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Unfolding of a Temperature-Sensitive Domain Controls Voltage-Gated Channel Activation.


AUTHORS

Arrigoni C , Rohaim A , Shaya D , Findeisen F , Stein RA , Nurva SR , Mishra S , Mchaourab HS , Minor DL , . Cell. 2016 2 25; 164(5). 922-36

ABSTRACT

Voltage-gated ion channels (VGICs) are outfitted with diverse cytoplasmic domains that impact function. To examine how such elements may affect VGIC behavior, we addressed how the bacterial voltage-gated sodium channel (BacNa(V)) C-terminal cytoplasmic domain (CTD) affects function. Our studies show that the BacNa(V) CTD exerts a profound influence on gating through a temperature-dependent unfolding transition in a discrete cytoplasmic domain, the neck domain, proximal to the pore. Structural and functional studies establish that the BacNa(V) CTD comprises a bi-partite four-helix bundle that bears an unusual hydrophilic core whose integrity is central to the unfolding mechanism and that couples directly to the channel activation gate. Together, our findings define a general principle for how the widespread four-helix bundle cytoplasmic domain architecture can control VGIC responses, uncover a mechanism underlying the diverse BacNa(V) voltage dependencies, and demonstrate that a discrete domain can encode the temperature-dependent response of a channel.


Voltage-gated ion channels (VGICs) are outfitted with diverse cytoplasmic domains that impact function. To examine how such elements may affect VGIC behavior, we addressed how the bacterial voltage-gated sodium channel (BacNa(V)) C-terminal cytoplasmic domain (CTD) affects function. Our studies show that the BacNa(V) CTD exerts a profound influence on gating through a temperature-dependent unfolding transition in a discrete cytoplasmic domain, the neck domain, proximal to the pore. Structural and functional studies establish that the BacNa(V) CTD comprises a bi-partite four-helix bundle that bears an unusual hydrophilic core whose integrity is central to the unfolding mechanism and that couples directly to the channel activation gate. Together, our findings define a general principle for how the widespread four-helix bundle cytoplasmic domain architecture can control VGIC responses, uncover a mechanism underlying the diverse BacNa(V) voltage dependencies, and demonstrate that a discrete domain can encode the temperature-dependent response of a channel.


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