Article: article from journal or magazin.
The contact region between three domains of the extracellular loop of ASIC1a is critical for channel function.
Journal of Biological Chemistry
Acid-sensing ion channels are members of the epithelial Na(+) channel/degenerin family. They are neuronal nonvoltage-gated Na(+) channels that are activated by extracellular acidification. In this study, we investigated the role of a highly conserved region of the extracellular part of ASIC1a that forms the contact between the finger domain, the adjacent beta-ball, and the upper palm domain in ASIC1a. The finger domain contributes to the pH-dependent gating and is linked via this contact zone to the rest of the protein. We found that mutation to Cys of residues in this region led to decreased channel expression and current amplitudes. Exposure of the engineered Cys residues to Cd(2+) or to charged methane thiosulfonate sulfhydryl reagents further reduced current amplitudes. This current inhibition was not due to changes in acid-sensing ion channel pH dependence or unitary conductance and was likely due to a decrease of the probability of channel opening. For some mutants, the effect of sulfhydryl reagents depended on the pH of exposure in the range 7.4 to 6.8, suggesting that this zone undergoes conformational changes during inactivation. Our study identifies a region in ASIC1a whose integrity is required for normal channel function.
Animals, Humans, Hydrogen-Ion Concentration, Ion Channel Gating/physiology, Mesylates/chemistry, Mutation, Nerve Tissue Proteins/chemistry, Nerve Tissue Proteins/genetics, Peptide Mapping/methods, Protein Engineering, Protein Structure, Tertiary, Sodium Channels/chemistry, Sodium Channels/genetics, Xenopus laevis
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