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Nature. 2017 Feb 2;542(7639):60-65. doi: 10.1038/nature20819. Epub 2017 Jan 18.

Structure of a eukaryotic cyclic-nucleotide-gated channel.

Li M1, Zhou X2, Wang S3,4,5,6, Michailidis I1, Gong Y3,4,5, Su D3,4,5,6, Li H3,4,5,6, Li X2, Yang J1,3,4,5.

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Department of Biological Sciences, Columbia University, New York, New York 10027, USA.
Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Structural Biology, Tsinghua-Peking Joint Center for Life Sciences, School of Life Sciences, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China.
Key Laboratory of Animal Models and Human Disease Mechanisms of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650223, China.
Key Laboratory of Bioactive Peptides of Yunnan Province, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650223, China.
Ion Channel Research and Drug Development Center, Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650223, China.
Kunming College of Life Science, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650204, China.


Cyclic-nucleotide-gated channels are essential for vision and olfaction. They belong to the voltage-gated ion channel superfamily but their activities are controlled by intracellular cyclic nucleotides instead of transmembrane voltage. Here we report a 3.5-Å-resolution single-particle electron cryo-microscopy structure of a cyclic-nucleotide-gated channel from Caenorhabditis elegans in the cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP)-bound open state. The channel has an unusual voltage-sensor-like domain, accounting for its deficient voltage dependence. A carboxy-terminal linker connecting S6 and the cyclic-nucleotide-binding domain interacts directly with both the voltage-sensor-like domain and the pore domain, forming a gating ring that couples conformational changes triggered by cyclic nucleotide binding to the gate. The selectivity filter is lined by the carboxylate side chains of a functionally important glutamate and three rings of backbone carbonyls. This structure provides a new framework for understanding mechanisms of ion permeation, gating and channelopathy of cyclic-nucleotide-gated channels and cyclic nucleotide modulation of related channels.

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