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Neuron. 1993 Oct;11(4):739-49.

The S4-S5 loop contributes to the ion-selective pore of potassium channels.

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Department of Physiology, University of California Medical School, San Francisco 94143.


Mutagenesis experiments on voltage-gated K+ channels have suggested that the ion-selective pore is comprised mostly of H5 segments. To see whether regions outside of the H5 segment might also contribute to the pore structure, we have studied the effect of single amino acid substitutions in the segment that connects the S4 and S5 putative transmembrane segments (S4-S5 loop) on various permeation properties of Shaker K+ channels. Mutations in the S4-S5 loop alter the Rb+ selectivity, the single-channel K+ and Rb+ conductances, and the sensitivity to open channel block produced by intracellular tetraethylammonium ion, Ba2+, and Mg2+. The block of Shaker K+ channels by intracellular Mg2+ is surprising, but is reminiscent of the internal Mg2+ blockade of inward rectifier K+ channels. The results suggest that the S4-S5 loop constitutes part of the ion-selective pore. Thus, the S4-S5 loop and the H5 segment are likely to contribute to the long pore characteristic of voltage-gated K+ channels.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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