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J Biol Chem November 18, 2011; 286 (46): 39813-22.

External Ba2+ block of the two-pore domain potassium channel TREK-1 defines conformational transition in its selectivity filter.

Ma XY , Yu JM , Zhang SZ , Liu XY , Wu BH , Wei XL , Yan JQ , Sun HL , Yan HT , Zheng JQ .

TREK-1 is a member of the two-pore domain potassium channel family that is known as a leak channel and plays a key role in many physiological and pathological processes. The conformational transition of the selectivity filter is considered as an effective strategy for potassium channels to control the course of potassium efflux. It is well known that TREK-1 is regulated by a large volume of extracellular and intracellular signals. However, until now, little was known about the selectivity filter gating mechanism of the channel. In this research, it was found that Ba(2+) blocked the TREK-1 channel in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. A mutagenesis analysis showed that overlapped binding of Ba(2+) at the assumed K(+) binding site 4 (S4) within the selectivity filter was responsible for the inhibitory effects on TREK-1. Then, Ba(2+) was used as a probe to explore the conformational transition in the selectivity filter of the channel. It was confirmed that collapsed conformations were induced by extracellular K(+)-free and acidification at the selectivity filters, leading to nonconductive to permeable ions. Further detailed characterization demonstrated that the two conformations presented different properties. Additionally, the N-terminal truncated isoform (ΔN41), a product derived from alternative translation initiation, was identified as a constitutively nonconductive variant. Together, these results illustrate the important role of selectivity filter gating in the regulation of TREK-1 by the extracellular K(+) and proton.

PubMed ID: 21965685
PMC ID: PMC3220548
Article link: J Biol Chem

Genes referenced: kcnk2

References [+] :
Bernèche, Energetics of ion conduction through the K+ channel. 2001, Pubmed

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