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Biochemistry October 25, 2005; 44 (42): 13874-82.

Selectivity filter residues contribute unequally to pore stabilization in voltage-gated sodium channels.

Hilber K , Sandtner W , Zarrabi T , Zebedin E , Kudlacek O , Fozzard HA , Todt H .

Mutations in the putative selectivity filter region of the voltage-gated Na+ channel, the so-called DEKA-motif, not only affect selectivity but also alter the channel''s gating properties, suggesting functional coupling between permeation and gating. We have previously reported that charge-altering mutations at position 1237 in the P-loop of domain III (position K of the DEKA-motif in the adult rat skeletal muscle Na+ channel, rNa(v)1.4) dramatically enhanced entry to an inactivated state from which the channels recovered with a very slow time constant on the order of approximately 100 s (Todt, H., Dudley, S. C. J., Kyle, J. W., French, R. J., and Fozzard, H. A. (1999) Biophys. J. 76, 1335-1345). This state, termed "ultra-slow inactivation", may reflect a complex molecular rearrangement of the channel''s pore region that involves both the extracellular and the cytoplasmic pore. Here, we tested whether charged DEKA-motif residues other than K1237 were also important determinants of a channel''s gating properties. Therefore, we constructed the charge-neutralizing mutations D400A, E755A, and K1237A and studied the effects of these mutations on I(US). We found that, compared to wild-type rNa(v)1.4 channels, mutant D400A and K1237A but not E755A channels exhibited enhanced entry into ultra-slow inactivation. Selectivity for Na+ over K+, as judged from shifts in reversal potentials, was preserved in D400A, reduced in E755A, and completely lost in K1237A. These data suggest that an electrostatic interaction between the positively charged residue K1237 and the negatively charged residue D400 stabilizes the structure of the pore and thereby prevents I(US). Moreover, the interaction between K1237 and E755 appears to provide the basis for selective permeation of Na+ over K+.

PubMed ID: 16229476
Article link: Biochemistry
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