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J Biol Chem. 2009 Oct 9;284(41):28332-42. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M109.027326. Epub 2009 Aug 21.

Structural model for phenylalkylamine binding to L-type calcium channels.

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Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario L8N 3Z5, Canada.


Phenylalkylamines (PAAs), a major class of L-type calcium channel (LTCC) blockers, have two aromatic rings connected by a flexible chain with a nitrile substituent. Structural aspects of ligand-channel interactions remain unclear. We have built a KvAP-based model of LTCC and used Monte Carlo energy minimizations to dock devapamil, verapamil, gallopamil, and other PAAs. The PAA-LTCC models have the following common features: (i) the meta-methoxy group in ring A, which is proximal to the nitrile group, accepts an H-bond from a PAA-sensing Tyr_IIIS6; (ii) the meta-methoxy group in ring B accepts an H-bond from a PAA-sensing Tyr_IVS6; (iii) the ammonium group is stabilized at the focus of P-helices; and (iv) the nitrile group binds to a Ca(2+) ion coordinated by the selectivity filter glutamates in repeats III and IV. The latter feature can explain Ca(2+) potentiation of PAA action and the presence of an electronegative atom at a similar position of potent PAA analogs. Tyr substitution of a Thr in IIIS5 is known to enhance action of devapamil and verapamil. Our models predict that the para-methoxy group in ring A of devapamil and verapamil accepts an H-bond from this engineered Tyr. The model explains structure-activity relationships of PAAs, effects of LTCC mutations on PAA potency, data on PAA access to LTCC, and Ca(2+) potentiation of PAA action. Common and class-specific aspects of action of PAAs, dihydropyridines, and benzothiazepines are discussed in view of the repeat interface concept.

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