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PLoS One. 2012;7(11):e49877. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0049877. Epub 2012 Nov 21.

Importance of a conserved sequence motif in transmembrane segment S3 for the gating of human TRPM8 and TRPM2.

Author information

1
Institute of Physiology, Medical Faculty, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany.

Abstract

For mammalian TRPM8, the amino acid residues asparagine-799 and aspartate-802 are essential for the stimulation of the channel by the synthetic agonist icilin. Both residues belong to the short sequence motif N-x-x-D within the transmembrane segment S3 highly conserved in the entire superfamily of voltage-dependent cation channels, among them TRPM8. Moreover, they are also conserved in the closely related TRPM2 channel, which is essentially voltage-independent. To analyze the differential roles of the motif for the voltage-dependent and voltage-independent gating, we performed reciprocal replacements of the asparagine and aspartate within the S3 motif in both channels, following the proposed idea that specific electrostatic interactions with other domains take place during gating. Wild-type and mutant channels were heterologeously expressed in HEK-293 cells and channel function was analyzed by whole-cell patch-clamp analysis as well as by Ca(2+)-imaging. Additionally, the expression of the channels in the plasma membrane was tested by Western blot analysis, in part after biotinylation. For the mutations of TRPM8, responses to menthol were only compromised if also the expression of the glycosylated channel isoform was prevented. In contrast, responses to cold were consistently and significantly attenuated but not completely abolished. For TRPM2, surface expression was not significantly affected by any of the mutations but channel function was only retained in one variant. Remarkably, this was the variant of which the corresponding mutation in TRPM8 exerted the most negative effects both on channel function and expression. Furthermore, we performed an exchange of the inner pair of residues of the N-x-x-D motif between the two channels, which proved deleterious for the functional expression of TRPM8 but ineffective on TRPM2. In conclusion, the N-x-x-D motif plays specific roles in TRPM8 and TRPM2, reflecting different requirements for voltage-dependent and voltage-independent channel gating.

PMID:
23185472
PMCID:
PMC3503820
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0049877
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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