Na(+) ([Na(+)](i)) and is only slowly reversible. At the single-channel level, incubating oocytes in high-Na(+) solution reduces open probability (P(o)) approximately twofold compared to when [Na(+)] is kept low, by increasing mean channel closed times. However, increasing P(o) by introducing a mutation in the beta-subunit (S518C) which, in the presence of [2-(trimethylammonium) ethyl] methane thiosulfonate (MTSET), locks the channel in an open state, could not alone abolish the downregulation of macroscopic current measured with exposure to high external [Na(+)]. Inhibition of the insertion of new channels into the plasma membrane using Brefeldin A revealed that surface channel lifetime is also markedly reduced under these conditions. In channels harbouring a beta-subunit mutation, R564X, associated with Liddle's syndrome, open probability in both high- and low-Na(+) conditions is significantly higher than in wild-type channels. Increasing the P(o) of these channels with an activating mutation abrogated the difference in macroscopic current observed between groups of oocytes incubated in high- and low-Na(+) conditions. These findings demonstrate that reduction of ENaC P(o) is a physiological mechanism limiting Na(+) entry when [Na(+)](i) is high.The Journal of Physiology 08/2006; 574(Pt 2):333-47. DOI:10.1113/jphysiol.2006.109173 · 4.54 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy is an important technique in structural biology for examining folding and conformational changes of proteins in solution. However, the use of CD spectroscopy in a membrane medium (and also in a nonhomogeneous medium) is limited by (i) high light scattering and (ii) differential scattering of incident left and right circularly polarized light, especially at shorter wavelengths (<200 nm). We report a novel methodology for estimating the distortion of CD spectra caused by light scattering for membrane-bound peptides and proteins. The method is applied to three proteins with very different secondary structures to illustrate the limits of its capabilities when calibrated with a simple soluble peptide ([Ac]ANLKALEAQKQKEQRQAAEELANAK[OH], standard peptide) with a balanced secondary structure. The method with this calibration standard was quite successful in estimating α-helix but more limited when it comes to proteins with very high β-sheet or β-turn content.Biochemistry 02/2012; 51(5):1005-8. DOI:10.1021/bi300025c · 3.19 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Discrete molecular dynamics (DMD) is a rapid sampling method used in protein folding and aggregation studies. Until now, DMD was used to perform simulations of simplified protein models in conjunction with structure-based force fields. Here, we develop an all-atom protein model and a transferable force field featuring packing, solvation, and environment-dependent hydrogen bond interactions. We performed folding simulations of six small proteins (20-60 residues) with distinct native structures by the replica exchange method. In all cases, native or near-native states were reached in simulations. For three small proteins, multiple folding transitions are observed, and the computationally characterized thermodynamics are in qualitative agreement with experiments. The predictive power of all-atom DMD highlights the importance of environment-dependent hydrogen bond interactions in modeling protein folding. The developed approach can be used for accurate and rapid sampling of conformational spaces of proteins and protein-protein complexes and applied to protein engineering and design of protein-protein interactions.Structure 08/2008; 16(7):1010-8. DOI:10.1016/j.str.2008.03.013 · 6.79 Impact Factor