Cysteine substitutions reveal dual functions of the amino-terminal tail in cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator channel gating.
Previously, we observed that the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) channel openings are destabilized by replacing several acidic residues in the amino-terminal tail with alanines (Naren, A. P., Cormet-Boyaka, E., Fu, J., Villain, M., Blalock, J. E., Quick, M. W., and Kirk, K. L. (1999) Science 286, 544-548). Here we determined whether this effect is due to the loss of negative charge at these sites and whether the amino-terminal tail also modulates other aspects of channel gating. We introduced cysteines at two of these positions (E54C/D58C) and tested a series of methanethiosulfonate (MTS) reagents for their effects on the gating properties of these cysteine mutants in intact Xenopus oocytes and excised membrane patches. Covalent modification of these sites with either neutral (MMTS) or charged (2-carboxyethylmethanethiosulfonate (MTSCE) and 2-(trimethylammonium)ethylmethanethiosulfonate (MTSET)) reagents markedly inhibited channel open probability primarily by reducing the rate of channel opening. The MTS reagents had negligible effects on the gating of the wild type channel or a corresponding double alanine mutant (E54A/D58A) under the same conditions. The inhibition of the opening rate of the E54C/D58C mutant channel by MMTS could be reversed by the reducing agent dithiothreitol (200 microm) or by elevating the bath ATP concentration above that required to activate maximally the wild type channel (>1 mm). Interestingly, the three MTS reagents had qualitatively different effects on the duration of channel openings (i.e. channel closing rate), namely the duration of openings was negligibly changed by the neutral MMTS, decreased by the positively charged MTSET, and increased by the negatively charged MTSCE. Our results indicate that the CFTR amino tail modulates both the rates of channel opening and channel closing and that the negative charges at residues 54 and 58 are important for controlling the duration of channel openings.
PubMed ID: 11468285
Article link: J Biol Chem.
Grant support: DK53090 NIDDK NIH HHS , DK56796 NIDDK NIH HHS
Genes referenced: cftr