ABSTRACT: Fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS) play important roles in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Potassium channels have regulatory roles in many cell functions. We have identified the calcium- and voltage-gated KCa1.1 channel (BK, Maxi-K, Slo1, KCNMA1) as the major potassium channel expressed at the plasma membrane of FLS isolated from patients with RA (RA-FLS). We further show that blocking this channel perturbs the calcium homeostasis of the cells and inhibits the proliferation, production of VEGF, IL-8, and pro-MMP-2, and migration and invasion of RA-FLS. Our findings indicate a regulatory role of KCa1.1 channels in RA-FLS function and suggest this channel as a potential target for the treatment of RA.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 11/2011; 287(6):4014-22. · 4.77 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: The structural basis underlying the gating of large conductance Ca(2+)-activated K(+) (BK) channels remains elusive. We found that substitution of Leu-312 in the S6 transmembrane segment of mSlo1 BK channels with hydrophilic amino acids of smaller side-chain volume favored the open state. The sensitivities of channels to calcium and voltage were modified by some mutations and completely abolished by others. Interpretation of the results in terms of an allosteric model suggests that the calcium-insensitive mutants greatly destabilize the closed relative to the open conformation and may also disrupt the allosteric coupling between Ca(2+) or voltage sensors and the gate. Some Phe-315 mutations also favor the open state, suggesting that Leu-312 and Phe-315 may interact in the closed state, forming a major energy barrier that the channel has to overcome to open. Homology modeling and molecular dynamic simulations further support that the side chain of Leu-312 can couple strongly with the aromatic ring of Phe-315 in neighboring subunits (L-F coupling) to maintain the channel closed. Additionally, single-channel recordings indicate that the calcium-insensitive mutants, whose kinetics can be approximately characterized by a two-state closed-open (C-O) model, exhibit nearly 100% open probability under physiological conditions without alterations in single-channel conductance. These findings provide a basis for understanding the structure and gating of the BK channel pore.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 07/2009; 284(35):23353-63. · 4.77 Impact Factor
Nature Structural & Molecular Biology 12/2008; 15(11):1130-2. · 12.71 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: Copper is an essential trace element that may serve as a signaling molecule in the nervous system. Here we show that extracellular Cu2+ is a potent inhibitor of BK and Shaker K+ channels. At low micromolar concentrations, Cu2+ rapidly and reversibly reduces macrosocopic K+ conductance (G(K)) evoked from mSlo1 BK channels by membrane depolarization. GK is reduced in a dose-dependent manner with an IC50 and Hill coefficient of 2 microM and 1.0, respectively. Saturating 100 microM Cu2+ shifts the GK-V relation by +74 mV and reduces G(Kmax) by 27% without affecting single channel conductance. However, 100 microM Cu2+ fails to inhibit GK when applied during membrane depolarization, suggesting that Cu2+ interacts poorly with the activated channel. Of other transition metal ions tested, only Zn2+ and Cd2+ had significant effects at 100 microM with IC(50)s > 0.5 mM, suggesting the binding site is Cu2+ selective. Mutation of external Cys or His residues did not alter Cu2+ sensitivity. However, four putative Cu2+-coordinating residues were identified (D133, Q151, D153, and R207) in transmembrane segments S1, S2, and S4 of the mSlo1 voltage sensor, based on the ability of substitutions at these positions to alter Cu2+ and/or Cd2+ sensitivity. Consistent with the presence of acidic residues in the binding site, Cu2+ sensitivity was reduced at low extracellular pH. The three charged positions in S1, S2, and S4 are highly conserved among voltage-gated channels and could play a general role in metal sensitivity. We demonstrate that Shaker, like mSlo1, is much more sensitive to Cu2+ than Zn2+ and that sensitivity to these metals is altered by mutating the conserved positions in S1 or S4 or reducing pH. Our results suggest that the voltage sensor forms a state- and pH-dependent, metal-selective binding pocket that may be occupied by Cu2+ at physiologically relevant concentrations to inhibit activation of BK and other channels.
The Journal of General Physiology 06/2008; 131(5):483-502. · 3.84 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: As the Human Genome Project nears the completion of the first human sequence, the next great challenge is to elucidate the
function of these genes. One route of exploring the function of a gene is by determining its pattern of expression. Various
methods are available for detecting and quantitating gene expression levels, including Northern blots (1), RNase protection assays (2), differential display (3), representational difference analysis (1), and serial analysis of gene expression (5). cDNA microarray technology (6,7) distinguishes itself from the other methods by allowing one to measure the expression levels of tens of thousands of genes
in a single experiment. This capacity allows the expression of entire genomes to be monitored in parallel during different
stages of embryonic development, disease progress, or drug response. Microarray technology has therefore attracted a great
deal of interest from both academic and commercial sectors.
03/2008: pages 323-340;
ABSTRACT: BK (Slo1) potassium channels are activated by millimolar intracellular Mg(2+) as well as micromolar Ca(2+) and membrane depolarization. Mg(2+) and Ca(2+) act in an approximately additive manner at different binding sites to shift the conductance-voltage (G(K)-V) relation, suggesting that these ligands might work through functionally similar but independent mechanisms. However, we find that the mechanism of Mg(2+) action is highly dependent on voltage sensor activation and therefore differs fundamentally from that of Ca(2+). Evidence that Ca(2+) acts independently of voltage sensor activation includes an ability to increase open probability (P(O)) at extreme negative voltages where voltage sensors are in the resting state; 2 microM Ca(2+) increases P(O) more than 15-fold at -120 mV. However 10 mM Mg(2+), which has an effect on the G(K)-V relation similar to 2 microM Ca(2+), has no detectable effect on P(O) when voltage sensors are in the resting state. Gating currents are only slightly altered by Mg(2+) when channels are closed, indicating that Mg(2+) does not act merely to promote voltage sensor activation. Indeed, channel opening is facilitated in a voltage-independent manner by Mg(2+) in a mutant (R210C) whose voltage sensors are constitutively activated. Thus, 10 mM Mg(2+) increases P(O) only when voltage sensors are activated, effectively strengthening the allosteric coupling of voltage sensor activation to channel opening. Increasing Mg(2+) from 10 to 100 mM, to occupy very low affinity binding sites, has additional effects on gating that more closely resemble those of Ca(2+). The effects of Mg(2+) on steady-state activation and I(K) kinetics are discussed in terms of an allosteric gating scheme and the state-dependent interactions between Mg(2+) and voltage sensor that may underlie this mechanism.
The Journal of General Physiology 02/2008; 131(1):13-32. · 3.84 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: The voltage-sensor domain (VSD) of voltage-dependent ion channels and enzymes is critical for cellular responses to membrane potential. The VSD can also be regulated by interaction with intracellular proteins and ligands, but how this occurs is poorly understood. Here, we show that the VSD of the BK-type K(+) channel is regulated by a state-dependent interaction with its own tethered cytosolic domain that depends on both intracellular Mg(2+) and the open state of the channel pore. Mg(2+) bound to the cytosolic RCK1 domain enhances VSD activation by electrostatic interaction with Arg-213 in transmembrane segment S4. Our results demonstrate that a cytosolic domain can come close enough to the VSD to regulate its activity electrostatically, thereby elucidating a mechanism of Mg(2+)-dependent activation in BK channels and suggesting a general pathway by which intracellular factors can modulate the function of voltage-dependent proteins.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 12/2007; 104(46):18270-5. · 9.68 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: Heme plays critical roles in numerous biological phenomena. Recent evidence has uncovered a new role of heme in cellular signal transduction, and its mechanism involves reversible binding of heme to proteins. This Account highlights the novel function of heme as an intracellular messenger in the regulation of gene expression and ion channel function.
Accounts of Chemical Research 01/2007; 39(12):918-24. · 21.64 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: The activation of large conductance Ca(2+)-activated (BK) potassium channels is weakly voltage dependent compared to Shaker and other voltage-gated K(+) (K(V)) channels. Yet BK and K(V) channels share many conserved charged residues in transmembrane segments S1-S4. We mutated these residues individually in mSlo1 BK channels to determine their role in voltage gating, and characterized the voltage dependence of steady-state activation (P(o)) and I(K) kinetics (tau(I(K))) over an extended voltage range in 0-50 microM [Ca(2+)](i). mSlo1 contains several positively charged arginines in S4, but only one (R213) together with residues in S2 (D153, R167) and S3 (D186) are potentially voltage sensing based on the ability of charge-altering mutations to reduce the maximal voltage dependence of P(O). The voltage dependence of P(O) and tau(I(K)) at extreme negative potentials was also reduced, implying that the closed-open conformational change and voltage sensor activation share a common source of gating charge. Although the position of charged residues in the BK and K(V) channel sequence appears conserved, the distribution of voltage-sensing residues is not. Thus the weak voltage dependence of BK channel activation does not merely reflect a lack of charge but likely differences with respect to K(V) channels in the position and movement of charged residues within the electric field. Although mutation of most sites in S1-S4 did not reduce gating charge, they often altered the equilibrium constant for voltage sensor activation. In particular, neutralization of R207 or R210 in S4 stabilizes the activated state by 3-7 kcal mol(-1), indicating a strong contribution of non-voltage-sensing residues to channel function, consistent with their participation in state-dependent salt bridge interactions. Mutations in S4 and S3 (R210E, D186A, and E180A) also unexpectedly weakened the allosteric coupling of voltage sensor activation to channel opening. The implications of our findings for BK channel voltage gating and general mechanisms of voltage sensor activation are discussed.
The Journal of General Physiology 04/2006; 127(3):309-28. · 3.84 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: Large conductance calcium-dependent (Slo1 BK) channels are allosterically activated by membrane depolarization and divalent cations, and possess a rich modulatory repertoire. Recently, intracellular heme has been identified as a potent regulator of Slo1 BK channels (Tang, X.D., R. Xu, M.F. Reynolds, M.L. Garcia, S.H. Heinemann, and T. Hoshi. 2003. Nature. 425:531-535). Here we investigated the mechanism of the regulatory action of heme on heterologously expressed Slo1 BK channels by separating the influences of voltage and divalent cations. In the absence of divalent cations, heme generally decreased ionic currents by shifting the channel's G-V curve toward more depolarized voltages and by rendering the curve less steep. In contrast, gating currents remained largely unaffected by heme. Simulations suggest that a decrease in the strength of allosteric coupling between the voltage sensor and the activation gate and a concomitant stabilization of the open state account for the essential features of the heme action in the absence of divalent ions. At saturating levels of divalent cations, heme remained similarly effective with its influence on the G-V simulated by weakening the coupling of both Ca(2+) binding and voltage sensor activation to channel opening. The results thus show that heme dampens the influence of allosteric activators on the activation gate of the Slo1 BK channel. To account for these effects, we consider the possibility that heme binding alters the structure of the RCK gating ring and thereby disrupts both Ca(2+)- and voltage-dependent gating as well as intrinsic stability of the open state.
The Journal of General Physiology 08/2005; 126(1):7-21. · 3.84 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: The Ca(2+)-activated K+ (BK) channel alpha-subunit contains many cysteine residues within its large COOH-terminal tail domain. To probe the function of this domain, we examined effects of cysteine-modifying reagents on channel gating. Application of MTSET, MTSES, or NEM to mSlo1 or hSlo1 channels changed the voltage and Ca2+ dependence of steady-state activation. These reagents appear to modify the same cysteines but have different effects on function. MTSET increases I(K) and shifts the G(K)-V relation to more negative voltages, whereas MTSES and NEM shift the G(K)-V in the opposite direction. Steady-state activation was altered in the presence or absence of Ca2+ and at negative potentials where voltage sensors are not activated. Combinations of [Ca2+] and voltage were also identified where P(o) is not changed by cysteine modification. Interpretation of our results in terms of an allosteric model indicate that cysteine modification alters Ca2+ binding and the relative stability of closed and open conformations as well as the coupling of voltage sensor activation and Ca2+ binding and to channel opening. To identify modification-sensitive residues, we examined effects of MTS reagents on mutant channels lacking one or more cysteines. Surprisingly, the effects of MTSES on both voltage- and Ca(2+)-dependent gating were abolished by replacing a single cysteine (C430) with alanine. C430 lies in the RCK1 (regulator of K+ conductance) domain within a series of eight residues that is unique to BK channels. Deletion of these residues shifted the G(K)-V relation by > -80 mV. Thus we have identified a region that appears to strongly influence RCK domain function, but is absent from RCK domains of known structure. C430A did not eliminate effects of MTSET on apparent Ca2+ affinity. However an additional mutation, C615S, in the Haem binding site reduced the effects of MTSET, consistent with a role for this region in Ca2+ binding.
The Journal of General Physiology 03/2005; 125(2):213-36. · 3.84 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: The S4 transmembrane segment is the primary voltage sensor in voltage-dependent ion channels. Its movement in response to changes in membrane potential leads to the opening of the activation gate, which is formed by a separate structural component, the S6 segment. Here we show in voltage-, Ca2+-, and Mg2+-dependent, large conductance K+ channels that the S4 segment participates not only in voltage- but also Mg2+-dependent activation. Mutations in S4 and the S4-S5 linker alter voltage-dependent activation and have little or no effect on activation by micromolar Ca2+. However, a subset of these mutations in the C-terminal half of S4 and in the S4-S5 linker either reduce or abolish the Mg2+ sensitivity of channel gating. Cysteine residues substituted into positions R210 and R213, marking the boundary between S4 mutations that alter Mg2+ sensitivity and those that do not, are accessible to a modifying reagent [sodium (2-sulfonatoethyl)methane-thiosulfonate] (MTSES) from the extracellular and intracellular side of the membrane, respectively, at -80 mV. This implies that interactions between S4 and a cytoplasmic domain may be involved in Mg2+-dependent activation. These results indicate that the voltage sensor is critical for Mg2+-dependent activation and the coupling between the voltage sensor and channel gate is a converging point for voltage- and Mg2+-dependent activation pathways.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 10/2003; 100(18):10488-93. · 9.68 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: To determine how intracellular Ca(2+) and membrane voltage regulate the gating of large conductance Ca(2+)-activated K(+) (BK) channels, we examined the steady-state and kinetic properties of mSlo1 ionic and gating currents in the presence and absence of Ca(2+) over a wide range of voltage. The activation of unliganded mSlo1 channels can be accounted for by allosteric coupling between voltage sensor activation and the closed (C) to open (O) conformational change (Horrigan, F.T., and R.W. Aldrich. 1999. J. Gen. Physiol. 114:305-336; Horrigan, F.T., J. Cui, and R.W. Aldrich. 1999. J. Gen. Physiol. 114:277-304). In 0 Ca(2+), the steady-state gating charge-voltage (Q(SS)-V) relationship is shallower and shifted to more negative voltages than the conductance-voltage (G(K)-V) relationship. Calcium alters the relationship between Q-V and G-V, shifting both to more negative voltages such that they almost superimpose in 70 microM Ca(2+). This change reflects a differential effect of Ca(2+) on voltage sensor activation and channel opening. Ca(2+) has only a small effect on the fast component of ON gating current, indicating that Ca(2+) binding has little effect on voltage sensor activation when channels are closed. In contrast, open probability measured at very negative voltages (less than -80 mV) increases more than 1,000-fold in 70 microM Ca(2+), demonstrating that Ca(2+) increases the C-O equilibrium constant under conditions where voltage sensors are not activated. Thus, Ca(2+) binding and voltage sensor activation act almost independently, to enhance channel opening. This dual-allosteric mechanism can reproduce the steady-state behavior of mSlo1 over a wide range of conditions, with the assumption that activation of individual Ca(2+) sensors or voltage sensors additively affect the energy of the C-O transition and that a weak interaction between Ca(2+) sensors and voltage sensors occurs independent of channel opening. By contrast, macroscopic I(K) kinetics indicate that Ca(2+) and voltage dependencies of C-O transition rates are complex, leading us to propose that the C-O conformational change may be described by a complex energy landscape.
The Journal of General Physiology 10/2002; 120(3):267-305. · 3.84 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: Large-conductance Ca2+-activated K+ channels can be
activated by membrane voltage in the absence of Ca2+ binding,
indicating that these channels contain an intrinsic voltage sensor. The
properties of this voltage sensor and its relationship to channel activation
were examined by studying gating charge movement from mSlo
Ca2+-activated K+ channels in the virtual absence of
Ca2+ (<1 nM). Charge movement was measured in
response to voltage steps or sinusoidal voltage commands. The
charge–voltage relationship (Q–V) is
shallower and shifted to more negative voltages than the voltage-dependent open
probability (G–V). Both ON and OFF gating currents
evoked by brief (0.5-ms) voltage pulses appear to decay rapidly
(τON = 60 μs at +200 mV,
τOFF = 16 μs at −80 mV).
However, QOFF increases slowly with pulse duration,
indicating that a large fraction of ON charge develops with a time course
comparable to that of IK activation. The slow onset
of this gating charge prevents its detection as a component of
IgON, although it represents ∼40% of
the total charge moved at +140 mV. The decay of
IgOFF is slowed after depolarizations that open
mSlo channels. Yet, the majority of open channel charge relaxation is too rapid
to be limited by channel closing. These results can be understood in terms of
the allosteric voltage-gating scheme developed in the preceding paper (Horrigan,
F.T., J. Cui, and R.W. Aldrich. 1999. J. Gen. Physiol.
114:277–304). The model contains five open (O) and five closed (C)
states arranged in parallel, and the kinetic and steady-state properties of mSlo
gating currents exhibit multiple components associated with C–C,
O–O, and C–O transitions.
The Journal of General Physiology 07/1999; 114(2):305-336. · 3.84 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: Activation of large conductance Ca2+-activated K+ channels
is controlled by both cytoplasmic Ca2+ and membrane potential. To
study the mechanism of voltage-dependent gating, we examined mSlo
Ca2+-activated K+ currents in excised macropatches
from Xenopus oocytes in the virtual absence of Ca2+
(<1 nM). In response to a voltage step, IK activates with
an exponential time course, following a brief delay. The delay suggests that
rapid transitions precede channel opening. The later exponential time course
suggests that activation also involves a slower rate-limiting step. However, the
time constant of IK relaxation [τ(IK)]
exhibits a complex voltage dependence that is inconsistent with models that
contain a single rate limiting step. τ(IK) increases
weakly with voltage from −500 to −20 mV, with an
equivalent charge (z) of only 0.14 e, and
displays a stronger voltage dependence from +30 to +140 mV (z =
0.49 e), which then decreases from +180 to +240 mV
(z = −0.29 e). Similarly, the
steady state GK–V relationship exhibits a maximum voltage
dependence (z = 2 e) from 0 to +100 mV, and is
weakly voltage dependent (z ≅ 0.4
e) at more negative voltages, where
results can be understood in terms of a gating scheme where a central transition
between a closed and an open conformation is allosterically regulated by the
state of four independent and identical voltage sensors. In the absence of
Ca2+, this allosteric mechanism results in a gating scheme with
five closed (C) and five open (O) states, where the majority of the channel's
voltage dependence results from rapid C–C and O–O
transitions, whereas the C–O transitions are rate limiting and
weakly voltage dependent. These conclusions not only provide a framework for
interpreting studies of large conductance Ca2+-activated
K+ channel voltage gating, but also have important implications
for understanding the mechanism of Ca2+ sensitivity.
The Journal of General Physiology 07/1999; 114(2):277-304. · 3.84 Impact Factor