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Elife. 2013 Dec 10;2:e01289. doi: 10.7554/eLife.01289.

Hydrogen bonds as molecular timers for slow inactivation in voltage-gated potassium channels.

Author information

1
Department of Anesthesiology, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.

Abstract

Voltage-gated potassium (Kv) channels enable potassium efflux and membrane repolarization in excitable tissues. Many Kv channels undergo a progressive loss of ion conductance in the presence of a prolonged voltage stimulus, termed slow inactivation, but the atomic determinants that regulate the kinetics of this process remain obscure. Using a combination of synthetic amino acid analogs and concatenated channel subunits we establish two H-bonds near the extracellular surface of the channel that endow Kv channels with a mechanism to time the entry into slow inactivation: an intra-subunit H-bond between Asp447 and Trp434 and an inter-subunit H-bond connecting Tyr445 to Thr439. Breaking of either interaction triggers slow inactivation by means of a local disruption in the selectivity filter, while severing the Tyr445-Thr439 H-bond is likely to communicate this conformational change to the adjacent subunit(s). DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.01289.001.

KEYWORDS:

channel inactivation; hydrogen bonds; ion channel gating; molecular timers; neuroscience; unnatural amino acids

PMID:
24327560
PMCID:
PMC3852034
DOI:
10.7554/eLife.01289
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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