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Mol Pharmacol. 2011 Jun;79(6):899-909. doi: 10.1124/mol.110.069807. Epub 2011 Mar 1.

Negative gating modulation by (R)-N-(benzimidazol-2-yl)-1,2,3,4-tetrahydro-1-naphthylamine (NS8593) depends on residues in the inner pore vestibule: pharmacological evidence of deep-pore gating of K(Ca)2 channels.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA.


Acting as a negative gating modulator, (R)-N-(benzimidazol-2-yl)-1,2,3,4-tetrahydro-1-naphthylamine (NS8593) shifts the apparent Ca(2+)-dependence of the small-conductance Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channels K(Ca)2.1-2.3 to higher Ca(2+) concentrations. Similar to the positive K(Ca) channel-gating modulators 1-ethyl-2-benzimidazolinone (1-EBIO) and cyclohexyl-[2-(3,5-dimethyl-pyrazol-1-yl)-6-methylpyrimidin-4-yl]-amine (CyPPA), the binding site for NS8593 has been assumed to be located in the C-terminal region, in which these channels interact with their Ca(2+) sensor calmodulin. However, by using a progressive chimeric approach, we were able to localize the site-of-action of NS8593 to the K(Ca)2 pore. For example, when we transferred the C terminus from the NS8593-insensitive intermediate-conductance K(Ca)3.1 channel to K(Ca)2.3, the chimeric channel remained as sensitive to NS8593 as wild-type K(Ca)2.3. In contrast, when we transferred the K(Ca)2.3 pore to K(Ca)3.1, the channel became sensitive to NS8593. Using site-directed mutagenesis, we subsequently identified two specific residues in the inner vestibule of K(Ca)2.3 (Ser507 and Ala532) that determined the effect of NS8593. Mutation of these residues to the corresponding residues in K(Ca)3.1 (Thr250 and Val275) made K(Ca)2.3 insensitive to NS8593, whereas introduction of serine and alanine into K(Ca)3.1 was sufficient to render this channel highly sensitive to NS8593. It is noteworthy that the same two residue positions have been found previously to mediate sensitivity of K(Ca)3.1 to clotrimazole and 1-[(2-chlorophenyl)diphenylmethyl]-1H-pyrazole (TRAM-34). The location of Ser507 in the pore-loop near the selectivity filter and Ala532 in an adjacent position in S6 are within the region predicted to contain the K(Ca)2 channel gate. Hence, we propose that NS8593-mediated gating modulation occurs via interaction with gating structures at a position deep within the inner pore vestibule.

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