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Mol Pharmacol. 2019 Jul;96(1):26-35. doi: 10.1124/mol.118.115303. Epub 2019 Apr 23.

A Small-Molecule Compound Selectively Activates K2P Channel TASK-3 by Acting at Two Distant Clusters of Residues.

Author information

1
CAS Key Laboratory of Receptor Research, State Key Laboratory of Drug Research, Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China (F.T., Y.Q., X.L., Z.G.); University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China (F.T., Y.Q., X.L., Z.G.); Department of Neuroscience, High Throughput Biology Center and Johns Hopkins Ion Channel Center, School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland (M.L.); and Shanghai Key Laboratory of Regulatory Biology, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, School of Life Sciences, East China Normal University, Shanghai, China (H.Y.).
2
CAS Key Laboratory of Receptor Research, State Key Laboratory of Drug Research, Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China (F.T., Y.Q., X.L., Z.G.); University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China (F.T., Y.Q., X.L., Z.G.); Department of Neuroscience, High Throughput Biology Center and Johns Hopkins Ion Channel Center, School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland (M.L.); and Shanghai Key Laboratory of Regulatory Biology, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, School of Life Sciences, East China Normal University, Shanghai, China (H.Y.) zbgao@simm.ac.cn.

Abstract

The TASK-3 channel is a member of the K2P family that is important for the maintenance of the resting membrane potential. Previous studies have demonstrated that the TASK-3 channel is involved in several physiologic and pathologic processes, including sleep/wake control, cognition, and epilepsy. However, there is still a lack of selective pharmacological tools for TASK-3, which limits further research on channel function. In this work, using a high-throughput screen, we discovered that N-(2-((4-nitro-2-(trifluoromethyl)phenyl)amino)ethyl)benzamide (NPBA) showed excellent potency and selectivity as a novel TASK-3 activator. The molecular determinants of NPBA activation were then investigated by combining chimera and mutagenesis analysis. Two distant clusters of residues located at the extracellular end of the second transmembrane domain (A105 and A108) and the intracellular end of the third transmembrane domain (E157) were found to be critical for NPBA activation. We then compared the essentials of the actions of NPBA with inhalation anesthetics that nonselectively activate TASK-3 and found that they may activate TASK-3 channels through different mechanisms. Finally, we transplanted the three residues A105, A108, and E157 into the TASK-1 channel, which resists NPBA activation, and the constructed mutant TASK-1(G105A, V108A, A157E) showed dramatically increased activation by NPBA, confirming the importance of these two distant clusters of residues. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT: TASK-3 channels conduct potassium and are involved in various physiological and pathological processes. However, the lack of selective modulators has hindered efforts to increase our understanding of the physiological roles of TASK-3 channels. By using a high-throughput screen, we identified NPBA as a potent and selective TASK-3 activator, and we show that NPBA is a more potent activator than terbinafine, the only reported TASK-3 selective activator to date. We also show here that NPBA has outstanding selectivity for TAS-3 channels. These characteristics make NPBA a promising pharmacological probe for research focused on defining TASK-3 channel function(s). In addition, we identified two distant clusters of residues as determinants of NPBA activation providing new molecular clues for the understanding of the gating mechanism of K2P channels.

PMID:
31015283
DOI:
10.1124/mol.118.115303

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