The KCNQ1 (Kv7.1) COOH terminus, a multitiered scaffold for subunit assembly and protein interaction.
ABSTRACT The Kv7 subfamily of voltage-dependent potassium channels, distinct from other subfamilies by dint of its large intracellular COOH terminus, acts to regulate excitability in cardiac and neuronal tissues. KCNQ1 (Kv7.1), the founding subfamily member, encodes a channel subunit directly implicated in genetic disorders, such as the long QT syndrome, a cardiac pathology responsible for arrhythmias. We have used a recombinant protein preparation of the COOH terminus to probe the structure and function of this domain and its individual modules. The COOH-terminal proximal half associates with one calmodulin constitutively bound to each subunit where calmodulin is critical for proper folding of the whole intracellular domain. The distal half directs tetramerization, employing tandem coiled-coils. The first coiled-coil complex is dimeric and undergoes concentration-dependent self-association to form a dimer of dimers. The outer coiled-coil is parallel tetrameric, the details of which have been elucidated based on 2.0 A crystallographic data. Both coiled-coils act in a coordinate fashion to mediate the formation and stabilization of the tetrameric distal half. Functional studies, including characterization of structure-based and long QT mutants, prove the requirement for both modules and point to complex roles for these modules, including folding, assembly, trafficking, and regulation.
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ABSTRACT: The basic architecture of the voltage-dependent K(+) channels (Kv channels) corresponds to a transmembrane protein core in which the permeation pore, the voltage-sensing components and the gating machinery (cytoplasmic facing gate and sensor-gate coupler) reside. Usually, large protein tails are attached to this core, hanging toward the inside of the cell. These cytoplasmic regions are essential for normal channel function and, due to their accessibility to the cytoplasmic environment, constitute obvious targets for cell-physiological control of channel behavior. Here we review the present knowledge about the molecular organization of these intracellular channel regions and their role in both setting and controlling Kv voltage-dependent gating properties. This includes the influence that they exert on Kv rapid/N-type inactivation and on activation/deactivation gating of Shaker-like and eag-type Kv channels. Some illustrative examples about the relevance of these cytoplasmic domains determining the possibilities for modulation of Kv channel gating by cellular components are also considered.Frontiers in Pharmacology 01/2012; 3:49.
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ABSTRACT: The nonsense mutations R518X-KCNQ1 and Q530X-KCNQ1 cause LQT1 (long-QT syndrome type 1) and result in a complete loss of I(Ks) channel function. In the present study we attempted to rescue the function of these mutants, in HEK (human embryonic kidney)-293 cells, by promoting readthrough of their PTCs (premature termination codons) using the pharmacological agents G-418, gentamicin and PTC124. Gentamicin and G-418 acted to promote full-length channel protein expression from R518X at 100 μM and from Q530X at 1 mM. In contrast, PTC124 did not, at any dose tested, induce readthrough of either mutant. G-418 (1 mM) treatment also acted to significantly (P<0.05) increase current density and peak-tail current density, at +80 mV for R518X, but not Q530X, to 58±11% and 82±17% of the wild-type level respectively. However, the biophysical properties of the currents produced from R518X, while similar, were not identical with wild-type as the voltage-dependence of activation was significantly (P<0.05) shifted by +25 mV. Overall, these findings indicate that although functional rescue of LQT1 nonsense mutations is possible, it is dependent on the degree of readthrough achieved and the effect on channel function of the amino acid substituted for the PTC. Such considerations will determine the success of future therapies.Biochemical Journal 02/2012; 443(3):635-42. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Calmodulin (CaM) is a ubiquitous intracellular calcium sensor that directly binds to and modulates a wide variety of ion channels. Despite the large repository of high-resolution structures of CaM bound to peptide fragments derived from ion channels, there is no structural information about CaM bound to a fully folded ion channel at the plasma membrane. To determine the location of CaM docked to a functioning KCNQ K(+) channel, we developed an intracellular tethered blocker approach to measure distances between CaM residues and the ion-conducting pathway. Combining these distance restraints with structural bioinformatics, we generated an archetypal quaternary structural model of an ion channel-CaM complex in the open state. These models place CaM close to the cytoplasmic gate, where it is well positioned to modulate channel function.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 08/2012; 109(34):13579-83. · 9.74 Impact Factor