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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016 Jun 28;113(26):E3657-66. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1604180113. Epub 2016 Jun 13.

Rational design and validation of a vanilloid-sensitive TRPV2 ion channel.

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Department of Physiology and Membrane Biology, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.
Department of Physiology and Membrane Biology, University of California, Davis, CA 95616


Vanilloids activation of TRPV1 represents an excellent model system of ligand-gated ion channels. Recent studies using cryo-electron microcopy (cryo-EM), computational analysis, and functional quantification revealed the location of capsaicin-binding site and critical residues mediating ligand-binding and channel activation. Based on these new findings, here we have successfully introduced high-affinity binding of capsaicin and resiniferatoxin to the vanilloid-insensitive TRPV2 channel, using a rationally designed minimal set of four point mutations (F467S-S498F-L505T-Q525E, termed TRPV2_Quad). We found that binding of resiniferatoxin activates TRPV2_Quad but the ligand-induced open state is relatively unstable, whereas binding of capsaicin to TRPV2_Quad antagonizes resiniferatoxin-induced activation likely through competition for the same binding sites. Using Rosetta-based molecular docking, we observed a common structural mechanism underlying vanilloids activation of TRPV1 and TRPV2_Quad, where the ligand serves as molecular "glue" that bridges the S4-S5 linker to the S1-S4 domain to open these channels. Our analysis revealed that capsaicin failed to activate TRPV2_Quad likely due to structural constraints preventing such bridge formation. These results not only validate our current working model for capsaicin activation of TRPV1 but also should help guide the design of drug candidate compounds for this important pain sensor.


TRPV1; TRPV2; capsaicin; ligand gating; resiniferatoxin

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