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Sample records for activate ion channels

  1. Mechanically Activated Ion Channels

    PubMed Central

    Ranade, Sanjeev S.; Syeda, Ruhma; Patapoutian, Ardem

    2015-01-01

    Mechanotransduction, the conversion of physical forces into biochemical signals, is an essential component of numerous physiological processes including not only conscious senses of touch and hearing, but also unconscious senses such as blood pressure regulation. Mechanically activated (MA) ion channels have been proposed as sensors of physical force, but the identity of these channels and an understanding of how mechanical force is transduced has remained elusive. A number of recent studies on previously known ion channels along with the identification of novel MA ion channels have greatly transformed our understanding of touch and hearing in both vertebrates and invertebrates. Here, we present an updated review of eukaryotic ion channel families that have been implicated in mechanotransduction processes and evaluate the qualifications of the candidate genes according to specified criteria. We then discuss the proposed gating models for MA ion channels and highlight recent structural studies of mechanosensitive potassium channels. PMID:26402601

  2. Detection of single ion channel activity with carbon nanotubes

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Weiwei; Wang, Yung Yu; Lim, Tae-Sun; Pham, Ted; Jain, Dheeraj; Burke, Peter J.

    2015-01-01

    Many processes in life are based on ion currents and membrane voltages controlled by a sophisticated and diverse family of membrane proteins (ion channels), which are comparable in size to the most advanced nanoelectronic components currently under development. Here we demonstrate an electrical assay of individual ion channel activity by measuring the dynamic opening and closing of the ion channel nanopores using single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs). Two canonical dynamic ion channels (gramicidin A (gA) and alamethicin) and one static biological nanopore (α-hemolysin (α-HL)) were successfully incorporated into supported lipid bilayers (SLBs, an artificial cell membrane), which in turn were interfaced to the carbon nanotubes through a variety of polymer-cushion surface functionalization schemes. The ion channel current directly charges the quantum capacitance of a single nanotube in a network of purified semiconducting nanotubes. This work forms the foundation for a scalable, massively parallel architecture of 1d nanoelectronic devices interrogating electrophysiology at the single ion channel level. PMID:25778101

  3. Detection of single ion channel activity with carbon nanotubes.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Weiwei; Wang, Yung Yu; Lim, Tae-Sun; Pham, Ted; Jain, Dheeraj; Burke, Peter J

    2015-01-01

    Many processes in life are based on ion currents and membrane voltages controlled by a sophisticated and diverse family of membrane proteins (ion channels), which are comparable in size to the most advanced nanoelectronic components currently under development. Here we demonstrate an electrical assay of individual ion channel activity by measuring the dynamic opening and closing of the ion channel nanopores using single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs). Two canonical dynamic ion channels (gramicidin A (gA) and alamethicin) and one static biological nanopore (α-hemolysin (α-HL)) were successfully incorporated into supported lipid bilayers (SLBs, an artificial cell membrane), which in turn were interfaced to the carbon nanotubes through a variety of polymer-cushion surface functionalization schemes. The ion channel current directly charges the quantum capacitance of a single nanotube in a network of purified semiconducting nanotubes. This work forms the foundation for a scalable, massively parallel architecture of 1d nanoelectronic devices interrogating electrophysiology at the single ion channel level.

  4. Detection of single ion channel activity with carbon nanotubes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Weiwei; Wang, Yung Yu; Lim, Tae-Sun; Pham, Ted; Jain, Dheeraj; Burke, Peter J.

    2015-03-01

    Many processes in life are based on ion currents and membrane voltages controlled by a sophisticated and diverse family of membrane proteins (ion channels), which are comparable in size to the most advanced nanoelectronic components currently under development. Here we demonstrate an electrical assay of individual ion channel activity by measuring the dynamic opening and closing of the ion channel nanopores using single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs). Two canonical dynamic ion channels (gramicidin A (gA) and alamethicin) and one static biological nanopore (α-hemolysin (α-HL)) were successfully incorporated into supported lipid bilayers (SLBs, an artificial cell membrane), which in turn were interfaced to the carbon nanotubes through a variety of polymer-cushion surface functionalization schemes. The ion channel current directly charges the quantum capacitance of a single nanotube in a network of purified semiconducting nanotubes. This work forms the foundation for a scalable, massively parallel architecture of 1d nanoelectronic devices interrogating electrophysiology at the single ion channel level.

  5. Selective activation of mechanosensitive ion channels using magnetic particles.

    PubMed

    Hughes, Steven; McBain, Stuart; Dobson, Jon; El Haj, Alicia J

    2008-08-01

    This study reports the preliminary development of a novel magnetic particle-based technique that permits the application of highly localized mechanical forces directly to specific regions of an ion-channel structure. We demonstrate that this approach can be used to directly and selectively activate a mechanosensitive ion channel of interest, namely TREK-1. It is shown that manipulation of particles targeted against the extended extracellular loop region of TREK-1 leads to changes in whole-cell currents consistent with changes in TREK-1 activity. Responses were absent when particles were coated with RGD (Arg-Gly-Asp) peptide or when magnetic fields were applied in the absence of magnetic particles. It is concluded that changes in whole-cell current are the result of direct force application to the extracellular loop region of TREK-1 and thus these results implicate this region of the channel structure in mechano-gating. It is hypothesized that the extended loop region of TREK-1 may act as a tension spring that acts to regulate sensitivity to mechanical forces, in a nature similar to that described for MscL. The development of a technique that permits the direct manipulation of mechanosensitive ion channels in real time without the need for pharmacological drugs has huge potential benefits not only for basic biological research of ion-channel gating mechanisms, but also potentially as a tool for the treatment of human diseases caused by ion-channel dysfunction.

  6. Stretch-Activated Ion Channels: What Are They?

    PubMed Central

    Sachs, Frederick

    2010-01-01

    Mechanosensitive ion channels (MSCs) exist in all cells, but mechanosensitivity is a phenotype not a genotype. Specialized mechanoreceptors such as the hair cells of the cochlea require elaborate mechanical impedance matching to couple the channels to the external stress. In contrast, MSCs in nonspecialized cells appear activated by stress in the bilayer local to the channel—within about three lipids. Local mechanical stress can be produced by far-field tension, amphipaths, phase separations, the cytoskeleton, the extracellular matrix, and the adhesion energy between the membrane and a patch pipette. Understanding MSC function requires understanding the stimulus. PMID:20134028

  7. Lipid bilayer array for simultaneous recording of ion channel activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hirano-Iwata, Ayumi; Nasu, Tomohiro; Oshima, Azusa; Kimura, Yasuo; Niwano, Michio

    2012-07-01

    This paper describes an array of stable and reduced-solvent bilayer lipid membranes (BLMs) formed in microfabricated silicon chips. BLMs were first vertically formed simultaneously and then turned 90° in order to realize a horizontal BLM array. Since the present BLMs are mechanically stable and robust, the BLMs survive this relatively tough process. Typically, a ˜60% yield in simultaneous BLM formation over 9 sites was obtained. Parallel recordings of gramicidin channel activities from different BLMs were demonstrated. The present system has great potential as a platform of BLM-based high throughput drug screening for ion channel proteins.

  8. Single Channel Activity from Ion Channels in Engineered Tethered Bilayer Membrane Arrays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keizer, Henk; Fine, Daniel; K"{O}Per, Ingo; Anderson, Peter

    2005-11-01

    The demand for rapid in situ detection of chemical and biological analytes at high sensitivity has increased interest in the development of biosensors like the commercially available compact glucose sensor. Engineered membrane bound ion channels are promising biological receptors since they would allow for the stochastic detection of analytes at high sensitivity, they can be mutated to alter sensitivity, and they produce a well-defined read-out that is inherently suitable for digitization. In order to perform stochastic sensing it is necessary to be able to measure the ion currents associated with single ion channel opening and closing events. Although sensors based on supported bilayers containing various pore forming proteins have been described, none of these systems have recorded single channel activity. Here we describe the measurement of stochastic activity from synthetic single ion channels, based on the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) from Torpedo californica, inserted into individual pixels of a microelectrode array device. The limited size of the gold sense pad surface, 100x100 μm, and the electrical stability of the overlying lipid bilayer membrane make each pixel sensitive enough to measure single ion channel currents in the picoampere range.

  9. Molecular candidates for cardiac stretch-activated ion channels

    PubMed Central

    Reed, Alistair; Kohl, Peter; Peyronnet, Rémi

    2014-01-01

    The heart is a mechanically-active organ that dynamically senses its own mechanical environment. This environment is constantly changing, on a beat-by-beat basis, with additional modulation by respiratory activity and changes in posture or physical activity, and further overlaid with more slowly occurring physiological (e.g. pregnancy, endurance training) or pathological challenges (e.g. pressure or volume overload). Far from being a simple pump, the heart detects changes in mechanical demand and adjusts its performance accordingly, both via heart rate and stroke volume alteration. Many of the underlying regulatory processes are encoded intracardially, and are thus maintained even in heart transplant recipients. Over the last three decades, molecular substrates of cardiac mechanosensitivity have gained increasing recognition in the scientific and clinical communities. Nonetheless, the processes underlying this phenomenon are still poorly understood. Stretch-activated ion channels (SAC) have been identified as one contributor to mechanosensitive autoregulation of the heartbeat. They also appear to play important roles in the development of cardiac pathologies – most notably stretch-induced arrhythmias. As recently discovered, some established cardiac drugs act, in part at least, via mechanotransduction pathways suggesting SAC as potential therapeutic targets. Clearly, identification of the molecular substrate of cardiac SAC is of clinical importance and a number of candidate proteins have been identified. At the same time, experimental studies have revealed variable–and at times contrasting–results regarding their function. Further complication arises from the fact that many ion channels that are not classically defined as SAC, including voltage and ligand-gated ion channels, can respond to mechanical stimulation. Here, we summarise what is known about the molecular substrate of the main candidates for cardiac SAC, before identifying potential further

  10. Ion permeation of AQP6 water channel protein. Single channel recordings after Hg2+ activation.

    PubMed

    Hazama, Akihiro; Kozono, David; Guggino, William B; Agre, Peter; Yasui, Masato

    2002-08-01

    Aquaporin-6 (AQP6) has recently been identified as an intracellular vesicle water channel with anion permeability that is activated by low pH or HgCl2. Here we present direct evidence of AQP6 channel gating using patch clamp techniques. Cell-attached patch recordings of AQP6 expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes indicated that AQP6 is a gated channel with intermediate conductance (49 picosiemens in 100 mm NaCl) induced by 10 microm HgCl2. Current-voltage relationships were linear, and open probability was fairly constant at any given voltage, indicating that Hg2+-induced AQP6 conductance is voltage-independent. The excised outside-out patch recording revealed rapid activation of AQP6 channels immediately after application of 10 microm HgCl2. Reduction of both Na+ and Cl- concentrations from 100 to 30 mm did not shift the reversal potential of the Hg2+-induced AQP6 current, suggesting that Na+ is as permeable as Cl-. The Na+ permeability of Hg2+-induced AQP6 current was further demonstrated by 22Na+ influx measurements. Site-directed mutagenesis identified Cys-155 and Cys-190 residues as the sites of Hg2+ activation both for water permeability and ion conductance. The Hill coefficient from the concentration-response curve for Hg2+-induced conductance was 1.1 +/- 0.3. These data provide the first evidence of AQP6 channel gating at a single-channel level and suggest that each monomer contains the pore region for ions based on the number of Hg2+-binding sites and the kinetics of Hg2+-activation of the channel. PMID:12034750

  11. Ion channels activated by light in Limulus ventral photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    1986-01-01

    The light-activated conductance of Limulus ventral photoreceptors was studied using the patch-clamp technique. Channels (40 pS) were observed whose probability of opening was greatly increased by light. In some cells the latency of channel activation was nearly the same as that of the macroscopic response, while in other cells the channel latency was much greater. Like the macroscopic conductance, channel activity was reduced by light adaptation but enhanced by the intracellular injection of the calcium chelator EGTA. The latter observation indicates that channel activation was not a secondary result of the light-induced rise in intracellular calcium. A two-microelectrode voltage-clamp method was used to measure the voltage dependence of the light-activated macroscopic conductance. It was found that this conductance is constant over a wide voltage range more negative than zero, but it increases markedly at positive voltages. The single channel currents measured over this same voltage range show that the single channel conductance is independent of voltage, but that channel gating properties are dependent on voltage. Both the mean channel open time and the opening rate increase at positive voltages. These properties change in a manner consistent with the voltage dependence of the macroscopic conductance. The broad range of similarities between the macroscopic and single channel currents supports the conclusion that the 40-pS channel that we have observed is the principal channel underlying the response to light in these photoreceptors. PMID:2419481

  12. Phosphoinositides regulate ion channels

    PubMed Central

    Hille, Bertil; Dickson, Eamonn J.; Kruse, Martin; Vivas, Oscar; Suh, Byung-Chang

    2014-01-01

    Phosphoinositides serve as signature motifs for different cellular membranes and often are required for the function of membrane proteins. Here, we summarize clear evidence supporting the concept that many ion channels are regulated by membrane phosphoinositides. We describe tools used to test their dependence on phosphoinositides, especially phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate, and consider mechanisms and biological meanings of phosphoinositide regulation of ion channels. This lipid regulation can underlie changes of channel activity and electrical excitability in response to receptors. Since different intracellular membranes have different lipid compositions, the activity of ion channels still in transit towards their final destination membrane may be suppressed until they reach an optimal lipid environment. PMID:25241941

  13. Ion channels and cancer.

    PubMed

    Kunzelmann, Karl

    2005-06-01

    Membrane ion channels are essential for cell proliferation and appear to have a role in the development of cancer. This has initially been demonstrated for potassium channels and is meanwhile also suggested for other cation channels and Cl- channels. For some of these channels, like voltage-gated ether à go-go and Ca2+-dependent potassium channels as well as calcium and chloride channels, a cell cycle-dependent function has been demonstrated. Along with other membrane conductances, these channels control the membrane voltage and Ca2+ signaling in proliferating cells. Homeostatic parameters, such as the intracellular ion concentration, cytosolic pH and cell volume, are also governed by the activity of ion channels. Thus it will be an essential task for future studies to unravel cell cycle-specific effects of ion channels and non-specific homeostatic functions. When studying the role of ion channels in cancer cells, it is indispensable to choose experimental conditions that come close to the in vivo situation. Thus, environmental parameters, such as low oxygen pressure, acidosis and exposure to serum proteins, have to be taken into account. In order to achieve clinical application, more studies on the original cancer tissue are required, and improved animal models. Finally, it will be essential to generate more potent and specific inhibitors of ion channels to overcome the shortcomings of some of the current approaches.

  14. Ferroelectric active models of ion channels in biomembranes.

    PubMed

    Bystrov, V S; Lakhno, V D; Molchanov, M

    1994-06-21

    Ferroactive models of ion channels in the theory of biological membranes are presented. The main equations are derived and their possible solutions are shown. The estimates of some experimentally measured parameters are given. Possible physical consequences of the suggested models are listed and the possibility of their experimental finding is discussed. The functioning of the biomembrane's ion channel is qualitatively described on the basis of the suggested ferroactive models. The main directions and prospects for development of the ferroactive approach to the theory of biological membranes and their structures are indicated.

  15. Ion Channels in Regulation of Neuronal Regenerative Activities

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Dongdong; Yu, Shan Ping; Wei, Ling

    2014-01-01

    The regeneration of the nervous system is achieved by the regrowth of damaged neuronal axons, the restoration of damaged nerve cells, and the generation of new neurons to replace those that have been lost. In the central nervous system the regenerative ability is limited by various factors including damaged oligodendrocytes that are essential for neuronal axon myelination, an emerging glial scar, and secondary injury in the surrounding areas. Stem cell transplantation therapy has been shown to be a promising approach to treating neurodegenerative diseases because of the regenerative capability of stem cells that secrete neurotrophic factors and give rise to differentiated progeny. However, some issues of stem cell transplantation, such as survival, homing, and efficiency of neural differentiation after transplantation, still need to be improved. Ion channels allow for the exchange of ions between the intra- and extracellular spaces or between the cytoplasm and organelles. These ion channels maintain the ion homeostasis in the brain and play a key role in regulating the physiological function of the nervous system and allowing the processing of neuronal signals. In seeking a potential strategy to enhance the efficacy of stem cell therapy in neurological and neurodegenerative diseases, this review briefly summarizes the roles of ion channels in cell proliferation, differentiation, migration, chemotropic axon guidance of growth cones and axon outgrowth after injury. PMID:24399572

  16. Cholesterol and Ion Channels

    PubMed Central

    Levitan, Irena; Fang, Yun; Rosenhouse-Dantsker, Avia; Romanenko, Victor

    2010-01-01

    A variety of ion channels, including members of all major ion channel families, have been shown to be regulated by changes in the level of membrane cholesterol and partition into cholesterol-rich membrane domains. In general, several types of cholesterol effects have been described. The most common effect is suppression of channel activity by an increase in membrane cholesterol, an effect that was described for several types of inwardly-rectifying K+ channels, voltage-gated K+ channels, Ca+2 sensitive K+ channels, voltage-gated Na+ channels, N-type voltage-gated Ca+2 channels and volume-regulated anion channels. In contrast, several types of ion channels, such as epithelial amiloride-sensitive Na+ channels and Transient Receptor Potential channels, as well as some of the types of inwardly-rectifying and voltage-gated K+ channels were shown to be inhibited by cholesterol depletion. Cholesterol was also shown to alter the kinetic properties and current-voltage dependence of several voltage-gated channels. Finally, maintaining membrane cholesterol level is required for coupling ion channels to signalling cascades. In terms of the mechanisms, three general mechanisms have been proposed: (i) specific interactions between cholesterol and the channel protein, (ii) changes in the physical properties of the membrane bilayer and (iii) maintaining the scaffolds for protein-protein interactions. The goal of this review is to describe systematically the role of cholesterol in regulation of the major types of ion channels and to discuss these effects in the context of the models proposed. PMID:20213557

  17. Energetics of Ion Permeation in an Open-Activated TRPV1 Channel.

    PubMed

    Jorgensen, Christian; Furini, Simone; Domene, Carmen

    2016-09-20

    Ion channels enable diffusion of ions down physiological electrochemical gradients. Modulation of ion permeation is crucial for the physiological functioning of cells, and misregulation of ion channels is linked to a myriad of channelopathies. The ion permeation mechanism in the transient receptor potential (TRP) ion channel family is currently not understood at an atomistic level. In this work, we employed a simulation strategy for ion permeation (molecular-dynamics simulations with bias-exchange metadynamics) to study and compare monovalent (Na(+), K(+)) ion permeation in the open-activated TRP vanniloid-1 (TRPV1) ion channel. Using ∼3.6 μs of simulation trajectories, we obtained atomistic evidence for the nonselective nature of TRPV1. Our analysis shows that solvated monovalent ions permeate through the selectivity filter with comparable energetic barriers via a two-site mechanism. Finally, we confirmed that an intracellular binding site is located between the intracellular gate residues I679 and E684. PMID:27653480

  18. Energetics of Ion Permeation in an Open-Activated TRPV1 Channel.

    PubMed

    Jorgensen, Christian; Furini, Simone; Domene, Carmen

    2016-09-20

    Ion channels enable diffusion of ions down physiological electrochemical gradients. Modulation of ion permeation is crucial for the physiological functioning of cells, and misregulation of ion channels is linked to a myriad of channelopathies. The ion permeation mechanism in the transient receptor potential (TRP) ion channel family is currently not understood at an atomistic level. In this work, we employed a simulation strategy for ion permeation (molecular-dynamics simulations with bias-exchange metadynamics) to study and compare monovalent (Na(+), K(+)) ion permeation in the open-activated TRP vanniloid-1 (TRPV1) ion channel. Using ∼3.6 μs of simulation trajectories, we obtained atomistic evidence for the nonselective nature of TRPV1. Our analysis shows that solvated monovalent ions permeate through the selectivity filter with comparable energetic barriers via a two-site mechanism. Finally, we confirmed that an intracellular binding site is located between the intracellular gate residues I679 and E684.

  19. Ion channels in microbes

    PubMed Central

    Martinac, Boris; Saimi, Yoshiro; Kung, Ching

    2008-01-01

    Summary Studies of ion channels have for long been dominated by the animalcentric, if not anthropocentric view of physiology. The structures and activities of ion channels had, however, evolved long before the appearance of complex multicellular organisms on Earth. The diversity of ion channels existing in cellular membranes of prokaryotes is a good example. Though at first it may appear as a paradox that most of what we know about the structure of eukaryotic ion channels is based on the structure of bacterial channels, this should not be surprising given the evolutionary relatedness of all living organisms and suitability of microbial cells for structural studies of biological macromolecules in a laboratory environment. Genome sequences of the human as well as various microbial, plant and animal organisms unambiguously established the evolutionary links, whereas crystallographic studies of the structures of major types of ion channels published over the last decade clearly demonstrated the advantage of using microbes as experimental organisms. The purpose of this review is not only to provide an account of acquired knowledge on microbial ion channels but also to show that the study of microbes and their ion channels may also hold a key to solving unresolved molecular mysteries in the future. PMID:18923187

  20. Fe(2+) substrate transport through ferritin protein cage ion channels influences enzyme activity and biomineralization.

    PubMed

    Behera, Rabindra K; Torres, Rodrigo; Tosha, Takehiko; Bradley, Justin M; Goulding, Celia W; Theil, Elizabeth C

    2015-09-01

    Ferritins, complex protein nanocages, form internal iron-oxy minerals (Fe2O3·H2O), by moving cytoplasmic Fe(2+) through intracage ion channels to cage-embedded enzyme (2Fe(2+)/O2 oxidoreductase) sites where ferritin biomineralization is initiated. The products of ferritin enzyme activity are diferric oxy complexes that are mineral precursors. Conserved, carboxylate amino acid side chains of D127 from each of three cage subunits project into ferritin ion channels near the interior ion channel exits and, thus, could direct Fe(2+) movement to the internal enzyme sites. Ferritin D127E was designed and analyzed to probe properties of ion channel size and carboxylate crowding near the internal ion channel opening. Glu side chains are chemically equivalent to, but longer by one -CH2 than Asp, side chains. Ferritin D127E assembled into normal protein cages, but diferric peroxo formation (enzyme activity) was not observed, when measured at 650 nm (DFP λ max). The caged biomineral formation, measured at 350 nm in the middle of the broad, nonspecific Fe(3+)-O absorption band, was slower. Structural differences (protein X-ray crystallography), between ion channels in wild type and ferritin D127E, which correlate with the inhibition of ferritin D127E enzyme activity include: (1) narrower interior ion channel openings/pores; (2) increased numbers of ion channel protein-metal binding sites, and (3) a change in ion channel electrostatics due to carboxylate crowding. The contributions of ion channel size and structure to ferritin activity reflect metal ion transport in ion channels are precisely regulated both in ferritin protein nanocages and membranes of living cells.

  1. Fe2+ Substrate Transport through Ferritin Protein Cage Ion Channels Influences Enzyme Activity and Biomineralization

    PubMed Central

    Behera, Rabindra K.; Torres, Rodrigo; Tosha, Takehiko; Bradley, Justin M.; Goulding, Celia W.; Theil, Elizabeth C.

    2015-01-01

    Ferritins, complex protein nanocages, form internal iron-oxy minerals (Fe2O3.H2O), by moving cytoplasmic Fe2+ through intracage ion channels to cage-embedded enzyme (2Fe2+/O2 oxidoreductase) sites where ferritin biomineralization is initiated. The products of ferritin enzyme activity are diferric oxy complexes that are mineral precursors. Conserved, carboxylate amino acid side chains of D127 from each of three cage subunits project into ferritin ion channels near the interior ion channel exits and, thus, could direct Fe2+ movement to the internal enzyme sites. Ferritin D127E was designed and analyzed to probe properties of ion channel size and carboxylate crowding near the internal ion channel opening. Glu side chains are chemically equivalent to, but longer by one – CH2 than Asp, side chains. Ferritin D127E assembled into normal protein cages, but diferric peroxo formation (enzyme activity) was not observed, when measured at 650nm (DFP λmax). The caged biomineral formation, measured at 350 nm in the middle of the broad, nonspecific Fe3+-O absorption band, was slower. Structural differences (protein X-ray crystallography), between ion channels in wild type and ferritin D127E, which correlate with the inhibition of ferritin D127E enzyme activity include: 1. narrower interior ion channel openings/pores, 2. increased numbers of ion channel protein-metal binding sites, and 3. a change in ion channel electrostatics due to carboxylate crowding. The contributions of ion channel size and structure to ferritin activity reflect metal ion transport in ion channels are precisely regulated both in ferritin protein nanocages and membranes of living cells. PMID:26202907

  2. Active membrane having uniform physico-chemically functionalized ion channels

    DOEpatents

    Gerald, II, Rex E; Ruscic, Katarina J; Sears, Devin N; Smith, Luis J; Klingler, Robert J; Rathke, Jerome W

    2012-09-24

    The present invention relates to a physicochemically-active porous membrane for electrochemical cells that purports dual functions: an electronic insulator (separator) and a unidirectional ion-transporter (electrolyte). The electrochemical cell membrane is activated for the transport of ions by contiguous ion coordination sites on the interior two-dimensional surfaces of the trans-membrane unidirectional pores. One dimension of the pore surface has a macroscopic length (1 nm-1000 .mu.m) and is directed parallel to the direction of an electric field, which is produced between the cathode and the anode electrodes of an electrochemical cell. The membrane material is designed to have physicochemical interaction with ions. Control of the extent of the interactions between the ions and the interior pore walls of the membrane and other materials, chemicals, or structures contained within the pores provides adjustability of the ionic conductivity of the membrane.

  3. Ion channels in plants

    PubMed Central

    Baluška, František; Mancuso, Stefano

    2013-01-01

    In his recent opus magnum review paper published in the October issue of Physiology Reviews, Rainer Hedrich summarized the field of plant ion channels.1 He started from the earliest electric recordings initiated by Charles Darwin of carnivorous Dionaea muscipula,1,2 known as Venus flytrap, and covered the topic extensively up to the most recent discoveries on Shaker-type potassium channels, anion channels of SLAC/SLAH families, and ligand-activated channels of glutamate receptor-like type (GLR) and cyclic nucleotide-gated channels (CNGC).1 PMID:23221742

  4. On the estimation of cooperativity in ion channel kinetics: activation free energy and kinetic mechanism of Shaker K+ channel.

    PubMed

    Banerjee, Kinshuk; Das, Biswajit; Gangopadhyay, Gautam

    2013-04-28

    In this paper, we have explored generic criteria of cooperative behavior in ion channel kinetics treating it on the same footing with multistate receptor-ligand binding in a compact theoretical framework. We have shown that the characterization of cooperativity of ion channels in terms of the Hill coefficient violates the standard Hill criteria defined for allosteric cooperativity of ligand binding. To resolve the issue, an alternative measure of cooperativity is proposed here in terms of the cooperativity index that sets a unified criteria for both the systems. More importantly, for ion channel this index can be very useful to describe the cooperative kinetics as it can be readily determined from the experimentally measured ionic current combined with theoretical modelling. We have analyzed the correlation between the voltage value and slope of the voltage-activation curve at the half-activation point and consequently determined the standard free energy of activation of the ion channel using two well-established mechanisms of cooperativity, namely, Koshland-Nemethy-Filmer (KNF) and Monod-Wyman-Changeux (MWC) models. Comparison of the theoretical results for both the models with appropriate experimental data of mutational perturbation of Shaker K(+) channel supports the experimental fact that the KNF model is more suitable to describe the cooperative behavior of this class of ion channels, whereas the performance of the MWC model is unsatisfactory. We have also estimated the mechanistic performance through standard free energy of channel activation for both the models and proposed a possible functional disadvantage in the MWC scheme.

  5. Zinc activates damage-sensing TRPA1 ion channels

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Hongzhen; Bandell, Michael; Petrus, Matt J.; Zhu, Michael X.; Patapoutian, Ardem

    2009-01-01

    Zinc is an essential biological trace element. It is required for the structure or function of over 300 proteins, and is increasingly recognized for its role in cell signaling. However, high concentrations of zinc have cytotoxic effects, and overexposure to zinc can cause pain and inflammation through unknown mechanisms. Here we show that zinc excites nociceptive somatosensory neurons and causes nociception in mice through TRPA1, a cation channel previously shown to mediate the pungency of wasabi and cinnamon through cysteine-modification. Zinc activates TRPA1 through a novel mechanism that requires zinc influx through TRPA1 channels and subsequent activation via specific intracellular cysteine and histidine residues. TRPA1 is highly sensitive to intracellular zinc, as low nanomolar concentrations activate TRPA1 and modulate its sensitivity. These findings identify TRPA1 as a major target for the sensory effects of zinc, and support an emerging role for zinc as a signaling molecule that can modulate sensory transmission. PMID:19202543

  6. Modulation of bone remodeling via mechanically activated ion channels

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Duncan, Randall L. (Principal Investigator)

    1996-01-01

    A critical factor in the maintenance of bone mass is the physical forces imposed upon the skeleton. Removal of these forces, such as in a weightless environment, results in a rapid loss of bone, whereas application of exogenous mechanical strain has been shown to increase bone formation. Numerous flight and ground-based experiments indicate that the osteoblast is the key bone cell influenced by mechanical stimulation. Aside from early transient fluctuations in response to unloading, osteoclast number and activity seem unaffected by removal of strain. However, bone formation is drastically reduced in weightlessness and osteoblasts respond to mechanical strain with an increase in the activity of a number of second messenger pathways resulting in increased anabolic activity. Unfortunately, the mechanism by which the osteoblast converts physical stimuli into a biochemical message, a process we have termed biochemical coupling, remains elusive. Prior to the application of this grant, we had characterized a mechanosensitive, cation nonselective channel (SA-cat) in osteoblast-like osteosarcoma cells that we proposed is the initial signalling mechanism for mechanotransduction. During the execution of this grant, we have made considerable progress to further characterize this channel as well as to determine its role in the osteoblastic response to mechanical strain. To achieve these goals, we combined electrophysiologic techniques with cellular and molecular biology methods to examine the role of these channels in the normal function of the osteoblast in vitro.

  7. Calcium ions open a selectivity filter gate during activation of the MthK potassium channel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Posson, David J.; Rusinova, Radda; Andersen, Olaf S.; Nimigean, Crina M.

    2015-09-01

    Ion channel opening and closing are fundamental to cellular signalling and homeostasis. Gates that control K+ channel activity were found both at an intracellular pore constriction and within the selectivity filter near the extracellular side but the specific location of the gate that opens Ca2+-activated K+ channels has remained elusive. Using the Methanobacterium thermoautotrophicum homologue (MthK) and a stopped-flow fluorometric assay for fast channel activation, we show that intracellular quaternary ammonium blockers bind to closed MthK channels. Since the blockers are known to bind inside a central channel cavity, past the intracellular entryway, the gate must be within the selectivity filter. Furthermore, the blockers access the closed channel slower than the open channel, suggesting that the intracellular entryway narrows upon pore closure, without preventing access of either the blockers or the smaller K+. Thus, Ca2+-dependent gating in MthK occurs at the selectivity filter with coupled movement of the intracellular helices.

  8. Calcium ions open a selectivity filter gate during activation of the MthK potassium channel.

    PubMed

    Posson, David J; Rusinova, Radda; Andersen, Olaf S; Nimigean, Crina M

    2015-01-01

    Ion channel opening and closing are fundamental to cellular signalling and homeostasis. Gates that control K(+) channel activity were found both at an intracellular pore constriction and within the selectivity filter near the extracellular side but the specific location of the gate that opens Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channels has remained elusive. Using the Methanobacterium thermoautotrophicum homologue (MthK) and a stopped-flow fluorometric assay for fast channel activation, we show that intracellular quaternary ammonium blockers bind to closed MthK channels. Since the blockers are known to bind inside a central channel cavity, past the intracellular entryway, the gate must be within the selectivity filter. Furthermore, the blockers access the closed channel slower than the open channel, suggesting that the intracellular entryway narrows upon pore closure, without preventing access of either the blockers or the smaller K(+). Thus, Ca(2+)-dependent gating in MthK occurs at the selectivity filter with coupled movement of the intracellular helices.

  9. Molecular mechanism of ATP binding and ion channel activation in P2X receptors

    SciTech Connect

    Hattori, Motoyuki; Gouaux, Eric

    2012-10-24

    P2X receptors are trimeric ATP-activated ion channels permeable to Na{sup +}, K{sup +} and Ca{sup 2+}. The seven P2X receptor subtypes are implicated in physiological processes that include modulation of synaptic transmission, contraction of smooth muscle, secretion of chemical transmitters and regulation of immune responses. Despite the importance of P2X receptors in cellular physiology, the three-dimensional composition of the ATP-binding site, the structural mechanism of ATP-dependent ion channel gating and the architecture of the open ion channel pore are unknown. Here we report the crystal structure of the zebrafish P2X4 receptor in complex with ATP and a new structure of the apo receptor. The agonist-bound structure reveals a previously unseen ATP-binding motif and an open ion channel pore. ATP binding induces cleft closure of the nucleotide-binding pocket, flexing of the lower body {beta}-sheet and a radial expansion of the extracellular vestibule. The structural widening of the extracellular vestibule is directly coupled to the opening of the ion channel pore by way of an iris-like expansion of the transmembrane helices. The structural delineation of the ATP-binding site and the ion channel pore, together with the conformational changes associated with ion channel gating, will stimulate development of new pharmacological agents.

  10. Chemoselective tarantula toxins report voltage activation of wild-type ion channels in live cells.

    PubMed

    Tilley, Drew C; Eum, Kenneth S; Fletcher-Taylor, Sebastian; Austin, Daniel C; Dupré, Christophe; Patrón, Lilian A; Garcia, Rita L; Lam, Kit; Yarov-Yarovoy, Vladimir; Cohen, Bruce E; Sack, Jon T

    2014-11-01

    Electrically excitable cells, such as neurons, exhibit tremendous diversity in their firing patterns, a consequence of the complex collection of ion channels present in any specific cell. Although numerous methods are capable of measuring cellular electrical signals, understanding which types of ion channels give rise to these signals remains a significant challenge. Here, we describe exogenous probes which use a novel mechanism to report activity of voltage-gated channels. We have synthesized chemoselective derivatives of the tarantula toxin guangxitoxin-1E (GxTX), an inhibitory cystine knot peptide that binds selectively to Kv2-type voltage gated potassium channels. We find that voltage activation of Kv2.1 channels triggers GxTX dissociation, and thus GxTX binding dynamically marks Kv2 activation. We identify GxTX residues that can be replaced by thiol- or alkyne-bearing amino acids, without disrupting toxin folding or activity, and chemoselectively ligate fluorophores or affinity probes to these sites. We find that GxTX-fluorophore conjugates colocalize with Kv2.1 clusters in live cells and are released from channels activated by voltage stimuli. Kv2.1 activation can be detected with concentrations of probe that have a trivial impact on cellular currents. Chemoselective GxTX mutants conjugated to dendrimeric beads likewise bind live cells expressing Kv2.1, and the beads are released by channel activation. These optical sensors of conformational change are prototype probes that can indicate when ion channels contribute to electrical signaling. PMID:25331865

  11. Nuclear pore ion channel activity in live syncytial nuclei.

    PubMed

    Bustamante, Jose Omar

    2002-05-01

    Nuclear pore complexes (NPCs) are important nanochannels for the control of gene activity and expression. Most of our knowledge of NPC function has been derived from isolated nuclei and permeabilized cells in cell lysates/extracts. Since recent patch-clamp work has challenged the dogma that NPCs are freely permeable to small particles, a preparation of isolated living nuclei in their native liquid environment was sought and found: the syncytial nuclei in the water of the coconut Cocos nucifera. These nuclei have all properties of NPC-mediated macromolecular transport (MMT) and express foreign green fluorescent protein (GFP) plasmids. They display chromatin movement, are created by particle aggregation or by division, can grow by throwing filaments to catch material, etc. This study shows, for the first time, that living NPCs engaged in MMT do not transport physiological ions - a phenomenon that explains observations of nucleocytoplasmic ion gradients. Since coconuts are inexpensive (less than US$1/nut per litre), this robust preparation may contribute to our understanding of NPCs and cell nucleus and to the development of biotechnologies for the production of DNA, RNA and proteins.

  12. Cardiac ion channels

    PubMed Central

    Priest, Birgit T; McDermott, Jeff S

    2015-01-01

    Ion channels are critical for all aspects of cardiac function, including rhythmicity and contractility. Consequently, ion channels are key targets for therapeutics aimed at cardiac pathophysiologies such as atrial fibrillation or angina. At the same time, off-target interactions of drugs with cardiac ion channels can be the cause of unwanted side effects. This manuscript aims to review the physiology and pharmacology of key cardiac ion channels. The intent is to highlight recent developments for therapeutic development, as well as elucidate potential mechanisms for drug-induced cardiac side effects, rather than present an in-depth review of each channel subtype. PMID:26556552

  13. Nasal Potential Difference Measurements to Assess CFTR Ion Channel Activity

    PubMed Central

    Clancy, Jean-Paul; Wilschanski, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Nasal potential difference is used to measure the voltage across the nasal epithelium, which results from transepithelial ion transport and reflects in part CFTR function. The electrophysiologic abnormality in cystic fibrosis was first described 30 years ago and correlates with features of the CF phenotype. NPD is an important in vivo research and diagnostic tool, and is used to assess the efficacy of new treatments such as gene therapy and ion transport modulators. This chapter will elaborate on the electrophysiological principles behind the test, the equipment required, the methods, and the analysis of the data. PMID:21594779

  14. Multi-ion occupancy alters gating in high-conductance, Ca(2+)-activated K+ channels

    PubMed Central

    1991-01-01

    In this study, single-channel recordings of high-conductance Ca(2+)- activated K+ channels from rat skeletal muscle inserted into planar lipid bilayer were used to analyze the effects of two ionic blockers, Ba2+ and Na+, on the channel's gating reactions. The gating equilibrium of the Ba(2+)-blocked channel was investigated through the kinetics of the discrete blockade induced by Ba2+ ions. Gating properties of Na(+)- blocked channels could be directly characterized due to the very high rates of Na+ blocking/unblocking reactions. While in the presence of K+ (5 mM) in the external solution Ba2+ is known to stabilize the open state of the blocked channel (Miller, C., R. Latorre, and I. Reisin. 1987. J. Gen. Physiol. 90:427-449), we show that the divalent blocker stabilizes the closed-blocked state if permeant ions are removed from the external solution (K+ less than 10 microM). Ionic substitutions in the outer solution induce changes in the gating equilibrium of the Ba(2+)-blocked channel that are tightly correlated to the inhibition of Ba2+ dissociation by external monovalent cations. In permeant ion-free external solutions, blockade of the channel by internal Na+ induces a shift (around 15 mV) in the open probability--voltage curve toward more depolarized potentials, indicating that Na+ induces a stabilization of the closed-blocked state, as does Ba2+ under the same conditions. A kinetic analysis of the Na(+)-blocked channel indicates that the closed- blocked state is favored mainly by a decrease in opening rate. Addition of 1 mM external K+ completely inhibits the shift in the activation curve without affecting the Na(+)-induced reduction in the apparent single-channel amplitude. The results suggest that in the absence of external permeant ions internal blockers regulate the permeant ion occupancy of a site near the outer end of the channel. Occupancy of this site appears to modulate gating primarily by speeding the rate of channel opening. PMID:2056305

  15. A unifying mechanism for cancer cell death through ion channel activation by HAMLET.

    PubMed

    Storm, Petter; Klausen, Thomas Kjaer; Trulsson, Maria; Ho C S, James; Dosnon, Marion; Westergren, Tomas; Chao, Yinxia; Rydström, Anna; Yang, Henry; Pedersen, Stine Falsig; Svanborg, Catharina

    2013-01-01

    Ion channels and ion fluxes control many aspects of tissue homeostasis. During oncogenic transformation, critical ion channel functions may be perturbed but conserved tumor specific ion fluxes remain to be defined. Here we used the tumoricidal protein-lipid complex HAMLET as a probe to identify ion fluxes involved in tumor cell death. We show that HAMLET activates a non-selective cation current, which reached a magnitude of 2.74±0.88 nA within 1.43±0.13 min from HAMLET application. Rapid ion fluxes were essential for HAMLET-induced carcinoma cell death as inhibitors (amiloride, BaCl2), preventing the changes in free cellular Na(+) and K(+) concentrations also prevented essential steps accompanying carcinoma cell death, including changes in morphology, uptake, global transcription, and MAP kinase activation. Through global transcriptional analysis and phosphorylation arrays, a strong ion flux dependent p38 MAPK response was detected and inhibition of p38 signaling delayed HAMLET-induced death. Healthy, differentiated cells were resistant to HAMLET challenge, which was accompanied by innate immunity rather than p38-activation. The results suggest, for the first time, a unifying mechanism for the initiation of HAMLET's broad and rapid lethal effect on tumor cells. These findings are particularly significant in view of HAMLET's documented therapeutic efficacy in human studies and animal models. The results also suggest that HAMLET offers a two-tiered therapeutic approach, killing cancer cells while stimulating an innate immune response in surrounding healthy tissues.

  16. The bile acid-sensitive ion channel (BASIC) is activated by alterations of its membrane environment.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Axel; Lenzig, Pia; Oslender-Bujotzek, Adrienne; Kusch, Jana; Lucas, Susana Dias; Gründer, Stefan; Wiemuth, Dominik

    2014-01-01

    The bile acid-sensitive ion channel (BASIC) is a member of the DEG/ENaC family of ion channels. Channels of this family are characterized by a common structure, their physiological functions and modes of activation, however, are diverse. Rat BASIC is expressed in brain, liver and intestinal tract and activated by bile acids. The physiological function of BASIC and its mechanism of bile acid activation remain a puzzle. Here we addressed the question whether amphiphilic bile acids activate BASIC by directly binding to the channel or indirectly by altering the properties of the surrounding membrane. We show that membrane-active substances other than bile acids also affect the activity of BASIC and that activation by bile acids and other membrane-active substances is non-additive, suggesting that BASIC is sensitive for changes in its membrane environment. Furthermore based on results from chimeras between BASIC and ASIC1a, we show that the extracellular and the transmembrane domains are important for membrane sensitivity.

  17. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus envelope protein ion channel activity promotes virus fitness and pathogenesis.

    PubMed

    Nieto-Torres, Jose L; DeDiego, Marta L; Verdiá-Báguena, Carmina; Jimenez-Guardeño, Jose M; Regla-Nava, Jose A; Fernandez-Delgado, Raul; Castaño-Rodriguez, Carlos; Alcaraz, Antonio; Torres, Jaume; Aguilella, Vicente M; Enjuanes, Luis

    2014-05-01

    Deletion of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (SARS-CoV) envelope (E) gene attenuates the virus. E gene encodes a small multifunctional protein that possesses ion channel (IC) activity, an important function in virus-host interaction. To test the contribution of E protein IC activity in virus pathogenesis, two recombinant mouse-adapted SARS-CoVs, each containing one single amino acid mutation that suppressed ion conductivity, were engineered. After serial infections, mutant viruses, in general, incorporated compensatory mutations within E gene that rendered active ion channels. Furthermore, IC activity conferred better fitness in competition assays, suggesting that ion conductivity represents an advantage for the virus. Interestingly, mice infected with viruses displaying E protein IC activity, either with the wild-type E protein sequence or with the revertants that restored ion transport, rapidly lost weight and died. In contrast, mice infected with mutants lacking IC activity, which did not incorporate mutations within E gene during the experiment, recovered from disease and most survived. Knocking down E protein IC activity did not significantly affect virus growth in infected mice but decreased edema accumulation, the major determinant of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) leading to death. Reduced edema correlated with lung epithelia integrity and proper localization of Na+/K+ ATPase, which participates in edema resolution. Levels of inflammasome-activated IL-1β were reduced in the lung airways of the animals infected with viruses lacking E protein IC activity, indicating that E protein IC function is required for inflammasome activation. Reduction of IL-1β was accompanied by diminished amounts of TNF and IL-6 in the absence of E protein ion conductivity. All these key cytokines promote the progression of lung damage and ARDS pathology. In conclusion, E protein IC activity represents a new determinant for SARS-CoV virulence. PMID:24788150

  18. Ultrasound modulates ion channel currents.

    PubMed

    Kubanek, Jan; Shi, Jingyi; Marsh, Jon; Chen, Di; Deng, Cheri; Cui, Jianmin

    2016-01-01

    Transcranial focused ultrasound (US) has been demonstrated to stimulate neurons in animals and humans, but the mechanism of this effect is unknown. It has been hypothesized that US, a mechanical stimulus, may mediate cellular discharge by activating mechanosensitive ion channels embedded within cellular membranes. To test this hypothesis, we expressed potassium and sodium mechanosensitive ion channels (channels of the two-pore-domain potassium family (K2P) including TREK-1, TREK-2, TRAAK; NaV1.5) in the Xenopus oocyte system. Focused US (10 MHz, 0.3-4.9 W/cm(2)) modulated the currents flowing through the ion channels on average by up to 23%, depending on channel and stimulus intensity. The effects were reversible upon repeated stimulation and were abolished when a channel blocker (ranolazine to block NaV1.5, BaCl2 to block K2P channels) was applied to the solution. These data reveal at the single cell level that focused US modulates the activity of specific ion channels to mediate transmembrane currents. These findings open doors to investigations of the effects of  US on ion channels expressed in neurons, retinal cells, or cardiac cells, which may lead to important medical applications. The findings may also pave the way to the development of sonogenetics: a non-invasive, US-based analogue of optogenetics. PMID:27112990

  19. Ultrasound modulates ion channel currents

    PubMed Central

    Kubanek, Jan; Shi, Jingyi; Marsh, Jon; Chen, Di; Deng, Cheri; Cui, Jianmin

    2016-01-01

    Transcranial focused ultrasound (US) has been demonstrated to stimulate neurons in animals and humans, but the mechanism of this effect is unknown. It has been hypothesized that US, a mechanical stimulus, may mediate cellular discharge by activating mechanosensitive ion channels embedded within cellular membranes. To test this hypothesis, we expressed potassium and sodium mechanosensitive ion channels (channels of the two-pore-domain potassium family (K2P) including TREK-1, TREK-2, TRAAK; NaV1.5) in the Xenopus oocyte system. Focused US (10 MHz, 0.3–4.9 W/cm2) modulated the currents flowing through the ion channels on average by up to 23%, depending on channel and stimulus intensity. The effects were reversible upon repeated stimulation and were abolished when a channel blocker (ranolazine to block NaV1.5, BaCl2 to block K2P channels) was applied to the solution. These data reveal at the single cell level that focused US modulates the activity of specific ion channels to mediate transmembrane currents. These findings open doors to investigations of the effects of  US on ion channels expressed in neurons, retinal cells, or cardiac cells, which may lead to important medical applications. The findings may also pave the way to the development of sonogenetics: a non-invasive, US-based analogue of optogenetics. PMID:27112990

  20. Photocontrol of Voltage-Gated Ion Channel Activity by Azobenzene Trimethylammonium Bromide in Neonatal Rat Cardiomyocytes

    PubMed Central

    Frolova, Sheyda R.; Gaiko, Olga; Tsvelaya, Valeriya A.; Pimenov, Oleg Y.; Agladze, Konstantin I.

    2016-01-01

    The ability of azobenzene trimethylammonium bromide (azoTAB) to sensitize cardiac tissue excitability to light was recently reported. The dark, thermally relaxed trans- isomer of azoTAB suppressed spontaneous activity and excitation propagation speed, whereas the cis- isomer had no detectable effect on the electrical properties of cardiomyocyte monolayers. As the membrane potential of cardiac cells is mainly controlled by activity of voltage-gated ion channels, this study examined whether the sensitization effect of azoTAB was exerted primarily via the modulation of voltage-gated ion channel activity. The effects of trans- and cis- isomers of azoTAB on voltage-dependent sodium (INav), calcium (ICav), and potassium (IKv) currents in isolated neonatal rat cardiomyocytes were investigated using the whole-cell patch-clamp technique. The experiments showed that azoTAB modulated ion currents, causing suppression of sodium (Na+) and calcium (Ca2+) currents and potentiation of net potassium (K+) currents. This finding confirms that azoTAB-effect on cardiac tissue excitability do indeed result from modulation of voltage-gated ion channels responsible for action potential. PMID:27015602

  1. SecA Alone Can Promote Protein Translocation and Ion Channel Activity

    PubMed Central

    Hsieh, Ying-hsin; Zhang, Hao; Lin, Bor-ruei; Cui, Ningren; Na, Bing; Yang, Hsiuchin; Jiang, Chun; Sui, Sen-fang; Tai, Phang C.

    2011-01-01

    SecA is an essential component of the Sec-dependent protein translocation pathway across cytoplasmic membranes in bacteria. Escherichia coli SecA binds to cytoplasmic membranes at SecYEG high affinity sites and at phospholipid low affinity sites. It has been widely viewed that SecYEG functions as the essential protein-conducting channel through which precursors cross the membranes in bacterial Sec-dependent pathways, and that SecA functions as a motor to hydrolyze ATP in translocating precursors through SecYEG channels. We have now found that SecA alone can promote precursor translocation into phospholiposomes. Moreover, SecA-liposomes elicit ionic currents in Xenopus oocytes. Patch-clamp recordings further show that SecA alone promotes signal peptide- or precursor-dependent single channel activity. These activities were observed with the functional SecA at about 1–2 μm. The results show that SecA alone is sufficient to promote protein translocation into liposomes and to elicit ionic channel activity at the phospholipids low affinity binding sites, thus indicating that SecA is able to form the protein-conducting channels. Even so, such SecA-liposomes are less efficient than those with a full complement of Sec proteins, and lose the signal-peptide proofreading function, resembling the effects of PrlA mutations. Addition of purified SecYEG restores the signal peptide specificity and increases protein translocation and ion channel activities. These data show that SecA can promote protein translocation and ion channel activities both when it is bound to lipids at low affinity sites and when it is bound to SecYEG with high affinity. The latter of the two interactions confers high efficiency and specificity. PMID:22033925

  2. Marine Toxins Targeting Ion Channels

    PubMed Central

    Arias, Hugo R.

    2006-01-01

    This introductory minireview points out the importance of ion channels for cell communication. The basic concepts on the structure and function of ion channels triggered by membrane voltage changes, the so-called voltage-gated ion channels (VGICs), as well as those activated by neurotransmitters, the so-called ligand-gated ion channel (LGICs), are introduced. Among the most important VGIC superfamiles, we can name the voltage-gated Na+ (NaV), Ca2+ (CaV), and K+ (KV) channels. Among the most important LGIC super families, we can include the Cys-loop or nicotinicoid, the glutamate-activated (GluR), and the ATP-activated (P2XnR) receptor superfamilies. Ion channels are transmembrane proteins that allow the passage of different ions in a specific or unspecific manner. For instance, the activation of NaV, CaV, or KV channels opens a pore that is specific for Na+, Ca2+, or K+, respectively. On the other hand, the activation of certain LGICs such as nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, GluRs, and P2XnRs allows the passage of cations (e.g., Na+, K+, and/or Ca2+), whereas the activation of other LGICs such as type A γ-butyric acid and glycine receptors allows the passage of anions (e.g., Cl− and/or HCO3−). In this regard, the activation of NaV and CaV as well as ligand-gated cation channels produce membrane depolarization, which finally leads to stimulatory effects in the cell, whereas the activation of KV as well as ligand-gated anion channels induce membrane hyperpolarization that finally leads to inhibitory effects in the cell. The importance of these ion channel superfamilies is emphasized by considering their physiological functions throughout the body as well as their pathophysiological implicance in several neuronal diseases. In this regard, natural molecules, and especially marine toxins, can be potentially used as modulators (e.g., inhibitors or prolongers) of ion channel functions to treat or to alleviate a specific ion channel-linked disease (e

  3. Shaking stack model of ion conduction through the Ca(2+)-activated K+ channel.

    PubMed Central

    Schumaker, M F

    1992-01-01

    Motivated by the results of Neyton and Miller (1988. J. Gen. Physiol. 92:549-586), suggesting that the Ca(2+)-activated K+ channel has four high affinity ion binding sites, we propose a physically attractive variant of the single-vacancy conduction mechanism for this channel. Simple analytical expressions for conductance, current, flux ratio exponent, and reversal potential under bi-ionic conditions are found. A set of conductance data are analyzed to determine a realistic range of parameter values. Using these, we find qualitative agreement with a variety of experimental results previously reported in the literature. The exquisite selectivity of the Ca(2+)-activated K+ channel may be explained as a consequence of the concerted motion of the "stack" in the proposed mechanism. PMID:1420923

  4. Influence of proline position upon the ion channel activity of alamethicin.

    PubMed Central

    Kaduk, C; Duclohier, H; Dathe, M; Wenschuh, H; Beyermann, M; Molle, G; Bienert, M

    1997-01-01

    Alamethicin, a 20-residue peptaibol, induces voltage-dependent ion channels in lipid bilayers according to the barrel-stave model. To study relationships between the proline-14-induced kink region and the channel-forming behavior of the peptide, a set of alamethicin analogs with proline incorporated at positions 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, and 17, respectively, as well as an analog with alanine instead of proline at position 14 were synthesized. Macroscopic conductance experiments show that the voltage dependence of the peptides is conserved although slightly influenced, but the apparent mean number of monomers forming the channels is significantly reduced when proline is not located at position 14. This is confirmed in single-channel experiments. The analogs with proline next to position 14 (i.e., 13, 15, 16) show stable conductance levels, but of reduced number, which follows the order Alam-P14 > Alam-P15 > Alam-P16 > Alam-P13. This reduction in the number of levels is connected with changes in the lifetime of the channels. Analogs with proline at position 11, 12, or 17 produce erratic, extremely short-lived current events that could not be resolved. The changes in functional properties are related to structural properties as probed by circular dichroism. The results indicate that proline at position 14 results in optimal channel activity, whereas channels formed by the analogs bearing proline at different positions are considerably less stable. PMID:9129817

  5. The Role of Ion Channels in Microglial Activation and Proliferation – A Complex Interplay between Ligand-Gated Ion Channels, K+ Channels, and Intracellular Ca2+

    PubMed Central

    Stebbing, Martin James; Cottee, Jennifer Marie; Rana, Indrajeetsinh

    2015-01-01

    Microglia are often referred to as the immune cells of the brain. They are most definitely involved in immune responses to invading pathogens and inflammatory responses to tissue damage. However, recent results suggest microglia are vital for normal functioning of the brain. Neuroinflammation, as well as more subtle changes, in microglial function has been implicated in the pathogenesis of many brain diseases and disorders. Upon sensing alterations in their local environment, microglia change their shape and release factors that can modify the excitability of surrounding neurons. During neuroinflammation, microglia proliferate and release NO, reactive oxygen species, cytokines and chemokines. If inflammation resolves then their numbers normalize again via apoptosis. Microglia express a wide array of ion channels and different types are implicated in all of the cellular processes listed above. Modulation of microglial ion channels has shown great promise as a therapeutic strategy in several brain disorders. In this review, we discuss recent advances in our knowledge of microglial ion channels and their roles in responses of microglia to changes in the extracellular milieu. PMID:26557116

  6. Mechanism for phosphoinositide selectivity and activation of TRPV1 ion channels

    PubMed Central

    Ufret-Vincenty, Carmen A.; Klein, Rebecca M.; Collins, Marcus D.; Rosasco, Mario G.; Martinez, Gilbert Q.

    2015-01-01

    Although PI(4,5)P2 is believed to play an essential role in regulating the activity of numerous ion channels and transporters, the mechanisms by which it does so are unknown. Here, we used the ability of the TRPV1 ion channel to discriminate between PI(4,5)P2 and PI(4)P to localize the region of TRPV1 sequence that interacts directly with the phosphoinositide. We identified a point mutation in the proximal C-terminal region after the TRP box, R721A, that inverted the selectivity of TRPV1. Although the R721A mutation produced only a 30% increase in the EC50 for activation by PI(4,5)P2, it decreased the EC50 for activation by PI(4)P by more than two orders of magnitude. We used chemically induced and voltage-activated phosphatases to determine that PI(4)P continued to support TRPV1 activity even after depletion of PI(4,5)P2 from the plasma membrane. Our data cannot be explained by a purely electrostatic mechanism for interaction between the phosphoinositide and the protein, similar to that of the MARCKS (myristoylated alanine-rich C kinase substrate) effector domain or the EGF receptor. Rather, conversion of a PI(4,5)P2-selective channel to a PI(4)P-selective channel indicates that a structured phosphoinositide-binding site mediates the regulation of TRPV1 activity and that the amino acid at position 721 likely interacts directly with the moiety at the 5′ position of the phosphoinositide. PMID:25918361

  7. High-speed microfluidic thermal stimulator for temperature-activated ion channel studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pennell, Thomas; Wang, Jianbin; Hua, Susan Z.

    2007-04-01

    In this paper we have designed and built a microfluidic thermal chip that provides rapid temperature changes in the solution combined with accurate temperature control. The thermal chip was designed to facilitate the patch-clamp to study temperature dependent activities of ion channels. The device consists of a fluid channel for perfusing solution connected to an accessible reservoir for making patch-clamp measurements on individual cells. A thin film platinum heater was used to generate rapid temperature change and the temperature was monitored using a thin film resistor. The thermal chip was constructed using SU-8 materials on glass wafer to minimize the heat loss to the substrate and channel walls. The chip was characterized for various flow rates ranging from 0.0093 mL/min to 0.0507 mL/min with heater power ranging from 2.7 to 19.4 mW. The heating element is capable of alternating the temperature ranging from bath temperature (20°C) to 90°C at maximum heating rate of 1°C/10 ms. Using the chip, patch clamp recordings were made on cultured HEK cells as the temperature was rapidly varied. The results demonstrated that the thermal chip could be used as a thermal clamp for many thermosensitive ion channel studies.

  8. Structural Domains Underlying the Activation of Acid-Sensing Ion Channel 2a

    PubMed Central

    Schuhmacher, Laura-Nadine; Srivats, Shyam; Smith, Ewan St. John

    2015-01-01

    The acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs) are a family of ion channels expressed throughout the mammalian nervous system. The principal activator of ASICs is extracellular protons, and ASICs have been demonstrated to play a significant role in many physiologic and pathophysiologic processes, including synaptic transmission, nociception, and fear. However, not all ASICs are proton-sensitive: ASIC2a is activated by acid, whereas its splice variant ASIC2b is not. We made a series of chimeric ASIC2 proteins, and using whole-cell electrophysiology we have identified the minimal region of the ASIC2a extracellular domain that is required for ASIC2 proton activation: the first 87 amino acids after transmembrane domain 1. We next examined the function of different domains within the ASIC2b N-terminus and identified a region proximal to the first transmembrane domain that confers tachyphylaxis upon ASIC2a. We have thus identified domains of ASIC2 that are crucial to channel function and may be important for the function of other members of the ASIC family. PMID:25583083

  9. Potency of irritation by benzylidenemalononitriles in humans correlates with TRPA1 ion channel activation

    PubMed Central

    Lindsay, Christopher D.; Green, Christopher; Bird, Mike; Jones, James T. A.; Riches, James R.; McKee, Katherine K.; Sandford, Mark S.; Wakefield, Debra A.; Timperley, Christopher M.

    2015-01-01

    We show that the physiological activity of solid aerosolized benzylidenemalononitriles (BMNs) including ‘tear gas’ (CS) in historic human volunteer trials correlates with activation of the human transient receptor potential ankyrin 1 ion channel (hTRPA1). This suggests that the irritation caused by the most potent of these compounds results from activation of this channel. We prepared 50 BMNs and measured their hTRPA1 agonist potencies. A mechanism of action consistent with their physiological activity, involving their dissolution in water on contaminated body surfaces, cell membrane penetration and reversible thiolation by a cysteine residue of hTRPA1, supported by data from nuclear magnetic resonance experiments with a model thiol, explains the structure–activity relationships. The correlation provides evidence that hTRPA1 is a receptor for irritants on nociceptive neurons involved in pain perception; thus, its activation in the eye, nose, mouth and skin would explain the symptoms of lachrymation, sneezing, coughing and stinging, respectively. The structure–activity results and the use of the BMNs as pharmacological tools in future by other researchers may contribute to a better understanding of the TRPA1 channel in humans (and other animals) and help facilitate the discovery of treatments for human diseases involving this receptor. PMID:26064575

  10. Noxious cold ion channel TRPA1 is activated by pungent compounds and bradykinin.

    PubMed

    Bandell, Michael; Story, Gina M; Hwang, Sun Wook; Viswanath, Veena; Eid, Samer R; Petrus, Matt J; Earley, Taryn J; Patapoutian, Ardem

    2004-03-25

    Six members of the mammalian transient receptor potential (TRP) ion channels respond to varied temperature thresholds. The natural compounds capsaicin and menthol activate noxious heat-sensitive TRPV1 and cold-sensitive TRPM8, respectively. The burning and cooling perception of capsaicin and menthol demonstrate that these ion channels mediate thermosensation. We show that, in addition to noxious cold, pungent natural compounds present in cinnamon oil, wintergreen oil, clove oil, mustard oil, and ginger all activate TRPA1 (ANKTM1). Bradykinin, an inflammatory peptide acting through its G protein-coupled receptor, also activates TRPA1. We further show that phospholipase C is an important signaling component for TRPA1 activation. Cinnamaldehyde, the most specific TRPA1 activator, excites a subset of sensory neurons highly enriched in cold-sensitive neurons and elicits nociceptive behavior in mice. Collectively, these data demonstrate that TRPA1 activation elicits a painful sensation and provide a potential molecular model for why noxious cold can paradoxically be perceived as burning pain.

  11. Noxious cold ion channel TRPA1 is activated by pungent compounds and bradykinin.

    PubMed

    Bandell, Michael; Story, Gina M; Hwang, Sun Wook; Viswanath, Veena; Eid, Samer R; Petrus, Matt J; Earley, Taryn J; Patapoutian, Ardem

    2004-03-25

    Six members of the mammalian transient receptor potential (TRP) ion channels respond to varied temperature thresholds. The natural compounds capsaicin and menthol activate noxious heat-sensitive TRPV1 and cold-sensitive TRPM8, respectively. The burning and cooling perception of capsaicin and menthol demonstrate that these ion channels mediate thermosensation. We show that, in addition to noxious cold, pungent natural compounds present in cinnamon oil, wintergreen oil, clove oil, mustard oil, and ginger all activate TRPA1 (ANKTM1). Bradykinin, an inflammatory peptide acting through its G protein-coupled receptor, also activates TRPA1. We further show that phospholipase C is an important signaling component for TRPA1 activation. Cinnamaldehyde, the most specific TRPA1 activator, excites a subset of sensory neurons highly enriched in cold-sensitive neurons and elicits nociceptive behavior in mice. Collectively, these data demonstrate that TRPA1 activation elicits a painful sensation and provide a potential molecular model for why noxious cold can paradoxically be perceived as burning pain. PMID:15046718

  12. Low affinity block of native and cloned hyperpolarization-activated Ih channels by Ba2+ ions.

    PubMed

    van Welie, Ingrid; Wadman, Wytse J; van Hooft, Johannes A

    2005-01-10

    Ba2+ is commonly used to discriminate two classes of ion currents. The classical inward-rectifying K+ current, I(Kir), is blocked by low millimolar concentrations of Ba2+, whereas the hyperpolarization-activated cation current, I(h), is assumed not to be sensitive to Ba2+. Here we investigated the effects of Ba2+ on I(h) currents recorded from rat hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons, and on cloned I(h) channels composed of either HCN1 or HCN2 subunits transiently expressed in Human Embryonic Kidney (HEK) 293 cells. The results show that low millimolar concentrations of Ba2+ reduce the maximal I(h) conductance (IC50 approximately 3-5 mM) in both CA1 pyramidal neurons and in HEK 293 cells without specificity for HCN1 or HCN2 subunits. In addition, Ba2+ decreases the rate of activation and increases the rate of deactivation of I(h) currents. Neither the half-maximal voltage of activation, V(h), nor the reversal potential of the I(h) channels were affected by Ba2+. The combined results suggest that B2+, at concentrations commonly used to block I(Kir) currents, also reduces the conductance of I(h) channels without subunit specificity, and affects the kinetics of I(h) channel gating.

  13. Menthol derivative WS-12 selectively activates transient receptor potential melastatin-8 (TRPM8) ion channels.

    PubMed

    Ma, Sherkheli; G, Gisselmann; Ak, Vogt-Eisele; Jf, Doerner; H, Hatt

    2008-10-01

    Transient receptor potential melastatin-8 (TRPM8), a cationic ion channel is involved in detection of normal cooling-sensation in mammals. TRPM8 activation by cooling or chemical agonists have been shown to produce profound, mechanistically novel analgesia in chronic pain states such as neuropathic pain in rodents. Known TRPM8 agonists such as menthol and icilin have a relatively low potency and cross-activate nociceptors like TRPA1; thus bearing a limited therapeutic usefulness. For that reason, characterising ligands, which selectively activate TRPM8, presents a clinical need. Using Xenopus laevis oocytes as expression system, we evaluated WS-12, a menthol derivative, for its potential interaction with all six thermo-sensitive TRP ion channels. Oocytes were injected with cRNA of gene of interest and incubated for 3-5 days (at 16 degrees C) before testing for functional characterisation of the recombinant ion channels. Oocytes were superfused with the test and standard substances respectively. Responses were measured by two-electrode voltage clamp technique and the amplitudes of evoked currents were compared with baseline values. WS-12 robustly activated TRPM8 in low micromolar concentrations (EC50 12+/-5 microM) thereby displaying a higher potency and efficacy compared to menthol (EC50 196+/-22 microM). Any of the other described thermo-sensitive TRP ion channel including TRPV1, TRPV2, TRPV3, TRPV4 and TRPA1 were not activated at a concentration (1 mM) optimally effective for TRPM8 responses; a characteristic which is in sharp contrast to menthol as it activates TRPA1 and TRPV3 in addition to TRPM8. Unlike icilin (75% reduction; p<0.001, n=6), WS-12 does not induce tachyphylaxis (4+/-2.3% increase in responses; p<0.08, n=6) of TRPM8 mediated currents to repeated exposure of 1 mM doses. In addition, acidosis or variations in extracellular calcium have no influence on potency/efficacy of WS-12 for TRPM8. The selectivity profile of WS-12, its several-fold higher

  14. Activation of endogenously expressed ion channels by active complement in the retinal pigment epithelium.

    PubMed

    Genewsky, Andreas; Jost, Ingmar; Busch, Catharina; Huber, Christian; Stindl, Julia; Skerka, Christine; Zipfel, Peter F; Rohrer, Bärbel; Strauß, Olaf

    2015-10-01

    Defective regulation of the alternative pathway of the complement system is believed to contribute to damage of retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells in age-related macular degeneration. Thus we investigated the effect of complement activation on the RPE cell membrane by analyzing changes in membrane conductance via patch-clamp techniques and Ca(2+) imaging. Exposure of human ARPE-19 cells to complement-sufficient normal human serum (NHS) (25 %) resulted in a biphasic increase in intracellular free Ca(2+) ([Ca(2+)]i); an initial peak followed by sustained Ca(2+) increase. C5- or C7-depleted sera did not fully reproduce the signal generated by NHS. The initial peak of the Ca(2+) response was reduced by sarcoplasmic Ca(2+)-ATPase inhibitor thapsigargin, L-type channel blockers (R)-(+)-BayK8644 and isradipine, transient-receptor-potential (TRP) channel blocker ruthenium-red and ryanodine receptor blocker dantrolene. The sustained phase was carried by CaV1.3 L-type channels via tyrosine-phosphorylation. Changes in [Ca(2+)]I were accompanied by an abrupt hyperpolarization, resulting from a transient increase in membrane conductance, which was absent under extracellular Ca(2+)- or K(+)-free conditions and blocked by (R)-(+)-BayK8644 or paxilline, a maxiK channel inhibitor. Single-channel recordings confirmed the contribution of maxiK channels. Primary porcine RPE cells responded to NHS in a comparable manner. Pre-incubation with NHS reduced H2O2-induced cell death. In summary, in a concerted manner, C3a, C5a and sC5b-9 increased [Ca(2+)]i by ryanodine-receptor-dependent activation of L-type channels in addition to maxi-K channels and TRP channels absent from any insertion of a lytic pore.

  15. Pungent products from garlic activate the sensory ion channel TRPA1.

    PubMed

    Bautista, Diana M; Movahed, Pouya; Hinman, Andrew; Axelsson, Helena E; Sterner, Olov; Högestätt, Edward D; Julius, David; Jordt, Sven-Eric; Zygmunt, Peter M

    2005-08-23

    Garlic belongs to the Allium family of plants that produce organosulfur compounds, such as allicin and diallyl disulfide (DADS), which account for their pungency and spicy aroma. Many health benefits have been ascribed to Allium extracts, including hypotensive and vasorelaxant activities. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying these effects remain unknown. Intriguingly, allicin and DADS share structural similarities with allyl isothiocyanate, the pungent ingredient in wasabi and other mustard plants that induces pain and inflammation by activating TRPA1, an excitatory ion channel on primary sensory neurons of the pain pathway. Here we show that allicin and DADS excite an allyl isothiocyanate-sensitive subpopulation of sensory neurons and induce vasodilation by activating capsaicin-sensitive perivascular sensory nerve endings. Moreover, allicin and DADS activate the cloned TRPA1 channel when expressed in heterologous systems. These and other results suggest that garlic excites sensory neurons primarily through activation of TRPA1. Thus different plant genera, including Allium and Brassica, have developed evolutionary convergent strategies that target TRPA1 channels on sensory nerve endings to achieve chemical deterrence. PMID:16103371

  16. Influenza matrix protein 2 alters CFTR expression and function through its ion channel activity.

    PubMed

    Londino, James D; Lazrak, Ahmed; Jurkuvenaite, Asta; Collawn, James F; Noah, James W; Matalon, Sadis

    2013-05-01

    The human cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) is a cyclic AMP-activated chloride (Cl(-)) channel in the lung epithelium that helps regulate the thickness and composition of the lung epithelial lining fluid. We investigated whether influenza M2 protein, a pH-activated proton (H(+)) channel that traffics to the plasma membrane of infected cells, altered CFTR expression and function. M2 decreased CFTR activity in 1) Xenopus oocytes injected with human CFTR, 2) epithelial cells (HEK-293) stably transfected with CFTR, and 3) human bronchial epithelial cells (16HBE14o-) expressing native CFTR. This inhibition was partially reversed by an inhibitor of the ubiquitin-activating enzyme E1. Next we investigated whether the M2 inhibition of CFTR activity was due to an increase of secretory organelle pH by M2. Incubation of Xenopus oocytes expressing CFTR with ammonium chloride or concanamycin A, two agents that alkalinize the secretory pathway, inhibited CFTR activity in a dose-dependent manner. Treatment of M2- and CFTR-expressing oocytes with the M2 ion channel inhibitor amantadine prevented the loss in CFTR expression and activity; in addition, M2 mutants, lacking the ability to transport H(+), did not alter CFTR activity in Xenopus oocytes and HEK cells. Expression of an M2 mutant retained in the endoplasmic reticulum also failed to alter CFTR activity. In summary, our data show that M2 decreases CFTR activity by increasing secretory organelle pH, which targets CFTR for destruction by the ubiquitin system. Alteration of CFTR activity has important consequences for fluid regulation and may potentially modify the immune response to viral infection.

  17. Influenza matrix protein 2 alters CFTR expression and function through its ion channel activity

    PubMed Central

    Londino, James D.; Lazrak, Ahmed; Jurkuvenaite, Asta; Collawn, James F.; Noah, James W.

    2013-01-01

    The human cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) is a cyclic AMP-activated chloride (Cl−) channel in the lung epithelium that helps regulate the thickness and composition of the lung epithelial lining fluid. We investigated whether influenza M2 protein, a pH-activated proton (H+) channel that traffics to the plasma membrane of infected cells, altered CFTR expression and function. M2 decreased CFTR activity in 1) Xenopus oocytes injected with human CFTR, 2) epithelial cells (HEK-293) stably transfected with CFTR, and 3) human bronchial epithelial cells (16HBE14o−) expressing native CFTR. This inhibition was partially reversed by an inhibitor of the ubiquitin-activating enzyme E1. Next we investigated whether the M2 inhibition of CFTR activity was due to an increase of secretory organelle pH by M2. Incubation of Xenopus oocytes expressing CFTR with ammonium chloride or concanamycin A, two agents that alkalinize the secretory pathway, inhibited CFTR activity in a dose-dependent manner. Treatment of M2- and CFTR-expressing oocytes with the M2 ion channel inhibitor amantadine prevented the loss in CFTR expression and activity; in addition, M2 mutants, lacking the ability to transport H+, did not alter CFTR activity in Xenopus oocytes and HEK cells. Expression of an M2 mutant retained in the endoplasmic reticulum also failed to alter CFTR activity. In summary, our data show that M2 decreases CFTR activity by increasing secretory organelle pH, which targets CFTR for destruction by the ubiquitin system. Alteration of CFTR activity has important consequences for fluid regulation and may potentially modify the immune response to viral infection. PMID:23457187

  18. Ion Channel Engineering: Perspectives and Strategies

    PubMed Central

    Subramanyam, Prakash; Colecraft, Henry M.

    2014-01-01

    Ion channels facilitate the passive movement of ions down an electrochemical gradient and across lipid bilayers in cells. This phenomenon is essential for life, and underlies many critical homeostatic processes in cells. Ion channels are diverse and differ with respect to how they open and close (gating), and their ionic conductance/selectivity (permeation). Fundamental understanding of ion channel structure-function mechanisms, their physiological roles, how their dysfunction leads to disease, their utility as biosensors, and development of novel molecules to modulate their activity are important and active research frontiers. In this review, we focus on ion-channel engineering approaches that have been applied to investigate these aspects of ion channel function, with a major emphasis on voltage-gated ion channels. PMID:25205552

  19. Microbial Senses and Ion Channels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kung, Ching; Zhou, Xin-Liang; Su, Zhen-Wei; Haynes, W. John; Loukin, Sephan H.; Saimi, Yoshiro

    The complexity of animals and plants is due largely to cellular arrangement. The structures and activities of macromolecules had, however, evolved in early microbes long before the appearance of this complexity. Among such molecules are those that sense light, heat, force, water, and ligands. Though historically and didactically associated with the nervous system, ion channels also have deep evolutionary roots. For example, force sensing with channels, which likely began as water sensing through membrane stretch generated by osmotic pressure, must be ancient and is universal in extant species. Extant microbial species, such as the model bacterium Escherichia coli and yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, are equipped with stretch-activated channels. The ion channel proteins MscL and MscS show clearly that these bacterial channels receive stretch forces from the lipid bilayer. TRPY1, the mechanosensitive channel in yeast, is being developed towards a similar basic understanding of channels of the TRP (transientreceptor- potential) superfamily. TRPY1 resides in the vacuolar membrane and releases Ca2+ from the vacuole to the cytoplasm upon hyperosmotic shock. Unlike in most TRP preparations from animals, the mechanosensitivity of TRPY1 can be examined directly under patch clamp in either whole-vacuole mode or excised patch mode. The combination of direct biophysical examination in vitro with powerful microbial genetics in vivo should complement the study of mechanosensations of complex animals and plants.

  20. Ion channeling revisited

    SciTech Connect

    Doyle, Barney Lee; Corona, Aldo; Nguyen, Anh

    2014-09-01

    A MS Excel program has been written that calculates accidental, or unintentional, ion channeling in cubic bcc, fcc and diamond lattice crystals or polycrystalline materials. This becomes an important issue when simulating the creation by energetic neutrons of point displacement damage and extended defects using beams of ions. All of the tables and graphs in the three Ion Beam Analysis Handbooks that previously had to be manually looked up and read from were programed into Excel in handy lookup tables, or parameterized, for the case of the graphs, using rather simple exponential functions with different powers of the argument. The program then offers an extremely convenient way to calculate axial and planar half-angles and minimum yield or dechanneling probabilities, effects on half-angles of amorphous overlayers, accidental channeling probabilities for randomly oriented crystals or crystallites, and finally a way to automatically generate stereographic projections of axial and planar channeling half-angles. The program can generate these projections and calculate these probabilities for axes and [hkl] planes up to (555).

  1. Activation of mechanosensitive ion channel TRPV4 normalizes tumor vasculature and improves cancer therapy

    PubMed Central

    Adapala, Ravi K.; Thoppil, Roslin J.; Ghosh, Kaustabh; Cappelli, Holly; Dudley, Andrew C.; Paruchuri, Sailaja; Keshamouni, Venkateshwar; Klagsbrun, Michael; Meszaros, J. Gary; Chilian, William M.; Ingber, Donald E.; Thodeti, Charles K.

    2016-01-01

    Tumor vessels are characterized by abnormal morphology and hyper-permeability that together cause inefficient delivery of chemotherapeutic agents. Although VEGF has been established as a critical regulator of tumor angiogenesis, the role of mechanical signaling in the regulation of tumor vasculature or tumor endothelial cell (TEC) function is not known. Here, we show that the mechanosensitive ion channel TRPV4 regulates tumor angiogenesis and tumor vessel maturation via modulation of TEC mechanosensitivity. We found that TEC exhibit reduced TRPV4 expression and function, which is correlated with aberrant mechanosensitivity towards ECM stiffness, increased migration and abnormal angiogenesis by TEC. Further, syngeneic tumor experiments revealed that the absence of TRPV4 induced increased vascular density, vessel diameter and reduced pericyte coverage resulting in enhanced tumor growth in TRPV4 KO mice. Importantly, overexpression or pharmacological activation of TRPV4 restored aberrant TEC mechanosensitivity, migration and normalized abnormal angiogenesis in vitro by modulating Rho activity. Finally, a small molecule activator of TRPV4, GSK1016790A, in combination with anti-cancer drug Cisplatin, significantly reduced tumor growth in WT mice by inducing vessel maturation. Our findings demonstrate TRPV4 channels to be critical regulators of tumor angiogenesis and represent a novel target for anti-angiogenic and vascular normalization therapies. PMID:25867067

  2. Ion permeation through light-activated channels in rhabdomeric photoreceptors. Role of divalent cations

    PubMed Central

    1996-01-01

    The receptor potential of rhabdomeric photoreceptors is mediated primarily by a Na influx, but other ions must also permeate through light-dependent channels to account for some properties of the photoresponse. We examined ion conduction in macroscopic and single- channel light-induced currents of Lima and Pecten photoreceptors. In the absence of Na, a fivefold change in extracellular K shifted the reversal voltage of the photocurrent (Vrev) by approximately 27 mV. Because the dependency of Vrev on [K]o was sub-Nernstian, and Vrev in each condition was more positive than Ek, some other ion(s) with a positive equilibrium potential must be implicated, in addition to K. We assessed the participation of calcium, an important candidate because of its involvement in light adaptation. Three strategies were adopted to minimize the impairments to cytosolic Ca homeostasis and loss of responsiveness that normally result from the required ionic manipulations: (a) Internal dialysis with Na-free solutions, to prevent reverse operation of the Na/Ca exchanger. (b) Rapid solution changes, temporally limiting exposure to potentially detrimental ionic conditions. (c) Single-channel recording, exposing only the cell- attached patch of membrane to the test solutions. An inward whole-cell photocurrent could be measured with Ca as the only extracellular charge carrier. Decreasing the [Ca]o to 0.5 mM reduced the response by 43% and displaced the reversal potential by -4.3 mV; the shift was larger (delta Vrev = -44 mV) when intracellular permeant cations were also removed. In all cases, however, the current carried by Ca was < 5% of that measured with normal [Na]o. Unitary light-activated currents were reduced in a similar way when the pipette contained only divalent cations, indicating a substantial selectivity for Na over Ca. The fall kinetics of the photoresponse was slower when external Ca was replaced by Ba, or when the membrane was depolarized; however, dialysis with 10 mM BAPTA

  3. Ion Channels Activated by Mechanical Forces in Bacterial and Eukaryotic Cells.

    PubMed

    Sokabe, Masahiro; Sawada, Yasuyuki; Kobayashi, Takeshi

    2015-01-01

    Since the first discovery of mechanosensitive ion channel (MSC) in non-sensory cells in 1984, a variety of MSCs has been identified both in prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. One of the central issues concerning MSCs is to understand the molecular and biophysical mechanisms of how mechanical forces activate/open MSCs. It has been well established that prokaryotic (mostly bacterial) MSCs are activated exclusively by membrane tension. Thus the problem to be solved with prokaryotic MSCs is the mechanisms how the MSC proteins receive tensile forces from the lipid bilayer and utilize them for channel opening. On the other hand, the activation of many eukaryotic MSCs crucially depends on tension in the actin cytoskeleton. By using the actin cytoskeleton as a force sensing antenna, eukaryotic MSCs have obtained sophisticated functions such as remote force sensing and force-direction sensing, which bacterial MSCs do not have. Actin cytoskeletons also give eukaryotic MSCs an interesting and important function called "active touch sensing", by which cells can sense rigidity of their substrates. The contractile actin cytoskeleton stress fiber (SF) anchors its each end to a focal adhesion (FA) and pulls the substrate to generate substrate-rigidity-dependent stresses in the FA. It has been found that those stresses are sensed by some Ca2+-permeable MSCs existing in the vicinity of FAs, thus the MSCs work as a substrate rigidity sensor that can transduce the rigidity into intracellular Ca2+ levels. This short review, roughly constituting of two parts, deals with molecular and biophysical mechanisms underlying the MSC activation process mostly based on our recent studies; (1) structure-function in bacterial MSCs activation at the atomic level, and (2) roles of actin cytoskeletons in the activation of eukaryotic MSCs.

  4. Identification and Characterization of Stretch-Activated Ion Channels in Pollen Protoplasts1

    PubMed Central

    Dutta, Rajiv; Robinson, Kenneth R.

    2004-01-01

    Pollen tube growth requires a Ca2+ gradient, with elevated levels of cytosolic Ca2+ at the growing tip. This gradient's magnitude oscillates with growth oscillation but is always maintained. Ca2+ influx into the growing tip is necessary, and its magnitude also oscillates with growth. It has been widely assumed that stretch-activated Ca2+ channels underlie this influx, but such channels have never been reported in either pollen grains or pollen tubes. We have identified and characterized stretch-activated Ca2+ channels from Lilium longiflorum pollen grain and tube tip protoplasts. The channels were localized to a small region of the grain protoplasts associated with the site of tube germination. In addition, we find a stretch-activated K+ channel as well as a spontaneous K+ channel distributed over the entire grain surface, but neither was present at the germination site or at the tip. Neither stretch-activated channel was detected in the grain protoplasts unless the grains were left in germination medium for at least 1 h before protoplast preparation. The stretch-activated channels were inhibited by a spider venom that is known to block stretch-activated channels in animal cells, but the spontaneous channel was unaffected by the venom. The venom also stopped pollen tube germination and elongation and blocked Ca2+ entry into the growing tip, suggesting that channel function is necessary for growth. PMID:15247410

  5. Activity of Palythoa caribaeorum Venom on Voltage-Gated Ion Channels in Mammalian Superior Cervical Ganglion Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Lazcano-Pérez, Fernando; Castro, Héctor; Arenas, Isabel; García, David E.; González-Muñoz, Ricardo; Arreguín-Espinosa, Roberto

    2016-01-01

    The Zoanthids are an order of cnidarians whose venoms and toxins have been poorly studied. Palythoa caribaeorum is a zoanthid commonly found around the Mexican coastline. In this study, we tested the activity of P. caribaeorum venom on voltage-gated sodium channel (NaV1.7), voltage-gated calcium channel (CaV2.2), the A-type transient outward (IA) and delayed rectifier (IDR) currents of KV channels of the superior cervical ganglion (SCG) neurons of the rat. These results showed that the venom reversibly delays the inactivation process of voltage-gated sodium channels and inhibits voltage-gated calcium and potassium channels in this mammalian model. The compounds responsible for these effects seem to be low molecular weight peptides. Together, these results provide evidence for the potential use of zoanthids as a novel source of cnidarian toxins active on voltage-gated ion channels. PMID:27164140

  6. Activity of Palythoa caribaeorum Venom on Voltage-Gated Ion Channels in Mammalian Superior Cervical Ganglion Neurons.

    PubMed

    Lazcano-Pérez, Fernando; Castro, Héctor; Arenas, Isabel; García, David E; González-Muñoz, Ricardo; Arreguín-Espinosa, Roberto

    2016-01-01

    The Zoanthids are an order of cnidarians whose venoms and toxins have been poorly studied. Palythoa caribaeorum is a zoanthid commonly found around the Mexican coastline. In this study, we tested the activity of P. caribaeorum venom on voltage-gated sodium channel (NaV1.7), voltage-gated calcium channel (CaV2.2), the A-type transient outward (IA) and delayed rectifier (IDR) currents of KV channels of the superior cervical ganglion (SCG) neurons of the rat. These results showed that the venom reversibly delays the inactivation process of voltage-gated sodium channels and inhibits voltage-gated calcium and potassium channels in this mammalian model. The compounds responsible for these effects seem to be low molecular weight peptides. Together, these results provide evidence for the potential use of zoanthids as a novel source of cnidarian toxins active on voltage-gated ion channels. PMID:27164140

  7. Ion Channels in Epithelial Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Palmer, Lawrence G.

    Ion channels in epithelial cells serve to move ions, and in some cases fluid, between compartments of the body. This function of the transfer of material is fundamentally different from that of the transfer of information, which is the main job of most channels in excitable cells. Nevertheless the basic construction of the channels is similar in many respects in the two tissue types. This chapter reviews the nature of channels in epithelia and discusses how their functions have evolved to accomplish the basic tasks for which they are responsible. I will focus on three channel types: epithelial Na+ channels, inward-rectifier K+ channels, and CFTR Cl- channels.

  8. Ion channel activity of the CSFV p7 viroporin in surrogates of the ER lipid bilayer.

    PubMed

    Largo, Eneko; Verdiá-Báguena, Carmina; Aguilella, Vicente M; Nieva, José L; Alcaraz, Antonio

    2016-01-01

    Viroporins comprise a family of non-structural proteins that play significant and diverse roles during the replication cycle of many animal viruses. Consequently, they have become promising targets for inhibitory drug and vaccine development. Structure–function traits common to all members of the family are their small size (ca. 60–120 aa), high hydrophobicity, and the presence of helical domains that transverse the membrane and assemble into oligomeric-permeating structures therein. The possibility that viroporins show in particular conditions any kind of specificity in the transport of ions and small solutes remains a point of contention in the field. Here we have approached this issue using the Classical Swine Fever Virus (CSFV) protein p7 viroporin as a model. We have previously reported that CSFV-p7 induces release of ANTS (MW: 427.33) from lipid vesicles that emulate the Endoplasmic Reticulum (ER) membrane, and that this process is dependent on pH, modulated by the lipid composition, and recreated by a C-terminal transmembrane helix. Here we have assayed CSFV-p7 for its capacity to form ion-conducting channels in ER-like planar lipid membranes, and established whether this activity is subject to regulation by the same factors. The analysis of electrophysiological recordings in ER membrane surrogates suggests that CSFV-p7 forms pores wide enough to allow ANTS release. Moreover, we were able to discriminate between two pore structures with slightly different sizes and opposite ion selectivities. The fact that the relative abundances of each pore type depend crucially on membrane composition strengthens the view that the physicochemical properties of the lipid bilayers present in the cell endomembrane system modulate viroporin activity. PMID:26464198

  9. Dysfunctional Hyperpolarization-Activated Cyclic Nucleotide-gated Ion Channels in Cardiac Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Xiaoqi; Gu, Tianxiang

    2016-01-01

    Hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN) channels are reverse voltage-dependent, and their activation depends on the hyperpolarization of the membrane and may be directly or indirectly regulated by the cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) or other signal-transduction cascades. The distribution, quantity and activation states of HCN channels differ in tissues throughout the body. Evidence exhibits that HCN channels play critical roles in the generation and conduction of the electrical impulse and the physiopathological process of some cardiac diseases. They may constitute promising drug targets in the treatment of these cardiac diseases. Pharmacological treatment targeting HCN channels is of benefit to these cardiac conditions. PMID:27556324

  10. Ion channels in analgesia research.

    PubMed

    Rosenbaum, Tamara; Simon, Sidney A; Islas, Leon D

    2010-01-01

    Several recent techniques have allowed us to pinpoint the receptors responsible for the detection of nociceptive stimuli. Among these receptors, ion channels play a fundamental role in the recognition and transduction of stimuli that can cause pain. During the last decade, compelling evidence has been gathered on the role of the TRPV1 channel in inflammatory and neuropathic states. Activation of TRPV1 in nociceptive neurons results in the release of neuropeptides and transmitters, leading to the generation of action potentials that will be sent to higher CNS areas, where they will often be perceived as pain. Its activation will also evoke the peripheral release of pro-inflammatory compounds that may sensitize other neurons to physical, thermal, or chemical stimuli. For these reasons, and because its continuous activation causes analgesia, TRPV1 is now considered a viable drug target for clinical use in the management of pain. Using the TRPV1 channel as an example, here we describe some basic biophysical approaches used to study the properties of ion channels involved in pain and in analgesia.

  11. Optical Waveguide Lightmode Spectroscopic Techniques for Investigating Membrane-Bound Ion Channel Activities

    PubMed Central

    Székács, Inna; Kaszás, Nóra; Gróf, Pál; Erdélyi, Katalin; Szendrő, István; Mihalik, Balázs; Pataki, Ágnes; Antoni, Ferenc A.; Madarász, Emilia

    2013-01-01

    Optical waveguide lightmode spectroscopic (OWLS) techniques were probed for monitoring ion permeation through channels incorporated into artificial lipid environment. A novel sensor set-up was developed by depositing liposomes or cell-derived membrane fragments onto hydrophilic polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) membrane. The fibrous material of PTFE membrane could entrap lipoid vesicles and the water-filled pores provided environment for the hydrophilic domains of lipid-embedded proteins. The sensor surface was kept clean from the lipid holder PTFE membrane by a water- and ion-permeable polyethylene terephthalate (PET) mesh. The sensor set-up was tested with egg yolk lecithin liposomes containing gramicidin ion channels and with cell-derived membrane fragments enriched in GABA-gated anion channels. The method allowed monitoring the move of Na+ and organic cations through gramicidin channels and detecting the Cl–-channel functions of the (α5β2γ2) GABAA receptor in the presence or absence of GABA and the competitive GABA-blocker bicuculline. PMID:24339925

  12. Acid-sensing ion channels regulate spontaneous inhibitory activity in the hippocampus: possible implications for epilepsy.

    PubMed

    Ievglevskyi, O; Isaev, D; Netsyk, O; Romanov, A; Fedoriuk, M; Maximyuk, O; Isaeva, E; Akaike, N; Krishtal, O

    2016-08-01

    Acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs) play an important role in numerous functions in the central and peripheral nervous systems ranging from memory and emotions to pain. The data correspond to a recent notion that each neuron and many glial cells of the mammalian brain express at least one member of the ASIC family. However, the mechanisms underlying the involvement of ASICs in neuronal activity are poorly understood. However, there are two exceptions, namely, the straightforward role of ASICs in proton-based synaptic transmission in certain brain areas and the role of the Ca(2+)-permeable ASIC1a subtype in ischaemic cell death. Using a novel orthosteric ASIC antagonist, we have found that ASICs specifically control the frequency of spontaneous inhibitory synaptic activity in the hippocampus. Inhibition of ASICs leads to a strong increase in the frequency of spontaneous inhibitory postsynaptic currents. This effect is presynaptic because it is fully reproducible in single synaptic boutons attached to isolated hippocampal neurons. In concert with this observation, inhibition of the ASIC current diminishes epileptic discharges in a low Mg(2+) model of epilepsy in hippocampal slices and significantly reduces kainate-induced discharges in the hippocampus in vivo Our results reveal a significant novel role for ASICs.This article is part of the themed issue 'Evolution brings Ca(2+) and ATP together to control life and death'. PMID:27377725

  13. Dehydrated Hereditary Stomatocytosislinked to gain-of-function mutations in mechanically activated PIEZO1 ion channels

    PubMed Central

    Albuisson, Juliette; Murthy, Swetha E.; Bandell, Michael; Coste, Bertrand; Louis-dit-Picard, Hélène; Mathur, Jayanti; Fénéant-Thibault, Madeleine; Tertian, Gérard; de Jaureguiberry, Jean-Pierre; Syfuss, Pierre-Yves; Cahalan, Stuart; Garçon, Loic; Toutain, Fabienne; Rohrlich, Pierre Simon; Delaunay, Jean; Picard, Véronique; Jeunemaitre, Xavier; Patapoutian, Ardem

    2013-01-01

    Dehydrated hereditary stomatocytosis (DHS) is a genetic condition with defective red blood cell (RBC) membrane properties that causes an imbalance in intracellular cation concentrations. Recently, two missense mutations inthe mechanically activated PIEZO1(FAM38A) ion channel were associated with DHS. However, it is not known how these mutations affect PIEZO1 function. Here, by combining linkage analysis and whole-exome sequencing in a large pedigree and Sanger sequencing in two additional kindreds and 11 unrelated DHS cases, we identifythree novel missense mutations and one recurrent duplication in PIEZO1, demonstrating that it is the major gene for DHS. All the DHS-associated mutations locate at C-terminal half of PIEZO1. Remarkably, we find that all PIEZO1 mutations give rise to mechanically activated currents that inactivate more slowly than wild-type currents. This gain-of-function PIEZO1 phenotype provides insight that helps to explain the increased permeability of cations in RBCs of DHS patients. Our findings also suggest a new role for mechanotransduction in RBC biology and pathophysiology. PMID:23695678

  14. Receptor-mediated activation of a plant Ca2+-permeable ion channel involved in pathogen defense

    PubMed Central

    Zimmermann, Sabine; Nürnberger, Thorsten; Frachisse, Jean-Marie; Wirtz, Wolfgang; Guern, Jean; Hedrich, Rainer; Scheel, Dierk

    1997-01-01

    Pathogen recognition at the plant cell surface typically results in the initiation of a multicomponent defense response. Transient influx of Ca2+ across the plasma membrane is postulated to be part of the signaling chain leading to pathogen resistance. Patch-clamp analysis of parsley protoplasts revealed a novel Ca2+-permeable, La3+-sensitive plasma membrane ion channel of large conductance (309 pS in 240 mM CaCl2). At an extracellular Ca2+ concentration of 1 mM, which is representative of the plant cell apoplast, unitary channel conductance was determined to be 80 pS. This ion channel (LEAC, for large conductance elicitor-activated ion channel) is reversibly activated upon treatment of parsley protoplasts with an oligopeptide elicitor derived from a cell wall protein of Phytophthora sojae. Structural features of the elicitor found previously to be essential for receptor binding, induction of defense-related gene expression, and phytoalexin formation are identical to those required for activation of LEAC. Thus, receptor-mediated stimulation of this channel appears to be causally involved in the signaling cascade triggering pathogen defense in parsley. PMID:11038609

  15. Ion channel therapeutics for pain

    PubMed Central

    Skerratt, Sarah E; West, Christopher W

    2015-01-01

    Pain is a complex disease which can progress into a debilitating condition. The effective treatment of pain remains a challenge as current therapies often lack the desired level of efficacy or tolerability. One therapeutic avenue, the modulation of ion channel signaling by small molecules, has shown the ability to treat pain. However, of the 215 ion channels that exist in the human genome, with 85 ion channels having a strong literature link to pain, only a small number of these channels have been successfully drugged for pain. The focus of future research will be to fully explore the possibilities surrounding these unexplored ion channels. Toward this end, a greater understanding of ion channel modulation will be the greatest tool we have in developing the next generation of drugs for the treatment of pain. PMID:26218246

  16. Ion channels, channelopathies, and tooth formation.

    PubMed

    Duan, X

    2014-02-01

    The biological functions of ion channels in tooth development vary according to the nature of their gating, the species of ions passing through those gates, the number of gates, localization of channels, tissue expressing the channel, and interactions between cells and microenvironment. Ion channels feature unique and specific ion flux in ameloblasts, odontoblasts, and other tooth-specific cell lineages. Both enamel and dentin have active chemical systems orchestrating a variety of ion exchanges and demineralization and remineralization processes in a stage-dependent manner. An important role for ion channels is to regulate and maintain the calcium and pH homeostasis that are critical for proper enamel and dentin biomineralization. Specific functions of chloride channels, TRPVs, calcium channels, potassium channels, and solute carrier superfamily members in tooth formation have been gradually clarified in recent years. Mutations in these ion channels or transporters often result in disastrous changes in tooth development. The channelopathies of tooth include altered eruption (CLCN7, KCNJ2, TRPV3), root dysplasia (CLCN7, KCNJ2), amelogenesis imperfecta (KCNJ1, CFTR, AE2, CACNA1C, GJA1), dentin dysplasia (CLCN5), small teeth (CACNA1C, GJA1), tooth agenesis (CLCN7), and other impairments. The mechanisms leading to tooth channelopathies are primarily related to pH regulation, calcium homeostasis, or other alterations of the niche for tooth eruption and development. PMID:24076519

  17. Dual Activation of a Sex Pheromone-Dependent Ion Channel from Insect Olfactory Dendrites by Protein Kinase C Activators and Cyclic GMP

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zufall, Frank; Hatt, Hanns

    1991-10-01

    Olfactory transduction is thought to take place in the outer dendritic membrane of insect olfactory receptor neurons. Here we show that the outer dendritic plasma membrane of silkmoth olfactory receptor neurons seems to be exclusively equipped with a specific ion channel activated by low concentrations of the species-specific sex pheromone component. This so-called AC_1 channel has a conductance of 56 pS and is nonselectively permeable to cations. The AC_1 channel can be activated from the intracellular side by protein kinase C activators such as diacylglycerol and phorbolester and by cGMP but not by Ca2+, inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate, or cAMP. Our results imply that phosphorylation of this ion channel by protein kinase C could be the crucial step in channel opening by sex pheromones.

  18. Cholesterol binding to ion channels

    PubMed Central

    Levitan, Irena; Singh, Dev K.; Rosenhouse-Dantsker, Avia

    2014-01-01

    Numerous studies demonstrated that membrane cholesterol is a major regulator of ion channel function. The goal of this review is to discuss significant advances that have been recently achieved in elucidating the mechanisms responsible for cholesterol regulation of ion channels. The first major insight that comes from growing number of studies that based on the sterol specificity of cholesterol effects, show that several types of ion channels (nAChR, Kir, BK, TRPV) are regulated by specific sterol-protein interactions. This conclusion is supported by demonstrating direct saturable binding of cholesterol to a bacterial Kir channel. The second major advance in the field is the identification of putative cholesterol binding sites in several types of ion channels. These include sites at locations associated with the well-known cholesterol binding motif CRAC and its reversed form CARC in nAChR, BK, and TRPV, as well as novel cholesterol binding regions in Kir channels. Notably, in the majority of these channels, cholesterol is suggested to interact mainly with hydrophobic residues in non-annular regions of the channels being embedded in between transmembrane protein helices. We also discuss how identification of putative cholesterol binding sites is an essential step to understand the mechanistic basis of cholesterol-induced channel regulation. Clearly, however, these are only the first few steps in obtaining a general understanding of cholesterol-ion channels interactions and their roles in cellular and organ functions. PMID:24616704

  19. Permeation of both cations and anions through a single class of ATP- activated ion channels in developing chick skeletal muscle

    PubMed Central

    1990-01-01

    Micromolar concentrations of extracellular adenosine 5'-triphosphate (ATP) elicit a rapid excitatory response in developing chick skeletal muscle. Excitation is the result of a simultaneous increase in membrane permeability to sodium, potassium, and chloride ions. In the present study we quantify the selectivity of the ATP response, and provide evidence that a single class of ATP-activated ion channels conducts both cations and anions. Experiments were performed on myoballs using the whole-cell patch-clamp technique. We estimated permeability ratios by measuring the shift in reversal potential when one ion was substituted for another. We found that monovalent cations, divalent cations, and monovalent anions all permeate the membrane during the ATP response, and that there was only moderate selectivity between many of these ions. Calcium was the most permeant ion tested. To determine if ATP activates a single class of channels that conducts both cations and anions, or if ATP activates separate classes of cation and anion channels, we analyzed the fluctuations about the mean current induced by ATP. Ionic conditions were arranged so that the reversal potential for cations was +50 mV and the reversal potential for anions was -50 mV. Under these conditions, if ATP activates a single class of channels, ATP should not evoke an increase in noise at the reversal potential of the ATP current. However, if ATP activates separate classes of cation and anion channels, ATP should evoke a significant increase in noise at the reversal potential of the ATP current. At both +40 and -50 mV ATP elicited a clear increase in noise, but at the reversal potential of the ATP current (-5 mV), no increase in noise above background was seen. These results indicate that there is only a single class of excitatory ATP-activated channels, which do not select by charge. Based on analysis of the noise spectrum, the conductance of individual channels is estimated to be 0.2-0.4 pS. PMID:1692581

  20. Cardiac ion channels in health and disease.

    PubMed

    Amin, Ahmad S; Tan, Hanno L; Wilde, Arthur A M

    2010-01-01

    Cardiac electrical activity depends on the coordinated propagation of excitatory stimuli through the heart and, as a consequence, the generation of action potentials in individual cardiomyocytes. Action potential formation results from the opening and closing (gating) of ion channels that are expressed within the sarcolemma of cardiomyocytes. Ion channels possess distinct genetic, molecular, pharmacologic, and gating properties and exhibit dissimilar expression levels within different cardiac regions. By gating, ion channels permit ion currents across the sarcolemma, thereby creating the different phases of the action potential (e.g., resting phase, depolarization, repolarization). The importance of ion channels in maintaining normal heart rhythm is reflected by the increased incidence of arrhythmias in inherited diseases that are linked to mutations in genes encoding ion channels or their accessory proteins and in acquired diseases that are associated with changes in ion channel expression levels or gating properties. This review discusses ion channels that contribute to action potential formation in healthy hearts and their role in inherited and acquired diseases. PMID:19875343

  1. Estimating the voltage-dependent free energy change of ion channels using the median voltage for activation.

    PubMed

    Chowdhury, Sandipan; Chanda, Baron

    2012-01-01

    Voltage-gated ion channels are crucial for electrical activity and chemical signaling in a variety of cell types. Structure-activity studies involving electrophysiological characterization of mutants are widely used and allow us to quickly realize the energetic effects of a mutation by measuring macroscopic currents and fitting the observed voltage dependence of conductance to a Boltzmann equation. However, such an approach is somewhat limiting, principally because of the inherent assumption that the channel activation is a two-state process. In this analysis, we show that the area delineated by the gating charge displacement curve and its ordinate axis is related to the free energy of activation of a voltage-gated ion channel. We derive a parameter, the median voltage of charge transfer (V(m)), which is proportional to this area, and prove that the chemical component of free energy change of a system can be obtained from the knowledge of V(m) and the maximum number of charges transferred. Our method is not constrained by the number or connectivity of intermediate states and is applicable to instances in which the observed responses show a multiphasic behavior. We consider various models of ion channel gating with voltage-dependent steps, latent charge movement, inactivation, etc. and discuss the applicability of this approach in each case. Notably, our method estimates a net free energy change of approximately -14 kcal/mol associated with the full-scale activation of the Shaker potassium channel, in contrast to -2 to -3 kcal/mol estimated from a single Boltzmann fit. Our estimate of the net free energy change in the system is consistent with those derived from detailed kinetic models (Zagotta et al. 1994. J. Gen. Physiol. doi:10.1085/jgp.103.2.321). The median voltage method can reliably quantify the magnitude of free energy change associated with activation of a voltage-dependent system from macroscopic equilibrium measurements. This will be particularly useful

  2. Myrsinane, Premyrsinane, and Cyclomyrsinane Diterpenes from Euphorbia falcata as Potassium Ion Channel Inhibitors with Selective G Protein-Activated Inwardly Rectifying Ion Channel (GIRK) Blocking Effects.

    PubMed

    Vasas, Andrea; Forgo, Peter; Orvos, Péter; Tálosi, László; Csorba, Attila; Pinke, Gyula; Hohmann, Judit

    2016-08-26

    GIRK channels are activated by a large number of G protein-coupled receptors and regulate the electrical activity of neurons, cardiac atrial myocytes, and β-pancreatic cells. Abnormalities in GIRK channel function have been implicated in the pathophysiology of neuropathic pain, drug addiction, and cardiac arrhythmias. In the heart, GIRK channels are selectively expressed in the atrium, and their activation inhibits pacemaker activity, thereby slowing the heart rate. In the present study, 19 new diterpenes, falcatins A-S (1-19), and the known euphorprolitherin D (20) were isolated from Euphorbia falcata. The compounds were assayed on stable transfected HEK-hERG (Kv11.1) and HEK-GIRK1/4 (Kir3.1 and Kir3.4) cells. Blocking activity on GIRK channels was exerted by 13 compounds (61-83% at 10 μM), and, among them, five possessed low potency on the hERG channel (4-20% at 10 μM). These selective activities suggest that myrsinane-related diterpenes are potential lead compounds for the treatment of atrial fibrillation. PMID:27441737

  3. Calcium-Activated SK Channels Influence Voltage-Gated Ion Channels to Determine the Precision of Firing in Globus Pallidus Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Deister, Christopher A.; Chan, C. Savio; Surmeier, D. James; Wilson, Charles J.

    2012-01-01

    Globus pallidus (GP) neurons fire rhythmically in the absence of synaptic input, suggesting that they may encode their inputs as changes in the phase of their rhythmic firing. Action potential afterhyperpolarization (AHP) enhances precision of firing by ensuring that the ion channels recover from inactivation by the same amount on each cycle. Voltage-clamp experiments in slices showed that the longest component of the GP neuron’s AHP is blocked by apamin, a selective antagonist of calcium-activated SK channels. Application of 100 nm apamin also disrupted the precision of firing in perforated-patch and cell-attached recordings. SK channel blockade caused a small depolarization in spike threshold and made it more variable, but there was no reduction in the maximal rate of rise during an action potential. Thus, the firing irregularity was not caused solely by a reduction in voltage-gated Na+ channel availability. Subthreshold voltage ramps triggered a large outward current that was sensitive to the initial holding potential and had properties similar to the A-type K+ current in GP neurons. In numerical simulations, the availability of both Na+ and A-type K+ channels during autonomous firing were reduced when SK channels were removed, and a nearly equal reduction in Na+ and K+ subthreshold-activated ion channel availability produced a large decrease in the neuron’s slope conductance near threshold. This change made the neuron more sensitive to intrinsically generated noise. In vivo, this change would also enhance the sensitivity of GP neurons to small synaptic inputs. PMID:19571136

  4. HSV delivery of a ligand-regulated endogenous ion channel gene to sensory neurons results in pain control following channel activation.

    PubMed

    Goss, James R; Cascio, Michael; Goins, William F; Huang, Shaohua; Krisky, David M; Clarke, Richard J; Johnson, Jon W; Yokoyama, Hitoshi; Yoshimura, Naoki; Gold, Michael S; Glorioso, Joseph C

    2011-03-01

    Persistent pain remains a tremendous health problem due to both its prevalence and dearth of effective therapeutic interventions. To maximize pain relief while minimizing side effects, current gene therapy-based approaches have mostly exploited the expression of pain inhibitory products or interfered with pronociceptive ion channels. These methods do not enable control over the timing or duration of analgesia, nor titration to analgesic efficacy. Here, we describe a gene therapy strategy that potentially overcomes these limitations by providing exquisite control over therapy with efficacy in clinically relevant models of inflammatory pain. We utilize a herpes simplex viral (HSV) vector (vHGlyRα1) to express a ligand-regulated chloride ion channel, the glycine receptor (GlyR) in targeted sensory afferents; the subsequent exogenous addition of glycine provides the means for temporal and spatial control of afferent activity, and therefore pain. Use of an endogenous inhibitory receptor not normally present on sensory neurons both minimizes immunogenicity and maximizes therapeutic selectivity.

  5. Silicon-Based Ion Channel Platforms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilk, S. J.; Petrossian, L.; Goryll, M.; Tang, J. M.; Eisenberg, R. S.; Saraniti, M.; Goodnick, S. M.; Thornton, T. J.

    We demonstrate that silicon substrates can be used as a universal platform for recording the electrical activity of ion channels inserted into suspended bilayers. The bilayers span narrow openings etched into silicon substrates using standard microelectronics processing techniques. Reversible Ag/AgCl electrodes are integrated around the circumference of the opening and provide long-term stable measurements of the ion channel currents. To demonstrate the utility of the silicon platform we have measured the electrical activity of OmpF porin ion channel proteins inserted into a lipid bilayer formed using the Montal — Mueller method. Systematic measurements of the lipid giga-seal characteristics are presented, including ac conductance measurements and statistical analysis in order to resolve the conductance of individual ion-channels.

  6. Intramembrane Proton Binding Site Linked to Activation of Bacterial Pentameric Ion Channel*

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Hai-Long; Cheng, Xiaolin; Sine, Steven M.

    2012-01-01

    Prokaryotic orthologs of eukaryotic Cys-loop receptor channels recently emerged as structural and mechanistic surrogates to investigate this superfamily of intercellular signaling proteins. Here, we examine proton activation of the prokaryotic ortholog GLIC using patch clamp electrophysiology, mutagenesis, and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. Whole-cell current recordings from human embryonic kidney (HEK) 293 cells expressing GLIC show half-maximal activation at pH 6, close to the pKa of histidine, implicating the three native His residues in proton sensing linked to activation. The mutation H235F abolishes proton activation, H277Y is without effect, and all nine mutations of His-127 prevent expression on the cell surface. In the GLIC crystal structure, His-235 on transmembrane (TM) α-helix 2, hydrogen bonds to the main chain carbonyl oxygen of Ile-259 on TM α-helix 3. MD simulations show that when His-235 is protonated, the hydrogen bond persists, and the channel remains in the open conformation, whereas when His-235 is deprotonated, the hydrogen bond dissociates, and the channel closes. Mutations of the proximal Tyr-263, which also links TM α-helices 2 and 3 via a hydrogen bond, alter proton sensitivity over a 1.5 pH unit range. MD simulations show that mutations of Tyr-263 alter the hydrogen bonding capacity of His-235. The overall findings show that His-235 in the TM region of GLIC is a novel proton binding site linked to channel activation. PMID:22084238

  7. Ion Channels in Nerve Membranes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ehrenstein, Gerald

    1976-01-01

    Discusses research that indicates that nerve membranes, which play a key role in the conduction of impulses, are traversed by protein channels with ion pathways opened and closed by the membrane electric field. (Author/MLH)

  8. Ion channel screening technologies today.

    PubMed

    Terstappen, Georg C

    2005-01-01

    For every heartbeat, movement and thought, ion channels have to open and close, and thus, it is not surprising that malfunctioning of these membrane proteins leads to serious diseases. Today, only 7% of all marketed drugs act on ion channels but the systematic exploitation of this important target class has started mainly enabled by novel screening technologies. Thus, the discovery of selective and state-dependent drugs is on the horizon, hopefully leading to effective novel medicines.:

  9. Alcohol intoxication: Ion channels and genetics

    SciTech Connect

    Harris, A.R.; Allan, A.M. )

    1989-04-01

    Acute in vitro exposure to ethanol and other intoxicant-anesthetics activates {gamma}-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-stimulated chloride channels and inhibits voltage-dependent calcium and sodium channels of isolated brain membranes. The question of whether these neurochemical actions are responsible for intoxication in vivo has been addressed using animal populations displaying genetic differences in sensitivity to alcohol and benzodiazepine intoxication. These genetic approaches include inbred strains, selected lines, recombinant inbred strains, and heterogeneous stocks. Genetic differences in ion channel function provide strong evidence for a role of the GABA-stimulated chloride channel in ethanol and benzodiazepine intoxication; the role of calcium and sodium channels is less clear.

  10. Activation of acid-sensing ion channels by localized proton transient reveals their role in proton signaling.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Wei-Zheng; Liu, Di-Shi; Liu, Lu; She, Liang; Wu, Long-Jun; Xu, Tian-Le

    2015-01-01

    Extracellular transients of pH alterations likely mediate signal transduction in the nervous system. Neuronal acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs) act as sensors for extracellular protons, but the mechanism underlying ASIC activation remains largely unknown. Here, we show that, following activation of a light-activated proton pump, Archaerhodopsin-3 (Arch), proton transients induced ASIC currents in both neurons and HEK293T cells co-expressing ASIC1a channels. Using chimera proteins that bridge Arch and ASIC1a by a glycine/serine linker, we found that successful coupling occurred within 15 nm distance. Furthermore, two-cell sniffer patch recording revealed that regulated release of protons through either Arch or voltage-gated proton channel Hv1 activated neighbouring cells expressing ASIC1a channels. Finally, computational modelling predicted the peak proton concentration at the intercellular interface to be at pH 6.7, which is acidic enough to activate ASICs in vivo. Our results highlight the pathophysiological role of proton signalling in the nervous system. PMID:26370138

  11. Activation of acid-sensing ion channels by localized proton transient reveals their role in proton signaling

    PubMed Central

    Zeng, Wei-Zheng; Liu, Di-Shi; Liu, Lu; She, Liang; Wu, Long-Jun; Xu, Tian-Le

    2015-01-01

    Extracellular transients of pH alterations likely mediate signal transduction in the nervous system. Neuronal acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs) act as sensors for extracellular protons, but the mechanism underlying ASIC activation remains largely unknown. Here, we show that, following activation of a light-activated proton pump, Archaerhodopsin-3 (Arch), proton transients induced ASIC currents in both neurons and HEK293T cells co-expressing ASIC1a channels. Using chimera proteins that bridge Arch and ASIC1a by a glycine/serine linker, we found that successful coupling occurred within 15 nm distance. Furthermore, two-cell sniffer patch recording revealed that regulated release of protons through either Arch or voltage-gated proton channel Hv1 activated neighbouring cells expressing ASIC1a channels. Finally, computational modelling predicted the peak proton concentration at the intercellular interface to be at pH 6.7, which is acidic enough to activate ASICs in vivo. Our results highlight the pathophysiological role of proton signalling in the nervous system. PMID:26370138

  12. Activation of acid-sensing ion channels by localized proton transient reveals their role in proton signaling.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Wei-Zheng; Liu, Di-Shi; Liu, Lu; She, Liang; Wu, Long-Jun; Xu, Tian-Le

    2015-09-15

    Extracellular transients of pH alterations likely mediate signal transduction in the nervous system. Neuronal acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs) act as sensors for extracellular protons, but the mechanism underlying ASIC activation remains largely unknown. Here, we show that, following activation of a light-activated proton pump, Archaerhodopsin-3 (Arch), proton transients induced ASIC currents in both neurons and HEK293T cells co-expressing ASIC1a channels. Using chimera proteins that bridge Arch and ASIC1a by a glycine/serine linker, we found that successful coupling occurred within 15 nm distance. Furthermore, two-cell sniffer patch recording revealed that regulated release of protons through either Arch or voltage-gated proton channel Hv1 activated neighbouring cells expressing ASIC1a channels. Finally, computational modelling predicted the peak proton concentration at the intercellular interface to be at pH 6.7, which is acidic enough to activate ASICs in vivo. Our results highlight the pathophysiological role of proton signalling in the nervous system.

  13. Ion Channels in Brain Metastasis

    PubMed Central

    Klumpp, Lukas; Sezgin, Efe C.; Eckert, Franziska; Huber, Stephan M.

    2016-01-01

    Breast cancer, lung cancer and melanoma exhibit a high metastatic tropism to the brain. Development of brain metastases severely worsens the prognosis of cancer patients and constrains curative treatment options. Metastasizing to the brain by cancer cells can be dissected in consecutive processes including epithelial–mesenchymal transition, evasion from the primary tumor, intravasation and circulation in the blood, extravasation across the blood–brain barrier, formation of metastatic niches, and colonization in the brain. Ion channels have been demonstrated to be aberrantly expressed in tumor cells where they regulate neoplastic transformation, malignant progression or therapy resistance. Moreover, many ion channel modulators are FDA-approved drugs and in clinical use proposing ion channels as druggable targets for future anti-cancer therapy. The present review article aims to summarize the current knowledge on the function of ion channels in the different processes of brain metastasis. The data suggest that certain channel types involving voltage-gated sodium channels, ATP-release channels, ionotropic neurotransmitter receptors and gap junction-generating connexins interfere with distinct processes of brain metastazation. PMID:27618016

  14. Ion Channels in Brain Metastasis.

    PubMed

    Klumpp, Lukas; Sezgin, Efe C; Eckert, Franziska; Huber, Stephan M

    2016-01-01

    Breast cancer, lung cancer and melanoma exhibit a high metastatic tropism to the brain. Development of brain metastases severely worsens the prognosis of cancer patients and constrains curative treatment options. Metastasizing to the brain by cancer cells can be dissected in consecutive processes including epithelial-mesenchymal transition, evasion from the primary tumor, intravasation and circulation in the blood, extravasation across the blood-brain barrier, formation of metastatic niches, and colonization in the brain. Ion channels have been demonstrated to be aberrantly expressed in tumor cells where they regulate neoplastic transformation, malignant progression or therapy resistance. Moreover, many ion channel modulators are FDA-approved drugs and in clinical use proposing ion channels as druggable targets for future anti-cancer therapy. The present review article aims to summarize the current knowledge on the function of ion channels in the different processes of brain metastasis. The data suggest that certain channel types involving voltage-gated sodium channels, ATP-release channels, ionotropic neurotransmitter receptors and gap junction-generating connexins interfere with distinct processes of brain metastazation. PMID:27618016

  15. Effect of Cytochalasin B, Lantrunculin B, Colchicine, Cycloheximid, Dimethyl Sulfoxide and Ion Channel Inhibitors on Biospeckle Activity in Apple Tissue.

    PubMed

    Kurenda, Andrzej; Pieczywek, Piotr M; Adamiak, Anna; Zdunek, Artur

    2013-01-01

    The biospeckle phenomenon is used for non-destructive monitoring the quality of fresh fruits and vegetables, but in the case of plant tissues there is a lack of experimentally confirmed information about the biological origin of the biospeckle activity (BA). As a main sources of BA, processes associated with the movement inside the cell, such as cytoplasmic streaming, organelle movement and intra- and extracellular transport mechanisms, are considered. The aim of this study is to investigate the effect of metabolism inhibitors, connected with intracellular movement such as cytochalasin B, lantrunculin B, colchicine, cycloheximid, dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) and mixture of ion channel inhibitors, injected into apples, on BA. Two methods of BA analysis based on cross-correlation coefficient and Laser Speckle Contrast Analysis (LASCA) were used. DMSO, lantrunculin B and mixture of ion channel inhibitors have a significant effect on BA, and approximately 74 % of BA of apple tissue is potentially caused by biological processes. Results indicate that the functioning of actin microfilaments and ion channels significantly affect BA.

  16. Hyperpolarization-activated cation and T-type calcium ion channel expression in porcine and human renal pacemaker tissues.

    PubMed

    Hurtado, Romulo; Smith, Carl S

    2016-05-01

    Renal pacemaker activity triggers peristaltic upper urinary tract contractions that propel waste from the kidney to the bladder, a process prone to congenital defects that are the leading cause of pediatric kidney failure. Recently, studies have discovered that hyperpolarization-activated cation (HCN) and T-type calcium (TTC) channel conductances underlie murine renal pacemaker activity, setting the origin and frequency and coordinating upper urinary tract peristalsis. Here, we determined whether this ion channel expression is conserved in the porcine and human urinary tracts, which share a distinct multicalyceal anatomy with multiple pacemaker sites. Double chromagenic immunohistochemistry revealed that HCN isoform 3 is highly expressed at the porcine minor calyces, the renal pacemaker tissues, whereas the kidney and urinary tract smooth muscle lacked this HCN expression. Immunofluorescent staining demonstrated that HCN(+) cells are integrated within the porcine calyx smooth muscle, and that they co-express TTC channel isoform Cav3.2. In humans, the anatomic structure of the minor calyx pacemaker was assayed via hematoxylin and eosin analyses, and enabled the visualization of the calyx smooth muscle surrounding adjacent papillae. Strikingly, immunofluorescence revealed that HCN3(+) /Cav3.2(+) cells are also localized to the human minor calyx smooth muscle. Collectively, these data have elucidated a conserved molecular signature of HCN and TTC channel expression in porcine and human calyx pacemaker tissues. These findings provide evidence for the mechanisms that can drive renal pacemaker activity in the multi-calyceal urinary tract, and potential causes of obstructive uropathies. PMID:26805464

  17. Demystifying Mechanosensitive Piezo Ion Channels.

    PubMed

    Xu, X Z Shawn

    2016-06-01

    Mechanosensitive channels mediate touch, hearing, proprioception, and blood pressure regulation. Piezo proteins, including Piezo1 and Piezo2, represent a new class of mechanosensitive channels that have been reported to play key roles in most, if not all, of these modalities. The structural architecture and molecular mechanisms by which Piezos act as mechanosensitive channels, however, remain mysterious. Two new studies have now provided critical insights into the atomic structure and molecular basis of the ion permeation and mechano-gating properties of the Piezo1 channel.

  18. Models of permeation in ion channels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuyucak, Serdar; Sparre Andersen, Olaf; Chung, Shin-Ho

    2001-11-01

    Ion channels are formed by specific proteins embedded in the cell membrane and provide pathways for fast and controlled flow of selected ions down their electrochemical gradient. This activity generates action potentials in nerves, muscles and other excitable cells, and forms the basis of all movement, sensation and thought processes in living beings. While the functional properties of ion channels are well known from physiological studies, lack of structural knowledge has hindered development of realistic theoretical models necessary for understanding and interpretation of these properties. Recent determination of the molecular structures of potassium and mechanosensitive channels from x-ray crystallography has finally broken this impasse, heralding a new age in ion channel studies where study of structure-function relationships takes a central stage. In this paper, we present a critical review of various approaches to modelling of ion transport in membrane channels, including continuum theories, Brownian dynamics, and classical and ab initio molecular dynamics. Strengths and weaknesses of each approach are discussed and illustrated with applications to some specific ion channels.

  19. Ion Channel Blockers as Antimicrobial Agents, Efflux Inhibitors, and Enhancers of Macrophage Killing Activity against Drug Resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis

    PubMed Central

    Perdigão, João; Couto, Isabel; Portugal, Isabel; Martins, Marta; Amaral, Leonard; Anes, Elsa; Viveiros, Miguel

    2016-01-01

    Given the ability of M. tuberculosis to survive as an intracellular pathogen and its propensity to develop resistance to the existing antituberculosis drugs, its treatment requires new approaches. Here the antimycobacterial properties of verapamil, thioridazine, chlorpromazine, flupenthixol and haloperidol were investigated against a panel of drug resistant M. tuberculosis strains, both in vitro and on human-infected macrophages. These compounds are efflux inhibitors that share among them the characteristic of being ion channel blockers. In vitro, all compounds exhibited synergistic inhibitory activities when combined with isoniazid and rifampicin, and were able to inhibit active efflux, demonstrating their role as efflux inhibitors. Gene expression analysis showed that M. tuberculosis efflux genes were overexpressed in response to antibiotic exposure, in vitro and within macrophages, irrespective of their resistance pattern. These compounds displayed a rapid and high killing activity against M. tuberculosis, associated with a decrease in intracellular ATP levels demonstrating that the bactericidal action of the ion channel blockers against M. tuberculosis clinical strains is associated with their interference with energy metabolism. The compounds led to a decrease in the intracellular mycobacterial load by increasing phagosome acidification and activating lysosomal hydrolases. The results presented in this study enable us to propose the following mechanism of action for these compounds: a) in the bacteria, the compounds generate a cascade of events involving the inhibition of the respiratory chain complexes and energy production for efflux activity. Indirectly, this reduce the resistance level to antituberculosis drugs potentiating their activity; b) on the host cell, the treatment with the ion channel blockers increases phagosome acidification and induces the expression of phagosomal hydrolases, leading to bacterial growth restriction irrespective of their

  20. Ion Channel Blockers as Antimicrobial Agents, Efflux Inhibitors, and Enhancers of Macrophage Killing Activity against Drug Resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

    PubMed

    Machado, Diana; Pires, David; Perdigão, João; Couto, Isabel; Portugal, Isabel; Martins, Marta; Amaral, Leonard; Anes, Elsa; Viveiros, Miguel

    2016-01-01

    Given the ability of M. tuberculosis to survive as an intracellular pathogen and its propensity to develop resistance to the existing antituberculosis drugs, its treatment requires new approaches. Here the antimycobacterial properties of verapamil, thioridazine, chlorpromazine, flupenthixol and haloperidol were investigated against a panel of drug resistant M. tuberculosis strains, both in vitro and on human-infected macrophages. These compounds are efflux inhibitors that share among them the characteristic of being ion channel blockers. In vitro, all compounds exhibited synergistic inhibitory activities when combined with isoniazid and rifampicin, and were able to inhibit active efflux, demonstrating their role as efflux inhibitors. Gene expression analysis showed that M. tuberculosis efflux genes were overexpressed in response to antibiotic exposure, in vitro and within macrophages, irrespective of their resistance pattern. These compounds displayed a rapid and high killing activity against M. tuberculosis, associated with a decrease in intracellular ATP levels demonstrating that the bactericidal action of the ion channel blockers against M. tuberculosis clinical strains is associated with their interference with energy metabolism. The compounds led to a decrease in the intracellular mycobacterial load by increasing phagosome acidification and activating lysosomal hydrolases. The results presented in this study enable us to propose the following mechanism of action for these compounds: a) in the bacteria, the compounds generate a cascade of events involving the inhibition of the respiratory chain complexes and energy production for efflux activity. Indirectly, this reduce the resistance level to antituberculosis drugs potentiating their activity; b) on the host cell, the treatment with the ion channel blockers increases phagosome acidification and induces the expression of phagosomal hydrolases, leading to bacterial growth restriction irrespective of their

  1. The ion channel TRPV1 regulates the activation and proinflammatory properties of CD4+ T cells

    PubMed Central

    Bertin, Samuel; Aoki-Nonaka, Yukari; de Jong, Petrus Rudolf; Stanwood, Shawna R.; Srikanth, Sonal; Lee, Jihyung; To, Keith; Abramson, Lior; Yu, Timothy; Han, Tiffany; Touma, Ranim; Li, Xiangli; González-Navajas, José M.; Herdman, Scott; Corr, Maripat; Fu, Guo; Dong, Hui; Gwack, Yousang; Franco, Alessandra; Jefferies, Wilfred A.; Raz, Eyal

    2016-01-01

    TRPV1 is a Ca2+-permeable channel mostly studied as a pain receptor in sensory neurons. However, its role in other cell types is poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate that TRPV1 is functionally expressed in CD4+ T cells where it acts as a non-store-operated Ca2+ channel and contributes to T cell receptor (TCR)-induced Ca2+ influx, TCR signaling and T cell activation. In models of T cell-mediated colitis, TRPV1 promotes colitogenic T cell responses and intestinal inflammation. Furthermore, genetic and pharmacological inhibition of TRPV1 in human CD4+ T cells recapitulates the phenotype of murine Trpv1−/− CD4+ T cells. These findings suggest that TRPV1 inhibition could represent a new therapeutic strategy to restrain proinflammatory T cell responses. PMID:25282159

  2. Structural mechanism underlying capsaicin binding and activation of the TRPV1 ion channel.

    PubMed

    Yang, Fan; Xiao, Xian; Cheng, Wei; Yang, Wei; Yu, Peilin; Song, Zhenzhen; Yarov-Yarovoy, Vladimir; Zheng, Jie

    2015-07-01

    Capsaicin bestows spiciness by activating TRPV1 channel with exquisite potency and selectivity. Although a capsaicin-bound channel structure was previously resolved by cryo-EM at 4.2- to 4.5-Å resolution, capsaicin was registered as a small electron density, reflecting neither its chemical structure nor specific ligand-channel interactions--important details required for mechanistic understanding. We obtained the missing atomic-level details by iterative computation and confirmed them by systematic site-specific functional tests. We observed that the bound capsaicin takes a 'tail-up, head-down' configuration. The vanillyl and amide groups form specific interactions to anchor its bound position, while the aliphatic tail may sample a range of conformations, making it invisible in cryo-EM images. Capsaicin stabilizes TRPV1's open state by 'pull-and-contact' interactions between the vanillyl group and the S4-S5 linker. Our study provides a structural mechanism for the agonistic function of capsaicin and its analogs, and demonstrates an effective approach to obtain atomic-level information from cryo-EM structures.

  3. Gingerol activates noxious cold ion channel TRPA1 in gastrointestinal tract.

    PubMed

    Yang, Meng-Qi; Ye, Lin-Lan; Liu, Xiao-Ling; Qi, Xiao-Ming; Lv, Jia-Di; Wang, Gang; Farhan, Ulah-Khan; Waqas, Nawaz; Chen, Ding-Ding; Han, Lei; Zhou, Xiao-Hui

    2016-06-01

    TRPA1 channels are non-selective cation channels that could be activated by plant-derived pungent products, including gingerol, a main active constituent of ginger. Ginger could improve the digestive function; however whether ginger improves the digestive function through activating TRPA1 receptor in gastrointestinal tract has not been investigated. In the present study, gingerol was used to stimulate cell lines (RIN14B or STC-1) while depletion of extracellular calcium. TRPA1 inhibitor (rethenium red) and TRPA1 gene silencing via TRPA1-specific siRNA were also used for mechanistic studies. The intracellular calcium and secretion of serotonin or cholecystokinin were measured by fura-2/AM and ELISA. Stimulation of those cells with gingerol increased intracellular calcium levels and the serotonin or cholecystokinin secretion. The gingerol-induced intracellular calcium increase and secretion (serotonin or cholecystokinin) release were completely blocked by ruthenium red, EGTA, and TRPA1-specific siRNA. In summary, our results suggested that gingerol derived from ginger might improve the digestive function through secretion releasing from endocrine cells of the gut by inducing TRPA1-mediated calcium influx. PMID:27473961

  4. Monitoring charge flux to quantify unusual ligand-induced ion channel activity for use in biological nanopore-based sensors.

    PubMed

    Macazo, Florika C; White, Ryan J

    2014-06-01

    The utility of biological nanopores for the development of sensors has become a growing area of interest in analytical chemistry. Their emerging use in chemical analysis is a result of several ideal characteristics. First, they provide reproducible control over nanoscale pore sizes with an atomic level of precision. Second, they are amenable to resistive-pulse type measurement systems when embedded into an artificial lipid bilayer. A single binding event causes a change in the flow of millions of ions across the membrane per second that is readily measured as a change in current with excellent signal-to-noise ratio. To date, ion channel-based biosensors have been limited to well-behaved proteins. Most demonstrations of using ion channels as sensors have been limited to proteins that remain in the open, conducting state, unless occupied by an analyte of interest. Furthermore, these proteins are nonspecific, requiring chemical, biochemical, or genetic manipulations to impart chemical specificity. Here, we report on the use of the pore-forming abilities of heat shock cognate 70 (Hsc70) to quantify a specific analyte. Hsc70 reconstitutes into phospholipid membranes and opens to form multiple conductance states specifically in the presence of ATP. We introduce the measurement of "charge flux" to characterize the ATP-regulated multiconductance nature of Hsc70, which enables sensitive quantification of ATP (100 μM-4 mM). We believe that monitoring protein-induced charge flux across a bilayer membrane represents a universal method for quantitatively monitoring ion-channel activity. This measurement has the potential to broaden the library of usable proteins in the development of nanopore-based biosensors.

  5. Monitoring Charge Flux to Quantify Unusual Ligand-Induced Ion Channel Activity for Use in Biological Nanopore-Based Sensors

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    The utility of biological nanopores for the development of sensors has become a growing area of interest in analytical chemistry. Their emerging use in chemical analysis is a result of several ideal characteristics. First, they provide reproducible control over nanoscale pore sizes with an atomic level of precision. Second, they are amenable to resistive-pulse type measurement systems when embedded into an artificial lipid bilayer. A single binding event causes a change in the flow of millions of ions across the membrane per second that is readily measured as a change in current with excellent signal-to-noise ratio. To date, ion channel-based biosensors have been limited to well-behaved proteins. Most demonstrations of using ion channels as sensors have been limited to proteins that remain in the open, conducting state, unless occupied by an analyte of interest. Furthermore, these proteins are nonspecific, requiring chemical, biochemical, or genetic manipulations to impart chemical specificity. Here, we report on the use of the pore-forming abilities of heat shock cognate 70 (Hsc70) to quantify a specific analyte. Hsc70 reconstitutes into phospholipid membranes and opens to form multiple conductance states specifically in the presence of ATP. We introduce the measurement of “charge flux” to characterize the ATP-regulated multiconductance nature of Hsc70, which enables sensitive quantification of ATP (100 μM–4 mM). We believe that monitoring protein-induced charge flux across a bilayer membrane represents a universal method for quantitatively monitoring ion-channel activity. This measurement has the potential to broaden the library of usable proteins in the development of nanopore-based biosensors. PMID:24794413

  6. Single-Channel Recording of Ligand-Gated Ion Channels.

    PubMed

    Plested, Andrew J R

    2016-01-01

    Single-channel recordings reveal the microscopic properties of individual ligand-gated ion channels. Such recordings contain much more information than measurements of ensemble behavior and can yield structural and functional information about the receptors that participate in fast synaptic transmission in the brain. With a little care, a standard patch-clamp electrophysiology setup can be adapted for single-channel recording in a matter of hours. Thenceforth, it is a realistic aim to record single-molecule activity with microsecond resolution from arbitrary cell types, including cell lines and neurons. PMID:27480725

  7. Characterization of inhibition of M2 ion channel activity by BL-1743, an inhibitor of influenza A virus.

    PubMed Central

    Tu, Q; Pinto, L H; Luo, G; Shaughnessy, M A; Mullaney, D; Kurtz, S; Krystal, M; Lamb, R A

    1996-01-01

    The influenza A virus M2 integral membrane protein has ion channel activity that can be inhibited by the antiviral drug amantadine. Recently, a spirene-containing compound, BL-1743 (2-[3-azaspiro (5,5)undecanol]-2-imidazoline), that inhibits influenza virus growth was identified (S. Kurtz, G. Lao, K. M. Hahnenberger, C. Brooks, O. Gecha, K. Ingalls, K.-I. Numata, and M. Krystal, Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 39:2204-2209, 1995). We have examined the ability of BL-1743 to inhibit the M2 ion channel when expressed in oocytes of Xenopus laevis. BL-1743 inhibition is complete as far as can be measured by electrophysiological methods and is reversible, with a reverse reaction rate constant of 4.0 x 10(-3) s(-1). In contrast, amantadine inhibition is irreversible within the time frame of the experiment. However, BL-1743 inhibition and amantadine inhibition have similar properties. The majority of isolated influenza viruses resistant to BL-1743 are also amantadine resistant. In addition, all known amino acid changes which result in amantadine resistance also confer BL-1743 resistance. However, one BL-1743-resistant virus isolated, designated M2-I35T, contained the change Ile-35-->Thr. This virus is >70-fold more resistant to BL-1743 and only 10-fold more resistant to amantadine than the wild-type virus. When the ion channel activity of M2-I35T was examined in oocytes, it was found that M2-I35T is BL-1743 resistant but is reversibly inhibited by amantadine. These findings suggest that these two drugs interact differently with the M2 protein transmembrane pore region. PMID:8676445

  8. Studying the activation of epithelial ion channels using global whole-field photolysis.

    PubMed

    Almassy, Janos; Yule, David I

    2013-01-01

    The production of saliva by parotid acinar cells is stimulated by Ca(2+) activation of Cl(-) and K(+) channels located in the apical plasma membrane of these polarized cells. Here we provide a detailed description of a flash photolysis experiment designed to give a global and relatively uniform photorelease of inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (InsP(3)) or Ca(2+) from caged precursors (NPE-InsP(3) or NP-EGTA) combined with the simultaneous measurement of whole-cell Ca(2+)-activated currents. The photolysis light source can be either an ultraviolet (UV) flash lamp or alternatively the output from a 375-nm diode laser, which is defocused to illuminate the entire field.

  9. Ion channel TRPV1-dependent activation of PTP1B suppresses EGFR-associated intestinal tumorigenesis

    PubMed Central

    de Jong, Petrus R.; Takahashi, Naoki; Harris, Alexandra R.; Lee, Jihyung; Bertin, Samuel; Jeffries, James; Jung, Michael; Duong, Jen; Triano, Amy I.; Lee, Jongdae; Niv, Yaron; Herdman, David S.; Taniguchi, Koji; Kim, Chang-Whan; Dong, Hui; Eckmann, Lars; Stanford, Stephanie M.; Bottini, Nunzio; Corr, Maripat; Raz, Eyal

    2014-01-01

    The intestinal epithelium has a high rate of turnover, and dysregulation of pathways that regulate regeneration can lead to tumor development; however, the negative regulators of oncogenic events in the intestinal epithelium are not fully understood. Here we identified a feedback loop between the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), a known mediator of proliferation, and the transient receptor potential cation channel, subfamily V, member 1 (TRPV1), in intestinal epithelial cells (IECs). We found that TRPV1 was expressed by IECs and was intrinsically activated upon EGFR stimulation. Subsequently, TRPV1 activation inhibited EGFR-induced epithelial cell proliferation via activation of Ca2+/calpain and resulting activation of protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B (PTP1B). In a murine model of multiple intestinal neoplasia (ApcMin/+ mice), TRPV1 deficiency increased adenoma formation, and treatment of these animals with an EGFR kinase inhibitor reversed protumorigenic phenotypes, supporting a functional association between TRPV1 and EGFR signaling in IECs. Administration of a TRPV1 agonist suppressed intestinal tumorigenesis in ApcMin/+ mice, similar to — as well as in conjunction with — a cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitor, which suggests that targeting both TRPV1 and COX-2 has potential as a therapeutic approach for tumor prevention. Our findings implicate TRPV1 as a regulator of growth factor signaling in the intestinal epithelium through activation of PTP1B and subsequent suppression of intestinal tumorigenesis. PMID:25083990

  10. BK channels: multiple sensors, one activation gate.

    PubMed

    Yang, Huanghe; Zhang, Guohui; Cui, Jianmin

    2015-01-01

    Ion transport across cell membranes is essential to cell communication and signaling. Passive ion transport is mediated by ion channels, membrane proteins that create ion conducting pores across cell membrane to allow ion flux down electrochemical gradient. Under physiological conditions, majority of ion channel pores are not constitutively open. Instead, structural region(s) within these pores breaks the continuity of the aqueous ion pathway, thereby serves as activation gate(s) to control ions flow in and out. To achieve spatially and temporally regulated ion flux in cells, many ion channels have evolved sensors to detect various environmental stimuli or the metabolic states of the cell and trigger global conformational changes, thereby dynamically operate the opening and closing of their activation gate. The sensors of ion channels can be broadly categorized as chemical sensors and physical sensors to respond to chemical (such as neural transmitters, nucleotides and ions) and physical (such as voltage, mechanical force and temperature) signals, respectively. With the rapidly growing structural and functional information of different types of ion channels, it is now critical to understand how ion channel sensors dynamically control their gates at molecular and atomic level. The voltage and Ca(2+) activated BK channels, a K(+) channel with an electrical sensor and multiple chemical sensors, provide a unique model system for us to understand how physical and chemical energy synergistically operate its activation gate.

  11. BK channels: multiple sensors, one activation gate

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Huanghe; Zhang, Guohui; Cui, Jianmin

    2015-01-01

    Ion transport across cell membranes is essential to cell communication and signaling. Passive ion transport is mediated by ion channels, membrane proteins that create ion conducting pores across cell membrane to allow ion flux down electrochemical gradient. Under physiological conditions, majority of ion channel pores are not constitutively open. Instead, structural region(s) within these pores breaks the continuity of the aqueous ion pathway, thereby serves as activation gate(s) to control ions flow in and out. To achieve spatially and temporally regulated ion flux in cells, many ion channels have evolved sensors to detect various environmental stimuli or the metabolic states of the cell and trigger global conformational changes, thereby dynamically operate the opening and closing of their activation gate. The sensors of ion channels can be broadly categorized as chemical sensors and physical sensors to respond to chemical (such as neural transmitters, nucleotides and ions) and physical (such as voltage, mechanical force and temperature) signals, respectively. With the rapidly growing structural and functional information of different types of ion channels, it is now critical to understand how ion channel sensors dynamically control their gates at molecular and atomic level. The voltage and Ca2+ activated BK channels, a K+ channel with an electrical sensor and multiple chemical sensors, provide a unique model system for us to understand how physical and chemical energy synergistically operate its activation gate. PMID:25705194

  12. Regulation of Ion Channels by Pyridine Nucleotides

    PubMed Central

    Kilfoil, Peter J.; Tipparaju, Srinivas M.; Barski, Oleg A.; Bhatnagar, Aruni

    2014-01-01

    Recent research suggests that in addition to their role as soluble electron carriers, pyridine nucleotides [NAD(P)(H)] also regulate ion transport mechanisms. This mode of regulation seems to have been conserved through evolution. Several bacterial ion–transporting proteins or their auxiliary subunits possess nucleotide-binding domains. In eukaryotes, the Kv1 and Kv4 channels interact with pyridine nucleotide–binding β-subunits that belong to the aldo-keto reductase superfamily. Binding of NADP+ to Kvβ removes N-type inactivation of Kv currents, whereas NADPH stabilizes channel inactivation. Pyridine nucleotides also regulate Slo channels by interacting with their cytosolic regulator of potassium conductance domains that show high sequence homology to the bacterial TrkA family of K+ transporters. These nucleotides also have been shown to modify the activity of the plasma membrane KATP channels, the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator, the transient receptor potential M2 channel, and the intracellular ryanodine receptor calcium release channels. In addition, pyridine nucleotides also modulate the voltage-gated sodium channel by supporting the activity of its ancillary subunit—the glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase-like protein. Moreover, the NADP+ metabolite, NAADP+, regulates intracellular calcium homeostasis via the 2-pore channel, ryanodine receptor, or transient receptor potential M2 channels. Regulation of ion channels by pyridine nucleotides may be required for integrating cell ion transport to energetics and for sensing oxygen levels or metabolite availability. This mechanism also may be an important component of hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction, memory, and circadian rhythms, and disruption of this regulatory axis may be linked to dysregulation of calcium homeostasis and cardiac arrhythmias. PMID:23410881

  13. Kinetics of ion transport through supramolecular channels in single crystals.

    PubMed

    Assouma, Cyrille D; Crochet, Aurélien; Chérémond, Yvens; Giese, Bernd; Fromm, Katharina M

    2013-04-22

    Single-crystal to single-crystal transformations are possible by ion-exchange and transport reactions through supramolecular channels that are composed of crown ether molecules and use trihalide ions as scaffolds. Kinetic measurements of ion transport at different temperatures provide activation energy data and show that a very fast exchange of K(+) ions with Na(+) ions occurs.

  14. A Latin American Perspective on Ion Channels.

    PubMed

    Elgoyhen, Ana Belén; Barajas-López, Carlos

    2016-09-01

    Ion channels, both ligand- and voltage-gated, play fundamental roles in many physiologic processes. Alteration in ion channel function underlies numerous pathologies, including hypertension, diabetes, chronic pain, epilepsy, certain cancers, and neuromuscular diseases. In addition, an increasing number of inherited and de novo ion channel mutations have been shown to contribute to disease states. Ion channels are thus a major class of pharmacotherapeutic targets. PMID:27535998

  15. A Latin American Perspective on Ion Channels.

    PubMed

    Elgoyhen, Ana Belén; Barajas-López, Carlos

    2016-09-01

    Ion channels, both ligand- and voltage-gated, play fundamental roles in many physiologic processes. Alteration in ion channel function underlies numerous pathologies, including hypertension, diabetes, chronic pain, epilepsy, certain cancers, and neuromuscular diseases. In addition, an increasing number of inherited and de novo ion channel mutations have been shown to contribute to disease states. Ion channels are thus a major class of pharmacotherapeutic targets.

  16. Arabidopsis MSL10 Has a Regulated Cell Death Signaling Activity That Is Separable from Its Mechanosensitive Ion Channel Activity[C][W

    PubMed Central

    Veley, Kira M.; Maksaev, Grigory; Frick, Elizabeth M.; January, Emma; Kloepper, Sarah C.; Haswell, Elizabeth S.

    2014-01-01

    Members of the MscS superfamily of mechanosensitive ion channels function as osmotic safety valves, releasing osmolytes under increased membrane tension. MscS homologs exhibit diverse topology and domain structure, and it has been proposed that the more complex members of the family might have novel regulatory mechanisms or molecular functions. Here, we present a study of MscS-Like (MSL)10 from Arabidopsis thaliana that supports these ideas. High-level expression of MSL10-GFP in Arabidopsis induced small stature, hydrogen peroxide accumulation, ectopic cell death, and reactive oxygen species- and cell death-associated gene expression. Phosphomimetic mutations in the MSL10 N-terminal domain prevented these phenotypes. The phosphorylation state of MSL10 also regulated its ability to induce cell death when transiently expressed in Nicotiana benthamiana leaves but did not affect subcellular localization, assembly, or channel behavior. Finally, the N-terminal domain of MSL10 was sufficient to induce cell death in tobacco, independent of phosphorylation state. We conclude that the plant-specific N-terminal domain of MSL10 is capable of inducing cell death, this activity is regulated by phosphorylation, and MSL10 has two separable activities—one as an ion channel and one as an inducer of cell death. These findings further our understanding of the evolution and significance of mechanosensitive ion channels. PMID:25052715

  17. Ion channels meet auxin action.

    PubMed

    Fuchs, I; Philippar, K; Hedrich, R

    2006-05-01

    The regulation of cell division and elongation in plants is accomplished by the action of different phytohormones. Auxin as one of these growth regulators is known to stimulate cell elongation growth in the aerial parts of the plant. Here, auxin enhances cell enlargement by increasing the extensibility of the cell wall and by facilitating the uptake of osmolytes such as potassium ions into the cell. Starting in the late 1990s, the auxin regulation of ion channels mediating K+ import into the cell has been studied in great detail. In this article we will focus on the molecular mechanisms underlying the modulation of K+ transport by auxin and present a model to explain how the regulation of K+ channels is involved in auxin-induced cell elongation growth. PMID:16807828

  18. The role of stretch-activated ion channels in acute respiratory distress syndrome: finally a new target?

    PubMed

    Schwingshackl, Andreas

    2016-09-01

    Mechanical ventilation (MV) and oxygen therapy (hyperoxia; HO) comprise the cornerstones of life-saving interventions for patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Unfortunately, the side effects of MV and HO include exacerbation of lung injury by barotrauma, volutrauma, and propagation of lung inflammation. Despite significant improvements in ventilator technologies and a heightened awareness of oxygen toxicity, besides low tidal volume ventilation few if any medical interventions have improved ARDS outcomes over the past two decades. We are lacking a comprehensive understanding of mechanotransduction processes in the healthy lung and know little about the interactions between simultaneously activated stretch-, HO-, and cytokine-induced signaling cascades in ARDS. Nevertheless, as we are unraveling these mechanisms we are gathering increasing evidence for the importance of stretch-activated ion channels (SACs) in the activation of lung-resident and inflammatory cells. In addition to the discovery of new SAC families in the lung, e.g., two-pore domain potassium channels, we are increasingly assigning mechanosensing properties to already known Na(+), Ca(2+), K(+), and Cl(-) channels. Better insights into the mechanotransduction mechanisms of SACs will improve our understanding of the pathways leading to ventilator-induced lung injury and lead to much needed novel therapeutic approaches against ARDS by specifically targeting SACs. This review 1) summarizes the reasons why the time has come to seriously consider SACs as new therapeutic targets against ARDS, 2) critically analyzes the physiological and experimental factors that currently limit our knowledge about SACs, and 3) outlines the most important questions future research studies need to address. PMID:27521425

  19. Investigation of Ion Channel Activities of Gramicidin A in the Presence of Ionic Liquids Using Model Cell Membranes

    PubMed Central

    Ryu, Hyunil; Lee, Hwankyu; Iwata, Seigo; Choi, Sangbaek; Ki Kim, Moon; Kim, Young-Rok; Maruta, Shinsaku; Min Kim, Sun; Jeon, Tae-Joon

    2015-01-01

    Ionic liquids (ILs) are considered to be green solvents because of their non-volatility. Although ILs are relatively safe in the atmospheric environment, they may be toxic in other environments. Our previous research showed that the cytotoxicity of ILs to biological organisms is attributable to interference with cell membranes by IL insertion. However, the effects of ILs on ion channels, which play important roles in cell homeostasis, have not been comprehensively studied to date. In this work, we studied the interactions between ILs and lipid bilayer membranes with gramicidin A ion channels. We used two methods, namely electrical and fluorescence measurements of ions that permeate the membrane. The lifetimes of channels were increased by all the ILs tested in this work via stabilizing the compressed structure of the lipid bilayer and the rate of ion flux through gA channels was decreased by changing the membrane surface charge. The former effect, which increased the rate of ion flux, was dominant at high salt concentrations, whereas the latter, which decreased the rate of ion flux, was dominant at low salt concentrations. The effects of ILs increased with increasing concentration and alkyl chain length. The experimental results were further studied using molecular dynamics simulations. PMID:26189604

  20. Investigation of Ion Channel Activities of Gramicidin A in the Presence of Ionic Liquids Using Model Cell Membranes.

    PubMed

    Ryu, Hyunil; Lee, Hwankyu; Iwata, Seigo; Choi, Sangbaek; Kim, Moon Ki; Kim, Young-Rok; Maruta, Shinsaku; Kim, Sun Min; Jeon, Tae-Joon

    2015-07-20

    Ionic liquids (ILs) are considered to be green solvents because of their non-volatility. Although ILs are relatively safe in the atmospheric environment, they may be toxic in other environments. Our previous research showed that the cytotoxicity of ILs to biological organisms is attributable to interference with cell membranes by IL insertion. However, the effects of ILs on ion channels, which play important roles in cell homeostasis, have not been comprehensively studied to date. In this work, we studied the interactions between ILs and lipid bilayer membranes with gramicidin A ion channels. We used two methods, namely electrical and fluorescence measurements of ions that permeate the membrane. The lifetimes of channels were increased by all the ILs tested in this work via stabilizing the compressed structure of the lipid bilayer and the rate of ion flux through gA channels was decreased by changing the membrane surface charge. The former effect, which increased the rate of ion flux, was dominant at high salt concentrations, whereas the latter, which decreased the rate of ion flux, was dominant at low salt concentrations. The effects of ILs increased with increasing concentration and alkyl chain length. The experimental results were further studied using molecular dynamics simulations.

  1. Unique battery with an active membrane separator having uniform physico-chemically functionalized ion channels and a method making the same

    DOEpatents

    Gerald, II, Rex E.; Ruscic, Katarina J.; Sears, Devin N.; Smith, Luis J.; Klingler, Robert J.; Rathke, Jerome W.

    2012-02-21

    The invention relates to a unique battery having an active, porous membrane and method of making the same. More specifically the invention relates to a sealed battery system having a porous, metal oxide membrane with uniform, physicochemically functionalized ion channels capable of adjustable ionic interaction. The physicochemically-active porous membrane purports dual functions: an electronic insulator (separator) and a unidirectional ion-transporter (electrolyte). The electrochemical cell membrane is activated for the transport of ions by contiguous ion coordination sites on the interior two-dimensional surfaces of the trans-membrane unidirectional pores. The membrane material is designed to have physicochemical interaction with ions. Control of the extent of the interactions between the ions and the interior pore walls of the membrane and other materials, chemicals, or structures contained within the pores provides adjustability of the ionic conductivity of the membrane.

  2. Validation of ion channel targets.

    PubMed

    Gerlach, Aaron C; Antonio, Brett M

    2015-01-01

    A prerequisite for a successful target-based drug discovery program is a robust data set that increases confidence in the validation of the molecular target and the therapeutic approach. Given the significant time and resource investment required to carry a drug to market, early selection of targets that can be modulated safely and effectively forms the basis for a strong portfolio and pipeline. In this article we present some of the more useful scientific approaches that can be applied toward the validation of ion channel targets, a molecular family with a history of clinical success in therapeutic areas such as cardiovascular, respiratory, pain and neuroscience.

  3. Conductance of Ion Channels - Theory vs. Experiment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pohorille, Andrew; Wilson, Michael; Mijajlovic, Milan

    2013-01-01

    Transmembrane ion channels mediate a number of essential physiological processes in a cell ranging from regulating osmotic pressure to transmission of neural signals. Kinetics and selectivity of ion transport is of critical importance to a cell and, not surprisingly, it is a subject of numerous experimental and theoretical studies. In this presentation we will analyze in detail computer simulations of two simple channels from fungi - antiamoebin and trichotoxin. Each of these channels is made of an alpha-helical bundle of small, nongenomically synthesized peptides containing a number of rare amino acids and exhibits strong antimicrobial activity. We will focus on calculating ionic conductance defined as the ratio of ionic current through the channel to applied voltage. From molecular dynamics simulations, conductance can be calculated in at least two ways, each involving different approximations. Specifically, the current, given as the number of charges transferred through the channel per unit of time, can be obtained from the number of events in which ions cross the channel during the simulation. This method works well for large currents (high conductance values and/or applied voltages). If the number of crossing events is small, reliable estimates of current are difficult to achieve. Alternatively, conductance can be estimated assuming that ion transport can be well approximated as diffusion in the external potential given by the free energy profile. Then, the current can be calculated by solving the one-dimensional diffusion equation in this external potential and applied voltage (the generalized Nernst-Planck equation). To do so three ingredients are needed: the free energy profile, the position-dependent diffusion coefficient and the diffusive flux of ions into the channel. All these quantities can be obtained from molecular dynamics simulations. An important advantage of this method is that it can be used equally well to estimating large and small currents

  4. High throughput screening technologies for ion channels

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Hai-bo; Li, Min; Wang, Wei-ping; Wang, Xiao-liang

    2016-01-01

    Ion channels are involved in a variety of fundamental physiological processes, and their malfunction causes numerous human diseases. Therefore, ion channels represent a class of attractive drug targets and a class of important off-targets for in vitro pharmacological profiling. In the past decades, the rapid progress in developing functional assays and instrumentation has enabled high throughput screening (HTS) campaigns on an expanding list of channel types. Chronologically, HTS methods for ion channels include the ligand binding assay, flux-based assay, fluorescence-based assay, and automated electrophysiological assay. In this review we summarize the current HTS technologies for different ion channel classes and their applications. PMID:26657056

  5. Simulations of ion channels--watching ions and water move.

    PubMed

    Sansom, M S; Shrivastava, I H; Ranatunga, K M; Smith, G R

    2000-08-01

    Ion channels mediate electrical excitability in neurons and muscle. Three-dimensional structures for model peptide channels and for a potassium (K+) channel have been combined with computer simulations to permit rigorous exploration of structure-function relations of channels. Water molecules and ions within transbilayer pores tend to diffuse more slowly than in bulk solutions. In the narrow selectivity filter of the bacterial K+ channel (i.e. the region of the channel that discriminates between different species of ions) a column of water molecules and K+ ions moves in a concerted fashion. By combining atomistic simulations (in which all atoms of the channel molecule, water and ions are treated explicitly) with continuum methods (in which the description of the channel system is considerably simplified) it is possible to simulate some of the physiological properties of channels.

  6. Analysis of SARS-CoV E protein ion channel activity by tuning the protein and lipid charge.

    PubMed

    Verdiá-Báguena, Carmina; Nieto-Torres, Jose L; Alcaraz, Antonio; Dediego, Marta L; Enjuanes, Luis; Aguilella, Vicente M

    2013-09-01

    A partial characterization of the ion channels formed by the SARS coronavirus (CoV) envelope (E) protein was previously reported (C. Verdiá-Báguena et al., 2012 [12]). Here, we provide new significant insights on the involvement of lipids in the structure and function of the CoV E protein channel on the basis of three series of experiments. First, reversal potential measurements over a wide range of pH allow the dissection of the contributions to channel selectivity coming from ionizable residues of the protein transmembrane domain and also from the negatively charged groups of diphytanoyl phosphatidylserine (DPhPS) lipid. The corresponding effective pKas are consistent with the model pKas of the acidic residue candidates for titration. Second, the change of channel conductance with salt concentration reveals two distinct regimes (Donnan-controlled electrodiffusion and bulk-like electrodiffusion) fully compatible with the outcomes of selectivity experiments. Third, by measuring channel conductance in mixtures of neutral diphytanoyl phosphatidylcholine (DPhPC) lipids and negatively charged DPhPS lipids in low and high salt concentrations we conclude that the protein-lipid conformation in the channel is likely the same in charged and neutral lipids. Overall, the whole set of experiments supports the proteolipidic structure of SARS-CoV E channels and explains the large difference in channel conductance observed between neutral and charged membranes.

  7. Plant Ion Channels: Gene Families, Physiology, and Functional Genomics Analyses

    PubMed Central

    Ward, John M.; Mäser, Pascal; Schroeder, Julian I.

    2016-01-01

    Distinct potassium, anion, and calcium channels in the plasma membrane and vacuolar membrane of plant cells have been identified and characterized by patch clamping. Primarily owing to advances in Arabidopsis genetics and genomics, and yeast functional complementation, many of the corresponding genes have been identified. Recent advances in our understanding of ion channel genes that mediate signal transduction and ion transport are discussed here. Some plant ion channels, for example, ALMT and SLAC anion channel subunits, are unique. The majority of plant ion channel families exhibit homology to animal genes; such families include both hyperpolarization-and depolarization-activated Shaker-type potassium channels, CLC chloride transporters/channels, cyclic nucleotide–gated channels, and ionotropic glutamate receptor homologs. These plant ion channels offer unique opportunities to analyze the structural mechanisms and functions of ion channels. Here we review gene families of selected plant ion channel classes and discuss unique structure-function aspects and their physiological roles in plant cell signaling and transport. PMID:18842100

  8. ICEPO: the ion channel electrophysiology ontology

    PubMed Central

    Hinard, V.; Britan, A.; Rougier, J.S.; Bairoch, A.; Abriel, H.; Gaudet, P.

    2016-01-01

    Ion channels are transmembrane proteins that selectively allow ions to flow across the plasma membrane and play key roles in diverse biological processes. A multitude of diseases, called channelopathies, such as epilepsies, muscle paralysis, pain syndromes, cardiac arrhythmias or hypoglycemia are due to ion channel mutations. A wide corpus of literature is available on ion channels, covering both their functions and their roles in disease. The research community needs to access this data in a user-friendly, yet systematic manner. However, extraction and integration of this increasing amount of data have been proven to be difficult because of the lack of a standardized vocabulary that describes the properties of ion channels at the molecular level. To address this, we have developed Ion Channel ElectroPhysiology Ontology (ICEPO), an ontology that allows one to annotate the electrophysiological parameters of the voltage-gated class of ion channels. This ontology is based on a three-state model of ion channel gating describing the three conformations/states that an ion channel can adopt: closed, open and inactivated. This ontology supports the capture of voltage-gated ion channel electrophysiological data from the literature in a structured manner and thus enables other applications such as querying and reasoning tools. Here, we present ICEPO (ICEPO ftp site: ftp://ftp.nextprot.org/pub/current_release/controlled_vocabularies/), as well as examples of its use. PMID:27055825

  9. ICEPO: the ion channel electrophysiology ontology.

    PubMed

    Hinard, V; Britan, A; Rougier, J S; Bairoch, A; Abriel, H; Gaudet, P

    2016-01-01

    Ion channels are transmembrane proteins that selectively allow ions to flow across the plasma membrane and play key roles in diverse biological processes. A multitude of diseases, called channelopathies, such as epilepsies, muscle paralysis, pain syndromes, cardiac arrhythmias or hypoglycemia are due to ion channel mutations. A wide corpus of literature is available on ion channels, covering both their functions and their roles in disease. The research community needs to access this data in a user-friendly, yet systematic manner. However, extraction and integration of this increasing amount of data have been proven to be difficult because of the lack of a standardized vocabulary that describes the properties of ion channels at the molecular level. To address this, we have developed Ion Channel ElectroPhysiology Ontology (ICEPO), an ontology that allows one to annotate the electrophysiological parameters of the voltage-gated class of ion channels. This ontology is based on a three-state model of ion channel gating describing the three conformations/states that an ion channel can adopt: closed, open and inactivated. This ontology supports the capture of voltage-gated ion channel electrophysiological data from the literature in a structured manner and thus enables other applications such as querying and reasoning tools. Here, we present ICEPO (ICEPO ftp site:ftp://ftp.nextprot.org/pub/current_release/controlled_vocabularies/), as well as examples of its use.

  10. Tuning Photochromic Ion Channel Blockers

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Photochromic channel blockers provide a conceptually simple and convenient way to modulate neuronal activity with light. We have recently described a family of azobenzenes that function as tonic blockers of Kv channels but require UV-A light to unblock and need to be actively switched by toggling between two different wavelengths. We now introduce red-shifted compounds that fully operate in the visible region of the spectrum and quickly turn themselves off in the dark. Furthermore, we have developed a version that does not block effectively in the dark-adapted state, can be switched to a blocking state with blue light, and reverts to the inactive state automatically. Photochromic blockers of this type could be useful for the photopharmacological control of neuronal activity under mild conditions. PMID:22860175

  11. Ion channel probes for scanning ion conductance microscopy.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Yi; Bright, Leonard K; Shi, Wenqing; Aspinwall, Craig A; Baker, Lane A

    2014-12-23

    The sensitivity and selectivity of ion channels provide an appealing opportunity for sensor development. Here, we describe ion channel probes (ICPs), which consist of multiple ion channels reconstituted into lipid bilayers suspended across the opening of perflourinated glass micropipets. When incorporated with a scanning ion conductance microscope (SICM), ICPs displayed a distance-dependent current response that depended on the number of ion channels in the membrane. With distance-dependent current as feedback, probes were translated laterally, to demonstrate the possibility of imaging with ICPs. The ICP platform yields several potential advantages for SICM that will enable exciting opportunities for incorporation of chemical information into imaging and for high-resolution imaging.

  12. United in Diversity: Mechanosensitive Ion Channels in Plants

    PubMed Central

    Hamilton, Eric S.; Schlegel, Angela M.; Haswell, Elizabeth S.

    2015-01-01

    Mechanosensitive (MS) ion channels are a common mechanism for perceiving and responding to mechanical force. This class of mechanoreceptors is capable of transducing membrane tension directly into ion flux. In plant systems, MS ion channels have been proposed to play a wide array of roles, from the perception of touch and gravity to the osmotic homeostasis of intracellular organelles. Three families of plant MS ion channels have been identified: the MscS-like (MSL), Mid1-complementing activity (MCA), and two-pore potassium (TPK) families. Channels from these families vary widely in structure and function, localize to multiple cellular compartments, and conduct chloride, calcium, and/or potassium ions. However, they are still likely to represent only a fraction of the MS ion channel diversity in plant systems. PMID:25494462

  13. Photolysis of caged compounds: studying Ca(2+) signaling and activation of Ca(2+)-dependent ion channels.

    PubMed

    Almassy, Janos; Yule, David I

    2013-01-01

    A wide variety of signaling molecules have been chemically modified by conjugation to a photolabile chromophore to render the substance temporarily biologically inert. Subsequent exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light can release the active moiety from the "caged" precursor in an experimentally controlled manner. This allows the concentration of active molecule to be precisely manipulated in both time and space. These techniques are particularly useful in experimental protocols designed to investigate the mechanisms underlying Ca(2+) signaling and the activation of Ca(2+)-dependent effectors.

  14. Ion channels versus ion pumps: the principal difference, in principle

    PubMed Central

    Gadsby, David C.

    2009-01-01

    Two kinds of border guards control the incessant traffic of ions across cell membranes: ion channels and ion pumps. When open, channels let selected ions diffuse rapidly down electrical and concentration gradients, whereas ion pumps labour tirelessly to maintain the gradients, by consuming energy to slowly move ions against them. Because of their diametrically opposed tasks and their divergent speeds, channels and pumps have traditionally been viewed as completely different entities, as alike as chalk and cheese. But new structural and mechanistic information about both classes of these molecular machines challenges this comfortable separation, forcing its reevaluation. PMID:19339978

  15. Pharmacological investigation of the bioluminescence signaling pathway of the dinoflagellate Lingulodinium polyedrum: evidence for the role of stretch-activated ion channels.

    PubMed

    Jin, Kelly; Klima, Jason C; Deane, Grant; Dale Stokes, Malcolm; Latz, Michael I

    2013-08-01

    Dinoflagellate bioluminescence serves as a whole-cell reporter of mechanical stress, which activates a signaling pathway that appears to involve the opening of voltage-sensitive ion channels and release of calcium from intracellular stores. However, little else is known about the initial signaling events that facilitate the transduction of mechanical stimuli. In the present study using the red tide dinoflagellate Lingulodinium polyedrum (Stein) Dodge, two forms of dinoflagellate bioluminescence, mechanically stimulated and spontaneous flashes, were used as reporter systems to pharmacological treatments that targeted various predicted signaling events at the plasma membrane level of the signaling pathway. Pretreatment with 200 μM Gadolinium III (Gd(3+) ), a nonspecific blocker of stretch-activated and some voltage-gated ion channels, resulted in strong inhibition of both forms of bioluminescence. Pretreatment with 50 μM nifedipine, an inhibitor of L-type voltage-gated Ca(2+) channels that inhibits mechanically stimulated bioluminescence, did not inhibit spontaneous bioluminescence. Treatment with 1 mM benzyl alcohol, a membrane fluidizer, was very effective in stimulating bioluminescence. Benzyl alcohol-stimulated bioluminescence was inhibited by Gd(3+) but not by nifedipine, suggesting that its role is through stretch activation via a change in plasma membrane fluidity. These results are consistent with the presence of stretch-activated and voltage-gated ion channels in the bioluminescence mechanotransduction signaling pathway, with spontaneous flashing associated with a stretch-activated component at the plasma membrane.

  16. Mechanosensitive Ion Channels in Cardiovascular Physiology

    PubMed Central

    Teng, Jinfeng; Loukin, Steve; Kung, Ching

    2014-01-01

    EC coupling is subjected to a mechanical feedback, which originates from physical force-sensing ion channels in the pericardium and elsewhere. Reviewed here are the most recent developments that greatly advanced our understanding of these mechanosensitive (MS) channels, including TRPs and K2p’s. Patch clamp has continued to demonstrate the direct channel activation by membrane stretch. Crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy have revealed the structures of several MS channels at atomic resolution. Some have been purified to homogeneity, reconstituted into lipid bilayer, and still retain their ability to respond to stretch force. A force-from-lipid (FFL) theory has been advanced that emphasizes the strong binding between channel proteins and lipids. Through these bonds, the sharp lateral tension (akin to surface tension) of the bilayer can transmit added force to the channel protein. Like temperature sensitivity, sensitivity to mechanical force is far more pervasive than we previously realize, and is especially important to the beating heart. PMID:26778915

  17. Free-energy landscape of ion-channel voltage-sensor-domain activation.

    PubMed

    Delemotte, Lucie; Kasimova, Marina A; Klein, Michael L; Tarek, Mounir; Carnevale, Vincenzo

    2015-01-01

    Voltage sensor domains (VSDs) are membrane-bound protein modules that confer voltage sensitivity to membrane proteins. VSDs sense changes in the transmembrane voltage and convert the electrical signal into a conformational change called activation. Activation involves a reorganization of the membrane protein charges that is detected experimentally as transient currents. These so-called gating currents have been investigated extensively within the theoretical framework of so-called discrete-state Markov models (DMMs), whereby activation is conceptualized as a series of transitions across a discrete set of states. Historically, the interpretation of DMM transition rates in terms of transition state theory has been instrumental in shaping our view of the activation process, whose free-energy profile is currently envisioned as composed of a few local minima separated by steep barriers. Here we use atomistic level modeling and well-tempered metadynamics to calculate the configurational free energy along a single transition from first principles. We show that this transition is intrinsically multidimensional and described by a rough free-energy landscape. Remarkably, a coarse-grained description of the system, based on the use of the gating charge as reaction coordinate, reveals a smooth profile with a single barrier, consistent with phenomenological models. Our results bridge the gap between microscopic and macroscopic descriptions of activation dynamics and show that choosing the gating charge as reaction coordinate masks the topological complexity of the network of microstates participating in the transition. Importantly, full characterization of the latter is a prerequisite to rationalize modulation of this process by lipids, toxins, drugs, and genetic mutations.

  18. Free-energy landscape of ion-channel voltage-sensor–domain activation

    PubMed Central

    Delemotte, Lucie; Kasimova, Marina A.; Klein, Michael L.; Tarek, Mounir; Carnevale, Vincenzo

    2015-01-01

    Voltage sensor domains (VSDs) are membrane-bound protein modules that confer voltage sensitivity to membrane proteins. VSDs sense changes in the transmembrane voltage and convert the electrical signal into a conformational change called activation. Activation involves a reorganization of the membrane protein charges that is detected experimentally as transient currents. These so-called gating currents have been investigated extensively within the theoretical framework of so-called discrete-state Markov models (DMMs), whereby activation is conceptualized as a series of transitions across a discrete set of states. Historically, the interpretation of DMM transition rates in terms of transition state theory has been instrumental in shaping our view of the activation process, whose free-energy profile is currently envisioned as composed of a few local minima separated by steep barriers. Here we use atomistic level modeling and well-tempered metadynamics to calculate the configurational free energy along a single transition from first principles. We show that this transition is intrinsically multidimensional and described by a rough free-energy landscape. Remarkably, a coarse-grained description of the system, based on the use of the gating charge as reaction coordinate, reveals a smooth profile with a single barrier, consistent with phenomenological models. Our results bridge the gap between microscopic and macroscopic descriptions of activation dynamics and show that choosing the gating charge as reaction coordinate masks the topological complexity of the network of microstates participating in the transition. Importantly, full characterization of the latter is a prerequisite to rationalize modulation of this process by lipids, toxins, drugs, and genetic mutations. PMID:25535341

  19. Potassium channels as multi-ion single-file pores

    PubMed Central

    1978-01-01

    A literature review reveals many lines of evidence that both delayed rectifier and inward rectifier potassium channels are multi-ion pores. These include unidirectional flux ratios given by the 2--2.5 power of the electrochemical activity ratio, very steeply voltage-dependent block with monovalent blocking ions, relief of block by permeant ions added to the side opposite from the blocking ion, rectification depending on E--EK, and a minimum in the reversal potential or conductance as external K+ ions are replaced by an equivalent concentration of T1+ ions. We consider a channel with a linear sequence of energy barriers and binding sites. The channel can be occupied by more than one ion at a time, and ions hop in single file into vacant sites with rate constants that depend on barrier heights, membrane potential, and interionic repulsion. Such multi-ion models reproduce qualitatively the special flux properties of potassium channels when the barriers for hopping out of the pore are larger than for hopping between sites within the pore and when there is repulsion between ions. These conditions also produce multiple maxima in the conductance-ion activity relationship. In agreement with Armstrong's hypothesis (1969. J. Gen. Physiol. 54:553--575), inward rectification may be understood in terms of block by an internal blocking cation. Potassium channels must have at least three sites and often contain at least two ions at a time. PMID:722275

  20. Ion Channels in Innate and Adaptive Immunity

    PubMed Central

    Feske, Stefan; Wulff, Heike; Skolnik, Edward Y.

    2016-01-01

    Ion channels and transporters mediate the transport of charged ions across hydrophobic lipid membranes. In immune cells, divalent cations such as calcium, magnesium, and zinc have important roles as second messengers to regulate intracellular signaling pathways. By contrast, monovalent cations such as sodium and potassium mainly regulate the membrane potential, which indirectly controls the influx of calcium and immune cell signaling. Studies investigating human patients with mutations in ion channels and transporters, analysis of gene-targeted mice, or pharmacological experiments with ion channel inhibitors have revealed important roles of ionic signals in lymphocyte development and in innate and adaptive immune responses. We here review the mechanisms underlying the function of ion channels and transporters in lymphocytes and innate immune cells and discuss their roles in lymphocyte development, adaptive and innate immune responses, and autoimmunity, as well as recent efforts to develop pharmacological inhibitors of ion channels for immunomodulatory therapy. PMID:25861976

  1. The chimeric Arabidopsis CYCLIC NUCLEOTIDE-GATED ION CHANNEL11/12 activates multiple pathogen resistance responses.

    PubMed

    Yoshioka, Keiko; Moeder, Wolfgang; Kang, Hong-Gu; Kachroo, Pradeep; Masmoudi, Khaled; Berkowitz, Gerald; Klessig, Daniel F

    2006-03-01

    To investigate the resistance signaling pathways activated by pathogen infection, we previously identified the Arabidopsis thaliana mutant constitutive expresser of PR genes22 (cpr22), which displays constitutive activation of multiple defense responses. Here, we identify the cpr22 mutation as a 3-kb deletion that fuses two cyclic nucleotide-gated ion channel (ATCNGC)-encoding genes, ATCNGC11 and ATCNGC12, to generate a novel chimeric gene, ATCNGC11/12. Genetic, molecular, and complementation analyses suggest that ATCNGC11/12, as well as ATCNGC11 and ATCNGC12, form functional cAMP-activated ATCNGCs and that the phenotype conferred by cpr22 is attributable to the expression of ATCNGC11/12. However, because overexpression of ATCNGC12, but not ATCNGC11, suppressed the phenotype conferred by cpr22, the development of this phenotype appears to be regulated by the ratio between ATCNGC11/12 and ATCNGC12. Analysis of knockout lines revealed that both ATCNGC11 and ATCNGC12 are positive mediators of resistance against an avirulent biotype of Hyaloperonospora parasitica. Through epistatic analyses, cpr22-mediated enhanced resistance to pathogens was found to require NDR1-dependent and EDS1/PAD4-dependent pathways. In striking contrast, none of these pathways was required for cpr22-induced salicylic acid accumulation or PR-1 gene expression. These results demonstrate that NDR1, EDS1, and PAD4 mediate other resistance signaling function(s) in addition to salicylic acid and pathogenesis-related protein accumulation. Moreover, the requirement for both NDR1-dependent and EDS1/PAD4-dependent pathways for cpr22-mediated resistance suggests that these pathways are cross-regulated.

  2. The ion-channel activity of longibrachins LGA I and LGB II: effects of pro-2/Ala and gln-18/Glu substitutions on the alamethicin voltage-gated membrane channels.

    PubMed

    Cosette, P; Rebuffat, S; Bodo, B; Molle, G

    1999-11-01

    Longibrachins LGA I (Ac Aib Ala Aib Ala Aib(5) Ala Gln Aib Val Aib(10) Gly Leu Aib Pro Val(15) Aib Aib Gln Gln Pheol(20), with Aib: alpha-aminoisobutyric acid, pheol: phenylalaninol) and LGB II are two homologous 20-residue long-sequence peptaibols isolated from the fungus Trichoderma longibrachiatum that differ between them by a Gln-18/Glu substitution. They distinguish from alamethicin by a Pro-2 for Ala replacement, which allowed to examine for the first time with natural Aib-containing analogues, the effect of Pro-2 on the ion-channel properties exhibited by alamethicin. The influence of these structural modifications on the voltage-gated ion-channel forming activity of the peptides in planar lipid bilayers were analysed. The general 'barrel-stave' model of ion-channel activity, already described for alamethicin, was preserved with both longibrachins. The negatively charged LGB II promoted higher oligomerisation levels, which could presumably dilute the repulsive effect of the negative Glu ring near the entrance of the channel and resulted in lower lifetimes of the substates, confirming the strong anchor of the peptide C-terminus at the cis-interface. Reduction of the channel lifetimes was observed for the longibrachins, compared to alamethicin. This argues for a better stabilisation of the channels formed by peptaibols having a proline at position 2, which results in better anchoring of the peptide monomer N-terminus at the trans-bilayer interface. Qualitative assays of the temperature dependence on the neutral longibrachin channel properties demonstrated a high increase of channel lifetimes and a markedly reduced voltage-sensitivity when the temperature was decreased, showing that such conditions may allow to study the channel-forming properties of peptides leading to fast current fluctuations. PMID:10556493

  3. Ion channels enable electrical communication within bacterial communities

    PubMed Central

    Prindle, Arthur; Liu, Jintao; Asally, Munehiro; Ly, San; Garcia-Ojalvo, Jordi; Süel, Gürol M.

    2016-01-01

    The study of bacterial ion channels has provided fundamental insights into the structural basis of neuronal signaling. However, the native role of ion channels in bacteria has remained elusive. Here we show that ion channels conduct long-range electrical signals within bacterial biofilm communities through spatially propagating waves of potassium. These waves result from a positive feedback loop, in which a metabolic trigger induces release of intracellular potassium, which in turn depolarizes neighboring cells. Propagating through the biofilm, this wave of depolarization coordinates metabolic states among cells in the interior and periphery of the biofilm. Deletion of the potassium channel abolishes this response. As predicted by a mathematical model, we further show that spatial propagation can be hindered by specific genetic perturbations to potassium channel gating. Together, these results demonstrate a function for ion channels in bacterial biofilms, and provide a prokaryotic paradigm for active, long-range electrical signaling in cellular communities. PMID:26503040

  4. Ion channels enable electrical communication in bacterial communities.

    PubMed

    Prindle, Arthur; Liu, Jintao; Asally, Munehiro; Ly, San; Garcia-Ojalvo, Jordi; Süel, Gürol M

    2015-11-01

    The study of bacterial ion channels has provided fundamental insights into the structural basis of neuronal signalling; however, the native role of ion channels in bacteria has remained elusive. Here we show that ion channels conduct long-range electrical signals within bacterial biofilm communities through spatially propagating waves of potassium. These waves result from a positive feedback loop, in which a metabolic trigger induces release of intracellular potassium, which in turn depolarizes neighbouring cells. Propagating through the biofilm, this wave of depolarization coordinates metabolic states among cells in the interior and periphery of the biofilm. Deletion of the potassium channel abolishes this response. As predicted by a mathematical model, we further show that spatial propagation can be hindered by specific genetic perturbations to potassium channel gating. Together, these results demonstrate a function for ion channels in bacterial biofilms, and provide a prokaryotic paradigm for active, long-range electrical signalling in cellular communities. PMID:26503040

  5. Structure and selectivity in bestrophin ion channels

    SciTech Connect

    Yang, Tingting; Liu, Qun; Kloss, Brian; Bruni, Renato; Kalathur, Ravi C.; Guo, Youzhong; Kloppmann, Edda; Rost, Burkhard; Colecraft, Henry M.; Hendrickson, Wayne A.

    2014-09-25

    Human bestrophin 1 (hBest1) is a calcium-activated chloride channel from the retinal pigment epithelium, where it can suffer mutations associated with vitelliform macular degeneration, or Best disease. We describe the structure of a bacterial homolog (KpBest) of hBest1 and functional characterizations of both channels. KpBest is a pentamer that forms a five-helix transmembrane pore, closed by three rings of conserved hydrophobic residues, and has a cytoplasmic cavern with a restricted exit. From electrophysiological analysis of structure-inspired mutations in KpBest and hBest1, we find a subtle control of ion selectivity in the bestrophins, including reversal of anion/cation selectivity, and dramatic activation by mutations at the exit restriction. Lastly, a homology model of hBest1 shows the locations of disease-causing mutations and suggests possible roles in regulation.

  6. Modeling ion channels: Past, present, and future

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Ion channels are membrane-bound enzymes whose catalytic sites are ion-conducting pores that open and close (gate) in response to specific environmental stimuli. Ion channels are important contributors to cell signaling and homeostasis. Our current understanding of gating is the product of 60 plus years of voltage-clamp recording augmented by intervention in the form of environmental, chemical, and mutational perturbations. The need for good phenomenological models of gating has evolved in parallel with the sophistication of experimental technique. The goal of modeling is to develop realistic schemes that not only describe data, but also accurately reflect mechanisms of action. This review covers three areas that have contributed to the understanding of ion channels: traditional Eyring kinetic theory, molecular dynamics analysis, and statistical thermodynamics. Although the primary emphasis is on voltage-dependent channels, the methods discussed here are easily generalized to other stimuli and could be applied to any ion channel and indeed any macromolecule. PMID:24935742

  7. Markov modeling of ion channels: implications for understanding disease.

    PubMed

    Lampert, Angelika; Korngreen, Alon

    2014-01-01

    Ion channels are the bridge between the biochemical and electrical domains of our life. These membrane crossing proteins use the electric energy stored in transmembrane ion gradients, which are produced by biochemical activity to generate ionic currents. Each ion channel can be imagined as a small power plant similar to a hydroelectric power station, in which potential energy is converted into electric current. This current drives basically all physiological mechanisms of our body. It is clear that a functional blueprint of these amazing cellular power plants is essential for understanding the principle of all aspects of physiology, particularly neurophysiology. The golden path toward this blueprint starts with the biophysical investigation of ion channel activity and continues through detailed numerical modeling of these channels that will eventually lead to a full system-level description of cellular and organ physiology. Here, we discuss the first two stages of this process focusing on voltage-gated channels, particularly the voltage-gated sodium channel which is neurologically and pathologically important. We first detail the correlations between the known structure of the channel and its activity and describe some pathologies. We then provide a hands-on description of Markov modeling for voltage-gated channels. These two sections of the chapter highlight the dichotomy between the vast amounts of electrophysiological data available on voltage-gated channels and the relatively meager number of physiologically relevant models for these channels.

  8. Ion Channels in Obesity: Pathophysiology and Potential Therapeutic Targets

    PubMed Central

    Vasconcelos, Luiz H. C.; Souza, Iara L. L.; Pinheiro, Lílian S.; Silva, Bagnólia A.

    2016-01-01

    Obesity is a multifactorial disease related to metabolic disorders and associated with genetic determinants. Currently, ion channels activity has been linked to many of these disorders, in addition to the central regulation of food intake, energetic balance, hormone release and response, as well as the adipocyte cell proliferation. Therefore, the objective of this work is to review the current knowledge about the influence of ion channels in obesity development. This review used different sources of literature (Google Scholar, PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science) to assess the role of ion channels in the pathophysiology of obesity. Ion channels present diverse key functions, such as the maintenance of physiological homeostasis and cell proliferation. Cell biology and pharmacological experimental evidences demonstrate that proliferating cells exhibit ion channel expression, conductance, and electrical properties different from the resting cells. Thereby, a large variety of ion channels has been identified in the pathogenesis of obesity such as potassium, sodium, calcium and chloride channels, nicotinic acetylcholine receptor and transient receptor potential channels. The fundamental involvement of these channels on the generation of obesity leads to the progress in the knowledge about the mechanisms responsible for the obesity pathophysiology, consequently emerging as new targets for pharmacological modulation. PMID:27065858

  9. Equivalence of trans paths in ion channels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alvarez, Juan; Hajek, Bruce

    2006-04-01

    We explore stochastic models for the study of ion transport in biological cells. Analysis of these models explains and explores an interesting feature of ion transport observed by biophysicists. Namely, the average time it takes ions to cross certain ion channels is the same in either direction, even if there is an electric potential difference across the channels. It is shown for simple single ion models that the distribution of a path (i.e., the history of location versus time) of an ion crossing the channel in one direction has the same distribution as the time-reversed path of an ion crossing the channel in the reverse direction. Therefore, not only is the mean duration of these paths equal, but other measures, such as the variance of passage time or the mean time a path spends within a specified section of the channel, are also the same for both directions of traversal. The feature is also explored for channels with interacting ions. If a system of interacting ions is in reversible equilibrium (net flux is zero), then the equivalence of the left-to-right trans paths with the time-reversed right-to-left trans paths still holds. However, if the system is in equilibrium, but not reversible equilibrium, then such equivalence need not hold.

  10. Stretch induced endothelin-1 secretion by adult rat astrocytes involves calcium influx via stretch-activated ion channels (SACs)

    SciTech Connect

    Ostrow, Lyle W.; Suchyna, Thomas M.; Sachs, Frederick

    2011-06-24

    Highlights: {yields} Endothelin-1 expression by adult rat astrocytes correlates with cell proliferation. {yields} Stretch-induced ET-1 is inhibited by GsMtx-4, a specific inhibitor of Ca{sup 2+} permeant SACs. {yields} The less specific SAC inhibitor streptomycin also inhibits ET-1 secretion. {yields} Stretch-induced ET-1 production depends on a calcium influx. {yields} SAC pharmacology may provide a new class of therapeutic agents for CNS pathology. -- Abstract: The expression of endothelins (ETs) and ET-receptors is often upregulated in brain pathology. ET-1, a potent vasoconstrictor, also inhibits the expression of astrocyte glutamate transporters and is mitogenic for astrocytes, glioma cells, neurons, and brain capillary endothelia. We have previously shown that mechanical stress stimulates ET-1 production by adult rat astrocytes. We now show in adult astrocytes that ET-1 production is driven by calcium influx through stretch-activated ion channels (SACs) and the ET-1 production correlates with cell proliferation. Mechanical stimulation using biaxial stretch (<20%) of a rubber substrate increased ET-1 secretion, and 4 {mu}M GsMTx-4 (a specific inhibitor of SACs) inhibited secretion by 30%. GsMTx-4 did not alter basal ET-1 levels in the absence of stretch. Decreasing the calcium influx by lowering extracellular calcium also inhibited stretch-induced ET-1 secretion without effecting ET-1 secretion in unstretched controls. Furthermore, inhibiting SACs with the less specific inhibitor streptomycin also inhibited stretch-induced ET-1 secretion. The data can be explained with a simple model in which ET-1 secretion depends on an internal Ca{sup 2+} threshold. This coupling of mechanical stress to the astrocyte endothelin system through SACs has treatment implications, since all pathology deforms the surrounding parenchyma.

  11. [Preeclampsia, cellular migration and ion channels].

    PubMed

    Del Mónaco, Silvana M; Marino, Gabriela; Assef, Yanina; Kotsias, Basilio A

    2008-01-01

    The syncytiotrophoblast acts in human placenta as a transporting barrier regulating the transference of nutrients, solutes and water between maternal and fetal blood. This transepithelial transport involves movement of Na+ and its contribution to the osmotic pressure is an important determinant of the extracellular fluid volume. ENaC is a channel that mediates entry of Na+ from the luminal fluid into the cells in many reabsorbing epithelia; it is aldosterone, vasopressin, insulin and catecholamine-inducible, modulated by estrogens and progesterone and blocked by amiloride and its analogs. Multiple proteases are involved in the proteolytic processing and activation of ENaC subunits and aldosterone alters the protease-protease inhibitors balance. ENaC is also expressed in human placenta; although its function is not well known, the Na+ conductive properties may participate in electrolyte and extracellular volume homeostasis. The activity of ENaC channels and other ion channels and transporters is regulated by the state of actin filaments; on the other hand, changes in volume influence the actin cytoskeleton. Thus, there is an interaction between ENaC and components of the apical membrane cytoskeleton. In addition to their role in cellular homeostasis and electrical properties, Na+ currents through ENaC and other sodium channels are involved in cell migration, well documented in normal and cancer cells. In this work we presented evidences supporting the hypothesis that ENaC channels are required for the migration of BeWo cells, a human hormone-synthesizing trophoblastic cell line that express the three subunits of the ENaC channels. BeWo cell line has also been used as a model to investigate the placental transport mechanisms. PMID:18977715

  12. [Preeclampsia, cellular migration and ion channels].

    PubMed

    Del Mónaco, Silvana M; Marino, Gabriela; Assef, Yanina; Kotsias, Basilio A

    2008-01-01

    The syncytiotrophoblast acts in human placenta as a transporting barrier regulating the transference of nutrients, solutes and water between maternal and fetal blood. This transepithelial transport involves movement of Na+ and its contribution to the osmotic pressure is an important determinant of the extracellular fluid volume. ENaC is a channel that mediates entry of Na+ from the luminal fluid into the cells in many reabsorbing epithelia; it is aldosterone, vasopressin, insulin and catecholamine-inducible, modulated by estrogens and progesterone and blocked by amiloride and its analogs. Multiple proteases are involved in the proteolytic processing and activation of ENaC subunits and aldosterone alters the protease-protease inhibitors balance. ENaC is also expressed in human placenta; although its function is not well known, the Na+ conductive properties may participate in electrolyte and extracellular volume homeostasis. The activity of ENaC channels and other ion channels and transporters is regulated by the state of actin filaments; on the other hand, changes in volume influence the actin cytoskeleton. Thus, there is an interaction between ENaC and components of the apical membrane cytoskeleton. In addition to their role in cellular homeostasis and electrical properties, Na+ currents through ENaC and other sodium channels are involved in cell migration, well documented in normal and cancer cells. In this work we presented evidences supporting the hypothesis that ENaC channels are required for the migration of BeWo cells, a human hormone-synthesizing trophoblastic cell line that express the three subunits of the ENaC channels. BeWo cell line has also been used as a model to investigate the placental transport mechanisms.

  13. Mechanosensitive ion channels in cultured sensory neurons of neonatal rats.

    PubMed

    Cho, Hawon; Shin, Jieun; Shin, Chan Young; Lee, Soon-Youl; Oh, Uhtaek

    2002-02-15

    Mechanosensitive (MS) ion channels are present in a variety of cells. However, very little is known about the ion channels that account for mechanical sensitivity in sensory neurons. We identified the two most frequently encountered but distinct types of MS channels in 1390 of 2962 membrane patches tested in cultured dorsal root ganglion neurons. The two MS channels exhibited different thresholds, thus named as low-threshold (LT) and high-threshold (HT) MS channels, and sensitivity to pressure. The two channels retained different single-channel conductances and current-voltage relationships: LT and HT channels elicited large- and small-channel conductance with outwardly rectifying and linear I-V relationships, respectively. Both LT and HT MS channels were permeable to monovalent cations and Ca2+ and were blocked by gadolinium, a blocker of MS channels. Colchicine and cytochalasin D markedly reduced the activities of the two MS channels, indicating that cytoskeletal elements support the mechanosensitivity. Both types of MS channels were found primarily in small sensory neurons with diameters of <30 microm. Furthermore, HT MS channels were sensitized by a well known inducer of mechanical hyperalgesia, prostaglandin E2, via the protein kinase A pathway. We identified two distinct types of MS channels in sensory neurons that probably give rise to the observed MS whole-cell currents and transduce mechanical stimuli to neural signals involved in somatosensation, including pain.

  14. Understanding autoimmunity: The ion channel perspective.

    PubMed

    RamaKrishnan, Anantha Maharasi; Sankaranarayanan, Kavitha

    2016-07-01

    Ion channels are integral membrane proteins that orchestrate the passage of ions across the cell membrane and thus regulate various key physiological processes of the living system. The stringently regulated expression and function of these channels hold a pivotal role in the development and execution of various cellular functions. Malfunction of these channels results in debilitating diseases collectively termed channelopathies. In this review, we highlight the role of these proteins in the immune system with special emphasis on the development of autoimmunity. The role of ion channels in various autoimmune diseases is also listed out. This comprehensive review summarizes the ion channels that could be used as molecular targets in the development of new therapeutics against autoimmune disorders.

  15. State-of-the-Art Automated Patch Clamp Devices: Heat Activation, Action Potentials, and High Throughput in Ion Channel Screening

    PubMed Central

    Stoelzle, Sonja; Obergrussberger, Alison; Brüggemann, Andrea; Haarmann, Claudia; George, Michael; Kettenhofen, Ralf; Fertig, Niels

    2011-01-01

    Ion channels are essential in a wide range of cellular functions and their malfunction underlies many disease states making them important targets in drug discovery. The availability of standardized cell lines expressing ion channels of interest lead to the development of diverse automated patch clamp (APC) systems with high-throughput capabilities. These systems are now available for drug screening, but there are limitations in the application range. However, further development of existing devices and introduction of new systems widen the range of possible experiments and increase throughput. The addition of well controlled and fast solution exchange, temperature control and the availability of the current clamp mode are required to analyze standard cell lines and excitable cells such as stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes in a more physiologically relevant environment. Here we describe two systems with different areas of applications that meet the needs of drug discovery researchers and basic researchers alike. The here utilized medium throughput APC device is a planar patch clamp system capable of recording up to eight cells simultaneously. Features such as temperature control and recordings in the current clamp mode are described here. Standard cell lines and excitable cells such as stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes have been used in the voltage clamp and current clamp modes with the view to finding new drug candidates and safety testing methods in a more physiologically relevant environment. The high-throughput system used here is a planar patch clamp screening platform capable of recording from 96 cells in parallel and offers a throughput of 5000 data points per day. Full dose response curves can be acquired from individual cells reducing the cost per data point. The data provided reveals the suitability and relevance of both APC platforms for drug discovery, ion channel research, and safety testing. PMID:22131976

  16. State-of-the-Art Automated Patch Clamp Devices: Heat Activation, Action Potentials, and High Throughput in Ion Channel Screening.

    PubMed

    Stoelzle, Sonja; Obergrussberger, Alison; Brüggemann, Andrea; Haarmann, Claudia; George, Michael; Kettenhofen, Ralf; Fertig, Niels

    2011-01-01

    Ion channels are essential in a wide range of cellular functions and their malfunction underlies many disease states making them important targets in drug discovery. The availability of standardized cell lines expressing ion channels of interest lead to the development of diverse automated patch clamp (APC) systems with high-throughput capabilities. These systems are now available for drug screening, but there are limitations in the application range. However, further development of existing devices and introduction of new systems widen the range of possible experiments and increase throughput. The addition of well controlled and fast solution exchange, temperature control and the availability of the current clamp mode are required to analyze standard cell lines and excitable cells such as stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes in a more physiologically relevant environment. Here we describe two systems with different areas of applications that meet the needs of drug discovery researchers and basic researchers alike. The here utilized medium throughput APC device is a planar patch clamp system capable of recording up to eight cells simultaneously. Features such as temperature control and recordings in the current clamp mode are described here. Standard cell lines and excitable cells such as stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes have been used in the voltage clamp and current clamp modes with the view to finding new drug candidates and safety testing methods in a more physiologically relevant environment. The high-throughput system used here is a planar patch clamp screening platform capable of recording from 96 cells in parallel and offers a throughput of 5000 data points per day. Full dose response curves can be acquired from individual cells reducing the cost per data point. The data provided reveals the suitability and relevance of both APC platforms for drug discovery, ion channel research, and safety testing. PMID:22131976

  17. Structure and selectivity in bestrophin ion channels

    DOE PAGES

    Yang, Tingting; Liu, Qun; Kloss, Brian; Bruni, Renato; Kalathur, Ravi C.; Guo, Youzhong; Kloppmann, Edda; Rost, Burkhard; Colecraft, Henry M.; Hendrickson, Wayne A.

    2014-09-25

    Human bestrophin 1 (hBest1) is a calcium-activated chloride channel from the retinal pigment epithelium, where it can suffer mutations associated with vitelliform macular degeneration, or Best disease. We describe the structure of a bacterial homolog (KpBest) of hBest1 and functional characterizations of both channels. KpBest is a pentamer that forms a five-helix transmembrane pore, closed by three rings of conserved hydrophobic residues, and has a cytoplasmic cavern with a restricted exit. From electrophysiological analysis of structure-inspired mutations in KpBest and hBest1, we find a subtle control of ion selectivity in the bestrophins, including reversal of anion/cation selectivity, and dramatic activationmore » by mutations at the exit restriction. Lastly, a homology model of hBest1 shows the locations of disease-causing mutations and suggests possible roles in regulation.« less

  18. Ion permeation mechanism of the potassium channel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Åqvist, Johan; Luzhkov, Victor

    2000-04-01

    Ion-selective channels enable the specific permeation of ions through cell membranes and provide the basis of several important biological functions; for example, electric signalling in the nervous system. Although a large amount of electrophysiological data is available, the molecular mechanisms by which these channels can mediate ion transport remain a significant unsolved problem. With the recently determined crystal structure of the representative K+ channel (KcsA) from Streptomyces lividans, it becomes possible to examine ion conduction pathways on a microscopic level. K+ channels utilize multi-ion conduction mechanisms, and the three-dimensional structure also shows several ions present in the channel. Here we report results from molecular dynamics free energy perturbation calculations that both establish the nature of the multiple ion conduction mechanism and yield the correct ion selectivity of the channel. By evaluating the energetics of all relevant occupancy states of the selectivity filter, we find that the favoured conduction pathway involves transitions only between two main states with a free difference of about 5 kcal mol-1. Other putative permeation pathways can be excluded because they would involve states that are too high in energy.

  19. Ion-channel-coupled receptor-based platform for a real-time measurement of G-protein-coupled receptor activities.

    PubMed

    Lim, Jong Hyun; Oh, Eun Hae; Park, Juhun; Hong, Seunghun; Park, Tai Hyun

    2015-02-24

    A simple but efficient measurement platform based on ion-channel-coupled receptors and nanovesicles was developed for monitoring the real-time activity of G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). In this work, an olfactory receptor (OR), the most common class A GPCR, was covalently fused with a Kir6.2 channel so that the GPCR action directly induced the opening of the ion channels and changes in the electrical membrane potential without complex cellular signaling processes. This strategy reduced the measurement errors caused by instability of various cellular components. In addition, rather than using whole cells, a cell-surface-derived nanovesicle was used to preserve the membrane-integrated structure of GPCRs and to exclude case-dependent cellular conditions. Another merit of using the nanovesicle is that nanovesicles can be easily combined with nanomaterial-based field-effect transistors (FETs) to build a sensitive and stable measurement platform to monitor GPCR activities with high sensitivity in real-time. Using a platform based on carbon nanotube FETs and nanovesicles carrying Kir6.2-channel-coupled ORs, we monitored the real-time response of ORs to their ligand molecules. Significantly, since this platform does not rely on rather unstable cell signaling pathways, our platform could be utilized for a rather long time period without losing its functionality. This system can be utilized extensively for simple and sensitive analysis of the activities of various GPCRs and should enable various academic and practical applications.

  20. Acid-sensing ion channels under hypoxia

    PubMed Central

    Yingjun, Guo; Xun, Qu

    2013-01-01

    Hypoxia represents the lack of oxygen below the basic level, and the range of known channels related to hypoxia is continually increasing. Since abnormal hypoxia initiates pathological processes in numerous diseases via, to a great degree, producing acidic microenvironment, the significance of these channels in this environment has, until now, remained completely unknown. However, recent discovery of acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs) have enhanced our understanding of the hypoxic channelome. They belong to the degenerin/epithelial Na+ channel family and function once extracellular pH decreases to a certain level. So does the ratiocination emerge that ASICs participate in many hypoxia-induced pathological processes, including pain, apoptosis, malignancy, which all appear to involve them. Since evidence suggests that activity of ASICs is altered under pathological hypoxia, future studies are needed to deeply explore the relationship between ASICs and hypoxia, which may provide a progressive understanding of hypoxic effects in cancer, arthritis, intervertebral disc degeneration, ischemic brain injury and so on. PMID:23764948

  1. Discovery of functional antibodies targeting ion channels.

    PubMed

    Wilkinson, Trevor C I; Gardener, Matthew J; Williams, Wendy A

    2015-04-01

    Ion channels play critical roles in physiology and disease by modulation of cellular functions such as electrical excitability, secretion, cell migration, and gene transcription. Ion channels represent an important target class for drug discovery that has been largely addressed, to date, using small-molecule approaches. A significant opportunity exists to target these channels with antibodies and alternative formats of biologics. Antibodies display high specificity and affinity for their target antigen, and they have the potential to target ion channels very selectively. Nevertheless, isolating antibodies to this target class is challenging due to the difficulties in expression and purification of ion channels in a format suitable for antibody drug discovery in addition to the complexity of screening for function. In this article, we will review the current state of ion channel biologics discovery and the progress that has been made. We will also highlight the challenges in isolating functional antibodies to these targets and how these challenges may be addressed. Finally, we also illustrate successful approaches to isolating functional monoclonal antibodies targeting ion channels by way of a number of case studies drawn from recent publications.

  2. Ion Channel Probes for Scanning Ion Conductance Microscopy

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    The sensitivity and selectivity of ion channels provide an appealing opportunity for sensor development. Here, we describe ion channel probes (ICPs), which consist of multiple ion channels reconstituted into lipid bilayers suspended across the opening of perflourinated glass micropipets. When incorporated with a scanning ion conductance microscope (SICM), ICPs displayed a distance-dependent current response that depended on the number of ion channels in the membrane. With distance-dependent current as feedback, probes were translated laterally, to demonstrate the possibility of imaging with ICPs. The ICP platform yields several potential advantages for SICM that will enable exciting opportunities for incorporation of chemical information into imaging and for high-resolution imaging. PMID:25425190

  3. Ion channels, phosphorylation and mammalian sperm capacitation.

    PubMed

    Visconti, Pablo E; Krapf, Dario; de la Vega-Beltrán, José Luis; Acevedo, Juan José; Darszon, Alberto

    2011-05-01

    Sexually reproducing animals require an orchestrated communication between spermatozoa and the egg to generate a new individual. Capacitation, a maturational complex phenomenon that occurs in the female reproductive tract, renders spermatozoa capable of binding and fusing with the oocyte, and it is a requirement for mammalian fertilization. Capacitation encompasses plasma membrane reorganization, ion permeability regulation, cholesterol loss and changes in the phosphorylation state of many proteins. Novel tools to study sperm ion channels, image intracellular ionic changes and proteins with better spatial and temporal resolution, are unraveling how modifications in sperm ion transport and phosphorylation states lead to capacitation. Recent evidence indicates that two parallel pathways regulate phosphorylation events leading to capacitation, one of them requiring activation of protein kinase A and the second one involving inactivation of ser/thr phosphatases. This review examines the involvement of ion transporters and phosphorylation signaling processes needed for spermatozoa to achieve capacitation. Understanding the molecular mechanisms leading to fertilization is central for societies to deal with rising male infertility rates, to develop safe male gamete-based contraceptives and to preserve biodiversity through better assisted fertilization strategies.

  4. Ion channels, phosphorylation and mammalian sperm capacitation

    PubMed Central

    Visconti, Pablo E; Krapf, Dario; de la Vega-Beltrán, José Luis; Acevedo, Juan José; Darszon, Alberto

    2011-01-01

    Sexually reproducing animals require an orchestrated communication between spermatozoa and the egg to generate a new individual. Capacitation, a maturational complex phenomenon that occurs in the female reproductive tract, renders spermatozoa capable of binding and fusing with the oocyte, and it is a requirement for mammalian fertilization. Capacitation encompasses plasma membrane reorganization, ion permeability regulation, cholesterol loss and changes in the phosphorylation state of many proteins. Novel tools to study sperm ion channels, image intracellular ionic changes and proteins with better spatial and temporal resolution, are unraveling how modifications in sperm ion transport and phosphorylation states lead to capacitation. Recent evidence indicates that two parallel pathways regulate phosphorylation events leading to capacitation, one of them requiring activation of protein kinase A and the second one involving inactivation of ser/thr phosphatases. This review examines the involvement of ion transporters and phosphorylation signaling processes needed for spermatozoa to achieve capacitation. Understanding the molecular mechanisms leading to fertilization is central for societies to deal with rising male infertility rates, to develop safe male gamete-based contraceptives and to preserve biodiversity through better assisted fertilization strategies. PMID:21540868

  5. Differential Inhibition of Water and Ion Channel Activities of Mammalian Aquaporin-1 by Two Structurally Related Bacopaside Compounds Derived from the Medicinal Plant Bacopa monnieri.

    PubMed

    Pei, Jinxin V; Kourghi, Mohamad; De Ieso, Michael L; Campbell, Ewan M; Dorward, Hilary S; Hardingham, Jennifer E; Yool, Andrea J

    2016-10-01

    Aquaporin-1 (AQP1) is a major intrinsic protein that facilitates flux of water and other small solutes across cell membranes. In addition to its function as a water channel in maintaining fluid homeostasis, AQP1 also acts as a nonselective cation channel gated by cGMP, a property shown previously to facilitate rapid cell migration in a AQP1-expressing colon cancer cell line. Here we report two new modulators of AQP1 channels, bacopaside I and bacopaside II, isolated from the medicinal plant Bacopa monnieri Screening was conducted in the Xenopus oocyte expression system, using quantitative swelling and two-electrode voltage clamp techniques. Results showed bacopaside I blocked both the water (IC50 117 μM) and ion channel activities of AQP1 but did not alter AQP4 activity, whereas bacopaside II selectively blocked the AQP1 water channel (IC50 18 μM) without impairing the ionic conductance. These results fit with predictions from in silico molecular modeling. Both bacopasides were tested in migration assays using HT29 and SW480 colon cancer cell lines, with high and low levels of AQP1 expression, respectively. Bacopaside I (IC50 48 μM) and bacopaside II (IC50 14 μM) impaired migration of HT29 cells but had minimal effect on SW480 cell migration. Our results are the first to identify differential AQP1 modulators isolated from a medicinal plant. Bacopasides could serve as novel lead compounds for pharmaceutic development of selective aquaporin modulators.

  6. Inositol trisphosphate receptor and ion channel models based on single-channel data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gin, Elan; Wagner, Larry E.; Yule, David I.; Sneyd, James

    2009-09-01

    The inositol trisphosphate receptor (IPR) plays an important role in controlling the dynamics of intracellular Ca2+. Single-channel patch-clamp recordings are a typical way to study these receptors as well as other ion channels. Methods for analyzing and using this type of data have been developed to fit Markov models of the receptor. The usual method of parameter fitting is based on maximum-likelihood techniques. However, Bayesian inference and Markov chain Monte Carlo techniques are becoming more popular. We describe the application of the Bayesian methods to real experimental single-channel data in three ion channels: the ryanodine receptor, the K+ channel, and the IPR. One of the main aims of all three studies was that of model selection with different approaches taken. We also discuss the modeling implications for single-channel data that display different levels of channel activity within one recording.

  7. Methyl syringate, a low-molecular-weight phenolic ester, as an activator of the chemosensory ion channel TRPA1.

    PubMed

    Son, Hee Jin; Kim, Min Jung; Park, Jae-Ho; Ishii, Sho; Misaka, Takumi; Rhyu, Mee-Ra

    2012-12-01

    Transient receptor potential channel ankryn 1 (TRPA1) and transient receptor potential channel vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) are members of the TRP superfamily of structurally related, nonselective cation channels and are often coexpressed in sensory neurons. Extracts of the first leaves of Kalopanax pictus Nakai (Araliaceae) have been shown to activate hTRPA1 and hTRPV1. Therefore, the effects of six commercially available chemicals (methyl syringate, coniferyl alcohol, protocatechuic acid, hederacoside C, α-hederin, and eleutheroside B) found in K. pictus were investigated on cultured cells expressing hTRPA1 and hTRPV1. Of the six compounds, methyl syringate selectively activated hTRPA1 (EC(50) = 507.4 μM), but not hTRPV1. Although methyl syringate had a higher EC(50) compared with allyl isothiocyanate (EC(50) = 7.4 μM) and cinnamaldehyde (EC(50) = 22.2 μM), the present study provides evidence that methyl syringate from K. pictus is a specific and selective activator of hTRPA1.

  8. Inhibiting TRPA1 ion channel reduces loss of cutaneous nerve fiber function in diabetic animals: sustained activation of the TRPA1 channel contributes to the pathogenesis of peripheral diabetic neuropathy.

    PubMed

    Koivisto, Ari; Hukkanen, Mika; Saarnilehto, Marja; Chapman, Hugh; Kuokkanen, Katja; Wei, Hong; Viisanen, Hanna; Akerman, Karl E; Lindstedt, Ken; Pertovaara, Antti

    2012-01-01

    Peripheral diabetic neuropathy (PDN) is a devastating complication of diabetes mellitus (DM). Here we test the hypothesis that the transient receptor potential ankyrin 1 (TRPA1) ion channel on primary afferent nerve fibers is involved in the pathogenesis of PDN, due to sustained activation by reactive compounds generated in DM. DM was induced by streptozotocin in rats that were treated daily for 28 days with a TRPA1 channel antagonist (Chembridge-5861528) or vehicle. Laser Doppler flow method was used for assessing axon reflex induced by intraplantar injection of a TRPA1 channel agonist (cinnamaldehyde) and immunohistochemistry to assess substance P-like innervation of the skin. In vitro calcium imaging and patch clamp were used to assess whether endogenous TRPA1 agonists (4-hydroxynonenal and methylglyoxal) generated in DM induce sustained activation of the TRPA1 channel. Axon reflex induced by a TRPA1 channel agonist in the plantar skin was suppressed and the number of substance P-like immunoreactive nerve fibers was decreased 4 weeks after induction of DM. Prolonged treatment with Chembridge-5861528 reduced the DM-induced attenuation of the cutaneous axon reflex and loss of substance P-like immunoreactive nerve fibers. Moreover, in vitro calcium imaging and patch clamp results indicated that reactive compounds generated in DM (4-hydroxynonenal and methylglyoxal) produced sustained activations of the TRPA1 channel, a prerequisite for adverse long-term effects. The results indicate that the TRPA1 channel exerts an important role in the pathogenesis of PDN. Blocking the TRPA1 channel provides a selective disease-modifying treatment of PDN. PMID:22133672

  9. Microvillar ion channels: cytoskeletal modulation of ion fluxes.

    PubMed

    Lange, K

    2000-10-21

    movement of the system (electro-mechanical coupling). Because ionic transmission through linear polyelectrolytes is very slow compared with electronic conduction, only low-frequency electromagnetic fields can interact with the condensed counterion systems of linear polyelectrolytes. The delineated characteristics of microvillar ion conduction are strongly supported by the phenomenon of electro-mechanical coupling (reverse transduction) in microvilli of the audioreceptor (hair) cells and the recently reported dynamics of Ca(2+)signaling in microvilli of audio- and photoreceptor cells. Due to the cell-specific expression of different types and combinations of ion channels and transporters in the microvillar tip membrane of differentiated cells, the functional properties of this cell surface organelle are highly variable serving a multitude of different cellular functions including receptor-mediated effects such as Ca(2+)signaling, regulation of glucose and amino acid transport, as well as modulation of membrane potential. Even mechanical channel activation involved in cell volume regulation can be deduced from the systematic properties of the microvillar channel concept. In addition, the specific ion conduction properties of microfilaments combined with their proposed role in Ca(2+)signaling make microvilli the most likely cellular site for the interaction with external electric and magnetic fields.

  10. Hypoxia. 4. Hypoxia and ion channel function

    PubMed Central

    Polak, Jan

    2011-01-01

    The ability to sense and respond to oxygen deprivation is required for survival; thus, understanding the mechanisms by which changes in oxygen are linked to cell viability and function is of great importance. Ion channels play a critical role in regulating cell function in a wide variety of biological processes, including neuronal transmission, control of ventilation, cardiac contractility, and control of vasomotor tone. Since the 1988 discovery of oxygen-sensitive potassium channels in chemoreceptors, the effect of hypoxia on an assortment of ion channels has been studied in an array of cell types. In this review, we describe the effects of both acute and sustained hypoxia (continuous and intermittent) on mammalian ion channels in several tissues, the mode of action, and their contribution to diverse cellular processes. PMID:21178108

  11. Screening technologies for ion channel drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Terstappen, Georg C; Roncarati, Renza; Dunlop, John; Peri, Ravikumar

    2010-05-01

    For every movement, heartbeat and thought, ion channels need to open and close. It is therefore not surprising that their malfunctioning leads to serious diseases. Currently, only approximately 10% of drugs, with a market value in excess of US$10 billion, act on ion channels. The systematic exploitation of this target class has started, enabled by novel assay technologies and fundamental advances of the structural and mechanistic understanding of channel function. The latter, which was rewarded with the Nobel Prize in 2003, has opened up an avenue for rational drug design. In this review we provide an overview of the current repertoire of screening technologies that has evolved to drive ion channel-targeted drug discovery towards new medicines of the future.

  12. Na+ Channel β Subunits: Overachievers of the Ion Channel Family

    PubMed Central

    Brackenbury, William J.; Isom, Lori L.

    2011-01-01

    Voltage-gated Na+ channels (VGSCs) in mammals contain a pore-forming α subunit and one or more β subunits. There are five mammalian β subunits in total: β1, β1B, β2, β3, and β4, encoded by four genes: SCN1B–SCN4B. With the exception of the SCN1B splice variant, β1B, the β subunits are type I topology transmembrane proteins. In contrast, β1B lacks a transmembrane domain and is a secreted protein. A growing body of work shows that VGSC β subunits are multifunctional. While they do not form the ion channel pore, β subunits alter gating, voltage-dependence, and kinetics of VGSCα subunits and thus regulate cellular excitability in vivo. In addition to their roles in channel modulation, β subunits are members of the immunoglobulin superfamily of cell adhesion molecules and regulate cell adhesion and migration. β subunits are also substrates for sequential proteolytic cleavage by secretases. An example of the multifunctional nature of β subunits is β1, encoded by SCN1B, that plays a critical role in neuronal migration and pathfinding during brain development, and whose function is dependent on Na+ current and γ-secretase activity. Functional deletion of SCN1B results in Dravet Syndrome, a severe and intractable pediatric epileptic encephalopathy. β subunits are emerging as key players in a wide variety of physiopathologies, including epilepsy, cardiac arrhythmia, multiple sclerosis, Huntington’s disease, neuropsychiatric disorders, neuropathic and inflammatory pain, and cancer. β subunits mediate multiple signaling pathways on different timescales, regulating electrical excitability, adhesion, migration, pathfinding, and transcription. Importantly, some β subunit functions may operate independently of α subunits. Thus, β subunits perform critical roles during development and disease. As such, they may prove useful in disease diagnosis and therapy. PMID:22007171

  13. Redesigning Channel-Forming Peptides: Amino Acid Substitutions that Enhance Rates of Supramolecular Self-Assembly and Raise Ion Transport Activity

    PubMed Central

    Shank, Lalida P.; Broughman, James R.; Takeguchi, Wade; Cook, Gabriel; Robbins, Ashley S.; Hahn, Lindsey; Radke, Gary; Iwamoto, Takeo; Schultz, Bruce D.; Tomich, John M.

    2006-01-01

    Three series of 22-residue peptides derived from the transmembrane M2 segment of the glycine receptor α1-subunit (M2GlyR) have been designed, synthesized, and tested to determine the plasticity of a channel-forming sequence and to define whether channel pores with enhanced conductive properties could be created. Sixteen sequences were examined for aqueous solubility, solution-association tendency, secondary structure, and half-maximal concentration for supramolecular assembly, channel activity, and ion transport properties across epithelial monolayers. All peptides interact strongly with membranes: associating with, inserting across, and assembling to form homooligomeric bundles when in micromolar concentrations. Single and double amino acid replacements involving arginine and/or aromatic amino acids within the final five C-terminal residues of the peptide cause dramatic effects on the concentration dependence, yielding a range of K1/2 values from 36 ± 5 to 390 ± 220 μM for transport activity. New water/lipid interfacial boundaries were established for the transmembrane segment using charged or aromatic amino acids, thus limiting the peptides' ability to move perpendicularly to the plane of the bilayer. Formation of discrete water/lipid interfacial boundaries appears to be necessary for efficient supramolecular assembly and high anion transport activity. A peptide sequence is identified that may show efficacy in channel replacement therapy for channelopathies such as cystic fibrosis. PMID:16387776

  14. Ion channels that control fertility in mammalian spermatozoa.

    PubMed

    Navarro, Betsy; Kirichok, Yuriy; Chung, Jean-Ju; Clapham, David E

    2008-01-01

    Whole-cell voltage clamp of mammalian spermatozoa was first achieved in 2006. This technical advance, combined with genetic deletion strategies, makes unambiguous identification of sperm ion channel currents possible. This review summarizes the ion channel currents that have been directly measured in mammalian sperm, and their physiological roles in fertilization. The predominant currents are a Ca2+-selective current requiring expression of the 4 mCatSper genes, and a rectifying K+ current with properties most similar to mSlo3. Intracellular alkalinization activates both channels and induces hyperactivated motility.

  15. Dengue virus M protein C-terminal peptide (DVM-C) forms ion channels.

    PubMed

    Premkumar, A; Horan, C R; Gage, P W

    2005-03-01

    A chemically synthesized peptide consisting of the C-terminus of the M protein of the Dengue virus type 1 strain Singapore S275/90 (DVM-C) produced ion channel activity in artificial lipid bilayers. The channels had a variable conductance and were more permeable to sodium and potassium ions than to chloride ions and more permeable to chloride ions than to calcium ions. Hexamethylene amiloride (100 microM) and amantadine (10 microM), blocked channels formed by DVM-C. Ion channels may play an important role in the life cycle of many viruses and drugs that block these channels may prove to be useful antiviral agents.

  16. The Origins of Transmembrane Ion Channels

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pohorille, Andrew; Wilson, Michael A.

    2012-01-01

    Even though membrane proteins that mediate transport of ions and small molecules across cell walls are among the largest and least understood biopolymers in contemporary cells, it is still possible to shed light on their origins and early evolution. The central observation is that transmembrane portions of most ion channels are simply bundles of -helices. By combining results of experimental and computer simulation studies on synthetic models and natural channels, mostly of non-genomic origin, we show that the emergence of -helical channels was protobiologically plausible, and did not require highly specific amino acid sequences. Despite their simple structure, such channels could possess properties that, at the first sight, appear to require markedly larger complexity. Specifically, we explain how the antiamoebin channels, which are made of identical helices, 16 amino acids in length, achieve efficiency comparable to that of highly evolved channels. We further show that antiamoebin channels are extremely flexible, compared to modern, genetically coded channels. On the basis of our results, we propose that channels evolved further towards high structural complexity because they needed to acquire stable rigid structures and mechanisms for precise regulation rather than improve efficiency. In general, even though architectures of membrane proteins are not nearly as diverse as those of water-soluble proteins, they are sufficiently flexible to adapt readily to the functional demands arising during evolution.

  17. Studying mechanosensitive ion channels using liposomes.

    PubMed

    Martinac, Boris; Rohde, Paul R; Battle, Andrew R; Petrov, Evgeny; Pal, Prithwish; Foo, Alexander Fook; Vásquez, Valeria; Huynh, Thuan; Kloda, Anna

    2010-01-01

    Mechanosensitive (MS) ion channels are the primary molecular transducers of mechanical force into electrical and/or chemical intracellular signals in living cells. They have been implicated in innumerable mechanosensory physiological processes including touch and pain sensation, hearing, blood pressure control, micturition, cell volume regulation, tissue growth, or cellular turgor control. Much of what we know about the basic physical principles underlying the conversion of mechanical force acting upon membranes of living cells into conformational changes of MS channels comes from studies of MS channels reconstituted into artificial liposomes. Using bacterial MS channels as a model, we have shown by reconstituting these channels into liposomes that there is a close relationship between the physico-chemical properties of the lipid bilayer and structural dynamics bringing about the function of these channels.

  18. The functional network of ion channels in T lymphocytes

    PubMed Central

    Cahalan, Michael D.; Chandy, K. George

    2011-01-01

    Summary For more than 25 years, it has been widely appreciated that Ca2+ influx is essential to trigger T-lymphocyte activation. Patch clamp analysis, molecular identification, and functional studies using blockers and genetic manipulation have shown that a unique contingent of ion channels orchestrates the initiation, intensity, and duration of the Ca2+ signal. Five distinct types of ion channels – Kv1.3, KCa3.1, Orai1+ stromal interacting molecule 1 (STIM1) [Ca2+-release activating Ca2+ (CRAC) channel], TRPM7, and Clswell – comprise a network that performs functions vital for ongoing cellular homeostasis and for T-cell activation, offering potential targets for immunomodulation. Most recently, the roles of STIM1 and Orai1 have been revealed in triggering and forming the CRAC channel following T-cell receptor engagement. Kv1.3, KCa3.1, STIM1, and Orai1 have been found to cluster at the immunological synapse following contact with an antigen-presenting cell; we discuss how channels at the synapse might function to modulate local signaling. Immuno-imaging approaches are beginning to shed light on ion channel function in vivo. Importantly, the expression pattern of Ca2+ and K+ channels and hence the functional network can adapt depending upon the state of differentiation and activation, and this allows for different stages of an immune response to be targeted specifically. PMID:19754890

  19. Emerging role of calcium-activated potassium channel in the regulation of cell viability following potassium ions challenge in HEK293 cells and pharmacological modulation.

    PubMed

    Tricarico, Domenico; Mele, Antonietta; Calzolaro, Sara; Cannone, Gianluigi; Camerino, Giulia Maria; Dinardo, Maria Maddalena; Latorre, Ramon; Conte Camerino, Diana

    2013-01-01

    Emerging evidences suggest that Ca(2+)activated-K(+)-(BK) channel is involved in the regulation of cell viability. The changes of the cell viability observed under hyperkalemia (15 mEq/L) or hypokalemia (0.55 mEq/L) conditions were investigated in HEK293 cells expressing the hslo subunit (hslo-HEK293) in the presence or absence of BK channel modulators. The BK channel openers(10(-11)-10(-3)M) were: acetazolamide(ACTZ), Dichlorphenamide(DCP), methazolamide(MTZ), bendroflumethiazide(BFT), ethoxzolamide(ETX), hydrochlorthiazide(HCT), quercetin(QUERC), resveratrol(RESV) and NS1619; and the BK channel blockers(2 x 10(-7)M-5 x 10(-3)M) were: tetraethylammonium(TEA), iberiotoxin(IbTx) and charybdotoxin(ChTX). Experiments on cell viability and channel currents were performed using cell counting kit-8 and patch-clamp techniques, respectively. Hslo whole-cell current was potentiated by BK channel openers with different potency and efficacy in hslo-HEK293. The efficacy ranking of the openers at -60 mV(Vm) was BFT> ACTZ >DCP ≥RESV≥ ETX> NS1619> MTZ≥ QUERC; HCT was not effective. Cell viability after 24 h of incubation under hyperkalemia was enhanced by 82+6% and 33+7% in hslo-HEK293 cells and HEK293 cells, respectively. IbTx, ChTX and TEA enhanced cell viability in hslo-HEK293. BK openers prevented the enhancement of the cell viability induced by hyperkalemia or IbTx in hslo-HEK293 showing an efficacy which was comparable with that observed as BK openers. BK channel modulators failed to affect cell currents and viability under hyperkalemia conditions in the absence of hslo subunit. In contrast, under hypokalemia cell viability was reduced by -22+4% and -23+6% in hslo-HEK293 and HEK293 cells, respectively; the BK channel modulators failed to affect this parameter in these cells. In conclusion, BK channel regulates cell viability under hyperkalemia but not hypokalemia conditions. BFT and ACTZ were the most potent drugs either in activating the BK current and in preventing

  20. [Interaction of melittin with ion channels of excitable membranes].

    PubMed

    Zherelova, O M; Kabanova, N V; Kazachenko, V N; Chaĭlakhian, L M

    2007-01-01

    The effect of the neurotoxin melittin on the activation of ion channels of excitable membrane, the plasmalemma of Characeae algae cells, isolated membrane patches of neurons of mollusc L. stagnalis and Vero cells was studied by the method of intracellular perfusion and the patch-clamp technique in inside-out configuration. It was shown that melittin disturbs the conductivity of plasmalemma and modifieds Ca(2+)-channels of plant membrane. The leakage current that appears by the action of melittin can be restored by substituting calmodulin for melittin. Melittin modifies K(+)-channels of animal cell membrane by disrupting the phospholipid matrix and forms conductive structures in the membrane by interacting with channel proteins, which is evidenced by the appearance of additional ion channels.

  1. [Interaction of melittin with ion channels of excitable membranes].

    PubMed

    Zherelova, O M; Kabanova, N V; Kazachenko, V N; Chaĭlakhian, L M

    2007-01-01

    The effect of the neurotoxin melittin on the activation of ion channels of excitable membrane, the plasmalemma of Characeae algae cells, isolated membrane patches of neurons of mollusc L. stagnalis and Vero cells was studied by the method of intracellular perfusion and the patch-clamp technique in inside-out configuration. It was shown that melittin disturbs the conductivity of plasmalemma and modifieds Ca(2+)-channels of plant membrane. The leakage current that appears by the action of melittin can be restored by substituting calmodulin for melittin. Melittin modifies K(+)-channels of animal cell membrane by disrupting the phospholipid matrix and forms conductive structures in the membrane by interacting with channel proteins, which is evidenced by the appearance of additional ion channels. PMID:17477057

  2. Mitochondrial Ion Channels in Cancer Transformation

    PubMed Central

    Madamba, Stephen M.; Damri, Kevin N.; Dejean, Laurent M.; Peixoto, Pablo M.

    2015-01-01

    Cancer transformation involves reprograming of mitochondrial function to avert cell death mechanisms, monopolize energy metabolism, accelerate mitotic proliferation, and promote metastasis. Mitochondrial ion channels have emerged as promising therapeutic targets because of their connection to metabolic and apoptotic functions. This mini review discusses how mitochondrial channels may be associated with cancer transformation and expands on the possible involvement of mitochondrial protein import complexes in pathophysiological process. PMID:26090338

  3. State-of-the-art automated patch clamp: heat activation, action potentials, and high throughput in ion channel screening.

    PubMed

    Stoelzle-Feix, Sonja

    2014-01-01

    A successful robotic approach of the patch clamp technique is based on planar patch clamp chips where a glass pipette, as used in conventional patch clamping, is replaced by a thin planar glass sheet with a small hole in the middle. Automated patch clamp (APC) systems utilizing this chip design offer higher throughput capabilities and ease of use and thus have become common in basic research, drug development, and safety screening. Further development of existing devices and introduction of new systems widen the range of possible experiments and increase throughput. Here, two features with different areas of applications that meet the needs of drug discovery researchers and basic researchers alike are described. The utilized system is a medium throughput APC device capable of recording up to eight cells simultaneously. The temperature control capability and the possibility to perform recordings not only in the voltage clamp but also in the current clamp mode are described in detail. Since eight recordings can be generated in parallel without compromising data quality, reliable and cost-effective and time-effective screening of compounds against ion channels using voltage clamp and current clamp electrophysiology can be performed. PMID:25023302

  4. Silicon-based ion channel sensor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goryll, M.; Wilk, S.; Laws, G. M.; Thornton, T.; Goodnick, S.; Saraniti, M.; Tang, J.; Eisenberg, R. S.

    2003-09-01

    In this paper we present a method to fabricate an aperture in a silicon wafer that can be used to suspend a freestanding lipid bilayer membrane. The design offers the feature of scalability of the aperture size into the submicron range. Lipid bilayer membranes formed across the aperture in the oxidized silicon substrate show a gigaohm sealing resistance. The stability of these membranes allowed the insertion of a nanometer-sized ion channel protein (OmpF porin) and the measurement of voltage dependent gating that can be expected from a working porin ion channel.

  5. The Earliest Ion Channels in Protocellular Membranes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mijajlovic, Milan; Pohorille, Andrew; Wilson, Michael; Wei, Chenyu

    2010-01-01

    Cellular membranes with their hydrophobic interior are virtually impermeable to ions. Bulk of ion transport through them is enabled through ion channels. Ion channels of contemporary cells are complex protein molecules which span the membrane creating a cylindrical pore filled with water. Protocells, which are widely regarded as precursors to modern cells, had similarly impermeable membranes, but the set of proteins in their disposal was much simpler and more limited. We have been, therefore, exploring an idea that the first ion channels in protocellular membranes were formed by much smaller peptide molecules that could spontaneously selfassemble into short-lived cylindrical bundles in a membrane. Earlier studies have shown that a group of peptides known as peptaibols is capable of forming ion channels in lipid bilayers when they are exposed to an electric field. Peptaibols are small, non-genetically encoded peptides produced by some fungi as a part of their system of defense against bacteria. They are usually only 14-20 residues long, which is just enough to span the membrane. Their sequence is characterized by the presence of non-standard amino acids which, interestingly, are also expected to have existed on the early earth. In particular, the presence of 2-aminoisobutyric acid (AIB) gives peptaibols strong helix forming propensities. Association of the helices inside membranes leads to the formation of cylindrical bundles, typically containing 4 to 10 monomers. Although peptaibols are excellent candidates for models of the earliest ion channels their structures, which are stabilized only by van der Waals forces and occasional hydrogen bonds between neighboring helices, are not very stable. Although it might properly reflect protobiological reality, it is also a major obstacle in studying channel behavior. For this reason we focused on two members of the peptaibol family, trichotoxin and antiamoebin, which are characterized by a single conductance level. This

  6. The earliest ion channels in protocellular membranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mijajlovic, Milan; Pohorille, Andrew; Wilson, Michael; Wei, Chenyu

    Cellular membranes with their hydrophobic interior are virtually impermeable to ions. Bulk of ion transport through them is enabled through ion channels. Ion channels of contemporary cells are complex protein molecules which span the membrane creating a cylindrical pore filled with water. Protocells, which are widely regarded as precursors to modern cells, had similarly impermeable membranes, but the set of proteins in their disposal was much simpler and more limited. We have been, therefore, exploring an idea that the first ion channels in protocellular membranes were formed by much smaller peptide molecules that could spontaneously self-assemble into short-lived cylindrical bundles in a membrane. Earlier studies have shown that a group of peptides known as peptaibols is capable of forming ion channels in lipid bilayers when they are exposed to an electric field. Peptaibols are small, non-genetically encoded peptides produced by some fungi as a part of their system of defense against bacteria. They are usually only 14-20 residues long, which is just enough to span the membrane. Their sequence is characterized by the presence of non-standard amino acids which, interestingly, are also expected to have existed on the early earth. In particular, the presence of 2-aminoisobutyric acid (AIB) gives peptaibols strong helix forming propensities. Association of the helices inside membranes leads to the formation of cylindrical bundles, typically containing 4 to 10 monomers. Although peptaibols are excellent candidates for models of the earliest ion channels their struc-tures, which are stabilized only by van der Waals forces and occasional hydrogen bonds between neighboring helices, are not very stable. Although it might properly reflect protobiological real-ity, it is also a major obstacle in studying channel behavior. For this reason we focused on two members of the peptaibol family, trichotoxin and antiamoebin, which are characterized by a single conductance level. This

  7. Electrical Heart Defibrillation with Ion Channel Blockers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feeney, Erin; Clark, Courtney; Puwal, Steffan

    Heart disease is the leading cause of mortality in the United States. Rotary electrical waves within heart muscle underlie electrical disorders of the heart termed fibrillation; their propagation and breakup leads to a complex distribution of electrical activation of the tissue (and of the ensuing mechanical contraction that comes from electrical activation). Successful heart defibrillation has, thus far, been limited to delivering large electrical shocks to activate the entire heart and reset its electrical activity. In theory, defibrillation of a system this nonlinear should be possible with small electrical perturbations (stimulations). A successful algorithm for such a low-energy defibrillator continues to elude researchers. We propose to examine in silica whether low-energy electrical stimulations can be combined with antiarrhythmic, ion channel-blocking drugs to achieve a higher rate of defibrillation and whether the antiarrhythmic drugs should be delivered before or after electrical stimulation has commenced. Progress toward a more successful, low-energy defibrillator will greatly minimize the adverse effects noted in defibrillation and will assist in the development of pediatric defibrillators.

  8. Ion channels in the central regulation of energy and glucose homeostasis

    PubMed Central

    Sohn, Jong-Woo

    2013-01-01

    Ion channels are critical regulators of neuronal excitability and synaptic function in the brain. Recent evidence suggests that ion channels expressed by neurons within the brain are responsible for regulating energy and glucose homeostasis. In addition, the central effects of neurotransmitters and hormones are at least in part achieved by modifications of ion channel activity. This review focuses on ion channels and their neuronal functions followed by a discussion of the identified roles for specific ion channels in the central pathways regulating food intake, energy expenditure, and glucose balance. PMID:23734095

  9. Differential Inhibition of Water and Ion Channel Activities of Mammalian Aquaporin-1 by Two Structurally Related Bacopaside Compounds Derived from the Medicinal Plant Bacopa monnieri.

    PubMed

    Pei, Jinxin V; Kourghi, Mohamad; De Ieso, Michael L; Campbell, Ewan M; Dorward, Hilary S; Hardingham, Jennifer E; Yool, Andrea J

    2016-10-01

    Aquaporin-1 (AQP1) is a major intrinsic protein that facilitates flux of water and other small solutes across cell membranes. In addition to its function as a water channel in maintaining fluid homeostasis, AQP1 also acts as a nonselective cation channel gated by cGMP, a property shown previously to facilitate rapid cell migration in a AQP1-expressing colon cancer cell line. Here we report two new modulators of AQP1 channels, bacopaside I and bacopaside II, isolated from the medicinal plant Bacopa monnieri Screening was conducted in the Xenopus oocyte expression system, using quantitative swelling and two-electrode voltage clamp techniques. Results showed bacopaside I blocked both the water (IC50 117 μM) and ion channel activities of AQP1 but did not alter AQP4 activity, whereas bacopaside II selectively blocked the AQP1 water channel (IC50 18 μM) without impairing the ionic conductance. These results fit with predictions from in silico molecular modeling. Both bacopasides were tested in migration assays using HT29 and SW480 colon cancer cell lines, with high and low levels of AQP1 expression, respectively. Bacopaside I (IC50 48 μM) and bacopaside II (IC50 14 μM) impaired migration of HT29 cells but had minimal effect on SW480 cell migration. Our results are the first to identify differential AQP1 modulators isolated from a medicinal plant. Bacopasides could serve as novel lead compounds for pharmaceutic development of selective aquaporin modulators. PMID:27474162

  10. Emergence of ion channel modal gating from independent subunit kinetics.

    PubMed

    Bicknell, Brendan A; Goodhill, Geoffrey J

    2016-09-01

    Many ion channels exhibit a slow stochastic switching between distinct modes of gating activity. This feature of channel behavior has pronounced implications for the dynamics of ionic currents and the signaling pathways that they regulate. A canonical example is the inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor (IP3R) channel, whose regulation of intracellular Ca(2+) concentration is essential for numerous cellular processes. However, the underlying biophysical mechanisms that give rise to modal gating in this and most other channels remain unknown. Although ion channels are composed of protein subunits, previous mathematical models of modal gating are coarse grained at the level of whole-channel states, limiting further dialogue between theory and experiment. Here we propose an origin for modal gating, by modeling the kinetics of ligand binding and conformational change in the IP3R at the subunit level. We find good agreement with experimental data over a wide range of ligand concentrations, accounting for equilibrium channel properties, transient responses to changing ligand conditions, and modal gating statistics. We show how this can be understood within a simple analytical framework and confirm our results with stochastic simulations. The model assumes that channel subunits are independent, demonstrating that cooperative binding or concerted conformational changes are not required for modal gating. Moreover, the model embodies a generally applicable principle: If a timescale separation exists in the kinetics of individual subunits, then modal gating can arise as an emergent property of channel behavior. PMID:27551100

  11. Targeting ion channels in cystic fibrosis.

    PubMed

    Mall, Marcus A; Galietta, Luis J V

    2015-09-01

    Mutations in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene cause a characteristic defect in epithelial ion transport that plays a central role in the pathogenesis of cystic fibrosis (CF). Hence, pharmacological correction of this ion transport defect by targeting of mutant CFTR, or alternative ion channels that may compensate for CFTR dysfunction, has long been considered as an attractive approach to a causal therapy of this life-limiting disease. The recent introduction of the CFTR potentiator ivacaftor into the therapy of a subgroup of patients with specific CFTR mutations was a major milestone and enormous stimulus for seeking effective ion transport modulators for all patients with CF. In this review, we discuss recent breakthroughs and setbacks with CFTR modulators designed to rescue mutant CFTR including the common mutation F508del. Further, we examine the alternative chloride channels TMEM16A and SLC26A9, as well as the epithelial sodium channel ENaC as alternative targets in CF lung disease, which remains the major cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with CF. Finally, we will focus on the hurdles that still need to be overcome to make effective ion transport modulation therapies available for all patients with CF irrespective of their CFTR genotype.

  12. Roles of Ion Channels in the Environmental Responses of Plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Furuichi, Takuya; Kawano, Tomonori; Tatsumi, Hitoshi; Sokabe, Masahiro

    When plant cells are exposed to environmental stresses or perceive internal signal molecules involved in growth and development, ion channels are transiently activated to convert these stimuli into intracellular signals. Among the ions taken up by plant cells, Ca2+ plays an essential role as an intracellular second messenger in plants; the cytoplasmic free Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]c) is therefore strictly regulated. Signal transduction pathways mediated by changes in [Ca2+]c - termed Ca2+ signaling - are initiated by the activation of Ca2+-permeable channels in many cases. To date, a large body of electrophysiological and recent molecular biological studies have revealed that plants possess Ca2+ channels belonging to distinct types with different gating mechanisms, and a variety of genes for Ca2+-permeable channels have been isolated and functionally characterized. Topics in this chapter focus on long-distance signal translocation in plants and the characteristics of a variety of plant Ca2+-permeable channels including voltage-dependent Ca2+-permeable channels, cyclic nucleotide-gated cation channels, ionotropic glutamate receptors and mechanosensitive channels. We discuss their roles in environmental responses and in the regulation of growth and development.

  13. Automated Parallel Recordings of Topologically Identified Single Ion Channels

    PubMed Central

    Kawano, Ryuji; Tsuji, Yutaro; Sato, Koji; Osaki, Toshihisa; Kamiya, Koki; Hirano, Minako; Ide, Toru; Miki, Norihisa; Takeuchi, Shoji

    2013-01-01

    Although ion channels are attractive targets for drug discovery, the systematic screening of ion channel-targeted drugs remains challenging. To facilitate automated single ion-channel recordings for the analysis of drug interactions with the intra- and extracellular domain, we have developed a parallel recording methodology using artificial cell membranes. The use of stable lipid bilayer formation in droplet chamber arrays facilitated automated, parallel, single-channel recording from reconstituted native and mutated ion channels. Using this system, several types of ion channels, including mutated forms, were characterised by determining the protein orientation. In addition, we provide evidence that both intra- and extracellular amyloid-beta fragments directly inhibit the channel open probability of the hBK channel. This automated methodology provides a high-throughput drug screening system for the targeting of ion channels and a data-intensive analysis technique for studying ion channel gating mechanisms. PMID:23771282

  14. Ion/water channels for embryo implantation barrier.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xin-Mei; Zhang, Dan; Wang, Ting-Ting; Sheng, Jian-Zhong; Huang, He-Feng

    2014-05-01

    Successful implantation involves three distinct processes, namely the embryo apposition, attachment, and penetration through the luminal epithelium of the endometrium to establish a vascular link to the mother. After penetration, stromal cells underlying the epithelium differentiate and surround the embryo to form the embryo implantation barrier, which blocks the passage of harmful substances to the embryo. Many ion/water channel proteins were found to be involved in the process of embryo implantation. First, ion/water channel proteins play their classical role in establishing a resting membrane potential, shaping action potentials and other electrical signals by gating the flow of ions across the cell membrane. Second, most of ion/water channel proteins are regulated by steroid hormone (estrogen or progesterone), which may have important implications to the embryo implantation. Last but not least, these proteins do not limit themselves as pure channels but also function as an initiator of a series of consequences once activated by their ligand/stimulator. Herein, we discuss these new insights in recent years about the contribution of ion/water channels to the embryo implantation barrier construction during early pregnancy. PMID:24789983

  15. More Than a Pore: Ion Channel Signaling Complexes

    PubMed Central

    Fakler, Bernd; Kaczmarek, Leonard K.; Isom, Lori L.

    2014-01-01

    Voltage- and ligand-gated ion channels form the molecular basis of cellular excitability. With >400 members and accounting for ∼1.5% of the human genome, ion channels are some of the most well studied of all proteins in heterologous expression systems. Yet, ion channels often exhibit unexpected properties in vivo because of their interaction with a variety of signaling/scaffolding proteins. Such interactions can influence the function and localization of ion channels, as well as their coupling to intracellular second messengers and pathways, thus increasing the signaling potential of these ion channels in neurons. Moreover, functions have been ascribed to ion channels that are largely independent of their ion-conducting roles. Molecular and functional dissection of the ion channel proteome/interactome has yielded new insights into the composition of ion channel complexes and how their dysregulation leads to human disease. PMID:25392484

  16. Oxidative Stress and Maxi Calcium-Activated Potassium (BK) Channels

    PubMed Central

    Hermann, Anton; Sitdikova, Guzel F.; Weiger, Thomas M.

    2015-01-01

    All cells contain ion channels in their outer (plasma) and inner (organelle) membranes. Ion channels, similar to other proteins, are targets of oxidative impact, which modulates ion fluxes across membranes. Subsequently, these ion currents affect electrical excitability, such as action potential discharge (in neurons, muscle, and receptor cells), alteration of the membrane resting potential, synaptic transmission, hormone secretion, muscle contraction or coordination of the cell cycle. In this chapter we summarize effects of oxidative stress and redox mechanisms on some ion channels, in particular on maxi calcium-activated potassium (BK) channels which play an outstanding role in a plethora of physiological and pathophysiological functions in almost all cells and tissues. We first elaborate on some general features of ion channel structure and function and then summarize effects of oxidative alterations of ion channels and their functional consequences. PMID:26287261

  17. Dysfunctional HCN ion channels in neurological diseases

    PubMed Central

    DiFrancesco, Jacopo C.; DiFrancesco, Dario

    2015-01-01

    Hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN) channels are expressed as four different isoforms (HCN1-4) in the heart and in the central and peripheral nervous systems. HCN channels are activated by membrane hyperpolarization at voltages close to resting membrane potentials and carry the hyperpolarization-activated current, dubbed If (funny current) in heart and Ih in neurons. HCN channels contribute in several ways to neuronal activity and are responsible for many important cellular functions, including cellular excitability, generation, and modulation of rhythmic activity, dendritic integration, transmission of synaptic potentials, and plasticity phenomena. Because of their role, defective HCN channels are natural candidates in the search for potential causes of neurological disorders in humans. Several data, including growing evidence that some forms of epilepsy are associated with HCN mutations, support the notion of an involvement of dysfunctional HCN channels in different experimental models of the disease. Additionally, some anti-epileptic drugs are known to modify the activity of the Ih current. HCN channels are widely expressed in the peripheral nervous system and recent evidence has highlighted the importance of the HCN2 isoform in the transmission of pain. HCN channels are also present in the midbrain system, where they finely regulate the activity of dopaminergic neurons, and a potential role of these channels in the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease has recently emerged. The function of HCN channels is regulated by specific accessory proteins, which control the correct expression and modulation of the neuronal Ih current. Alteration of these proteins can severely interfere with the physiological channel function, potentially predisposing to pathological conditions. In this review we address the present knowledge of the association between HCN dysfunctions and neurological diseases, including clinical, genetic, and physiopathological

  18. Superposition properties of interacting ion channels.

    PubMed Central

    Keleshian, A M; Yeo, G F; Edeson, R O; Madsen, B W

    1994-01-01

    Quantitative analysis of patch clamp data is widely based on stochastic models of single-channel kinetics. Membrane patches often contain more than one active channel of a given type, and it is usually assumed that these behave independently in order to interpret the record and infer individual channel properties. However, recent studies suggest there are significant channel interactions in some systems. We examine a model of dependence in a system of two identical channels, each modeled by a continuous-time Markov chain in which specified transition rates are dependent on the conductance state of the other channel, changing instantaneously when the other channel opens or closes. Each channel then has, e.g., a closed time density that is conditional on the other channel being open or closed, these being identical under independence. We relate the two densities by a convolution function that embodies information about, and serves to quantify, dependence in the closed class. Distributions of observable (superposition) sojourn times are given in terms of these conditional densities. The behavior of two channel systems based on two- and three-state Markov models is examined by simulation. Optimized fitting of simulated data using reasonable parameters values and sample size indicates that both positive and negative cooperativity can be distinguished from independence. PMID:7524711

  19. Activation of TRPV1 channels inhibits mechanosensitive Piezo channel activity by depleting membrane phosphoinositides.

    PubMed

    Borbiro, Istvan; Badheka, Doreen; Rohacs, Tibor

    2015-02-10

    Capsaicin is an activator of the heat-sensitive TRPV1 (transient receptor potential vanilloid 1) ion channels and has been used as a local analgesic. We found that activation of TRPV1 channels with capsaicin either in dorsal root ganglion neurons or in a heterologous expression system inhibited the mechanosensitive Piezo1 and Piezo2 channels by depleting phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate [PI(4,5)P2] and its precursor phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate [PI(4)P] from the plasma membrane through Ca(2+)-induced phospholipase Cδ (PLCδ) activation. Experiments with chemically inducible phosphoinositide phosphatases and receptor-induced activation of PLCβ indicated that inhibition of Piezo channels required depletion of both PI(4)P and PI(4,5)P2. The mechanically activated current amplitudes decreased substantially in the excised inside-out configuration, where the membrane patch containing Piezo1 channels is removed from the cell. PI(4,5)P2 and PI(4)P applied to these excised patches inhibited this decrease. Thus, we concluded that Piezo channel activity requires the presence of phosphoinositides, and the combined depletion of PI(4,5)P2 and PI(4)P reduces channel activity. In addition to revealing a role for distinct membrane lipids in mechanosensitive ion channel regulation, these data suggest that inhibition of Piezo2 channels may contribute to the analgesic effect of capsaicin.

  20. A Method for Activation of Endogenous Acid-sensing Ion Channel 1a (ASIC1a) in the Nervous System with High Spatial and Temporal Precision

    PubMed Central

    Li, Tianbo; Yang, Youshan; Canessa, Cecilia M.

    2014-01-01

    Protons activate acid-sensing ion channel 1a (ASIC1a) in the central nervous system (CNS) although the impact of such activation on brain outputs remains elusive. Progress elucidating the functional roles of ASIC1a in the CNS has been hindered by technical difficulties of achieving acidification with spatial and temporal precision. We have implemented a method to control optically the opening of ASIC1a in brain slices and also in awake animals. The light-driven H+ pump ArchT was expressed in astrocytes of mouse cortex by injection of adenoviral vectors containing a strong and astrocyte-specific promoter. Illumination with amber light acidified the surrounding interstitium and led to activation of endogenous ASIC1a channels and firing of action potentials in neurons localized in close proximity to ArchT-expressing astrocytes. We conclude that this optogenetic method offers a minimally invasive approach that enables examining the biological consequences of ASIC1a currents in any structure of the CNS and in the modulation of animal behaviors. PMID:24727474

  1. Spiking synchronization of ion channel clusters on an axon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zeng, Shangyou; Tang, Yi; Jung, Peter

    2007-07-01

    Ion channels are distributed in clusters in squid giant axons, rat retinal nerve fiber layers, pyramidal cell dendrites of Apteronotus, etc. Ion channel clusters along the unmyelinated axon generate spontaneous spiking due to ion channel noise. Ion channel clusters are coupled by the axonal cable, and spontaneous spiking of each ion channel cluster can be synchronized. This paper considers the spiking synchronization of two ion channel clusters coupled by an axon. It is shown that axonal parameters affect the spiking synchronization exponentially and ion channel clusters have maximal spiking synchronization when they have the same size. It is further shown that there is an optimal length of the ion channel clusters with maximal spiking synchronization and the optimal length accords with the length of the node of Ranvier in the myelinated axon.

  2. The Ligand Gated Ion Channel Database.

    PubMed

    Le Novère, N; Changeux, J P

    1999-01-01

    The ligand gated ion channels (LGICs) are ionotropic receptors to neurotransmitters. Their physiological effect is carried out by the opening of an ionic channel upon binding of a particular neurotransmitter. These LGICs constitute superfamilies of receptors formed by homologous subunits. A database has been developed to handle the growing wealth of cloned subunits. This database contains nucleic acid sequences, protein sequences, as well as multiple sequence alignments and phylogenetic studies. This database is accessible via the worldwide web (http://www.pasteur.fr/units/neubiomol/LGIC.h tml), where it is continuously updated. A downloadable version is also available [currently v0.1 (98.06)].

  3. Carbon-based ion and molecular channels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sint, Kyaw; Wang, Boyang; Kral, Petr

    2008-03-01

    We design ion and molecular channels based on layered carboneous materials, with chemically-functionalized pore entrances. Our molecular dynamics simulations demonstrate that these ultra-narrow pores, with diameters around 1 nm, are highly selective to the charges and sizes of the passing (Na^+ and Cl^-) ions and short alkanes. We demonstrate that the molecular flows through these pores can be easily controlled by electrical and mechanical means. These artificial pores could be integrated in fluidic nanodevices and lab-on-a-chip techniques with numerous potential applications. [1] Kyaw Sint, Boyang Wang and Petr Kral, submitted. [2] Boyang Wang and Petr Kral, JACS 128, 15984 (2006).

  4. TRPC channel activation by extracellular thioredoxin

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Shang-Zhong; Sukumar, Piruthivi; Zeng, Fanning; Li, Jing; Jairaman, Amit; English, Anne; Naylor, Jacqueline; Ciurtin, Coziana; Majeed, Yasser; Milligan, Carol J; Bahnasi, Yahya M; AL-Shawaf, Eman; Porter, Karen E; Jiang, Lin-Hua; Emery, Paul; Sivaprasadarao, Asipu; Beech, David J

    2009-01-01

    Mammalian homologues of Drosophila melanogaster transient receptor potential (TRP) are a large family of multimeric cation channels that act, or putatively act, as sensors of one or more chemical factor1,2. Major research objectives are the identification of endogenous activators and the determination of cellular and tissue functions of these novel channels. Here we show activation of TRPC5 homomultimeric and TRPC5-TRPC1 heteromultimeric channels3-5 by extracellular reduced thioredoxin acting by breaking a disulphide bridge in the predicted extracellular loop adjacent to the ion-selectivity filter of TRPC5. Thioredoxin is an endogenous redox protein with established intracellular functions, but it is also secreted and its extracellular targets are largely unknown6-9. Particularly high extracellular concentrations of thioredoxin are apparent in rheumatoid arthritis8,10-12, an inflammatory joint disease disabling millions of people world-wide13. We show that TRPC5 and TRPC1 are expressed in secretory fibroblast-like synoviocytes from patients with rheumatoid arthritis, endogenous TRPC5-TRPC1 channels of the cells are activated by reduced thioredoxin, and blockade of the channels enhances secretory activity and prevents suppression of secretion by thioredoxin. The data suggest a novel ion channel activation mechanism that couples extracellular thioredoxin to cell function. PMID:18172497

  5. Regulation of heartbeat by G protein-coupled ion channels.

    PubMed

    Brown, A M

    1990-12-01

    The coupling of ion channels to receptors by G proteins is the subject of this American Physiological Society Walter B. Cannon Memorial "Physiology in Perspective" Lecture. This subject is particularly appropriate because it includes a molecular explanation of a homeostatic mechanism involving the autonomic nervous system and the latter subject preoccupied Dr. Cannon during most of his career. With the use of reconstitution methods, we and others have shown that heterotrimeric guanine nucleotide-binding (G) proteins couple receptors to ion channels by both membrane-delimited, direct pathways and cytoplasmic second messenger pathways. Furthermore, one set of receptors may be coupled to as many as three different sets of ion channels to form networks. Dual G protein pathways lead to the prediction of biphasic ion current responses in cell signaling, and this prediction was confirmed. In sinoatrial pacemaker cells, the pacemaking hyperpolarization-activated inward current (If) is directly regulated by the G proteins Gs and Go, and the two can act simultaneously. This could explain the classical observation that vagal inhibition of heart rate is greater during sympathetic stimulation. Because deactivation of the muscarinic response occurs much faster than the G protein alpha-subunit hydrolyzes guanosine 5'-triphosphate, we looked for accessory cellular factors. A surprising result was that the small monomeric ras G protein blocked the muscarinic pathway. The significance of this observation is unknown, but it appears that small and large G proteins may interact in ion channel signaling pathways.

  6. Regulation of heartbeat by G protein-coupled ion channels.

    PubMed

    Brown, A M

    1990-12-01

    The coupling of ion channels to receptors by G proteins is the subject of this American Physiological Society Walter B. Cannon Memorial "Physiology in Perspective" Lecture. This subject is particularly appropriate because it includes a molecular explanation of a homeostatic mechanism involving the autonomic nervous system and the latter subject preoccupied Dr. Cannon during most of his career. With the use of reconstitution methods, we and others have shown that heterotrimeric guanine nucleotide-binding (G) proteins couple receptors to ion channels by both membrane-delimited, direct pathways and cytoplasmic second messenger pathways. Furthermore, one set of receptors may be coupled to as many as three different sets of ion channels to form networks. Dual G protein pathways lead to the prediction of biphasic ion current responses in cell signaling, and this prediction was confirmed. In sinoatrial pacemaker cells, the pacemaking hyperpolarization-activated inward current (If) is directly regulated by the G proteins Gs and Go, and the two can act simultaneously. This could explain the classical observation that vagal inhibition of heart rate is greater during sympathetic stimulation. Because deactivation of the muscarinic response occurs much faster than the G protein alpha-subunit hydrolyzes guanosine 5'-triphosphate, we looked for accessory cellular factors. A surprising result was that the small monomeric ras G protein blocked the muscarinic pathway. The significance of this observation is unknown, but it appears that small and large G proteins may interact in ion channel signaling pathways. PMID:1701981

  7. Endogenous ion channel complexes: the NMDA receptor.

    PubMed

    Frank, René A W

    2011-06-01

    Ionotropic receptors, including the NMDAR (N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor) mediate fast neurotransmission, neurodevelopment, neuronal excitability and learning. In the present article, the structure and function of the NMDAR is reviewed with the aim to condense our current understanding and highlight frontiers where important questions regarding the biology of this receptor remain unanswered. In the second part of the present review, new biochemical and genetic approaches for the investigation of ion channel receptor complexes will be discussed.

  8. An industrial perspective on utilizing functional ion channel assays for high throughput screening.

    PubMed

    Worley, Jennings F; Main, Martin J

    2002-01-01

    The ability to apply large-scale screening formats to measures of ion channel function offers immense opportunities for drug discovery and academic research. Technologies have been developed over the last several years that now provide the ability to screen large numbers of compounds and natural products on ion channel function to find novel drugs. Application of these technologies has vastly improved the capabilities of ion channel drug discovery and provides an avenue to accelerate discoveries of ion channel biology. These advances have largely arisen from the development and application of instruments and reporters of membrane potential and ion movements in cells used to measure functional activity of ion channels. This article endeavors to describe the practical applications of these technologies in developing, validating, and implementing high throughput screening assay formats to different types of ion channels.

  9. Targeting Ion Channels: An Important Therapeutic Implication in Gastrointestinal Dysmotility in Patients With Spinal Cord Injury

    PubMed Central

    Radulovic, Miroslav; Anand, Preeti; Korsten, Mark A; Gong, Bing

    2015-01-01

    Gastrointestinal (GI) dysmotility is a severe, and common complication in patients with spinal cord injury (SCI). Current therapeutic methods using acetylcholine analogs or laxative agents have unwanted side effects, besides often fail to have desired effect. Various ion channels such as ATP-sensitive potassium (KATP) channel, calcium ions (Ca2+)-activated potassium ions (K+) channels, voltage-sensitive Ca2+ channels and chloride ion (Cl−) channels are abundantly expressed in GI tissues, and play an important role in regulating GI motility. The release of neurotransmitters from the enteric nerve terminal, innervating GI interstitial cells of Cajal (ICC), and smooth muscle cells (SMC), causes inactivation of K+ and Cl− channels, increasing Ca2+ influx into cytoplasm, resulting in membrane depolarization and smooth muscle contraction. Thus, agents directly regulating ion channels activity either in ICC or in SMC may affect GI peristalsis and would be potential therapeutic target for the treatment of GI dysmotility with SCI. PMID:26424038

  10. Insight toward epithelial Na+ channel mechanism revealed by the acid-sensing ion channel 1 structure.

    PubMed

    Stockand, James D; Staruschenko, Alexander; Pochynyuk, Oleh; Booth, Rachell E; Silverthorn, Dee U

    2008-09-01

    The epithelial Na(+) channel/degenerin (ENaC/DEG) protein family includes a diverse group of ion channels, including nonvoltage-gated Na(+) channels of epithelia and neurons, and the acid-sensing ion channel 1 (ASIC1). In mammalian epithelia, ENaC helps regulate Na(+) and associated water transport, making it a critical determinant of systemic blood pressure and pulmonary mucosal fluidity. In the nervous system, ENaC/DEG proteins are related to sensory transduction. While the importance and physiological function of these ion channels are established, less is known about their structure. One hallmark of the ENaC/DEG channel family is that each channel subunit has only two transmembrane domains connected by an exceedingly large extracellular loop. This subunit structure was recently confirmed when Jasti and colleagues determined the crystal structure of chicken ASIC1, a neuronal acid-sensing ENaC/DEG channel. By mapping ENaC to the structural coordinates of cASIC1, as we do here, we hope to provide insight toward ENaC structure. ENaC, like ASIC1, appears to be a trimeric channel containing 1alpha, 1beta, and 1gamma subunit. Heterotrimeric ENaC and monomeric ENaC subunits within the trimer possibly contain many of the major secondary, tertiary, and quaternary features identified in cASIC1 with a few subtle but critical differences. These differences are expected to have profound effects on channel behavior. In particular, they may contribute to ENaC insensitivity to acid and to its constitutive activity in the absence of time- and ligand-dependent inactivation. Experiments resulting from this comparison of cASIC1 and ENaC may help clarify unresolved issues related to ENaC architecture, and may help identify secondary structures and residues critical to ENaC function.

  11. A paradox concerning ion permeation of the delayed rectifier potassium ion channel in squid giant axons.

    PubMed Central

    Clay, J R

    1991-01-01

    1. The fully activated current-voltage relation (I-V) of the delayed rectifier potassium ion channel in squid giant axons has a non-linear dependence upon the driving force, V-EK, as I have previously demonstrated, where V is membrane potential and EK is the equilibrium potential for potassium ions. 2. The non-linearity of the I-V relation and its dependence upon external potassium ion concentration are both well described, phenomenologically, by the Goldman-Hodgkin-Katz (GHK) flux equation, as I have also previously demonstrated. As illustrated below, this result can be modelled using the Eyring rate theory of single-file diffusion of ions through a channel in the low-occupancy limit of the theory. 3. The GHK equation analysis and the low-occupancy limit of the Eyring rate theory are both consistent with the independence principle for movement of ions through the channel, which is at odds with tracer flux ratio results from the delayed rectifier, published elsewhere. Those results suggest that the channel is multiply occupied by two, or perhaps three, ions. 4. The resolution of this paradox is provided by a triple-binding site, multiple-occupancy model in which only one vacancy, at most, is allowed in the channel. This model predicts current-voltage relations which are consistent with the data (and with the phenomenological prediction of the GHK flux equation). The model is also consistent, approximately, with the tracer flux ratio results. PMID:1822560

  12. A TRPV family ion channel required for hearing in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Kim, Janghwan; Chung, Yun Doo; Park, Dae-Young; Choi, SooKyung; Shin, Dong Wook; Soh, Heun; Lee, Hye Won; Son, Wonseok; Yim, Jeongbin; Park, Chul-Seung; Kernan, Maurice J; Kim, Changsoo

    2003-07-01

    The many types of insect ear share a common sensory element, the chordotonal organ, in which sound-induced antennal or tympanal vibrations are transmitted to ciliated sensory neurons and transduced to receptor potentials. However, the molecular identity of the transducing ion channels in chordotonal neurons, or in any auditory system, is still unknown. Drosophila that are mutant for NOMPC, a transient receptor potential (TRP) superfamily ion channel, lack receptor potentials and currents in tactile bristles but retain most of the antennal sound-evoked response, suggesting that a different channel is the primary transducer in chordotonal organs. Here we describe the Drosophila Nanchung (Nan) protein, an ion channel subunit similar to vanilloid-receptor-related (TRPV) channels of the TRP superfamily. Nan mediates hypo-osmotically activated calcium influx and cation currents in cultured cells. It is expressed in vivo exclusively in chordotonal neurons and is localized to their sensory cilia. Antennal sound-evoked potentials are completely absent in mutants lacking Nan, showing that it is an essential component of the chordotonal mechanotransducer.

  13. Contributions of intracellular ions to kv channel voltage sensor dynamics.

    PubMed

    Goodchild, Samuel J; Fedida, David

    2012-01-01

    Voltage-sensing domains (VSDs) of Kv channels control ionic conductance through coupling of the movement of charged residues in the S4 segment to conformational changes at the cytoplasmic region of the pore domain, that allow K(+) ions to flow. Conformational transitions within the VSD are induced by changes in the applied voltage across the membrane field. However, several other factors not directly linked to the voltage-dependent movement of charged residues within the voltage sensor impact the dynamics of the voltage sensor, such as inactivation, ionic conductance, intracellular ion identity, and block of the channel by intracellular ligands. The effect of intracellular ions on voltage sensor dynamics is of importance in the interpretation of gating current measurements and the physiology of pore/voltage sensor coupling. There is a significant amount of variability in the reported kinetics of voltage sensor deactivation kinetics of Kv channels attributed to different mechanisms such as open state stabilization, immobilization, and relaxation processes of the voltage sensor. Here we separate these factors and focus on the causal role that intracellular ions can play in allosterically modulating the dynamics of Kv voltage sensor deactivation kinetics. These considerations are of critical importance in understanding the molecular determinants of the complete channel gating cycle from activation to deactivation.

  14. Ion channel networks in the control of cerebral blood flow.

    PubMed

    Longden, Thomas A; Hill-Eubanks, David C; Nelson, Mark T

    2016-03-01

    One hundred and twenty five years ago, Roy and Sherrington made the seminal observation that neuronal stimulation evokes an increase in cerebral blood flow.(1) Since this discovery, researchers have attempted to uncover how the cells of the neurovascular unit-neurons, astrocytes, vascular smooth muscle cells, vascular endothelial cells and pericytes-coordinate their activity to control this phenomenon. Recent work has revealed that ionic fluxes through a diverse array of ion channel species allow the cells of the neurovascular unit to engage in multicellular signaling processes that dictate local hemodynamics.In this review we center our discussion on two major themes: (1) the roles of ion channels in the dynamic modulation of parenchymal arteriole smooth muscle membrane potential, which is central to the control of arteriolar diameter and therefore must be harnessed to permit changes in downstream cerebral blood flow, and (2) the striking similarities in the ion channel complements employed in astrocytic endfeet and endothelial cells, enabling dual control of smooth muscle from either side of the blood-brain barrier. We conclude with a discussion of the emerging roles of pericyte and capillary endothelial cell ion channels in neurovascular coupling, which will provide fertile ground for future breakthroughs in the field. PMID:26661232

  15. Flipping the Photoswitch: Ion Channels Under Light Control.

    PubMed

    McKenzie, Catherine K; Sanchez-Romero, Inmaculada; Janovjak, Harald

    2015-01-01

    Nature has incorporated small photochromic molecules, colloquially termed 'photoswitches', in photoreceptor proteins to sense optical cues in phototaxis and vision. While Nature's ability to employ light-responsive functionalities has long been recognized, it was not until recently that scientists designed, synthesized and applied synthetic photochromes to manipulate many of which open rapidly and locally in their native cell types, biological processes with the temporal and spatial resolution of light. Ion channels in particular have come to the forefront of proteins that can be put under the designer control of synthetic photochromes. Photochromic ion channel controllers are comprised of three classes, photochromic soluble ligands (PCLs), photochromic tethered ligands (PTLs) and photochromic crosslinkers (PXs), and in each class ion channel functionality is controlled through reversible changes in photochrome structure. By acting as light-dependent ion channel agonists, antagonist or modulators, photochromic controllers effectively converted a wide range of ion channels, including voltage-gated ion channels, 'leak channels', tri-, tetra- and pentameric ligand-gated ion channels, and temperature-sensitive ion channels, into man-made photoreceptors. Control by photochromes can be reversible, unlike in the case of 'caged' compounds, and non-invasive with high spatial precision, unlike pharmacology and electrical manipulation. Here, we introduce design principles of emerging photochromic molecules that act on ion channels and discuss the impact that these molecules are beginning to have on ion channel biophysics and neuronal physiology.

  16. A single-cell correlative nanoelectromechanosensing approach to detect cancerous transformation: monitoring the function of F-actin microfilaments in the modulation of the ion channel activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    AbdolahadThe Authors With Same Contributions., Mohammad; Saeidi, Ali; Janmaleki, Mohsen; Mashinchian, Omid; Taghinejad, Mohammad; Taghinejad, Hossein; Azimi, Soheil; Mahmoudi, Morteza; Mohajerzadeh, Shams

    2015-01-01

    Cancerous transformation may be dependent on correlation between electrical disruptions in the cell membrane and mechanical disruptions of cytoskeleton structures. Silicon nanotube (SiNT)-based electrical probes, as ultra-accurate signal recorders with subcellular resolution, may create many opportunities for fundamental biological research and biomedical applications. Here, we used this technology to electrically monitor cellular mechanosensing. The SiNT probe was combined with an electrically activated glass micropipette aspiration system to achieve a new cancer diagnostic technique that is based on real-time correlation between mechanical and electrical behaviour of single cells. Our studies demonstrated marked changes in the electrical response following increases in the mechanical aspiration force in healthy cells. In contrast, such responses were extremely weak for malignant cells. Confocal microscopy results showed the impact of actin microfilament remodelling on the reduction of the electrical response for aspirated cancer cells due to the significant role of actin in modulating the ion channel activity in the cell membrane.Cancerous transformation may be dependent on correlation between electrical disruptions in the cell membrane and mechanical disruptions of cytoskeleton structures. Silicon nanotube (SiNT)-based electrical probes, as ultra-accurate signal recorders with subcellular resolution, may create many opportunities for fundamental biological research and biomedical applications. Here, we used this technology to electrically monitor cellular mechanosensing. The SiNT probe was combined with an electrically activated glass micropipette aspiration system to achieve a new cancer diagnostic technique that is based on real-time correlation between mechanical and electrical behaviour of single cells. Our studies demonstrated marked changes in the electrical response following increases in the mechanical aspiration force in healthy cells. In contrast, such

  17. Gated Ion Channel-Based Biosensor Device

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Separovic, Frances; Cornell, Bruce A.

    A biosensor device based on the ion channel gramicidin A (gA) incorporated into a bilayer membrane is described. This generic immunosensing device utilizes gA coupled to an antibody and assembled in a lipid membrane. The membrane is chemically tethered to a gold electrode, which reports on changes in the ionic conduction of the lipid bilayer. Binding of a target molecule in the bathing solution to the antibody causes the gramicidin channels to switch from predominantly conducting dimers to predominantly nonconducting monomers. Conventional a.c. impedance spectroscopy between the gold and a counter electrode in the bathing solution is used to measure changes in the ionic conductivity of the membrane. This approach permits the quantitative detection of a range of target species, including bacteria, proteins, toxins, DNA sequences, and drug molecules.

  18. Ligand action on sodium, potassium, and calcium channels: role of permeant ions.

    PubMed

    Zhorov, Boris S; Tikhonov, Denis B

    2013-03-01

    Ion channels are targets for many naturally occurring toxins and small-molecule drugs. Despite great progress in the X-ray crystallography of ion channels, we still do not have a complete understanding of the atomistic mechanisms of channel modulation by ligands. In particular, the importance of the simultaneous interaction of permeant ions with the ligand and the channel protein has not been the focus of much attention. Considering these interactions often allows one to rationalize the highly diverse experimental data within the framework of relatively simple structural models. This has been illustrated in earlier studies on the action of local anesthetics, sodium channel activators, as well as blockers of potassium and calcium channels. Here, we discuss the available data with a view to understanding the use-, voltage-, and current carrying cation-dependence of the ligand action, paradoxes in structure--activity relationships, and effects of mutations in these ion channels.

  19. UVB radiation generates sunburn pain and affects skin by activating epidermal TRPV4 ion channels and triggering endothelin-1 signaling.

    PubMed

    Moore, Carlene; Cevikbas, Ferda; Pasolli, H Amalia; Chen, Yong; Kong, Wei; Kempkes, Cordula; Parekh, Puja; Lee, Suk Hee; Kontchou, Nelly-Ange; Yeh, Iwei; Ye, Iwei; Jokerst, Nan Marie; Fuchs, Elaine; Steinhoff, Martin; Liedtke, Wolfgang B

    2013-08-20

    At our body surface, the epidermis absorbs UV radiation. UV overexposure leads to sunburn with tissue injury and pain. To understand how, we focus on TRPV4, a nonselective cation channel highly expressed in epithelial skin cells and known to function in sensory transduction, a property shared with other transient receptor potential channels. We show that following UVB exposure mice with induced Trpv4 deletions, specifically in keratinocytes, are less sensitive to noxious thermal and mechanical stimuli than control animals. Exploring the mechanism, we find that epidermal TRPV4 orchestrates UVB-evoked skin tissue damage and increased expression of the proalgesic/algogenic mediator endothelin-1. In culture, UVB causes a direct, TRPV4-dependent Ca(2+) response in keratinocytes. In mice, topical treatment with a TRPV4-selective inhibitor decreases UVB-evoked pain behavior, epidermal tissue damage, and endothelin-1 expression. In humans, sunburn enhances epidermal expression of TRPV4 and endothelin-1, underscoring the potential of keratinocyte-derived TRPV4 as a therapeutic target for UVB-induced sunburn, in particular pain.

  20. High temperature ion channels and pores

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kang, Xiaofeng (Inventor); Gu, Li Qun (Inventor); Cheley, Stephen (Inventor); Bayley, Hagan (Inventor)

    2011-01-01

    The present invention includes an apparatus, system and method for stochastic sensing of an analyte to a protein pore. The protein pore may be an engineer protein pore, such as an ion channel at temperatures above 55.degree. C. and even as high as near 100.degree. C. The analyte may be any reactive analyte, including chemical weapons, environmental toxins and pharmaceuticals. The analyte covalently bonds to the sensor element to produce a detectable electrical current signal. Possible signals include change in electrical current. Detection of the signal allows identification of the analyte and determination of its concentration in a sample solution. Multiple analytes present in the same solution may also be detected.

  1. TRPC Family of Ion Channels and Mechanotransduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamill, Owen P.; Maroto, Rosario

    Here we review recent evidence that indicates members of the canonical transient receptor potential (TRPC) channel family form mechanosensitive (MS) channels. The MS functions of TRPCs may be mechanistically related to their better known functions as store-operated (SOCs) and receptor-operated channels (ROCs). In particular, mechanical forces may be conveyed to TRPC channels through "conformational coupling" and/or "Ca2+ influx factor" mechanisms that are proposed to transmit information regarding the status of internal Ca2+ stores to SOCs located in the plasma membrane. Furthermore, all TRPCs are regulated by receptors coupled to phospholipases (e.g., PLC and PLA2) that may themselves display mechanosensitivity and modulate channel activity via their generation of lipidic second messengers (e.g., diacylglycerol, lysophospholipids and arachidonic acid). Accordingly, there may be several nonexclusive mechanisms by which mechanical forces may regulate TRPC channels, including direct sensitivity to bilayer deformations (e.g., involving changes in lipid packing, bilayer thickness and/or lateral pressure profile), physical coupling to internal membranes and/or cytoskeletal proteins, and sensitivity to lipidic second messengers generated by MS enzymes. Various strategies that can be used to separate out different MS gating mechanisms and their possible role in each of the TRPCs are discussed.

  2. Potassium Versus Sodium Selectivity in Monovalent Ion Channel Selectivity Filters.

    PubMed

    Lim, Carmay; Dudev, Todor

    2016-01-01

    Transport of Na(+) and K(+) ions across the cell membrane is carried out by specialized pore-forming ion channel proteins, which exert tight control on electrical signals in cells by regulating the inward/outward flow of the respective cation. As Na(+) and K(+) ions are both present in the body fluids, their respective ion channels should discriminate with high fidelity between the two competing metal ions, conducting the native cation while rejecting its monovalent contender (and other ions present in the cellular/extracellular milieu). Indeed, monovalent ion channels are characterized by remarkable metal selectivity. This striking ion selectivity of monovalent ion channels is astonishing in view of the close similarity between Na(+) and K(+): both are spherical alkali cations with the same charge, analogous chemical and physical properties, and similar ionic radii. The monovalent ion channel selectivity filters (SFs), which dictate the selectivity of the channel, differ in oligomericity, composition, overall charge, pore size, and solvent accessibility. This diversity of SFs raises the following intriguing questions: (1) What factors govern the metal competition in these SFs? (2) Which of these factors are exploited in achieving K(+) or Na(+) selectivity in the different types of monovalent channel SFs? These questions are addressed herein by summarizing results from recent studies. The results show that over billions of years of evolution, the SFs of potassium and sodium ion channels have adapted to the specific physicochemical properties of the cognate ion, using various strategies to enable them to efficiently select the native ion among its contenders.

  3. Theory of the ion-channel laser

    SciTech Connect

    Whittum, D.H.

    1990-09-01

    A relativistic electron beam propagating through a plasma in the ion-focussed regime exhibits an electromagnetic instability with peak growth rate near a resonant frequency {omega}{approximately}2 {gamma}{sup 2} {omega}{beta}, where {gamma} is the Lorentz factor and {omega}{beta} is the betatron frequency. The physical basis for this instability is that an ensemble of relativistic simple harmonic oscillators, weakly driven by an electromagnetic wave, will lose energy to the wave through axial bunching. This bunching'' corresponds to the development of an rf component in the beam current, and a coherent centroid oscillation. The subject of this thesis is the theory of a laser capitalizing on this electromagnetic instability. A historical perspective is offered. The basic features of relativistic electron beam propagation in the ion-focussed regime are reviewed. The ion-channel laser (ICL) instability is explored theoretically through an eikonal formalism, analgous to the KMR'' formalism for the free-electron laser (FEL). The dispersion relation is derived, and the dependence of growth rate on three key parameters is explored. Finite temperature effects are assessed. From this work it is found that the typical gain length for amplification is longer than the Rayleigh length and we go on to consider three mechanisms which will tend to guide waveguide. First, we consider the effect of the ion channel as a dielectric waveguide. We consider next the use of a conducting waveguide, appropriate for a microwave amplifier. Finally, we examine a form of optical guiding'' analgous to that found in the FEL. The eikonal formalism is used to model numerically the instability through and beyond saturation. Results are compared with the numerical simulation of the full equations of motion, and with the analytic scalings. The analytical requirement on detuning spread is confirmed.

  4. Single-Molecule Ion Channel Conformational Dynamics in Living Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, H. Peter

    2014-03-01

    Stochastic and inhomogeneous conformational changes regulate the function and dynamics of ion channels that are crucial for cell functions, neuronal signaling, and brain functions. Such complexity makes it difficult, if not impossible, to characterize ion channel dynamics using conventional electrical recording alone since that the measurement does not specifically interrogate the associated conformational changes but rather the consequences of the conformational changes. Recently, new technology developments on single-molecule spectroscopy, and especially, the combined approaches of using single ion channel patch-clamp electrical recording and single-molecule fluorescence imaging have provided us the capability of probing ion channel conformational changes simultaneously with the electrical single channel recording. By combining real-time single-molecule fluorescence imaging measurements with real-time single-channel electric current measurements in artificial lipid bilayers and in living cell membranes, we were able to probe single ion-channel-protein conformational changes simultaneously, and thus providing an understanding the dynamics and mechanism of ion-channel proteins at the molecular level. The function-regulating and site-specific conformational changes of ion channels are now measurable under physiological conditions in real-time, one molecule at a time. We will focus our discussion on the new development and results of real-time imaging of the dynamics of gramicidin, colicin, and NMDA receptor ion channels in lipid bilayers and living cells. Our results shed light on new perspectives of the intrinsic interplay of lipid membrane dynamics, solvation dynamics, and the ion channel functions.

  5. Crystal structure of a heterotetrameric NMDA receptor ion channel.

    PubMed

    Karakas, Erkan; Furukawa, Hiro

    2014-05-30

    N-Methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors belong to the family of ionotropic glutamate receptors, which mediate most excitatory synaptic transmission in mammalian brains. Calcium permeation triggered by activation of NMDA receptors is the pivotal event for initiation of neuronal plasticity. Here, we show the crystal structure of the intact heterotetrameric GluN1-GluN2B NMDA receptor ion channel at 4 angstroms. The NMDA receptors are arranged as a dimer of GluN1-GluN2B heterodimers with the twofold symmetry axis running through the entire molecule composed of an amino terminal domain (ATD), a ligand-binding domain (LBD), and a transmembrane domain (TMD). The ATD and LBD are much more highly packed in the NMDA receptors than non-NMDA receptors, which may explain why ATD regulates ion channel activity in NMDA receptors but not in non-NMDA receptors.

  6. Patch-Clamp Technologies for Ion Channel Research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sigworth, Fred J.; Klemic, Kathryn G.

    The electrical activity of living cells can be monitored in various ways, but for the study of ion channels and the drugs that affect them, the patch-clamp techniques are the most sensitive. In this chapter the principles of patch-clamp recording are reviewed, and recent developments in microfabricated patch-clamp electrodes are described.Technical challenges and prospects for the future are discussed.

  7. Acid-sensing ion channels and transient-receptor potential ion channels in zebrafish taste buds.

    PubMed

    Levanti, M; Randazzo, B; Viña, E; Montalbano, G; Garcia-Suarez, O; Germanà, A; Vega, J A; Abbate, F

    2016-09-01

    Sensory information from the environment is required for life and survival, and it is detected by specialized cells which together make up the sensory system. The fish sensory system includes specialized organs that are able to detect mechanical and chemical stimuli. In particular, taste buds are small organs located on the tongue in terrestrial vertebrates that function in the perception of taste. In fish, taste buds occur on the lips, the flanks, and the caudal (tail) fins of some species and on the barbels of others. In fish taste receptor cells, different classes of ion channels have been detected which, like in mammals, presumably participate in the detection and/or transduction of chemical gustatory signals. However, since some of these ion channels are involved in the detection of additional sensory modalities, it can be hypothesized that taste cells sense stimuli other than those specific for taste. This mini-review summarizes current knowledge on the presence of transient-receptor potential (TRP) and acid-sensing (ASIC) ion channels in the taste buds of teleosts, especially adult zebrafish. Up to now ASIC4, TRPC2, TRPA1, TRPV1 and TRPV4 ion channels have been found in the sensory cells, while ASIC2 was detected in the nerves supplying the taste buds. PMID:27513962

  8. Lipid Agonism, The PIP2 Paradigm of Ligand-Gated Ion Channels

    PubMed Central

    Hansen, Scott B.

    2015-01-01

    The past decade, membrane signaling lipids emerged as major regulators of ion channel function. However, the molecular nature of lipid binding to ion channels remained poorly described due to a lack of structural information and assays to quantify and measure lipid binding in a membrane. How does a lipid-ligand bind to a membrane protein in the plasma membrane and what does it mean for a lipid to activate or regulate an ion channel? How does lipid-binding compare to activation by soluble neurotransmitter? And how does the cell control lipid agonism? This review focuses on lipids and their interactions with membrane proteins, in particular ion channels. I discuss the intersection of membrane lipid biology and ion channel biophysics. A picture emerges of membrane lipids as bona fide agonists of ligand-gated ion channels. These freely diffusing signals reside in the plasma membrane, bind to the transmembrane domain of protein, and cause a conformational change that allosterically gates an ion channel. The system employs a catalog of diverse signaling lipids ultimately controlled by lipid enzymes and raft localization. I draw upon pharmacology, recent protein structure, and electrophysiological data to understand lipid regulation and define inward rectifying potassium channels (Kir) as a new class of PIP2 lipid-gated ion channels. PMID:25633344

  9. Ion channel genes and human neurological disease: Recent progress, prospects, and challenges

    PubMed Central

    Cooper, Edward C.; Jan, Lily Yeh

    1999-01-01

    What do epilepsy, migraine headache, deafness, episodic ataxia, periodic paralysis, malignant hyperthermia, and generalized myotonia have in common? These human neurological disorders can be caused by mutations in genes for ion channels. Many of the channel diseases are “paroxysmal disorders” whose principal symptoms occur intermittently in individuals who otherwise may be healthy and active. Some of the ion channels that cause human neurological disease are old acquaintances previously cloned and extensively studied by channel specialists. In other cases, however, disease-gene hunts have led the way to the identification of new channel genes. Progress in the study of ion channels has made it possible to analyze the effects of human neurological disease-causing channel mutations at the level of the single channel, the subcellular domain, the neuronal network, and the behaving organism. PMID:10220366

  10. Chapter Five - Ubiquitination of Ion Channels and Transporters.

    PubMed

    Lamothe, S M; Zhang, S

    2016-01-01

    Ion channels and transporters play essential roles in excitable cells including cardiac, skeletal, and smooth muscle cells, neurons, and endocrine cells. Their dysfunction underlies the pathology of various diseases. Thus, the tight regulation of these transmembrane proteins is essential for cell physiology. While the ubiquitin system is involved in many aspects of cellular processes, this chapter focuses on the ubiquitin-mediated degradation of ion channels and transporters. Ubiquitination of ion channels and transporters is multifaceted and occurs at various cellular compartments such as the plasma membrane and the endoplasmic reticulum. While various molecules are involved in the ubiquitination of ion channels and transporters, E3 ubiquitin ligases play a central role in selectively targeting substrates for ubiquitination and will be a major focus in this chapter. To date, the Nedd4 family of E3 ubiquitin ligases and their regulations of ion channels and transporters have been extensively studied. In this chapter, we will first review Nedd4/Nedd4-2 and their regulations. We will then discuss how E3 ubiquitin ligases, especially Nedd4-2, regulate various ion channels and transporters including epithelial Na(+) channels, voltage-gated Na(+) channels, KCNQ and hERG K(+) channels, Cl(-) channels such as CFTR, transporters such as Na(+)/K(+) ATPase, and gap junctions. Furthermore, diseases caused by improper ubiquitination of ion channels and transporters will be discussed to highlight the process of ubiquitination and its biological as well as clinical significance. PMID:27378758

  11. Chapter Five - Ubiquitination of Ion Channels and Transporters.

    PubMed

    Lamothe, S M; Zhang, S

    2016-01-01

    Ion channels and transporters play essential roles in excitable cells including cardiac, skeletal, and smooth muscle cells, neurons, and endocrine cells. Their dysfunction underlies the pathology of various diseases. Thus, the tight regulation of these transmembrane proteins is essential for cell physiology. While the ubiquitin system is involved in many aspects of cellular processes, this chapter focuses on the ubiquitin-mediated degradation of ion channels and transporters. Ubiquitination of ion channels and transporters is multifaceted and occurs at various cellular compartments such as the plasma membrane and the endoplasmic reticulum. While various molecules are involved in the ubiquitination of ion channels and transporters, E3 ubiquitin ligases play a central role in selectively targeting substrates for ubiquitination and will be a major focus in this chapter. To date, the Nedd4 family of E3 ubiquitin ligases and their regulations of ion channels and transporters have been extensively studied. In this chapter, we will first review Nedd4/Nedd4-2 and their regulations. We will then discuss how E3 ubiquitin ligases, especially Nedd4-2, regulate various ion channels and transporters including epithelial Na(+) channels, voltage-gated Na(+) channels, KCNQ and hERG K(+) channels, Cl(-) channels such as CFTR, transporters such as Na(+)/K(+) ATPase, and gap junctions. Furthermore, diseases caused by improper ubiquitination of ion channels and transporters will be discussed to highlight the process of ubiquitination and its biological as well as clinical significance.

  12. Computer-Aided Drug Discovery and Design Targeting Ion Channels.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Qiansen; Gao, Zhaobing; Yang, Huaiyu

    2016-01-01

    Ion channels are widely expressed in living cells and play critical roles in various cellular biological functions. Dysfunctional ion channels can cause a variety of diseases, making ion channels attractive targets for drug discovery. Computational approaches, such as molecular docking and molecular dynamic simulations, provide economic and efficient tools for finding modulators of ion channels and for elucidating the action mechanisms of small molecules. In this review, we focus primarily on four types of ion channels (voltage-gated, ligand-gated, acid-sensing, and virus matrix 2 ion channels). The current advancements in computer-aided drug discovery and design targeting ion channels are summarized. First, ligand-based studies for drug design are briefly outlined. Then, we focus on the structurebased studies targeting pore domains, endogenous binding sites and allosteric sites of ion channels. Moreover, we also review the contribution of computational methods to the field of ligand binding and unbinding pathways of ion channels. Finally, we propose future developments for the field. PMID:26975507

  13. Ion channels and the control of blood pressure

    PubMed Central

    Baker, Emma H

    2000-01-01

    Ion channels exist in all cells and are enormously varied in structure, function and regulation. Some progress has been made in understanding the role that ion channels play in the control of blood pressure, but the discipline is still in its infancy. Ion channels provide many different targets for intervention in disorders of blood pressure and exciting advances have been made in this field. It is possible that new drugs, as well as antisense nucleotide technology or gene therapy directed towards ion channels, may form a new class of treatments for high and low blood pressure in the future. PMID:10718773

  14. Channelpedia: An Integrative and Interactive Database for Ion Channels

    PubMed Central

    Ranjan, Rajnish; Khazen, Georges; Gambazzi, Luca; Ramaswamy, Srikanth; Hill, Sean L.; Schürmann, Felix; Markram, Henry

    2011-01-01

    Ion channels are membrane proteins that selectively conduct ions across the cell membrane. The flux of ions through ion channels drives electrical and biochemical processes in cells and plays a critical role in shaping the electrical properties of neurons. During the past three decades, extensive research has been carried out to characterize the molecular, structural, and biophysical properties of ion channels. This research has begun to elucidate the role of ion channels in neuronal function and has subsequently led to the development of computational models of ion channel function. Although there have been substantial efforts to consolidate these findings into easily accessible and coherent online resources, a single comprehensive resource is still lacking. The success of these initiatives has been hindered by the sheer diversity of approaches and the variety in data formats. Here, we present “Channelpedia” (http://channelpedia.net), which is designed to store information related to ion channels and models and is characterized by an efficient information management framework. Composed of a combination of a database and a wiki-like discussion platform Channelpedia allows researchers to collaborate and synthesize ion channel information from literature. Equipped to automatically update references, Channelpedia integrates and highlights recent publications with relevant information in the database. It is web based, freely accessible and currently contains 187 annotated ion channels with 45 Hodgkin–Huxley models. PMID:22232598

  15. Structural basis for ion permeation mechanism in pentameric ligand-gated ion channels

    PubMed Central

    Sauguet, Ludovic; Poitevin, Frédéric; Murail, Samuel; Van Renterghem, Catherine; Moraga-Cid, Gustavo; Malherbe, Laurie; Thompson, Andrew W; Koehl, Patrice; Corringer, Pierre-Jean; Baaden, Marc; Delarue, Marc

    2013-01-01

    To understand the molecular mechanism of ion permeation in pentameric ligand-gated ion channels (pLGIC), we solved the structure of an open form of GLIC, a prokaryotic pLGIC, at 2.4 Å. Anomalous diffraction data were used to place bound anions and cations. This reveals ordered water molecules at the level of two rings of hydroxylated residues (named Ser6′ and Thr2′) that contribute to the ion selectivity filter. Two water pentagons are observed, a self-stabilized ice-like water pentagon and a second wider water pentagon, with one sodium ion between them. Single-channel electrophysiology shows that the side-chain hydroxyl of Ser6′ is crucial for ion translocation. Simulations and electrostatics calculations complemented the description of hydration in the pore and suggest that the water pentagons observed in the crystal are important for the ion to cross hydrophobic constriction barriers. Simulations that pull a cation through the pore reveal that residue Ser6′ actively contributes to ion translocation by reorienting its side chain when the ion is going through the pore. Generalization of these findings to the pLGIC family is proposed. PMID:23403925

  16. Bioinspired Artificial Sodium and Potassium Ion Channels.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Vázquez, Nuria; Fuertes, Alberto; Amorín, Manuel; Granja, Juan R

    2016-01-01

    In Nature, all biological systems present a high level of compartmentalization in order to carry out a wide variety of functions in a very specific way. Hence, they need ways to be connected with the environment for communication, homeostasis equilibrium, nutrition, waste elimination, etc. The biological membranes carry out these functions; they consist of physical insulating barriers constituted mainly by phospholipids. These amphipathic molecules spontaneously aggregate in water to form bilayers in which the polar groups are exposed to the aqueous media while the non-polar chains self-organize by aggregating to each other to stay away from the aqueous media. The insulating properties of membranes are due to the formation of a hydrophobic bilayer covered at both sides by the hydrophilic phosphate groups. Thus, lipophilic molecules can permeate the membrane freely, while the small charged or very hydrophilic molecules require the assistance of other membrane components in order to overcome the energetic cost implied in crossing the non-polar region of the bilayer. Most of the large polar species (such as oligosaccharides, polypeptides or nucleic acids) cross into and out of the cell via endocytosis and exocytosis, respectively. Nature has created a series of systems (carriers and pores) in order to control the balance of small hydrophilic molecules and ions. The most important structures to achieve these goals are the ionophoric proteins that include the channel proteins, such as the sodium and potassium channels, and ionic transporters, including the sodium/potassium pumps or calcium/sodium exchangers among others. Inspired by these, scientists have created non-natural synthetic transporting structures to mimic the natural systems. The progress in the last years has been remarkable regarding the efficient transport of Na(+) and K(+) ions, despite the fact that the selectivity and the ON/OFF state of the non-natural systems remain a present and future challenge

  17. Bioinspired Artificial Sodium and Potassium Ion Channels.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Vázquez, Nuria; Fuertes, Alberto; Amorín, Manuel; Granja, Juan R

    2016-01-01

    In Nature, all biological systems present a high level of compartmentalization in order to carry out a wide variety of functions in a very specific way. Hence, they need ways to be connected with the environment for communication, homeostasis equilibrium, nutrition, waste elimination, etc. The biological membranes carry out these functions; they consist of physical insulating barriers constituted mainly by phospholipids. These amphipathic molecules spontaneously aggregate in water to form bilayers in which the polar groups are exposed to the aqueous media while the non-polar chains self-organize by aggregating to each other to stay away from the aqueous media. The insulating properties of membranes are due to the formation of a hydrophobic bilayer covered at both sides by the hydrophilic phosphate groups. Thus, lipophilic molecules can permeate the membrane freely, while the small charged or very hydrophilic molecules require the assistance of other membrane components in order to overcome the energetic cost implied in crossing the non-polar region of the bilayer. Most of the large polar species (such as oligosaccharides, polypeptides or nucleic acids) cross into and out of the cell via endocytosis and exocytosis, respectively. Nature has created a series of systems (carriers and pores) in order to control the balance of small hydrophilic molecules and ions. The most important structures to achieve these goals are the ionophoric proteins that include the channel proteins, such as the sodium and potassium channels, and ionic transporters, including the sodium/potassium pumps or calcium/sodium exchangers among others. Inspired by these, scientists have created non-natural synthetic transporting structures to mimic the natural systems. The progress in the last years has been remarkable regarding the efficient transport of Na(+) and K(+) ions, despite the fact that the selectivity and the ON/OFF state of the non-natural systems remain a present and future challenge.

  18. The effect of hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated ion channel inhibitors on the vagal control of guinea pig airway smooth muscle tone

    PubMed Central

    McGovern, Alice E; Robusto, Jed; Rakoczy, Joanna; Simmons, David G; Phipps, Simon; Mazzone, Stuart B

    2014-01-01

    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Subtypes of the hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN) family of cation channels are widely expressed on nerves and smooth muscle cells in many organ systems, where they serve to regulate membrane excitability. Here we have assessed whether HCN channel inhibitors alter the function of airway smooth muscle or the neurons that regulate airway smooth muscle tone. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH The effects of the HCN channel inhibitors ZD7288, zatebradine and Cs+ were assessed on agonist and nerve stimulation-evoked changes in guinea pig airway smooth muscle tone using tracheal strips in vitro, an innervated tracheal tube preparation ex vivo or in anaesthetized mechanically ventilated guinea pigs in vivo. HCN channel expression in airway nerves was assessed using immunohistochemistry, PCR and in situ hybridization. KEY RESULTS HCN channel inhibition did not alter airway smooth muscle reactivity in vitro to exogenously administered smooth muscle spasmogens, but significantly potentiated smooth muscle contraction evoked by the sensory nerve stimulant capsaicin and electrical field stimulation of parasympathetic cholinergic postganglionic neurons. Sensory nerve hyperresponsiveness was also evident in in vivo following HCN channel blockade. Cs+, but not ZD7288, potentiated preganglionic nerve-dependent airway contractions and over time induced autorhythmic preganglionic nerve activity, which was not mimicked by inhibitors of potassium channels. HCN channel expression was most evident in vagal sensory ganglia and airway nerve fibres. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS HCN channel inhibitors had a previously unrecognized effect on the neural regulation of airway smooth muscle tone, which may have implications for some patients receiving HCN channel inhibitors for therapeutic purposes. PMID:24762027

  19. Phenotype variation and newcomers in ion channel disorders.

    PubMed

    Bulman, D E

    1997-01-01

    Ion channels are part of a large family of macromolecules whose functions include the control and maintenance of electrical potential across cell membranes, secretion and signal transduction. Close inspection of the physiological processes involved in channel function and the secondary structure of various ion channels has served as a basis for subdividing ion channels into a number of superfamilies. The voltage-gated ion channels are one of these superfamilies. Recent work has shown that mutations in various ion channel genes are responsible for a number of neuromuscular and neurological disorders. Correlation of the various mutations with the clinical phenotype is providing us with insight into the pathophysiology of these channel proteins. Interestingly, different mutations within the same gene may cause quite distinct clinical disorders, while mutations in different channel genes may result in very similar phenotypes (genetic heterogeneity). Examples of phenotypic variation and genetic heterogeneity are presented in the context of the periodic paralytic disorders of skeletal muscle, episodic ataxia, migraine, long QT syndrome and paroxysmal dyskinesia. Some of these disorders are known to be caused by mutations in ion channel genes, while in the episodic movement disorders, ion channel genes are considered excellent candidate genes.

  20. Zinc as Allosteric Ion Channel Modulator: Ionotropic Receptors as Metalloproteins.

    PubMed

    Peralta, Francisco Andrés; Huidobro-Toro, Juan Pablo

    2016-01-01

    Zinc is an essential metal to life. This transition metal is a structural component of many proteins and is actively involved in the catalytic activity of cell enzymes. In either case, these zinc-containing proteins are metalloproteins. However, the amino acid residues that serve as ligands for metal coordination are not necessarily the same in structural proteins compared to enzymes. While crystals of structural proteins that bind zinc reveal a higher preference for cysteine sulfhydryls rather than histidine imidazole rings, catalytic enzymes reveal the opposite, i.e., a greater preference for the histidines over cysteines for catalysis, plus the influence of carboxylic acids. Based on this paradigm, we reviewed the putative ligands of zinc in ionotropic receptors, where zinc has been described as an allosteric modulator of channel receptors. Although these receptors do not strictly qualify as metalloproteins since they do not normally bind zinc in structural domains, they do transitorily bind zinc at allosteric sites, modifying transiently the receptor channel's ion permeability. The present contribution summarizes current information showing that zinc allosteric modulation of receptor channels occurs by the preferential metal coordination to imidazole rings as well as to the sulfhydryl groups of cysteine in addition to the carboxyl group of acid residues, as with enzymes and catalysis. It is remarkable that most channels, either voltage-sensitive or transmitter-gated receptor channels, are susceptible to zinc modulation either as positive or negative regulators. PMID:27384555

  1. Genistein as antiviral drug against HIV ion channel.

    PubMed

    Sauter, Daniel; Schwarz, Silvia; Wang, Kai; Zhang, Ronghua; Sun, Bing; Schwarz, Wolfgang

    2014-06-01

    Various drugs found in Chinese herbs are well known for their antiviral potency. We have tested several flavonoids with respect to their potency to block the viral protein U of the human immunodeficiency type 1 virus, which is believed to form a cation-permeable ion channel in the infected cell. We used Xenopus oocytes with heterologously expressed viral protein U as model system to test the efficacy of the drugs in voltage-clamp experiments. This method had been demonstrated in the past as a useful tool to screen drugs for their potency in inhibition of ion channel activity. The viral protein U-mediated current could be inhibited by Ba(2+) with a K1/2 value of 1.6 mM. Therefore, we determined viral protein U-mediated current as current component blocked by 10 mM Ba(2+). We screened several flavonoids with respect to their effects on this current. The flavonols quercetin and kaempferol, and the flavanols (-)epigallochatechin and (-)epichatechin were ineffective. The flavanone naringenin showed at 20 µM slight (about 10%) inhibition. The most potent drug was the isoflavon genistein which exhibited at 20 µM significant inhibition of about 40% with a K1/2 value of 81 ± 4 µM. We suggest that viral ion channels, in general, may be a good target for development of antiviral agents, and that, in particular, isoflavons may be candidates for development of drugs targeting viral protein U.

  2. Targeting the Channel Activity of Viroporins.

    PubMed

    To, Janet; Surya, Wahyu; Torres, Jaume

    2016-01-01

    Since the discovery that certain small viral membrane proteins, collectively termed as viroporins, can permeabilize host cellular membranes and also behave as ion channels, attempts have been made to link this feature to specific biological roles. In parallel, most viroporins identified so far are virulence factors, and interest has focused toward the discovery of channel inhibitors that would have a therapeutic effect, or be used as research tools to understand the biological roles of viroporin ion channel activity. However, this paradigm is being shifted by the difficulties inherent to small viral membrane proteins, and by the realization that protein-protein interactions and other diverse roles in the virus life cycle may represent an equal, if not, more important target. Therefore, although targeting the channel activity of viroporins can probably be therapeutically useful in some cases, the focus may shift to their other functions in following years. Small-molecule inhibitors have been mostly developed against the influenza A M2 (IAV M2 or AM2). This is not surprising since AM2 is the best characterized viroporin to date, with a well-established biological role in viral pathogenesis combined the most extensive structural investigations conducted, and has emerged as a validated drug target. For other viroporins, these studies are still mostly in their infancy, and together with those for AM2, are the subject of the present review.

  3. Engineered ion channels as emerging tools for chemical biology.

    PubMed

    Mayer, Michael; Yang, Jerry

    2013-12-17

    Over the last 25 years, researchers have developed exogenously expressed, genetically engineered, semi-synthetic, and entirely synthetic ion channels. These structures have sufficient fidelity to serve as unique tools that can reveal information about living organisms. One of the most exciting success stories is optogenetics: the use of light-gated channels to trigger action potentials in specific neurons combined with studies of the response from networks of cells or entire live animals. Despite this breakthrough, the use of molecularly engineered ion channels for studies of biological systems is still in its infancy. Historically, researchers studied ion channels in the context of their own function in single cells or in multicellular signaling and regulation. Only recently have researchers considered ion channels and pore-forming peptides as responsive tools to report on the chemical and physical changes produced by other biochemical processes and reactions. This emerging class of molecular probes has a number of useful characteristics. For instance, these structures can greatly amplify the signal of chemical changes: the binding of one molecule to a ligand-gated ion channel can result in flux of millions of ions across a cell membrane. In addition, gating occurs on sub-microsecond time scales, resulting in fast response times. Moreover, the signal is complementary to existing techniques because the output is ionic current rather than fluorescence or radioactivity. And finally, ion channels are also localized at the membrane of cells where essential processes such as signaling and regulation take place. This Account highlights examples, mostly from our own work, of uses of ion channels and pore-forming peptides such as gramicidin in chemical biology. We discuss various strategies for preparing synthetically tailored ion channels that range from de novo designed synthetic molecules to genetically engineered or simply exogenously expressed or reconstituted wild

  4. Properties of the stochastic energization-relaxation channel model for vectorial ion transport.

    PubMed Central

    Muneyuki, E; Fukami, T A

    2000-01-01

    A model for the primary active transport by an ion pump protein is proposed. The model, the "energization-relaxation channel model," describes an ion pump as a multiion channel that undergoes stochastic transitions between two conformational states by external energy supply. When the potential profile along ion transport pathway is asymmetrical, a net ion flux is induced by the transitions. In this model, the coupling of the conformational change and ion transport is stochastic and loose. The model qualitatively reproduces known properties of active transport such as the effect of ion concentration gradient and membrane potential on the rate of transport and the inhibition of ion transport at high ion concentration. We further examined the effect of various parameters on the ion transport properties of this model. The efficiency of the coupling was almost 100% under some conditions. PMID:10692306

  5. Trails of Kilovolt Ions Created by Subsurface Channeling

    SciTech Connect

    Redinger, Alex; Standop, Sebastian; Michely, Thomas; Rosandi, Yudi; Urbassek, Herbert M.

    2010-02-19

    Using scanning tunneling microscopy, we observe the damage trails produced by keV noble-gas ions incident at glancing angles onto Pt(111). Surface vacancies and adatoms aligned along the ion trajectory constitute the ion trails. Atomistic simulations reveal that these straight trails are produced by nuclear (elastic) collisions with surface layer atoms during subsurface channeling of the projectiles. In a small energy window around 5 keV, Xe{sup +} ions create vacancy grooves that mark the ion trajectory with atomic precision. The asymmetry of the adatom production on the two sides of the projectile path is traced back to the asymmetry of the ion's subsurface channel.

  6. Current recordings of ion channel proteins immobilized on resin beads.

    PubMed

    Hirano, Minako; Takeuchi, Yuko; Aoki, Takaaki; Yanagida, Toshio; Ide, Toru

    2009-04-15

    Current ion channel current measurement techniques are cumbersome, as they require many steps and much time. This is especially true when reconstituting channels into liposomes and incorporating them into lipid bilayers. Here, we report a novel method that measures ion channel current more efficiently than current methods. We applied our method to KcsA and MthK channels by binding them to cobalt affinity gel beads with histidine tags and then forming a lipid bilayer membrane on the bead. This allowed channels to incorporate into the bilayer and channel currents to be measured quickly and easily. The efficiency was such that currents could be recorded with extremely low amounts of protein. In addition, the channel direction could be determined by the histidine tag. This method has the potential to be applied to various channel proteins and channel research in general.

  7. Cardiac ion channel safety profiling on the IonWorks Quattro automated patch clamp system.

    PubMed

    Cao, Xueying; Lee, Yan Tony; Holmqvist, Mats; Lin, Yingxin; Ni, Yucheng; Mikhailov, Dmitri; Zhang, Haiyan; Hogan, Christopher; Zhou, Liping; Lu, Qiang; Digan, Mary Ellen; Urban, Laszlo; Erdemli, Gül

    2010-12-01

    The normal electrophysiologic behavior of the heart is determined by the integrated activity of specific cardiac ionic currents. Mutations in genes encoding the molecular components of individual cardiac ion currents have been shown to result in multiple cardiac arrhythmia syndromes. Presently, 12 genes associated with inherited long QT syndrome (LQTS) have been identified, and the most common mutations are in the hKCNQ1 (LQT1, Jervell and Lange-Nielson syndrome), hKCNH2 (LQT2), and hSCN5A (LQT3, Brugada syndrome) genes. Several drugs have been withdrawn from the market or received black box labeling due to clinical cases of QT interval prolongation, ventricular arrhythmias, and sudden death. Other drugs have been denied regulatory approval owing to their potential for QT interval prolongation. Further, off-target activity of drugs on cardiac ion channels has been shown to be associated with increased mortality in patients with underlying cardiovascular diseases. Since clinical arrhythmia risk is a major cause for compound termination, preclinical profiling for off-target cardiac ion channel interactions early in the drug discovery process has become common practice in the pharmaceutical industry. In the present study, we report assay development for three cardiac ion channels (hKCNQ1/minK, hCa(v)1.2, and hNa(v)1.5) on the IonWorks Quattro™ system. We demonstrate that these assays can be used as reliable pharmacological profiling tools for cardiac ion channel inhibition to assess compounds for cardiac liability during drug discovery.

  8. Energetics of ion conduction through the K+ channel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bernèche, Simon; Roux, Benoît

    2001-11-01

    K+ channels are transmembrane proteins that are essential for the transmission of nerve impulses. The ability of these proteins to conduct K+ ions at levels near the limit of diffusion is traditionally described in terms of concerted mechanisms in which ion-channel attraction and ion-ion repulsion have compensating effects, as several ions are moving simultaneously in single file through the narrow pore. The efficiency of such a mechanism, however, relies on a delicate energy balance-the strong ion-channel attraction must be perfectly counterbalanced by the electrostatic ion-ion repulsion. To elucidate the mechanism of ion conduction at the atomic level, we performed molecular dynamics free energy simulations on the basis of the X-ray structure of the KcsA K+ channel. Here we find that ion conduction involves transitions between two main states, with two and three K+ ions occupying the selectivity filter, respectively; this process is reminiscent of the `knock-on' mechanism proposed by Hodgkin and Keynes in 1955. The largest free energy barrier is on the order of 2-3kcalmol-1, implying that the process of ion conduction is limited by diffusion. Ion-ion repulsion, although essential for rapid conduction, is shown to act only at very short distances. The calculations show also that the rapidly conducting pore is selective.

  9. Target Promiscuity and Heterogeneous Effects of Tarantula Venom Peptides Affecting Na+ and K+ Ion Channels*

    PubMed Central

    Redaelli, Elisa; Cassulini, Rita Restano; Silva, Deyanira Fuentes; Clement, Herlinda; Schiavon, Emanuele; Zamudio, Fernando Z.; Odell, George; Arcangeli, Annarosa; Clare, Jeffrey J.; Alagón, Alejandro; de la Vega, Ricardo C. Rodríguez; Possani, Lourival D.; Wanke, Enzo

    2010-01-01

    Venom-derived peptide modulators of ion channel gating are regarded as essential tools for understanding the molecular motions that occur during the opening and closing of ion channels. In this study, we present the characterization of five spider toxins on 12 human voltage-gated ion channels, following observations about the target promiscuity of some spider toxins and the ongoing revision of their “canonical” gating-modifying mode of action. The peptides were purified de novo from the venom of Grammostola rosea tarantulas, and their sequences were confirmed by Edman degradation and mass spectrometry analysis. Their effects on seven tetrodotoxin-sensitive Na+ channels, the three human ether-à-go-go (hERG)-related K+ channels, and two human Shaker-related K+ channels were extensively characterized by electrophysiological techniques. All the peptides inhibited ion conduction through all the Na+ channels tested, although with distinctive patterns. The peptides also affected the three pharmaceutically relevant hERG isoforms differently. At higher concentrations, all peptides also modified the gating of the Na+ channels by shifting the activation to more positive potentials, whereas more complex effects were recorded on hERG channels. No effects were evident on the two Shaker-related K+ channels at concentrations well above the IC50 value for the affected channels. Given the sequence diversity of the tested peptides, we propose that tarantula toxins should be considered both as multimode and target-promiscuous ion channel modulators; both features should not be ignored when extracting mechanistic interpretations about ion channel gating. Our observations could also aid in future structure-function studies and might help the development of novel ion channel-specific drugs. PMID:19955179

  10. Improvement in fusion reactor performance due to ion channeling

    SciTech Connect

    Emmert, G.A.; El-Guebaly, L.A.; Kulcinski, G.L.; Santarius, J.F.; Sviatoslavsky, I.N.; Meade, D.M.

    1994-11-01

    Ion channeling is a recent idea for improving the performance of fusion reactors by increasing the fraction of the fusion power deposited in the ions. In this paper the authors assess the effect of ion channeling on D-T and D-{sup 3}He reactors. The figures of merit used are the fusion power density and the cost of electricity. It is seen that significant ion channeling can lead to about a 50-65% increase in the fusion power density. For the Apollo D-{sup 3}He reactor concept the reduction in the cost of electricity can be as large as 30%.

  11. Acid-sensing ion channels: trafficking and synaptic function

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Extracellular acidification occurs in the brain with elevated neural activity, increased metabolism, and neuronal injury. This reduction in pH can have profound effects on brain function because pH regulates essentially every single biochemical reaction. Therefore, it is not surprising to see that Nature evolves a family of proteins, the acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs), to sense extracellular pH reduction. ASICs are proton-gated cation channels that are mainly expressed in the nervous system. In recent years, a growing body of literature has shown that acidosis, through activating ASICs, contributes to multiple diseases, including ischemia, multiple sclerosis, and seizures. In addition, ASICs play a key role in fear and anxiety related psychiatric disorders. Several recent reviews have summarized the importance and therapeutic potential of ASICs in neurological diseases, as well as the structure-function relationship of ASICs. However, there is little focused coverage on either the basic biology of ASICs or their contribution to neural plasticity. This review will center on these topics, with an emphasis on the synaptic role of ASICs and molecular mechanisms regulating the spatial distribution and function of these ion channels. PMID:23281934

  12. Modelling modal gating of ion channels with hierarchical Markov models

    PubMed Central

    Fackrell, Mark; Crampin, Edmund J.; Taylor, Peter

    2016-01-01

    Many ion channels spontaneously switch between different levels of activity. Although this behaviour known as modal gating has been observed for a long time it is currently not well understood. Despite the fact that appropriately representing activity changes is essential for accurately capturing time course data from ion channels, systematic approaches for modelling modal gating are currently not available. In this paper, we develop a modular approach for building such a model in an iterative process. First, stochastic switching between modes and stochastic opening and closing within modes are represented in separate aggregated Markov models. Second, the continuous-time hierarchical Markov model, a new modelling framework proposed here, then enables us to combine these components so that in the integrated model both mode switching as well as the kinetics within modes are appropriately represented. A mathematical analysis reveals that the behaviour of the hierarchical Markov model naturally depends on the properties of its components. We also demonstrate how a hierarchical Markov model can be parametrized using experimental data and show that it provides a better representation than a previous model of the same dataset. Because evidence is increasing that modal gating reflects underlying molecular properties of the channel protein, it is likely that biophysical processes are better captured by our new approach than in earlier models.

  13. Modelling modal gating of ion channels with hierarchical Markov models

    PubMed Central

    Fackrell, Mark; Crampin, Edmund J.; Taylor, Peter

    2016-01-01

    Many ion channels spontaneously switch between different levels of activity. Although this behaviour known as modal gating has been observed for a long time it is currently not well understood. Despite the fact that appropriately representing activity changes is essential for accurately capturing time course data from ion channels, systematic approaches for modelling modal gating are currently not available. In this paper, we develop a modular approach for building such a model in an iterative process. First, stochastic switching between modes and stochastic opening and closing within modes are represented in separate aggregated Markov models. Second, the continuous-time hierarchical Markov model, a new modelling framework proposed here, then enables us to combine these components so that in the integrated model both mode switching as well as the kinetics within modes are appropriately represented. A mathematical analysis reveals that the behaviour of the hierarchical Markov model naturally depends on the properties of its components. We also demonstrate how a hierarchical Markov model can be parametrized using experimental data and show that it provides a better representation than a previous model of the same dataset. Because evidence is increasing that modal gating reflects underlying molecular properties of the channel protein, it is likely that biophysical processes are better captured by our new approach than in earlier models. PMID:27616917

  14. The Thumb Domain Mediates Acid-sensing Ion Channel Desensitization.

    PubMed

    Krauson, Aram J; Carattino, Marcelo D

    2016-05-20

    Acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs) are cation-selective proton-gated channels expressed in neurons that participate in diverse physiological processes, including nociception, synaptic plasticity, learning, and memory. ASIC subunits contain intracellular N and C termini, two transmembrane domains that constitute the pore, and a large extracellular loop with defined domains termed the finger, β-ball, thumb, palm, and knuckle. Here we examined the contribution of the finger, β-ball, and thumb domains to activation and desensitization through the analysis of chimeras and the assessment of the effect of covalent modification of introduced Cys at the domain-domain interfaces. Our studies with ASIC1a-ASIC2a chimeras showed that swapping the thumb domain between subunits results in faster channel desensitization. Likewise, the covalent modification of Cys residues at selected positions in the β-ball-thumb interface accelerates the desensitization of the mutant channels. Studies of accessibility with thiol-reactive reagents revealed that the β-ball and thumb domains reside apart in the resting state but that they become closer to each other in response to extracellular acidification. We propose that the thumb domain moves upon continuous exposure to an acidic extracellular milieu, assisting with the closing of the pore during channel desensitization. PMID:27015804

  15. Novel screening techniques for ion channel targeting drugs

    PubMed Central

    Obergrussberger, Alison; Stölzle-Feix, Sonja; Becker, Nadine; Brüggemann, Andrea; Fertig, Niels; Möller, Clemens

    2015-01-01

    Ion channels are integral membrane proteins that regulate the flux of ions across the cell membrane. They are involved in nearly all physiological processes, and malfunction of ion channels has been linked to many diseases. Until recently, high-throughput screening of ion channels was limited to indirect, e.g. fluorescence-based, readout technologies. In the past years, direct label-free biophysical readout technologies by means of electrophysiology have been developed. Planar patch-clamp electrophysiology provides a direct functional label-free readout of ion channel function in medium to high throughput. Further electrophysiology features, including temperature control and higher-throughput instruments, are continually being developed. Electrophysiological screening in a 384-well format has recently become possible. Advances in chip and microfluidic design, as well as in cell preparation and handling, have allowed challenging cell types to be studied by automated patch clamp. Assays measuring action potentials in stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes, relevant for cardiac safety screening, and neuronal cells, as well as a large number of different ion channels, including fast ligand-gated ion channels, have successfully been established by automated patch clamp. Impedance and multi-electrode array measurements are particularly suitable for studying cardiomyocytes and neuronal cells within their physiological network, and to address more complex physiological questions. This article discusses recent advances in electrophysiological technologies available for screening ion channel function and regulation. PMID:26556400

  16. Novel screening techniques for ion channel targeting drugs.

    PubMed

    Obergrussberger, Alison; Stölzle-Feix, Sonja; Becker, Nadine; Brüggemann, Andrea; Fertig, Niels; Möller, Clemens

    2015-01-01

    Ion channels are integral membrane proteins that regulate the flux of ions across the cell membrane. They are involved in nearly all physiological processes, and malfunction of ion channels has been linked to many diseases. Until recently, high-throughput screening of ion channels was limited to indirect, e.g. fluorescence-based, readout technologies. In the past years, direct label-free biophysical readout technologies by means of electrophysiology have been developed. Planar patch-clamp electrophysiology provides a direct functional label-free readout of ion channel function in medium to high throughput. Further electrophysiology features, including temperature control and higher-throughput instruments, are continually being developed. Electrophysiological screening in a 384-well format has recently become possible. Advances in chip and microfluidic design, as well as in cell preparation and handling, have allowed challenging cell types to be studied by automated patch clamp. Assays measuring action potentials in stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes, relevant for cardiac safety screening, and neuronal cells, as well as a large number of different ion channels, including fast ligand-gated ion channels, have successfully been established by automated patch clamp. Impedance and multi-electrode array measurements are particularly suitable for studying cardiomyocytes and neuronal cells within their physiological network, and to address more complex physiological questions. This article discusses recent advances in electrophysiological technologies available for screening ion channel function and regulation. PMID:26556400

  17. Zinc as Allosteric Ion Channel Modulator: Ionotropic Receptors as Metalloproteins

    PubMed Central

    Peralta, Francisco Andrés; Huidobro-Toro, Juan Pablo

    2016-01-01

    Zinc is an essential metal to life. This transition metal is a structural component of many proteins and is actively involved in the catalytic activity of cell enzymes. In either case, these zinc-containing proteins are metalloproteins. However, the amino acid residues that serve as ligands for metal coordination are not necessarily the same in structural proteins compared to enzymes. While crystals of structural proteins that bind zinc reveal a higher preference for cysteine sulfhydryls rather than histidine imidazole rings, catalytic enzymes reveal the opposite, i.e., a greater preference for the histidines over cysteines for catalysis, plus the influence of carboxylic acids. Based on this paradigm, we reviewed the putative ligands of zinc in ionotropic receptors, where zinc has been described as an allosteric modulator of channel receptors. Although these receptors do not strictly qualify as metalloproteins since they do not normally bind zinc in structural domains, they do transitorily bind zinc at allosteric sites, modifying transiently the receptor channel’s ion permeability. The present contribution summarizes current information showing that zinc allosteric modulation of receptor channels occurs by the preferential metal coordination to imidazole rings as well as to the sulfhydryl groups of cysteine in addition to the carboxyl group of acid residues, as with enzymes and catalysis. It is remarkable that most channels, either voltage-sensitive or transmitter-gated receptor channels, are susceptible to zinc modulation either as positive or negative regulators. PMID:27384555

  18. Organic toxins as tools to understand ion channel mechanisms and structure.

    PubMed

    Morales-Lázaro, Sara Luz; Hernández-García, Enrique; Serrano-Flores, Barbara; Rosenbaum, Tamara

    2015-01-01

    Ion channels constitute a varied class of membrane proteins with pivotal roles in cellular physiology and that are fundamental for neuronal signaling, hormone secretion and muscle contractility. Hence, it is not unanticipated that toxins from diverse organisms have evolved to modulate the activity of ion channels. For instance, animals such as cone snails, scorpions, spiders and snakes use toxins to immobilize and capture their prey by affecting ion channel function. This is a beautiful example of an evolutionary process that has led to the development of an injection apparatus from predators and to the existence of toxins with high affinity and specificity for a given target. Toxins have been used in the field of ion channel biophysics for several decades to gain insight into the gating mechanisms and the structure of ion channels. Through the use of these peptides, much has been learned about the ion conduction pathways, voltage-sensing mechanisms, pore sizes, kinetics, inactivation processes, etc. This review examines an assortment of toxins that have been used to study different ion channels and describes some key findings about the structure-function relationships in these proteins through the details of the toxin-ion channel interactions.

  19. Allosterism and Structure in Thermally Activated Transient Receptor Potential Channels.

    PubMed

    Diaz-Franulic, Ignacio; Poblete, Horacio; Miño-Galaz, Germán; González, Carlos; Latorre, Ramón

    2016-07-01

    The molecular sensors that mediate temperature changes in living organisms are a large family of proteins known as thermosensitive transient receptor potential (TRP) ion channels. These membrane proteins are polymodal receptors that can be activated by cold or hot temperatures, depending on the channel subtype, voltage, and ligands. The stimuli sensors are allosterically coupled to a pore domain, increasing the probability of finding the channel in its ion conductive conformation. In this review we first discuss the allosteric coupling between the temperature and voltage sensor modules and the pore domain, and then discuss the thermodynamic foundations of thermo-TRP channel activation. We provide a structural overview of the molecular determinants of temperature sensing. We also posit an anisotropic thermal diffusion model that may explain the large temperature sensitivity of TRP channels. Additionally, we examine the effect of several ligands on TRP channel function and the evidence regarding their mechanisms of action. PMID:27297398

  20. Nerve membrane ion channels as the target site of insecticides.

    PubMed

    Narahashi, Toshio

    2002-08-01

    Most insecticides are potent neurotoxicants that act on various neuroreceptors and ion channels. However, the major target receptors are limited to sodium channels, GABA receptors, and nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. DDT and pyrethroids act similarly on sodium channels to keep them open leading to hyperexcitation. Indoxacarb inhibits sodium channels and certain subtypes of nicotinic receptors. Dieldrin, lindane and fipronil block GABA receptors. Imidacloprid modulates nicotinic receptors in a complex manner. Spinosad's major target site appears to be nicotinic receptors.

  1. Receptors, Ion Channels, and Signaling Mechanisms Underlying Microglial Dynamics*

    PubMed Central

    Madry, Christian; Attwell, David

    2015-01-01

    Microglia, the innate immune cells of the CNS, play a pivotal role in brain injury and disease. Microglia are extremely motile; their highly ramified processes constantly survey the brain parenchyma, and they respond promptly to brain damage with targeted process movement toward the injury site. Microglia play a key role in brain development and function by pruning synapses during development, phagocytosing apoptotic newborn neurons, and regulating neuronal activity by direct microglia-neuron or indirect microglia-astrocyte-neuron interactions, which all depend on their process motility. This review highlights recent discoveries about microglial dynamics, focusing on the receptors, ion channels, and signaling pathways involved. PMID:25855789

  2. Ion Permeation and Mechanotransduction Mechanisms of Mechanosensitive Piezo Channels.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Qiancheng; Wu, Kun; Geng, Jie; Chi, Shaopeng; Wang, Yanfeng; Zhi, Peng; Zhang, Mingmin; Xiao, Bailong

    2016-03-16

    Piezo proteins have been proposed as the long-sought-after mechanosensitive cation channels in mammals that play critical roles in various mechanotransduction processes. However, the molecular bases that underlie their ion permeation and mechanotransduction have remained functionally undefined. Here we report our finding of the miniature pore-forming module of Piezo1 that resembles the pore architecture of other trimeric channels and encodes the essential pore properties. We further identified specific residues within the pore module that determine unitary conductance, pore blockage and ion selectivity for divalent and monovalent cations and anions. The non-pore-containing region of Piezo1 confers mechanosensitivity to mechano-insensitive trimeric acid-sensing ion channels, demonstrating that Piezo1 channels possess intrinsic mechanotransduction modules separate from their pore modules. In conclusion, this is the first report on the bona fide pore module and mechanotransduction components of Piezo channels, which define their ion-conducting properties and gating by mechanical stimuli, respectively.

  3. Ion channel gene expression predicts survival in glioma patients.

    PubMed

    Wang, Rong; Gurguis, Christopher I; Gu, Wanjun; Ko, Eun A; Lim, Inja; Bang, Hyoweon; Zhou, Tong; Ko, Jae-Hong

    2015-08-03

    Ion channels are important regulators in cell proliferation, migration, and apoptosis. The malfunction and/or aberrant expression of ion channels may disrupt these important biological processes and influence cancer progression. In this study, we investigate the expression pattern of ion channel genes in glioma. We designate 18 ion channel genes that are differentially expressed in high-grade glioma as a prognostic molecular signature. This ion channel gene expression based signature predicts glioma outcome in three independent validation cohorts. Interestingly, 16 of these 18 genes were down-regulated in high-grade glioma. This signature is independent of traditional clinical, molecular, and histological factors. Resampling tests indicate that the prognostic power of the signature outperforms random gene sets selected from human genome in all the validation cohorts. More importantly, this signature performs better than the random gene signatures selected from glioma-associated genes in two out of three validation datasets. This study implicates ion channels in brain cancer, thus expanding on knowledge of their roles in other cancers. Individualized profiling of ion channel gene expression serves as a superior and independent prognostic tool for glioma patients.

  4. Traveling ion channel density waves affected by a conservation law.

    PubMed

    Peter, Ronny; Zimmermann, Walter

    2006-07-01

    A model of mobile, charged ion channels embedded in a biomembrane is investigated. The ion channels fluctuate between an opened and a closed state according to a simple two-state reaction scheme whereas the total number of ion channels is a conserved quantity. Local transport mechanisms suggest that the ion channel densities are governed by electrodiffusionlike equations that have to be supplemented by a cable-type equation describing the dynamics of the transmembrane voltage. It is shown that the homogeneous distribution of ion channels may become unstable to either a stationary or an oscillatory instability. The nonlinear behavior immediately above threshold of an oscillatory bifurcation occurring at finite wave number is analyzed in terms of amplitude equations. Due to the conservation law imposed on ion channels, large-scale modes couple to the finite-wave-number instability and have thus to be included in the asymptotic analysis near the onset of pattern formation. A modified Ginzburg-Landau equation extended by long-wavelength stationary excitations is established, and it is highlighted how the global conservation law affects the stability of traveling ion channel density waves.

  5. Quantised transistor response to ion channels revealed by nonstationary noise analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Becker-Freyseng, C.; Fromherz, P.

    2011-11-01

    We report on the quantised response of a field-effect transistor to molecular ion channels in a biomembrane. HEK293-type cells overexpressing the Shaker B potassium channel were cultured on a silicon chip. An enhanced noise of the transistor is observed when the ion channels are activated. The analysis of the fluctuations in terms of binomial statistics identifies voltage quanta of about 1 μV on the gate. They are attributed to the channel currents that affect the gate voltage according to the Green's function of the cell-chip junction.

  6. Ion Channels as Drug Targets in Central Nervous System Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Waszkielewicz, A.M; Gunia, A; Szkaradek, N; Słoczyńska, K; Krupińska, S; Marona, H

    2013-01-01

    Ion channel targeted drugs have always been related with either the central nervous system (CNS), the peripheral nervous system, or the cardiovascular system. Within the CNS, basic indications of drugs are: sleep disorders, anxiety, epilepsy, pain, etc. However, traditional channel blockers have multiple adverse events, mainly due to low specificity of mechanism of action. Lately, novel ion channel subtypes have been discovered, which gives premises to drug discovery process led towards specific channel subtypes. An example is Na+ channels, whose subtypes 1.3 and 1.7-1.9 are responsible for pain, and 1.1 and 1.2 – for epilepsy. Moreover, new drug candidates have been recognized. This review is focusing on ion channels subtypes, which play a significant role in current drug discovery and development process. The knowledge on channel subtypes has developed rapidly, giving new nomenclatures of ion channels. For example, Ca2+ channels are not any more divided to T, L, N, P/Q, and R, but they are described as Cav1.1-Cav3.3, with even newer nomenclature α1A-α1I and α1S. Moreover, new channels such as P2X1-P2X7, as well as TRPA1-TRPV1 have been discovered, giving premises for new types of analgesic drugs. PMID:23409712

  7. Ion selectivity in the ryanodine receptor and other calcium channels.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gillespie, Dirk

    2006-03-01

    Biological ion channels passively conduct ions across cell membranes, some with great specificity. Calcium channels are selective channels that range in their Ca^2+ affinity depending on the channel's physiological role. For example, the L-type calcium channel has micromolar affinity while the ryanodine receptor (RyR) has millimolar affinity. On the other hand, both of these channels have the chemically-similar EEEE and DDDD amino acid motifs in their selectivity filters. An electrodiffusion model of RyR that reproduces and predicts >50 data curves will be presented. In this model, ions are charged, hard spheres and the chemical potential is computed using density functional theory of fluids. Ion selectivity arises from a competition between the need for cations to screen the negative charges of the channel and the crowding of ions in the tiny space of the channel. Charge/space competition implies that selectivity increases as the channel volume decreases (thereby increasing the protein charge density), something that has recently been experimentally confirmed in mutant channels. Dielectric properties can also increase selectivity. In Monte Carlo simulations, Ca^2+ affinity is much higher when the channel protein has a low dielectric constant. This counterintuitive result occurs because calcium channel selectivity filters are lined with negatively-charged (acidic) amino acids (EEEE or DDDD). These permanent negative charges induce negative polarization charge at the protein/lumen interface. The total negative charge of the protein (polarization plus permanent) is increased, resulting in increased ion densities, increased charge/space competition, and there in increased Ca^2+ affinity. If no negative protein charges were present, cations would induce enough positive polarization charge to prevent flux.

  8. Diversity of folds in animal toxins acting on ion channels.

    PubMed Central

    Mouhat, Stéphanie; Jouirou, Besma; Mosbah, Amor; De Waard, Michel; Sabatier, Jean-Marc

    2004-01-01

    Animal toxins acting on ion channels of excitable cells are principally highly potent short peptides that are present in limited amounts in the venoms of various unrelated species, such as scorpions, snakes, sea anemones, spiders, insects, marine cone snails and worms. These toxins have been used extensively as invaluable biochemical and pharmacological tools to characterize and discriminate between the various ion channel types that differ in ionic selectivity, structure and/or cell function. Alongside the huge molecular and functional diversity of ion channels, a no less impressive structural diversity of animal toxins has been indicated by the discovery of an increasing number of polypeptide folds that are able to target these ion channels. Indeed, it appears that these peptide toxins have evolved over time on the basis of clearly distinct architectural motifs, in order to adapt to different ion channel modulating strategies (pore blockers compared with gating modifiers). Herein, we provide an up-to-date overview of the various types of fold from animal toxins that act on ion channels selective for K+, Na+, Ca2+ or Cl- ions, with special emphasis on disulphide bridge frameworks and structural motifs associated with these peptide folds. PMID:14674883

  9. Computational study of a calcium release-activated calcium channel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Talukdar, Keka; Shantappa, Anil

    2016-05-01

    The naturally occurring proteins that form hole in membrane are commonly known as ion channels. They play multiple roles in many important biological processes. Deletion or alteration of these channels often leads to serious problems in the physiological processes as it controls the flow of ions through it. The proper maintenance of the flow of ions, in turn, is required for normal health. Here we have investigated the behavior of a calcium release-activated calcium ion channel with pdb entry 4HKR in Drosophila Melanogaster. The equilibrium energy as well as molecular dynamics simulation is performed first. The protein is subjected to molecular dynamics simulation to find their energy minimized value. Simulation of the protein in the environment of water and ions has given us important results too. The solvation energy is also found using Charmm potential.

  10. Danger- and pathogen-associated molecular patterns recognition by pattern-recognition receptors and ion channels of the transient receptor potential family triggers the inflammasome activation in immune cells and sensory neurons.

    PubMed

    Santoni, Giorgio; Cardinali, Claudio; Morelli, Maria Beatrice; Santoni, Matteo; Nabissi, Massimo; Amantini, Consuelo

    2015-02-03

    An increasing number of studies show that the activation of the innate immune system and inflammatory mechanisms play an important role in the pathogenesis of numerous diseases. The innate immune system is present in almost all multicellular organisms and its activation occurs in response to pathogens or tissue injury via pattern-recognition receptors (PRRs) that recognize pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) or danger-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs). Intracellular pathways, linking immune and inflammatory response to ion channel expression and function, have been recently identified. Among ion channels, the transient receptor potential (TRP) channels are a major family of non-selective cation-permeable channels that function as polymodal cellular sensors involved in many physiological and pathological processes. In this review, we summarize current knowledge of interactions between immune cells and PRRs and ion channels of TRP families with PAMPs and DAMPs to provide new insights into the pathogenesis of inflammatory diseases. TRP channels have been found to interfere with innate immunity via both nuclear factor-kB and procaspase-1 activation to generate the mature caspase-1 that cleaves pro-interleukin-1β cytokine into the mature interleukin-1β.Sensory neurons are also adapted to recognize dangers by virtue of their sensitivity to intense mechanical, thermal and irritant chemical stimuli. As immune cells, they possess many of the same molecular recognition pathways for danger. Thus, they express PRRs including Toll-like receptors 3, 4, 7, and 9, and stimulation by Toll-like receptor ligands leads to induction of inward currents and sensitization in TRPs. In addition, the expression of inflammasomes in neurons and the involvement of TRPs in central nervous system diseases strongly support a role of TRPs in inflammasome-mediated neurodegenerative pathologies. This field is still at its beginning and further studies may be required.Overall, these

  11. Ion channel remodeling in vascular smooth muscle during hypertension: Implications for novel therapeutic approaches

    PubMed Central

    Joseph, Biny K.; Thakali, Keshari M.; Moore, Christopher L.; Rhee, Sung W.

    2013-01-01

    Ion channels are multimeric, transmembrane proteins that selectively mediate ion flux across the plasma membrane in a variety of cells including vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). The dynamic interplay of Ca2+ and K+ channels on the plasma membrane of VSMCs plays a pivotal role in modulating the vascular tone of small arteries and arterioles. The abnormally-elevated arterial tone observed in hypertension thus points to an aberrant expression and function of Ca2+ and K+ channels in the VSMCs. In this short review, we focus on the three well-studied ion channels in VSMCs, namely the L-type Ca2+ (CaV1.2) channels, the voltage-gated K+ (KV) channels, and the large-conductance Ca2+-activated K+ (BK) channels. First, we provide a brief overview on the physiological role of vascular CaV1.2, KV and BK channels in regulating arterial tone. Second, we discuss the current understanding of the expression changes and regulation of CaV1.2, KV and BK channels in the vasculature during hypertension. Third, based on available proof-of-concept studies, we describe the potential therapeutic approaches targeting these vascular ion channels in order to restore blood pressure to normotensive levels. PMID:23376354

  12. Structural mechanism for the regulation of HCN ion channels by the accessory protein TRIP8b

    PubMed Central

    DeBerg, Hannah A.; Bankston, John R.; Rosenbaum, Joel C.; Brzovic, Peter S.; Zagotta, William N.; Stoll, Stefan

    2015-01-01

    Summary Hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN) ion channels underlie the cationic Ih current present in many neurons. The direct binding of cAMP to HCN channels increases the rate and extent of channel opening and results in a depolarizing shift in the voltage dependence of activation. TRIP8b is an accessory protein that regulates the cell surface expression and dendritic localization of HCN channels and reduces the cyclic nucleotide dependence of these channels. Here we use electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) to show that TRIP8b binds to the apo state of the cyclic nucleotide-binding domain (CNBD) of HCN2 channels without changing the overall domain structure. With EPR and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), we locate TRIP8b relative to the HCN channel and identify the binding interface on the CNBD. These data provide a structural framework for understanding how TRIP8b regulates the cyclic nucleotide dependence of HCN channels. PMID:25800552

  13. Ion Channel Mimetic Chronopotentiometric Polymeric Membrane Ion Sensor for Surface Confined Protein Detection

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Yida

    2008-01-01

    The operation of ion channel sensors is mimicked with functionalized polymeric membrane electrodes, using a surface confined affinity reaction to impede the electrochemically imposed ion transfer kinetics of a marker ion. A membrane surface biotinylated by covalent attachment to the polymeric backbone is used here to bind to the protein avidin as a model system. The results indicate that the protein accumulates on the ion-selective membrane surface, partially blocking the current induced ion transfer across the membrane/aqueous sample interface, and subsequently decreases the potential jump in the so-called super-Nernstian step that is characteristic of a surface depletion of the marker ion. The findings suggest that such a potential drop could be utilized to measure the concentration of protein in the sample. Because the sensitivity of protein sensing is dependent on the effective blocking of the active surface area, it can be improved with a hydrophilic nanopore membrane applied on top of the biotinylated ion-selective membrane surface. Based on cyclic voltammetry characterization, the nanoporous membrane electrodes can indeed be understood as a recessed nanoelectrode array. The results show that the measuring range for protein sensing on nanopore electrodes is shifted to lower concentrations by more than one order of magnitude, which is explained with the reduction of surface area by the nanopore membrane and the related more effective hemispherical diffusion pattern. PMID:19067579

  14. Copper and protons directly activate the zinc-activated channel.

    PubMed

    Trattnig, Sarah M; Gasiorek, Agnes; Deeb, Tarek Z; Ortiz, Eydith J Comenencia; Moss, Stephen J; Jensen, Anders A; Davies, Paul A

    2016-03-01

    The zinc-activated channel (ZAC) is a cationic ion channel belonging to the superfamily of Cys-loop receptors, which consists of pentameric ligand-gated ion channels. ZAC is the least understood member of this family so in the present study we sought to characterize the properties of this channel further. We demonstrate that not only zinc (Zn(2+)) but also copper (Cu(2+)) and protons (H(+)) are agonists of ZAC, displaying potencies and efficacies in the rank orders of H(+)>Cu(2+)>Zn(2+) and H(+)>Zn(2+)>Cu(2+), respectively. The responses elicited by Zn(2+), Cu(2+) and H(+) through ZAC are all characterized by low degrees of desensitization. In contrast, currents evoked by high concentrations of the three agonists comprise distinctly different activation and decay components, with transitions to and from an open state being significantly faster for H(+) than for the two metal ions. The permeabilities of ZAC for Na(+) and K(+) relative to Cs(+) are indistinguishable, whereas replacing all of extracellular Na(+) and K(+) with the divalent cations Ca(2+) or Mg(2+) results in complete elimination of Zn(2+)-activated currents at both negative and positive holding potentials. This indicates that ZAC is non-selectively permeable to monovalent cations, whereas Ca(2+) and Mg(2+) inhibit the channel. In conclusion, this is the first report of a Cys-loop receptor being gated by Zn(2+), Cu(2+) and H(+). ZAC could be an important mediator of some of the wide range of physiological functions regulated by or involving Zn(2+), Cu(2+) and H(+).

  15. Ion channel profiling to advance drug discovery and development.

    PubMed

    Zou, Beiyan

    2015-11-01

    In vitro pharmacological profiling provides crucial information to eliminate drug candidates with potential toxicity early in drug discovery and reduce failure in later stages. It has become a common practice in industry to test lead compounds against a panel of ion channel targets for selectivity and safety liability at early drug discovery stages. Ion channel profiling technologies include binding assays, flux assays, fluorescent membrane potential assays, automated and conventional electrophysiology. Instead of examining compound effects on individual ion channel targets, automated current clamp, optical electrophysiology, and multi-electrode assays have evolved to investigate the integrated compound effects on cardiac myocytes. This review aims to provide an overview of ion channel profiling for cardiac safety and comparisons of various technologies.

  16. Modulation of TRP ion channels by venomous toxins.

    PubMed

    Siemens, Jan; Hanack, Christina

    2014-01-01

    Venoms are evolutionarily fine-tuned mixtures of small molecules, peptides, and proteins-referred to as toxins-that have evolved to specifically modulate and interfere with the function of diverse molecular targets within the envenomated animal. Many of the identified toxin targets are membrane receptors and ion channels. Due to their high specificity, toxins have emerged as an invaluable tool set for the molecular characterization of ion channels, and a selected group of toxins even have been developed into therapeutics. More recently, TRP ion channels have been included as targets for venomous toxins. In particular, a number of apparently unrelated peptide toxins target the capsaicin receptor TRPV1 to produce inflammatory pain. These toxins have turned out to be invaluable for structural and functional characterizations of the capsaicin receptor. If toxins will serve similar roles for other TRP ion channels, only future will tell.

  17. Synthesis, structure activity relationship, radiolabeling and preclinical evaluation of high affinity ligands for the ion channel of the N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor as potential imaging probes for positron emission tomography.

    PubMed

    Klein, Pieter J; Christiaans, Johannes A M; Metaxas, Athanasios; Schuit, Robert C; Lammertsma, Adriaan A; van Berckel, Bart N M; Windhorst, Albert D

    2015-03-01

    The N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAr) is involved in many neurological and psychiatric disorders including Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia. Currently, it is not possible to assess NMDAr availability in vivo. The purpose of this study was to develop a positron emission tomography (PET) ligand for the NMDAr ion channel. A series of di- and tri-N-substituted diarylguanidines was synthesized. In addition, in vitro binding affinity for the NMDAr ion channel in rat forebrain membrane fractions was assessed. Compounds 10, 11 and 32 were radiolabeled with either carbon-11 or fluorine-18. Ligands [(11)C]10 and [(18)F]32 were evaluated ex vivo in B6C3 mice. Biodistribution studies showed higher uptake of [(11)C]10 and [(18)F]32 in forebrain regions compared with cerebellum. In addition, for [(11)C]10 54% and for [(18)F]32 70% of activity in the brain at 60min was due to intact tracer. Pre-treatment with MK-801 (0.6mg·kg(-1), ip) slightly decreased uptake in NMDAr-specific regions for [(18)F]32, but not for [(11)C]10. As such [(18)F]32 has the best characteristics as a PET tracer for the ion channel of the NMDAr. PMID:25648682

  18. Selective modification of the N-terminal structure of polytheonamide B significantly changes its cytotoxicity and activity as an ion channel.

    PubMed

    Shinohara, Naoki; Itoh, Hiroaki; Matsuoka, Shigeru; Inoue, Masayuki

    2012-10-01

    Chemical point mutation: Polytheonamide B is a naturally occurring polypeptide containing 48 amino acids. It both displays potent cytotoxicity and acts as a monovalent cation channel in vitro. Chemoselective methods to modify the 44th, N-, and C-terminal residues of the natural product have been developed, and evaluation of the resultant derivatives suggests that the intrinsic activities of the peptide can only be altered by switching its N-terminal substitution.

  19. Ion channels in plants: from bioelectricity, via signaling, to behavioral actions.

    PubMed

    Baluška, František; Mancuso, Stefano

    2013-01-01

    In his recent opus magnum review paper published in the October issue of Physiology Reviews, Rainer Hedrich summarized the field of plant ion channels. (1) He started from the earliest electric recordings initiated by Charles Darwin of carnivorous Dionaea muscipula, (1,2) known as Venus flytrap, and covered the topic extensively up to the most recent discoveries on Shaker-type potassium channels, anion channels of SLAC/SLAH families, and ligand-activated channels of glutamate receptor-like type (GLR) and cyclic nucleotide-gated channels (CNGC). (1.)

  20. Structural analysis of calmodulin binding to ion channels demonstrates the role of its plasticity in regulation.

    PubMed

    Kovalevskaya, Nadezda V; van de Waterbeemd, Michiel; Bokhovchuk, Fedir M; Bate, Neil; Bindels, René J M; Hoenderop, Joost G J; Vuister, Geerten W

    2013-11-01

    The Ca²⁺-binding protein calmodulin (CaM) is a well-known regulator of ion-channel activity. Consequently, the Protein Data Bank contains many structures of CaM in complex with different fragments of ion channels that together display a variety of binding modes. In addition to the canonical interaction, in which CaM engages its target with both its domains, many of the ion-channel-CaM complexes demonstrate alternative non-canonical binding modes that depend on the target and experimental conditions. Based on these findings, several mechanisms of ion-channel regulation by CaM have been proposed, all exploiting its plasticity and flexibility in interacting with its targets. In this review, we focus on complexes of CaM with either the voltage-gated calcium channels; the voltage-gated sodium channels or the small conductance calcium-activated potassium channels, for which both structural and functional data are available. For each channel, the functional relevance of these structural data and possible mechanism of calcium-dependent (in)activation and/or facilitation are discussed in detail. PMID:23609407

  1. Mechanosensitivity of ion channels based on protein–lipid interactions

    PubMed Central

    Yoshimura, Kenjiro; Sokabe, Masahiro

    2010-01-01

    Ion channels form a group of membrane proteins that pass ions through a pore beyond the energy barrier of the lipid bilayer. The structure of the transmembrane segment of membrane proteins is influenced by the charges and the hydrophobicity of the surrounding lipids and the pressure on its surface. A mechanosensitive channel is specifically designed to change its conformation in response to changes in the membrane pressure (tension). However, mechanosensitive channels are not the only group that is sensitive to the physical environment of the membrane: voltage-gated channels are also amenable to the lipid environment. In this article, we review the structure and gating mechanisms of the mechanosensitive channels and voltage-gated channels and discuss how their functions are affected by the physical properties of the lipid bilayer. PMID:20356872

  2. Molecular Modeling of Mechanosensory Ion Channel Structural and Functional Features

    PubMed Central

    Gessmann, Renate; Kourtis, Nikos; Petratos, Kyriacos; Tavernarakis, Nektarios

    2010-01-01

    The DEG/ENaC (Degenerin/Epithelial Sodium Channel) protein family comprises related ion channel subunits from all metazoans, including humans. Members of this protein family play roles in several important biological processes such as transduction of mechanical stimuli, sodium re-absorption and blood pressure regulation. Several blocks of amino acid sequence are conserved in DEG/ENaC proteins, but structure/function relations in this channel class are poorly understood. Given the considerable experimental limitations associated with the crystallization of integral membrane proteins, knowledge-based modeling is often the only route towards obtaining reliable structural information. To gain insight into the structural characteristics of DEG/ENaC ion channels, we derived three-dimensional models of MEC-4 and UNC-8, based on the available crystal structures of ASIC1 (Acid Sensing Ion Channel 1). MEC-4 and UNC-8 are two DEG/ENaC family members involved in mechanosensation and proprioception respectively, in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. We used these models to examine the structural effects of specific mutations that alter channel function in vivo. The trimeric MEC-4 model provides insight into the mechanism by which gain-of-function mutations cause structural alterations that result in increased channel permeability, which trigger cell degeneration. Our analysis provides an introductory framework to further investigate the multimeric organization of the DEG/ENaC ion channel complex. PMID:20877470

  3. Molecular modeling of mechanosensory ion channel structural and functional features.

    PubMed

    Gessmann, Renate; Kourtis, Nikos; Petratos, Kyriacos; Tavernarakis, Nektarios

    2010-09-16

    The DEG/ENaC (Degenerin/Epithelial Sodium Channel) protein family comprises related ion channel subunits from all metazoans, including humans. Members of this protein family play roles in several important biological processes such as transduction of mechanical stimuli, sodium re-absorption and blood pressure regulation. Several blocks of amino acid sequence are conserved in DEG/ENaC proteins, but structure/function relations in this channel class are poorly understood. Given the considerable experimental limitations associated with the crystallization of integral membrane proteins, knowledge-based modeling is often the only route towards obtaining reliable structural information. To gain insight into the structural characteristics of DEG/ENaC ion channels, we derived three-dimensional models of MEC-4 and UNC-8, based on the available crystal structures of ASIC1 (Acid Sensing Ion Channel 1). MEC-4 and UNC-8 are two DEG/ENaC family members involved in mechanosensation and proprioception respectively, in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. We used these models to examine the structural effects of specific mutations that alter channel function in vivo. The trimeric MEC-4 model provides insight into the mechanism by which gain-of-function mutations cause structural alterations that result in increased channel permeability, which trigger cell degeneration. Our analysis provides an introductory framework to further investigate the multimeric organization of the DEG/ENaC ion channel complex.

  4. Mechanisms of Activation of Voltage-Gated Potassium Channels

    PubMed Central

    Grizel, A. V.; Glukhov, G. S.; Sokolova, O. S.

    2014-01-01

    Voltage-gated potassium ion channels (Kv) play an important role in a variety of cellular processes, including the functioning of excitable cells, regulation of apoptosis, cell growth and differentiation, the release of neurotransmitters and hormones, maintenance of cardiac activity, etc. Failure in the functioning of Kv channels leads to severe genetic disorders and the development of tumors, including malignant ones. Understanding the mechanisms underlying Kv channels functioning is a key factor in determining the cause of the diseases associated with mutations in the channels, and in the search for new drugs. The mechanism of activation of the channels is a topic of ongoing debate, and a consensus on the issue has not yet been reached. This review discusses the key stages in studying the mechanisms of functioning of Kv channels and describes the basic models of their activation known to date. PMID:25558391

  5. Alamethicin-like behaviour of new 18-residue peptaibols, trichorzins PA. Role of the C-terminal amino-alcohol in the ion channel forming activity.

    PubMed

    Duval, D; Cosette, P; Rebuffat, S; Duclohier, H; Bodo, B; Molle, G

    1998-03-01

    The influences of peptide length, absence of a Glx (Gln/Glu) residue and the C-terminal amino alcohol on liposome permeabilization and ion-channel characteristics in planar lipid bilayers were examined with two 18-residue peptaibols, PA V and PA IX. As compared to the 20-residue alamethicin, both peptides belonging to the newly isolated trichorzin family, lack a proline in the N-terminal part and one of the two Gln/Glu residues in the C-terminal part of the sequence. The two analogues studied here differ among themselves in their C-terminal amino alcohol (tryptophanol for PA V and phenylalaninol for PA IX). These alpha-helical peptaibols modify to a similar extent the permeability of liposomes, as measured by leakage of a previously entrapped fluorescent probe. Monitoring tryptophanol fluorescence, a greater embedment of the peptide PA V is observed in cholesterol-free bilayers. Macroscopic conductance studies for PA V and PA IX display alamethicin-like current-voltage curves, with a similar voltage dependence, but a smaller mean number of monomers per conducting aggregate is estimated for the tryptophanol analogue, PA V. Single-channel recordings indicate faster current fluctuations for PA IX, while amplitude histograms show lower conductance levels for PA V. Apart from underlining the role of the mismatch between helix length and bilayer hydrophobic thickness, these results stress that the C-terminal tryptophanol favours a stabilization of the conducting aggregates. PMID:9518665

  6. Ion selectivity strategies of sodium channel selectivity filters.

    PubMed

    Dudev, Todor; Lim, Carmay

    2014-12-16

    CONSPECTUS: Sodium ion channels selectively transport Na(+) cations across the cell membrane. These integral parts of the cell machinery are implicated in regulating the cardiac, skeletal and smooth muscle contraction, nerve impulses, salt and water homeostasis, as well as pain and taste perception. Their malfunction often results in various channelopathies of the heart, brain, skeletal muscles, and lung; thus, sodium channels are key drug targets for various disorders including cardiac arrhythmias, heart attack, stroke, migraine, epilepsy, pain, cancer, and autoimmune disorders. The ability of sodium channels to discriminate the native Na(+) among other competing ions in the surrounding fluids is crucial for proper cellular functions. The selectivity filter (SF), the narrowest part of the channel's open pore, lined with amino acid residues that specifically interact with the permeating ion, plays a major role in determining Na(+) selectivity. Different sodium channels have different SFs, which vary in the symmetry, number, charge, arrangement, and chemical type of the metal-ligating groups and pore size: epithelial/degenerin/acid-sensing ion channels have generally trimeric SFs lined with three conserved neutral serines and/or backbone carbonyls; eukaryotic sodium channels have EKEE, EEKE, DKEA, and DEKA SFs with an invariant positively charged lysine from the second or third domain; and bacterial voltage-gated sodium (Nav) channels exhibit symmetrical EEEE SFs, reminiscent of eukaryotic voltage-gated calcium channels. How do these different sodium channel SFs achieve high selectivity for Na(+) over its key rivals, K(+) and Ca(2+)? What factors govern the metal competition in these SFs and which of these factors are exploited to achieve Na(+) selectivity in the different sodium channel SFs? The free energies for replacing K(+) or Ca(2+) bound inside different model SFs with Na(+), evaluated by a combination of density functional theory and continuum dielectric

  7. Conduits of life's spark: a perspective on ion channel research since the birth of neuron.

    PubMed

    Isacoff, Ehud Y; Jan, Lily Y; Minor, Daniel L

    2013-10-30

    Heartbeats, muscle twitches, and lightning-fast thoughts are all manifestations of bioelectricity and rely on the activity of a class of membrane proteins known as ion channels. The basic function of an ion channel can be distilled into, "The hole opens. Ions go through. The hole closes." Studies of the fundamental mechanisms by which this process happens and the consequences of such activity in the setting of excitable cells remains the central focus of much of the field. One might wonder after so many years of detailed poking at such a seemingly simple process, is there anything left to learn? PMID:24183018

  8. Electrochemical evaluation of chemical selectivity of glutamate receptor ion channel proteins with a multi-channel sensor.

    PubMed

    Sugawara, M; Hirano, A; Rehák, M; Nakanishi, J; Kawai, K; Sato, H; Umezawa, Y

    1997-01-01

    A new method for evaluating chemical selectivity of agonists towards receptor ion channel proteins is proposed by using glutamate receptor (GluR) ion channel proteins and their agonists N-methyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA), L-glutamate, and (2S, 3R, 4S) isomer of 2-(carboxycyclopropyl)glycine (L-CCG-IV). Integrated multi-channel currents, corresponding to the sum of total amount of ions passed through the multiple open channels, were used as a measure of agonists' selectivity to recognize ion channel proteins and induce channel currents. GluRs isolated from rat synaptic plasma membranes were incorporated into planar bilayer lipid membranes (BLMs) formed by the folding method. The empirical factors that affect the selectivity were demonstrated: (i) the number of GluRs incorporated into BLMs varied from one membrane to another; (ii) each BLM contained different subtypes of GluRs (NMDA and/or non-NMDA subtypes); and (iii) the magnitude of multi-channel responses induced by L-glutamate at negative applied potentials was larger than at positive potentials, while those by NMDA and L-CCG-IV were linearly related to applied potentials. The chemical selectivity among NMDA, L-glutamate and L-CCG-IV for NMDA subtype of GluRs was determined with each single BLM in which only NMDA subtype of GluRs was designed to be active by inhibiting the non-NMDA subtypes using a specific antagonist DNQX. The order of selectivity among the relevant agonists for the NMDA receptor subtype was found to be L-CCG-IV > L-glutamate > NMDA, which is consistent with the order of binding affinity of these agonists towards the same NMDA subtypes. The potential use of this approach for evaluating chemical selectivity towards non-NMDA receptor subtypes of GluRs and other receptor ion channel proteins is discussed.

  9. Tuning the ion selectivity of tetrameric cation channels by changing the number of ion binding sites

    SciTech Connect

    Derebe, Mehabaw G.; Sauer, David B.; Zeng, Weizhong; Alam, Amer; Shi, Ning; Jiang, Youxing

    2015-11-30

    Selective ion conduction across ion channel pores is central to cellular physiology. To understand the underlying principles of ion selectivity in tetrameric cation channels, we engineered a set of cation channel pores based on the nonselective NaK channel and determined their structures to high resolution. These structures showcase an ensemble of selectivity filters with a various number of contiguous ion binding sites ranging from 2 to 4, with each individual site maintaining a geometry and ligand environment virtually identical to that of equivalent sites in K{sup +} channel selectivity filters. Combined with single channel electrophysiology, we show that only the channel with four ion binding sites is K{sup +} selective, whereas those with two or three are nonselective and permeate Na{sup +} and K{sup +} equally well. These observations strongly suggest that the number of contiguous ion binding sites in a single file is the key determinant of the channel's selectivity properties and the presence of four sites in K{sup +} channels is essential for highly selective and efficient permeation of K{sup +} ions.

  10. The role of proton mobility in determining the energy-resolved vibrational activation/dissociation channels of N-glycopeptide ions.

    PubMed

    Kolli, Venkata; Roth, Heidi A; De La Cruz, Gabriela; Fernando, Ganga S; Dodds, Eric D

    2015-10-01

    Site-specific glycoproteomic analysis largely hinges on the use of tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) to identify glycopeptides. Experiments of this type are usually aimed at drawing connections between individual oligosaccharide structures and their specific sites of attachment to the polypeptide chain. These determinations inherently require ion dissociation methods capable of interrogating both the monosaccharide and amino acid connectivity of the glycopeptide. Collision-induced dissociation (CID) shows potential to satisfy this requirement, as the vibrational activation/dissociation of protonated N-glycopeptides has been observed to access cleavage of either glycosidic bonds of the glycan or amide bonds of the peptide in an energy-resolved manner. Nevertheless, the relative energy requirement for these fragmentation pathways varies considerably among analytes. This research addresses the influence of proton mobility on the vibrational energy necessary to achieve either glycan or peptide cleavage in a collection of protonated N-glycopeptide ions. While greater proton mobility of the precursor ion was found to correlate with lower energy requirements for precursor ion depletion and appearance of glycosidic fragments, the vibrational energy deposition necessary for appearance of peptide backbone fragments showed no relation to the precursor ion proton mobility. These results are consistent with observations suggesting that peptide fragments arise from an intermediate fragment which is generally of lower proton mobility than the precursor ion. Such findings have potential to facilitate the rational selection of CID conditions which are best suited to provide either glycan or peptide cleavage products in MS/MS based N-glycoproteomic analysis.

  11. Computational Tools for Interpreting Ion Channel pH-Dependence

    PubMed Central

    Sazanavets, Ivan; Warwicker, Jim

    2015-01-01

    Activity in many biological systems is mediated by pH, involving proton titratable groups with pKas in the relevant pH range. Experimental analysis of pH-dependence in proteins focusses on particular sidechains, often with mutagenesis of histidine, due to its pKa near to neutral pH. The key question for algorithms that predict pKas is whether they are sufficiently accurate to effectively narrow the search for molecular determinants of pH-dependence. Through analysis of inwardly rectifying potassium (Kir) channels and acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs), mutational effects on pH-dependence are probed, distinguishing between groups described as pH-coupled or pH-sensor. Whereas mutation can lead to a shift in transition pH between open and closed forms for either type of group, only for pH-sensor groups does mutation modulate the amplitude of the transition. It is shown that a hybrid Finite Difference Poisson-Boltzmann (FDPB) – Debye-Hückel continuum electrostatic model can filter mutation candidates, providing enrichment for key pH-coupled and pH-sensor residues in both ASICs and Kir channels, in comparison with application of FDPB alone. PMID:25915903

  12. Computational Tools for Interpreting Ion Channel pH-Dependence.

    PubMed

    Sazanavets, Ivan; Warwicker, Jim

    2015-01-01

    Activity in many biological systems is mediated by pH, involving proton titratable groups with pKas in the relevant pH range. Experimental analysis of pH-dependence in proteins focusses on particular sidechains, often with mutagenesis of histidine, due to its pKa near to neutral pH. The key question for algorithms that predict pKas is whether they are sufficiently accurate to effectively narrow the search for molecular determinants of pH-dependence. Through analysis of inwardly rectifying potassium (Kir) channels and acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs), mutational effects on pH-dependence are probed, distinguishing between groups described as pH-coupled or pH-sensor. Whereas mutation can lead to a shift in transition pH between open and closed forms for either type of group, only for pH-sensor groups does mutation modulate the amplitude of the transition. It is shown that a hybrid Finite Difference Poisson-Boltzmann (FDPB) - Debye-Hückel continuum electrostatic model can filter mutation candidates, providing enrichment for key pH-coupled and pH-sensor residues in both ASICs and Kir channels, in comparison with application of FDPB alone. PMID:25915903

  13. Structure of the TRPA1 ion channel suggests regulatory mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Paulsen, Candice E.; Armache, Jean-Paul; Gao, Yuan; Cheng, Yifan; Julius, David

    2015-01-01

    The TRPA1 ion channel (a.k.a the ‘wasabi receptor’) is a detector of noxious chemical agents encountered in our environment or produced endogenously during tissue injury or drug metabolism. These include a broad class of electrophiles that activate the channel through covalent protein modification. TRPA1 antagonists hold potential for treating neurogenic inflammatory conditions provoked or exacerbated by irritant exposure. Despite compelling reasons to understand TRPA1 function, structural mechanisms underlying channel regulation remain obscure. Here, we use single-particle electron cryo-microscopy to determine the structure of full-length human TRPA1 to ~4Å resolution in the presence of pharmacophores, including a potent antagonist. A number of unexpected features are revealed, including an extensive coiled-coil assembly domain stabilized by polyphosphate co-factors and a highly integrated nexus that converges on an unpredicted TRP-like allosteric domain. These findings provide novel insights into mechanisms of TRPA1 regulation, and establish a blueprint for structure-based design of analgesic and anti-inflammatory agents. PMID:25855297

  14. Computational Tools for Interpreting Ion Channel pH-Dependence.

    PubMed

    Sazanavets, Ivan; Warwicker, Jim

    2015-01-01

    Activity in many biological systems is mediated by pH, involving proton titratable groups with pKas in the relevant pH range. Experimental analysis of pH-dependence in proteins focusses on particular sidechains, often with mutagenesis of histidine, due to its pKa near to neutral pH. The key question for algorithms that predict pKas is whether they are sufficiently accurate to effectively narrow the search for molecular determinants of pH-dependence. Through analysis of inwardly rectifying potassium (Kir) channels and acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs), mutational effects on pH-dependence are probed, distinguishing between groups described as pH-coupled or pH-sensor. Whereas mutation can lead to a shift in transition pH between open and closed forms for either type of group, only for pH-sensor groups does mutation modulate the amplitude of the transition. It is shown that a hybrid Finite Difference Poisson-Boltzmann (FDPB) - Debye-Hückel continuum electrostatic model can filter mutation candidates, providing enrichment for key pH-coupled and pH-sensor residues in both ASICs and Kir channels, in comparison with application of FDPB alone.

  15. Mass-dependent channel electron multiplier operation. [for ion detection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fields, S. A.; Burch, J. L.; Oran, W. A.

    1977-01-01

    The absolute counting efficiency and pulse height distributions of a continuous-channel electron multiplier used in the detection of hydrogen, argon and xenon ions are assessed. The assessment technique, which involves the post-acceleration of 8-eV ion beams to energies from 100 to 4000 eV, provides information on counting efficiency versus post-acceleration voltage characteristics over a wide range of ion mass. The charge pulse height distributions for H2 (+), A (+) and Xe (+) were measured by operating the experimental apparatus in a marginally gain-saturated mode. It was found that gain saturation occurs at lower channel multiplier operating voltages for light ions such as H2 (+) than for the heavier ions A (+) and Xe (+), suggesting that the technique may be used to discriminate between these two classes of ions in electrostatic analyzers.

  16. Critical issues in multiscale simulation of ion channels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jakobsson, Eric

    2004-03-01

    The ion permeation process in individual protein channels involves phenomena over a wide range of time scales, ranging from the sub-femtosecond time scale for electronic polarization and to hundreds of milliseconds for the slowest gating motions---a range of about 15 powers of ten. Even with Moore's Law increasing computer power by a factor of two every 18 months, brute force computing will not suffice; we must develop integrated multiscale methods. This paper reports on our recent work in several aspects of multiscale simulation of ion permeation: 1) Accurate calculation of protonation states for titratable residues, as exemplified by calculation of ionization states of residues in the permeation pathway of bacterial porin. In this channel with multiple titratable residues we find that comprehensive accounting for all combinations of electrostatic interactions is necessary to compute correct protonation states, and show also that the correct protonation assignment is necessary for the crystal structure to be stable in molecular dynamics simulations, 2) Reduced dimension Brownian dynamics simulations of ion random walk in ion channels, as exemplified by simulations of potassium channels, 3) software engineering for integrated automated multiscale calculations of ion flux, and 4) extension of simulation methodology to the simulation of synthetic channels, as exemplified by simulations of water and ion permeation and structures in simulated nanotubes. In the nanotube simulations we find that confinement in a nanotube of a critical diameter induces high-temperature freezing of water, suggesting a possible method for gating nanoscale proton-conducting nanoscale semiconductors.

  17. The venom of the fishing spider Dolomedes sulfurous contains various neurotoxins acting on voltage-activated ion channels in rat dorsal root ganglion neurons.

    PubMed

    Wang, Hengyun; Zhang, Fan; Li, Dan; Xu, Shiyan; He, Juan; Yu, Hai; Li, Jiayan; Liu, Zhonghua; Liang, Songping

    2013-04-01

    Dolomedes sulfurous is a venomous spider distributed in the south of China and characterized with feeding on fish. The venom exhibits great diversity and contains hundreds of peptides as revealed by off-line RP-HPLC/MALDI-TOF-MS analysis. The venom peptides followed a triple-modal distribution, with 40.7% of peptides falling in the mass range of 1000-3000 Da, 25.6% peptides in the 7000-9000 Da range and 23.5% peptides in the 3000-5000 Da range. This distribution modal is rather different from these of peptides from other spider venoms analyzed. The venom could inhibit voltage-activated Na(+), K(+) and Ca(2+) channels in rat DRG neurons as revealed by voltage-clamp analysis. Significantly, the venom exhibited inhibitory effects on TTX-R Na(+) and T-type Ca(2+) currents, suggesting that there exist both channel antagonists which might be valuable tools for investigation of both channels and drug development. Additionally, intrathoracically injection of venom could cause serve neurotoxic effects on zebrafish and death at higher concentrations. The LD50 value was calculated to be 28.8 μg/g body weight. Our results indicated that the venom of D. sulfurous contain diverse neurotoxins which serve to capture prey. Intensive studies will be necessary to investigate the structures and functions of specific peptides of the venom in the future.

  18. The Ion Channel Inverse Problem: Neuroinformatics Meets Biophysics

    PubMed Central

    Cannon, Robert C; D'Alessandro, Giampaolo

    2006-01-01

    Ion channels are the building blocks of the information processing capability of neurons: any realistic computational model of a neuron must include reliable and effective ion channel components. Sophisticated statistical and computational tools have been developed to study the ion channel structure–function relationship, but this work is rarely incorporated into the models used for single neurons or small networks. The disjunction is partly a matter of convention. Structure–function studies typically use a single Markov model for the whole channel whereas until recently whole-cell modeling software has focused on serial, independent, two-state subunits that can be represented by the Hodgkin–Huxley equations. More fundamentally, there is a difference in purpose that prevents models being easily reused. Biophysical models are typically developed to study one particular aspect of channel gating in detail, whereas neural modelers require broad coverage of the entire range of channel behavior that is often best achieved with approximate representations that omit structural features that cannot be adequately constrained. To bridge the gap so that more recent channel data can be used in neural models requires new computational infrastructure for bringing together diverse sources of data to arrive at best-fit models for whole-cell modeling. We review the current state of channel modeling and explore the developments needed for its conclusions to be integrated into whole-cell modeling. PMID:16933979

  19. The ion channel inverse problem: neuroinformatics meets biophysics.

    PubMed

    Cannon, Robert C; D'Alessandro, Giampaolo

    2006-08-25

    Ion channels are the building blocks of the information processing capability of neurons: any realistic computational model of a neuron must include reliable and effective ion channel components. Sophisticated statistical and computational tools have been developed to study the ion channel structure-function relationship, but this work is rarely incorporated into the models used for single neurons or small networks. The disjunction is partly a matter of convention. Structure-function studies typically use a single Markov model for the whole channel whereas until recently whole-cell modeling software has focused on serial, independent, two-state subunits that can be represented by the Hodgkin-Huxley equations. More fundamentally, there is a difference in purpose that prevents models being easily reused. Biophysical models are typically developed to study one particular aspect of channel gating in detail, whereas neural modelers require broad coverage of the entire range of channel behavior that is often best achieved with approximate representations that omit structural features that cannot be adequately constrained. To bridge the gap so that more recent channel data can be used in neural models requires new computational infrastructure for bringing together diverse sources of data to arrive at best-fit models for whole-cell modeling. We review the current state of channel modeling and explore the developments needed for its conclusions to be integrated into whole-cell modeling. PMID:16933979

  20. Noise analysis of ionization kinetics in a protein ion channel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bezrukov, Sergey M.; Kasianowicz, John J.

    1993-08-01

    We observed excess current noise generated by the reversible ionization of sites in a transmembrane protein ion channel, which is analogous to current fluctuations found recently in solid state microstructure electronic devices. Specifically the current through fully open single channels formed by Staphylococcus aureus α-toxin shows pH dependent fluctuations. We show that noise analysis of the open channel current can be used to evaluate the ionization rate constants, the number of sites participating in the ionization process, and the effect of recharging a single site on the channel conductance.

  1. Hydrogen peroxide affects ion channels in lily pollen grain protoplasts.

    PubMed

    Breygina, M A; Abramochkin, D V; Maksimov, N M; Yermakov, I P

    2016-09-01

    Ion homeostasis plays a central role in polarisation and polar growth. In several cell types ion channels are controlled by reactive oxygen species (ROS). One of the most important cells in the plant life cycle is the male gametophyte, which grows under the tight control of both ion fluxes and ROS balance. The precise relationship between these two factors in pollen tubes has not been completely elucidated, and in pollen grains it has never been studied to date. In the present study we used a simple model - protoplasts obtained from lily pollen grains at the early germination stage - to reveal the effect of H2 O2 on cation fluxes crucial for pollen germination. Here we present direct evidence for two ROS-sensitive currents on the pollen grain plasma membrane: the hyperpolarisation-activated calcium current, which is strongly enhanced by H2 O2 , and the outward potassium current, which is modestly enhanced by H2 O2 . We used low concentrations of H2 O2 that do not cause an intracellular oxidative burst and do not damage cells, as demonstrated with fluorescent staining. PMID:27115728

  2. Ion Channel Gene Expression in the Inner Ear

    PubMed Central

    Sokolowski, Bernd H.A.; Morton, Cynthia C.; Giersch, Anne B.S.

    2007-01-01

    The ion channel genome is still being defined despite numerous publications on the subject. The ion channel transcriptome is even more difficult to assess. Using high-throughput computational tools, we surveyed all available inner ear cDNA libraries to identify genes coding for ion channels. We mapped over 100,000 expressed sequence tags (ESTs) derived from human cochlea, mouse organ of Corti, mouse and zebrafish inner ear, and rat vestibular end organs to Homo sapiens, Mus musculus, Danio rerio, and Rattus norvegicus genomes. A survey of EST data alone reveals that at least a third of the ion channel genome is expressed in the inner ear, with highest expression occurring in hair cell-enriched mouse organ of Corti and rat vestibule. Our data and comparisons with other experimental techniques that measure gene expression show that every method has its limitations and does not per se provide a complete coverage of the inner ear ion channelome. In addition, the data show that most genes produce alternative transcripts with the same spectrum across multiple organisms, no ion channel gene variants are unique to the inner ear, and many splice variants have yet to be annotated. Our high-throughput approach offers a qualitative computational and experimental analysis of ion channel genes in inner ear cDNA collections. A lack of data and incomplete gene annotations prevent both rigorous statistical analyses and comparisons of entire ion channelomes derived from different tissues and organisms. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10162-007-0082-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users. PMID:17541769

  3. Targeting ion channels for the treatment of gastrointestinal motility disorders

    PubMed Central

    Beyder, Arthur

    2012-01-01

    Gastrointestinal (GI) functional and motility disorders are highly prevalent and responsible for long-term morbidity and sometimes mortality in the affected patients. It is estimated that one in three persons has a GI functional or motility disorder. However, diagnosis and treatment of these widespread conditions remains challenging. This partly stems from the multisystem pathophysiology, including processing abnormalities in the central and peripheral (enteric) nervous systems and motor dysfunction in the GI wall. Interstitial cells of Cajal (ICCs) are central to the generation and propagation of the cyclical electrical activity and smooth muscle cells (SMCs) are responsible for electromechanical coupling. In these and other excitable cells voltage-sensitive ion channels (VSICs) are the main molecular units that generate and regulate electrical activity. Thus, VSICs are potential targets for intervention in GI motility disorders. Research in this area has flourished with advances in the experimental methods in molecular and structural biology and electrophysiology. However, our understanding of the molecular mechanisms responsible for the complex and variable electrical behavior of ICCs and SMCs remains incomplete. In this review, we focus on the slow waves and action potentials in ICCs and SMCs. We describe the constituent VSICs, which include voltage-gated sodium (NaV), calcium (CaV), potassium (KV, KCa), chloride (Cl–) and nonselective ion channels (transient receptor potentials [TRPs]). VSICs have significant structural homology and common functional mechanisms. We outline the approaches and limitations and provide examples of targeting VSICs at the pores, voltage sensors and alternatively spliced sites. Rational drug design can come from an integrated view of the structure and mechanisms of gating and activation by voltage or mechanical stress. PMID:22282704

  4. Ion fluxes through nanopores and transmembrane channels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bordin, J. R.; Diehl, A.; Barbosa, M. C.; Levin, Y.

    2012-03-01

    We introduce an implicit solvent Molecular Dynamics approach for calculating ionic fluxes through narrow nanopores and transmembrane channels. The method relies on a dual-control-volume grand-canonical molecular dynamics (DCV-GCMD) simulation and the analytical solution for the electrostatic potential inside a cylindrical nanopore recently obtained by Levin [Europhys. Lett.EULEEJ0295-507510.1209/epl/i2006-10240-4 76, 163 (2006)]. The theory is used to calculate the ionic fluxes through an artificial transmembrane channel which mimics the antibacterial gramicidin A channel. Both current-voltage and current-concentration relations are calculated under various experimental conditions. We show that our results are comparable to the characteristics associated to the gramicidin A pore, especially the existence of two binding sites inside the pore and the observed saturation in the current-concentration profiles.

  5. Activation and cooperative multi-ion block of single nicotinic-acetylcholine channel currents of Ascaris muscle by the tetrahydropyrimidine anthelmintic, morantel.

    PubMed Central

    Evans, A. M.; Martin, R. J.

    1996-01-01

    1. We have investigated activation and block, by the tetrahydropyrimidine anthelmintic, morantel, of nicotinic-acetylcholine receptor (AChR) currents in membrane vesicles isolated from somatic muscle cells of the nematode parasite Ascaris suum. Standard single-channel recording techniques were employed. Morantel in the pipette (6 nM to 600 microM), activated single nicotinic AChR currents. 2. Kinetic properties of the main-conductance state of morantel-activated currents were investigated in detail throughout the concentration range, 0.6 microM to 600 microM. Open-time distributions were best fitted by a single exponential. Mean open-times were slightly voltage-dependent, increasing from 0.9 ms at +75 mV to 1.74 ms at -75 mV in the presence of 0.6 microM morantel. At low concentrations, closed-time distributions were best fitted by the sum of two or three exponential components. 3. As the concentration of morantel was increased (100-600 microM), fast-flickering open channel-block was observed at positive potentials, even though morantel, a cation, was only present at the extracellular surface of the membrane. The block rate was dependent on morantel concentration and both block rate and duration of block increased as the potential became less positive. A simple channel-block mechanism did not explain properties of this block. 4. At negative potentials, as the morantel concentration increased, a complex block was observed. With increases in morantel concentration two additional gap components appeared in closed-time distributions: one was short with a duration (approximately 13 ms) independent of morantel concentration; the other was long with a duration that increased with morantel concentration (up to many minutes). In combination, these two components produced a marked reduction in probability of channel opening (Po) with increasing morantel concentration. The relationship between the degrees of block and morantel concentration had a Hill coefficient of 1

  6. Aluminium and hydrogen ions inhibit a mechanosensory calcium-selective cation channel

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ding, J. P.; Pickard, B. G.

    1993-01-01

    The tension-dependent activity of mechanosensory calcium-selective cation channels in excised plasmalemmal patches from onion bulb scale epidermis is modulated by pH in the physiologically meaningful range between 4.5 and 7.2. It is rapidly lowered by lowering pH and rapidly raised by raising pH. Channel activity is effectively inhibited by low levels of aluminium ions and activity can be partially restored by washing for a few minutes. We suggest that under normal conditions the sensitivity of the mechanosensory channels to pH of the wall free space plays important roles in regulation of plant activities such as growth. We further suggest that, when levels of acid and aluminium ions in the soil solution are high, they might inhibit similar sensory channels in cells of the root tip, thus contributing critically to the acid soil syndrome.

  7. Stochastic differential equation models for ion channel noise in Hodgkin-Huxley neurons.

    PubMed

    Goldwyn, Joshua H; Imennov, Nikita S; Famulare, Michael; Shea-Brown, Eric

    2011-04-01

    The random transitions of ion channels between conducting and nonconducting states generate a source of internal fluctuations in a neuron, known as channel noise. The standard method for modeling the states of ion channels nonlinearly couples continuous-time Markov chains to a differential equation for voltage. Beginning with the work of R. F. Fox and Y.-N. Lu [Phys. Rev. E 49, 3421 (1994)], there have been attempts to generate simpler models that use stochastic differential equation (SDEs) to approximate the stochastic spiking activity produced by Markov chain models. Recent numerical investigations, however, have raised doubts that SDE models can capture the stochastic dynamics of Markov chain models.We analyze three SDE models that have been proposed as approximations to the Markov chain model: one that describes the states of the ion channels and two that describe the states of the ion channel subunits. We show that the former channel-based approach can capture the distribution of channel noise and its effects on spiking in a Hodgkin-Huxley neuron model to a degree not previously demonstrated, but the latter two subunit-based approaches cannot. Our analysis provides intuitive and mathematical explanations for why this is the case. The temporal correlation in the channel noise is determined by the combinatorics of bundling subunits into channels, but the subunit-based approaches do not correctly account for this structure. Our study confirms and elucidates the findings of previous numerical investigations of subunit-based SDE models. Moreover, it presents evidence that Markov chain models of the nonlinear, stochastic dynamics of neural membranes can be accurately approximated by SDEs. This finding opens a door to future modeling work using SDE techniques to further illuminate the effects of ion channel fluctuations on electrically active cells. PMID:21599202

  8. Emerging concepts in the pharmacogenomics of arrhythmias: ion channel trafficking

    PubMed Central

    Harkcom, William T; Abbott, Geoffrey W

    2010-01-01

    Continuous, rhythmic beating of the heart requires exquisite control of expression, localization and function of cardiac ion channels – the foundations of the cardiac myocyte action potential. Disruption of any of these processes can alter the shape of the action potential, predisposing to cardiac arrhythmias. These arrhythmias can manifest in a variety of ways depending on both the channels involved and the type of disruption (i.e., gain or loss of function). As much as 1% of the population of developed countries is affected by cardiac arrhythmia each year, and a detailed understanding of the mechanism of each arrhythmia is crucial to developing and prescribing the proper therapies. Many of the antiarrhythmic drugs currently on the market were developed before the underlying cause of the arrhythmia was known, and as a result lack specificity, causing side effects. The majority of the available drugs target the conductance of cardiac ion channels, either by blocking or enhancing current through the channel. In recent years, however, it has become apparent that specific targeting of ion channel conductance may not be the most effective means for treatment. Here we review increasing evidence that suggests defects in ion channel trafficking play an important role in the etiology of arrhythmias, and small molecule approaches to correct trafficking defects will likely play an important role in the future of arrhythmia treatment. PMID:20670193

  9. EPR Studies of Gating Mechanisms in Ion Channels

    PubMed Central

    Chakrapani, Sudha

    2015-01-01

    Ion channels open and close in response to diverse stimuli, and the molecular events underlying these processes are extensively modulated by ligands of both endogenous and exogenous origin. In the past decade, high-resolution structures of several channel types have been solved, providing unprecedented details of the molecular architecture of these membrane proteins. Intrinsic conformational flexibility of ion channels critically governs their functions. However, the dynamics underlying gating mechanisms and modulations are obscured in the information from crystal structures. While nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopic methods allow direct measurements of protein dynamics, they are limited by the large size of these membrane protein assemblies in detergent micelles or lipid membranes. Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy has emerged as a key biophysical tool to characterize structural dynamics of ion channels and to determine stimulus-driven conformational transition between functional states in a physiological environment. This review will provide an overview of the recent advances in the field of voltage- and ligand-gated channels and highlight some of the challenges and controversies surrounding the structural information available. It will discuss general methods used in site-directed spin labeling and EPR spectroscopy and illustrate how findings from these studies have narrowed the gap between high-resolution structures and gating mechanisms in membranes, and have thereby helped reconcile seemingly disparate models of ion channel function. PMID:25950970

  10. The 22nd Ion Channel Meeting, September 2011, France

    PubMed Central

    Goaillard, Jean-Marc; Groc, Laurent; Lévi, Sabine; Mantegazza, Massimo; Matifat, Fabrice; Morel, Jean-Luc; Baron-Forster, Anne

    2012-01-01

    The 22nd Ion Channel Meeting was organized by the French Ion Channel Society (Association Canaux Ioniques) from the 25th to the 28th of September 2011 on the French Riviera (Giens). This year again, more than one hundred researchers from France, Europe and extra-European countries gathered to present and discuss their recent advances and future challenges in the ion channels and transporters field. The scientific committee organized a plenary lecture and five thematic symposia by inviting international researchers to present their recent outstanding work on themes as diverse as muscular channelopathies, regulation of channels by extracellular matrix, receptor-channels interactions, localization and distribution of ion channels, their involvement in the cell life and death, and finally how they participate in the evolution and adaptability of cellular excitability. These presentations are summarized in this meeting report. Two sessions of oral communications selected from submitted abstracts and two poster sessions were also organized to present the ongoing work of young researchers worldwide. PMID:22647366

  11. Metal bridges to probe membrane ion channel structure and function.

    PubMed

    Linsdell, Paul

    2015-06-01

    Ion channels are integral membrane proteins that undergo important conformational changes as they open and close to control transmembrane flux of different ions. The molecular underpinnings of these dynamic conformational rearrangements are difficult to ascertain using current structural methods. Several functional approaches have been used to understand two- and three-dimensional dynamic structures of ion channels, based on the reactivity of the cysteine side-chain. Two-dimensional structural rearrangements, such as changes in the accessibility of different parts of the channel protein to the bulk solution on either side of the membrane, are used to define movements within the permeation pathway, such as those that open and close ion channel gates. Three-dimensional rearrangements – in which two different parts of the channel protein change their proximity during conformational changes – are probed by cross-linking or bridging together two cysteine side-chains. Particularly useful in this regard are so-called metal bridges formed when two or more cysteine side-chains form a high-affinity binding site for metal ions such as Cd2+ or Zn2+. This review describes the use of these different techniques for the study of ion channel dynamic structure and function, including a comprehensive review of the different kinds of conformational rearrangements that have been studied in different channel types via the identification of intra-molecular metal bridges. Factors that influence the affinities and conformational sensitivities of these metal bridges, as well as the kinds of structural inferences that can be drawn from these studies, are also discussed. PMID:26103632

  12. Metal bridges to probe membrane ion channel structure and function.

    PubMed

    Linsdell, Paul

    2015-06-01

    Ion channels are integral membrane proteins that undergo important conformational changes as they open and close to control transmembrane flux of different ions. The molecular underpinnings of these dynamic conformational rearrangements are difficult to ascertain using current structural methods. Several functional approaches have been used to understand two- and three-dimensional dynamic structures of ion channels, based on the reactivity of the cysteine side-chain. Two-dimensional structural rearrangements, such as changes in the accessibility of different parts of the channel protein to the bulk solution on either side of the membrane, are used to define movements within the permeation pathway, such as those that open and close ion channel gates. Three-dimensional rearrangements – in which two different parts of the channel protein change their proximity during conformational changes – are probed by cross-linking or bridging together two cysteine side-chains. Particularly useful in this regard are so-called metal bridges formed when two or more cysteine side-chains form a high-affinity binding site for metal ions such as Cd2+ or Zn2+. This review describes the use of these different techniques for the study of ion channel dynamic structure and function, including a comprehensive review of the different kinds of conformational rearrangements that have been studied in different channel types via the identification of intra-molecular metal bridges. Factors that influence the affinities and conformational sensitivities of these metal bridges, as well as the kinds of structural inferences that can be drawn from these studies, are also discussed.

  13. Mechanism of activation of the prokaryotic channel ELIC by propylamine: a single-channel study.

    PubMed

    Marabelli, Alessandro; Lape, Remigijus; Sivilotti, Lucia

    2015-01-01

    Prokaryotic channels, such as Erwinia chrysanthemi ligand-gated ion channel (ELIC) and Gloeobacter violaceus ligand-gated ion channel, give key structural information for the pentameric ligand-gated ion channel family, which includes nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. ELIC, a cationic channel from E. chrysanthemi, is particularly suitable for single-channel recording because of its high conductance. Here, we report on the kinetic properties of ELIC channels expressed in human embryonic kidney 293 cells. Single-channel currents elicited by the full agonist propylamine (0.5-50 mM) in outside-out patches at -60 mV were analyzed by direct maximum likelihood fitting of kinetic schemes to the idealized data. Several mechanisms were tested, and their adequacy was judged by comparing the predictions of the best fit obtained with the observable features of the experimental data. These included open-/shut-time distributions and the time course of macroscopic propylamine-activated currents elicited by fast theta-tube applications (50-600 ms, 1-50 mM, -100 mV). Related eukaryotic channels, such as glycine and nicotinic receptors, when fully liganded open with high efficacy to a single open state, reached via a preopening intermediate. The simplest adequate description of their activation, the "Flip" model, assumes a concerted transition to a single intermediate state at high agonist concentration. In contrast, ELIC open-time distributions at saturating propylamine showed multiple components. Thus, more than one open state must be accessible to the fully liganded channel. The "Primed" model allows opening from multiple fully liganded intermediates. The best fits of this type of model showed that ELIC maximum open probability (99%) is reached when at least two and probably three molecules of agonist have bound to the channel. The overall efficacy with which the fully liganded channel opens was ∼ 102 (∼ 20 for α1β glycine channels). The microscopic affinity for the agonist

  14. Molecular Dynamical Study on Ion Channeling through Peptide Nanotube

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sumiya, Norihito; Igami, Daiki; Takeda, Kyozaburo

    2011-12-01

    We theoretically study the possibility of ion channeling through peptide nanotubes (PNTs). After designing the minimal peptide nanorings (PNRs) and their aggregated form (peptide nanotubes, PNT) computationally, we carry out molecular dynamics (MD) calculations for cation channeling. The present MD calculations show that cation channeling through PNTs occurs. Furthermore, inter-ring hydrogen bonds (HBs) survive and maintain the tubular form of PNTs during cation channeling. We introduce mobility such that cation channeling can be evaluated quantitatively. As the ionic radius of the cation becomes smaller, the effective relaxation time τ becomes larger. Accordingly, mobilities of 10-2˜10-3[cm2/volt/sec] are calculated. In contrast, when an anion (F-) passes through the PNT, the inter-ring HBs are broken, thus inducing breakdown of the peptide backbone. Consequently, H atoms from the broken HBs surround the channeling anion (F-) and halt its motion.

  15. Structural basis of open channel block in a prokaryotic pentameric ligand-gated ion channel.

    PubMed

    Hilf, Ricarda J C; Bertozzi, Carlo; Zimmermann, Iwan; Reiter, Alwin; Trauner, Dirk; Dutzler, Raimund

    2010-11-01

    The flow of ions through cation-selective members of the pentameric ligand-gated ion channel family is inhibited by a structurally diverse class of molecules that bind to the transmembrane pore in the open state of the protein. To obtain insight into the mechanism of channel block, we have investigated the binding of positively charged inhibitors to the open channel of the bacterial homolog GLIC by using X-ray crystallography and electrophysiology. Our studies reveal the location of two regions for interactions, with larger blockers binding in the center of the membrane and divalent transition metal ions binding to the narrow intracellular pore entry. The results provide a structural foundation for understanding the interactions of the channel with inhibitors that is relevant for the entire family.

  16. Toxic β-Amyloid (Aβ) Alzheimer's Ion Channels: From Structure to Function and Design

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nussinov, Ruth

    2012-02-01

    Full-length amyloid beta peptides (Aβ1-40/42) form neuritic amyloid plaques in Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients and are implicated in AD pathology. Recent biophysical and cell biological studies suggest a direct mechanism of amyloid beta toxicity -- ion channel mediated loss of calcium homeostasis. Truncated amyloid beta fragments (Aβ11-42 and Aβ17-42), commonly termed as non-amyloidogenic are also found in amyloid plaques of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and in the preamyloid lesions of Down's syndrome (DS), a model system for early onset AD study. Very little is known about the structure and activity of these smaller peptides although they could be key AD and DS pathological agents. Using complementary techniques of explicit solvent molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, atomic force microscopy (AFM), channel conductance measurements, cell calcium uptake assays, neurite degeneration and cell death assays, we have shown that non-amyloidogenic Aβ9-42 and Aβ17-42 peptides form ion channels with loosely attached subunits and elicit single channel conductances. The subunits appear mobile suggesting insertion of small oligomers, followed by dynamic channel assembly and dissociation. These channels allow calcium uptake in APP-deficient cells and cause neurite degeneration in human cortical neurons. Channel conductance, calcium uptake and neurite degeneration are selectively inhibited by zinc, a blocker of amyloid ion channel activity. Thus truncated Aβ fragments could account for undefined roles played by full length Aβs and provide a novel mechanism of AD and DS pathology. The emerging picture from our large-scale simulations is that toxic ion channels formed by β-sheets are highly polymorphic, and spontaneously break into loosely interacting dynamic units (though still maintaining ion channel structures as imaged with AFM), that associate and dissociate leading to toxic ion flux. This sharply contrasts intact conventional gated ion channels that consist of tightly

  17. Divalent ion trapping inside potassium channels of human T lymphocytes

    PubMed Central

    1989-01-01

    Using the patch-clamp whole-cell recording technique, we investigated the influence of external Ca2+, Ba2+, K+, Rb+, and internal Ca2+ on the rate of K+ channel inactivation in the human T lymphocyte-derived cell line, Jurkat E6-1. Raising external Ca2+ or Ba2+, or reducing external K+, accelerated the rate of the K+ current decay during a depolarizing voltage pulse. External Ba2+ also produced a use-dependent block of the K+ channels by entering the open channel and becoming trapped inside. Raising internal Ca2+ accelerated inactivation at lower concentrations than external Ca2+, but increasing the Ca2+ buffering with BAPTA did not affect inactivation. Raising [K+]o or adding Rb+ slowed inactivation by competing with divalent ions. External Rb+ also produced a use-dependent removal of block of K+ channels loaded with Ba2+ or Ca2+. From the removal of this block we found that under normal conditions approximately 25% of the channels were loaded with Ca2+, whereas under conditions with 10 microM internal Ca2+ the proportion of channels loaded with Ca2+ increased to approximately 50%. Removing all the divalent cations from the external and internal solution resulted in the induction of a non-selective, voltage-independent conductance. We conclude that Ca2+ ions from the outside or the inside can bind to a site at the K+ channel and thereby block the channel or accelerate inactivation. PMID:2786551

  18. Ion selectivity and gating mechanisms of FNT channels

    PubMed Central

    Waight, Andrew B.; Czyzewski, Bryan K.; Wang, Da-Neng

    2013-01-01

    The phospholipid bilayer has evolved to be a protective and selective barrier by which the cell maintains high concentrations of life sustaining organic and inorganic material. As gatekeepers responsible for an immense amount of bidirectional chemical traffic between the cytoplasm and extracellular milieu, ion channels have been studied in detail since their postulated existence nearly three-quarters of a century ago. Over the past fifteen years, we have begun to understand how selective permeability can be achieved for both cationic and anionic ions. Our mechanistic knowledge has expanded recently with studies of a large family of anion channels, the Formate Nitrite Transport (FNT) family. This family has proven amenable to structural studies at a resolution high enough to reveal intimate details of ion selectivity and gating. With five representative members having yielded a total of 15 crystal structures, this family represents one of the richest sources of structural information for anion channels. PMID:23773802

  19. Functional properties of ion channels and transporters in tumour vascularization

    PubMed Central

    Fiorio Pla, Alessandra; Munaron, Luca

    2014-01-01

    Vascularization is crucial for solid tumour growth and invasion, providing metabolic support and sustaining metastatic dissemination. It is now accepted that ion channels and transporters play a significant role in driving the cancer growth at all stages. They may represent novel therapeutic, diagnostic and prognostic targets for anti-cancer therapies. On the other hand, although the expression and role of ion channels and transporters in the vascular endothelium is well recognized and subject of recent reviews, only recently has their involvement in tumour vascularization been recognized. Here, we review the current literature on ion channels and transporters directly involved in the angiogenic process. Particular interest will be focused on tumour angiogenesis in vivo as well as in the different steps that drive this process in vitro, such as endothelial cell proliferation, migration, adhesion and tubulogenesis. Moreover, we compare the ‘transportome’ system of tumour vascular network with the physiological one. PMID:24493751

  20. Cyclic 3'-5'-adenosine monophosphate binds to annexin I and regulates calcium-dependent membrane aggregation and ion channel activity.

    PubMed

    Cohen, B E; Lee, G; Arispe, N; Pollard, H B

    1995-12-27

    The annexin (Anx) gene family comprises a set of calcium-dependent membrane binding proteins, which have been implicated in a wide variety of cellular processes including membrane fusion and calcium channel activity. We report here that cAMP activates Ca(2+)-dependent aggregation of both phosphatidylserine (PS) liposomes and bovine chromaffin granules driven by [des 1-12]annexin I (lipocortin I, Anx1). The mechanism of cAMP action involves an increase in AnxI-dependent cooperativity on the rate of such a reaction without affecting the corresponding k1/2 values. Cyclic AMP causes the values of the Hill coefficient (nH) for AnxI to change from 3 to 6 in both PS liposomes and chromaffin granules. By contrast, ATP inhibits the rate of aggregation activity without affecting the cooperativity or the extent of aggregation process. We were also able to photolabel Anx1 specifically with an 8-azido analogue of cAMP by a calcium-independent process. Such a process is saturable, yielding a Kd = 0.8 microM by Scatchard analysis. Specific displacement occurs in the presence of cAMP and ATP. Finally, we found that cAMP alters the conductance of calcium channels formed by AnxI in planar lipid bilayers. We interpret these data to indicate that AnxI binds both calcium and cAMP independently, and that both actions have functional consequences. This is the first report of a nucleotide binding function for a member of the annexin gene family.

  1. Ion binding in the Open HCN Pacemaker Channel Pore: Fast Mechanisms to Shape “Slow” Channels

    PubMed Central

    Lyashchenko, Alex K.; Tibbs, Gareth R.

    2008-01-01

    IH pacemaker channels carry a mixed monovalent cation current that, under physiological ion gradients, reverses at ∼−34 mV, reflecting a 4:1 selectivity for K over Na. However, IH channels display anomalous behavior with respect to permeant ions such that (a) open channels do not exhibit the outward rectification anticipated assuming independence; (b) gating and selectivity are sensitive to the identity and concentrations of externally presented permeant ions; (c) the channels' ability to carry an inward Na current requires the presence of external K even though K is a minor charge carrier at negative voltages. Here we show that open HCN channels (the hyperpolarization-activated, cyclic nucleotide sensitive pore forming subunits of IH) undergo a fast, voltage-dependent block by intracellular Mg in a manner that suggests the ion binds close to, or within, the selectivity filter. Eliminating internal divalent ion block reveals that (a) the K dependence of conduction is mediated via K occupancy of site(s) within the pore and that asymmetrical occupancy and/or coupling of these sites to flux further shapes ion flow, and (b) the kinetics of equilibration between K-vacant and K-occupied states of the pore (10–20 μs or faster) is close to the ion transit time when the pore is occupied by K alone (∼0.5–3 μs), a finding that indicates that either ion:ion repulsion involving Na is adequate to support flux (albeit at a rate below our detection threshold) and/or the pore undergoes rapid, permeant ion-sensitive equilibration between nonconducting and conducting configurations. Biophysically, further exploration of the Mg site and of interactions of Na and K within the pore will tell us much about the architecture and operation of this unusual pore. Physiologically, these results suggest ways in which “slow” pacemaker channels may contribute dynamically to the shaping of fast processes such as Na-K or Ca action potentials. PMID:18270171

  2. Ion channels in artificial bolaamphiphile membranes deposited on sensor chips: optical detection in an ion-channel-based biosensor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schalkhammer, Thomas G. M.; Weiss-Wichert, Christof; Smetazko, Michaela M.; Valina-Saba, Miriam

    1997-06-01

    Signal amplification using labels should be replaced by a technique monitoring the biochemical binding event directly. The use of a ligand coupled to an artificial gated membrane ion channel is a new promising strategy. Binding of protein- or DNA/RNA-analytes at ligand modified peptide channels results in an on/off-response of the channel current due to channel closure or distortion. The sensor consists of stable transmembrane channels with a ligand bound covalently at the peptide channel entrance, a sensor chip with a photostructurized hydrophobic polymer frame, a hydrophilic ion conducting membrane support, a lipid membrane incorporating the engineered ion channels, and a current amplifier or a sensitive fluorescence monitor. Detection of channel opening or closure can ether be obtained by directly monitoring membrane conductivity or a transient change of pH or ion concentration within the membrane compartment. This change can be induced by electrochemical or optical means and its decay is directly correlated to the permeability of the membrane. The ion concentration in the sub membrane compartment was monitored by incorporation of fluorescent indicator dyes. To obtain the stable sensor membrane the lipid layer had to be attached on a support and the floating of the second lipid membrane on top of the first one had to be prevented. Both problems do not occur using our new circular C44-C76 bolaamphiphilic lipids consisting of a long hydrophobic core region and two hydrophilic heads. Use of maleic ester-head groups enabled us to easily modify the lipids with amines, thioles, alcohols, phosphates, boronic acid as well as fluorescent dyes. The properties of these membranes were studied using LB and fluorescence techniques. Based on this detection principle miniaturized sensor chips with significantly enhanced sensitivity and large multi analyte arrays are under construction.

  3. Identification and characterization of a bacterial hydrosulphide ion channel

    SciTech Connect

    Czyzewski, Bryan K.; Wang, Da-Neng

    2012-10-26

    The hydrosulphide ion (HS{sup -}) and its undissociated form, hydrogen sulphide (H{sub 2}S), which are believed to have been critical to the origin of life on Earth, remain important in physiology and cellular signalling. As a major metabolite in anaerobic bacterial growth, hydrogen sulphide is a product of both assimilatory and dissimilatory sulphate reduction. These pathways can reduce various oxidized sulphur compounds including sulphate, sulphite and thiosulphate. The dissimilatory sulphate reduction pathway uses this molecule as the terminal electron acceptor for anaerobic respiration, in which process it produces excess amounts of H{sub 2}S. The reduction of sulphite is a key intermediate step in all sulphate reduction pathways. In Clostridium and Salmonella, an inducible sulphite reductase is directly linked to the regeneration of NAD{sup +}, which has been suggested to have a role in energy production and growth, as well as in the detoxification of sulphite. Above a certain concentration threshold, both H{sub 2}S and HS{sup -} inhibit cell growth by binding the metal centres of enzymes and cytochrome oxidase, necessitating a release mechanism for the export of this toxic metabolite from the cell. Here we report the identification of a hydrosulphide ion channel in the pathogen Clostridium difficile through a combination of genetic, biochemical and functional approaches. The HS{sup -} channel is a member of the formate/nitrite transport family, in which about 50 hydrosulphide ion channels form a third subfamily alongside those for formate (FocA) and for nitrite (NirC). The hydrosulphide ion channel is permeable to formate and nitrite as well as to HS{sup -} ions. Such polyspecificity can be explained by the conserved ion selectivity filter observed in the channel's crystal structure. The channel has a low open probability and is tightly regulated, to avoid decoupling of the membrane proton gradient.

  4. Tarantula toxins use common surfaces for interacting with Kv and ASIC ion channels.

    PubMed

    Gupta, Kanchan; Zamanian, Maryam; Bae, Chanhyung; Milescu, Mirela; Krepkiy, Dmitriy; Tilley, Drew C; Sack, Jon T; Yarov-Yarovoy, Vladimir; Kim, Jae Il; Swartz, Kenton J

    2015-01-01

    Tarantula toxins that bind to voltage-sensing domains of voltage-activated ion channels are thought to partition into the membrane and bind to the channel within the bilayer. While no structures of a voltage-sensor toxin bound to a channel have been solved, a structural homolog, psalmotoxin (PcTx1), was recently crystalized in complex with the extracellular domain of an acid sensing ion channel (ASIC). In the present study we use spectroscopic, biophysical and computational approaches to compare membrane interaction properties and channel binding surfaces of PcTx1 with the voltage-sensor toxin guangxitoxin (GxTx-1E). Our results show that both types of tarantula toxins interact with membranes, but that voltage-sensor toxins partition deeper into the bilayer. In addition, our results suggest that tarantula toxins have evolved a similar concave surface for clamping onto α-helices that is effective in aqueous or lipidic physical environments. PMID:25948544

  5. In situ, Reversible Gating of a Mechanosensitive Ion Channel through Protein-Lipid Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Dimitrova, Anna; Walko, Martin; Hashemi Shabestari, Maryam; Kumar, Pravin; Huber, Martina; Kocer, Armagan

    2016-01-01

    Understanding the functioning of ion channels, as well as utilizing their properties for biochemical applications requires control over channel activity. Herein we report a reversible control over the functioning of a mechanosensitive ion channel by interfering with its interaction with the lipid bilayer. The mechanosensitive channel of large conductance from Escherichia coli is reconstituted into liposomes and activated to its different sub-open states by titrating lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC) into the lipid bilayer. Activated channels are closed back by the removal of LPC out of the membrane by bovine serum albumin (BSA). Electron paramagnetic resonance spectra showed the LPC-dose-dependent gradual opening of the channel pore in the form of incrementally increasing spin label mobility and decreasing spin-spin interaction. A method to reversibly open and close mechanosensitive channels to distinct sub-open conformations during their journey from the closed to the fully open state enables detailed structural studies to follow the conformational changes during channel functioning. The ability of BSA to revert the action of LPC opens new perspectives for the functional studies of other membrane proteins that are known to be activated by LPC. PMID:27708587

  6. Modeling ion channel dynamics through reflected stochastic differential equations.

    PubMed

    Dangerfield, Ciara E; Kay, David; Burrage, Kevin

    2012-05-01

    Ion channels are membrane proteins that open and close at random and play a vital role in the electrical dynamics of excitable cells. The stochastic nature of the conformational changes these proteins undergo can be significant, however current stochastic modeling methodologies limit the ability to study such systems. Discrete-state Markov chain models are seen as the "gold standard," but are computationally intensive, restricting investigation of stochastic effects to the single-cell level. Continuous stochastic methods that use stochastic differential equations (SDEs) to model the system are more efficient but can lead to simulations that have no biological meaning. In this paper we show that modeling the behavior of ion channel dynamics by a reflected SDE ensures biologically realistic simulations, and we argue that this model follows from the continuous approximation of the discrete-state Markov chain model. Open channel and action potential statistics from simulations of ion channel dynamics using the reflected SDE are compared with those of a discrete-state Markov chain method. Results show that the reflected SDE simulations are in good agreement with the discrete-state approach. The reflected SDE model therefore provides a computationally efficient method to simulate ion channel dynamics while preserving the distributional properties of the discrete-state Markov chain model and also ensuring biologically realistic solutions. This framework could easily be extended to other biochemical reaction networks.

  7. Ion channels and the transduction of light signals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Spalding, E. P.; Evans, M. L. (Principal Investigator)

    2000-01-01

    Studies of biological light-sensing mechanisms are revealing important roles for ion channels. Photosensory transduction in plants is no exception. In this article, the evidence that ion channels perform such signal-transducing functions in the complex array of mechanisms that bring about plant photomorphogenesis will be reviewed and discussed. The examples selected for discussion range from light-gradient detection in unicellular algae to the photocontrol of stem growth in Arabidopsis. Also included is some discussion of the technical aspects of studies that combine electrophysiology and photobiology.

  8. Narrow conducting channels defined by helium ion beam damage

    SciTech Connect

    Cheeks, T.L.; Roukes, M.L.; Scherer, A.; Craighead, H.G.

    1988-11-14

    We have developed a new technique for patterning narrow conducting channels in GaAs-AlGaAs two-dimensional electron gas (2DEG) materials. A low-energy He ion beam successfully patterned narrow wires with little or no etching of the thin GaAs cap. The damage propagation of the He ion even at low energies was sufficient to decrease the mobility of the 2DEG located deep within the structure. The damage can be removed by a low-temperature anneal but remains stable at room temperature. Conducting channels as narrow as 300 nm have been fabricated and measured using low-temperature magnetoresistance.

  9. Mutant SOD1 forms ion channel: implications for ALS pathophysiology.

    PubMed

    Allen, Michael J; Lacroix, Jérome J; Ramachandran, Srinivasan; Capone, Ricardo; Whitlock, Jenny L; Ghadge, Ghanashyam D; Arnsdorf, Morton F; Roos, Raymond P; Lal, Ratnesh

    2012-03-01

    Point mutations in the gene encoding copper-zinc superoxide dismutase (SOD1) impart a gain-of-function to this protein that underlies 20-25% of all familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (FALS) cases. However, the specific mechanism of mutant SOD1 toxicity has remained elusive. Using the complementary techniques of atomic force microscopy (AFM), electrophysiology, and cell and molecular biology, here we examine the structure and activity of A4VSOD1, a mutant SOD1. AFM of A4VSOD1 reconstituted in lipid membrane shows discrete tetrameric pore-like structure with outer and inner diameters 12.2 and 3.0nm respectively. Electrophysiological recordings show distinct ionic conductances across bilayer for A4VSOD1 and none for wildtype SOD1. Mouse neuroblastoma cells exposed to A4VSOD1 undergo membrane depolarization and increases in intracellular calcium. These results provide compelling new evidence that a mutant SOD1 is capable of disrupting cellular homeostasis via an unregulated ion channel mechanism. Such a "toxic channel" mechanism presents a new therapeutic direction for ALS research. PMID:21930207

  10. High-Threshold Mechanosensitive Ion Channels Blocked by a Novel Conopeptide Mediate Pressure-Evoked Pain

    PubMed Central

    Drew, Liam J.; Rugiero, Francois; Cesare, Paolo; Gale, Jonathan E.; Abrahamsen, Bjarke; Bowden, Sarah; Heinzmann, Sebastian; Robinson, Michelle; Brust, Andreas; Colless, Barbara; Lewis, Richard J.; Wood, John N.

    2007-01-01

    Little is known about the molecular basis of somatosensory mechanotransduction in mammals. We screened a library of peptide toxins for effects on mechanically activated currents in cultured dorsal root ganglion neurons. One conopeptide analogue, termed NMB-1 for noxious mechanosensation blocker 1, selectively inhibits (IC50 1 µM) sustained mechanically activated currents in a subset of sensory neurons. Biotinylated NMB-1 retains activity and binds selectively to peripherin-positive nociceptive sensory neurons. The selectivity of NMB-1 was confirmed by the fact that it has no inhibitory effects on voltage-gated sodium and calcium channels, or ligand-gated channels such as acid-sensing ion channels or TRPA1 channels. Conversely, the tarantula toxin, GsMTx-4, which inhibits stretch-activated ion channels, had no effects on mechanically activated currents in sensory neurons. In behavioral assays, NMB-1 inhibits responses only to high intensity, painful mechanical stimulation and has no effects on low intensity mechanical stimulation or thermosensation. Unexpectedly, NMB-1 was found to also be an inhibitor of rapid FM1-43 loading (a measure of mechanotransduction) in cochlear hair cells. These data demonstrate that pharmacologically distinct channels respond to distinct types of mechanical stimuli and suggest that mechanically activated sustained currents underlie noxious mechanosensation. NMB-1 thus provides a novel diagnostic tool for the molecular definition of channels involved in hearing and pressure-evoked pain. PMID:17565368

  11. Collective Diffusion Model for Ion Conduction through Microscopic Channels

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Yingting; Zhu, Fangqiang

    2013-01-01

    Ion conduction through microscopic channels is of central importance in both biology and nanotechnology. To better understand the current-voltage (I-V) dependence of ion channels, here we describe and prove a collective diffusion model that quantitatively relates the spontaneous ion permeation at equilibrium to the stationary ionic fluxes driven by small voltages. The model makes it possible to determine the channel conductance in the linear I-V range from equilibrium simulations without the application of a voltage. To validate the theory, we perform molecular-dynamics simulations on two channels—a conical-shaped nanopore and the transmembrane pore of an α-hemolysin—under both equilibrium and nonequilibrium conditions. The simulations reveal substantial couplings between the motions of cations and anions, which are effectively captured by the collective coordinate in the model. Although the two channels exhibit very different linear ranges in the I-V curves, in both cases the channel conductance at small voltages is in reasonable agreement with the prediction from the equilibrium simulation. The simulations also suggest that channel charges, rather than geometric asymmetry, play a more prominent role in current rectification. PMID:23442858

  12. Crystal orientation mapping via ion channeling: An alternative to EBSD.

    PubMed

    Langlois, C; Douillard, T; Yuan, H; Blanchard, N P; Descamps-Mandine, A; Van de Moortèle, B; Rigotti, C; Epicier, T

    2015-10-01

    A new method, which we name ion CHanneling ORientation Determination (iCHORD), is proposed to obtain orientation maps on polycrystals via ion channeling. The iChord method exploits the dependence between grain orientation and ion beam induced secondary electron image contrast. At each position of the region of interest, intensity profiles are obtained from a series of images acquired with different orientations with respect to the ion beam. The profiles are then compared to a database of theoretical profiles of known orientation. The Euler triplet associated to the most similar theoretical profile gives the orientation at that position. The proof-of-concept is obtained on a titanium nitride sample. The potentialities of iCHORD as an alternative to EBSD are then discussed. PMID:26094201

  13. Charge state dependence of channeled ion energy loss

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Golovchenko, J. A.; Goland, A. N.; Rosner, J. S.; Thorn, C. E.; Wegner, H. E.; Knudsen, H.; Moak, C. D.

    1981-02-01

    The charge state dependence of channeled ion energy loss has been determined for a series of ions ranging from fluorine to chlorine along the <110> direction in a silicon crystal. Energy losses for both bare ions and ions partially clothed with bound electrons at EA≅3 MeV/amu have been measured. The energy-loss rate for bare ions follows a strict Z21 scaling and agrees reasonably well with quantal perturbation calculations without the need for polarization or Bloch corrections. An explanation for this result is discussed. The clothed-ion energy losses appear to demonstrate screening effects that agree qualitatively with simple estimates. The angular dependence of the observed energy-loss effects is also presented.

  14. Ion channel profile of TRPM8 cold receptors reveals a role of TASK-3 potassium channels in thermosensation.

    PubMed

    Morenilla-Palao, Cruz; Luis, Enoch; Fernández-Peña, Carlos; Quintero, Eva; Weaver, Janelle L; Bayliss, Douglas A; Viana, Félix

    2014-09-11

    Animals sense cold ambient temperatures through the activation of peripheral thermoreceptors that express TRPM8, a cold- and menthol-activated ion channel. These receptors can discriminate a very wide range of temperatures from innocuous to noxious. The molecular mechanism responsible for the variable sensitivity of individual cold receptors to temperature is unclear. To address this question, we performed a detailed ion channel expression analysis of cold-sensitive neurons, combining bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) transgenesis with a molecular-profiling approach in fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS)-purified TRPM8 neurons. We found that TASK-3 leak potassium channels are highly enriched in a subpopulation of these sensory neurons. The thermal threshold of TRPM8 cold neurons is decreased during TASK-3 blockade and in mice lacking TASK-3, and, most importantly, these mice display hypersensitivity to cold. Our results demonstrate a role of TASK-3 channels in thermosensation, showing that a channel-based combinatorial strategy in TRPM8 cold thermoreceptors leads to molecular specialization and functional diversity. PMID:25199828

  15. Theoretical and computational models of biological ion channels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roux, Benoit

    2004-03-01

    A theoretical framework for describing ion conduction through biological molecular pores is established and explored. The framework is based on a statistical mechanical formulation of the transmembrane potential (1) and of the equilibrium multi-ion potential of mean forces through selective ion channels (2). On the basis of these developments, it is possible to define computational schemes to address questions about the non-equilibrium flow of ions through ion channels. In the case of narrow channels (gramicidin or KcsA), it is possible to characterize the ion conduction in terms of the potential of mean force of the ions along the channel axis (i.e., integrating out the off-axis motions). This has been used for gramicidin (3) and for KcsA (4,5). In the case of wide pores (i.e., OmpF porin), this is no longer a good idea, but it is possible to use a continuum solvent approximations. In this case, a grand canonical monte carlo brownian dynamics algorithm was constructed for simulating the non-equilibrium flow of ions through wide pores. The results were compared with those from the Poisson-Nernst-Planck mean-field electrodiffusion theory (6-8). References; 1. B. Roux, Biophys. J. 73:2980-2989 (1997); 2. B. Roux, Biophys. J. 77, 139-153 (1999); 3. Allen, Andersen and Roux, PNAS (2004, in press); 4. Berneche and Roux. Nature, 414:73-77 (2001); 5. Berneche and Roux. PNAS, 100:8644-8648 (2003); 6. W. Im and S. Seefeld and B. Roux, Biophys. J. 79:788-801 (2000); 7. W. Im and B. Roux, J. Chem. Phys. 115:4850-4861 (2001); 8. W. Im and B. Roux, J. Mol. Biol. 322:851-869 (2002).

  16. Optimum ion channel properties in the squid giant axon.

    PubMed

    Adair, Robert K

    2004-04-01

    Evolutionary pressures are presumed to act so as to maximize the efficiency of biological systems. However, the utility of that premise is marred by the difficulties in defining and evaluating both the efficiency of systems and the character of the available variation space. Following Hodgkin and Adrian, we examine the character of voltage gated ion channels in the nonmyelinated giant axons of the squid and find that both the channel densities and channel transition rates have values that nearly optimize signal sensitivity as well as signal velocity.

  17. Optimum ion channel properties in the squid giant axon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adair, Robert K.

    2004-04-01

    Evolutionary pressures are presumed to act so as to maximize the efficiency of biological systems. However, the utility of that premise is marred by the difficulties in defining and evaluating both the efficiency of systems and the character of the available variation space. Following Hodgkin and Adrian, we examine the character of voltage gated ion channels in the nonmyelinated giant axons of the squid and find that both the channel densities and channel transition rates have values that nearly optimize signal sensitivity as well as signal velocity.

  18. Biophysics, pathophysiology, and pharmacology of ion channel gating pores

    PubMed Central

    Moreau, Adrien; Gosselin-Badaroudine, Pascal; Chahine, Mohamed

    2014-01-01

    Voltage sensor domains (VSDs) are a feature of voltage gated ion channels (VGICs) and voltage sensitive proteins. They are composed of four transmembrane (TM) segments (S1–S4). Currents leaking through VSDs are called omega or gating pore currents. Gating pores are caused by mutations of the highly conserved positively charged amino acids in the S4 segment that disrupt interactions between the S4 segment and the gating charge transfer center (GCTC). The GCTC separates the intracellular and extracellular water crevices. The disruption of S4–GCTC interactions allows these crevices to communicate and create a fast activating and non-inactivating alternative cation-selective permeation pathway of low conductance, or a gating pore. Gating pore currents have recently been shown to cause periodic paralysis phenotypes. There is also increasing evidence that gating pores are linked to several other familial diseases. For example, gating pores in Nav1.5 and Kv7.2 channels may underlie mixed arrhythmias associated with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) phenotypes and peripheral nerve hyperexcitability (PNH), respectively. There is little evidence for the existence of gating pore blockers. Moreover, it is known that a number of toxins bind to the VSD of a specific domain of Na+ channels. These toxins may thus modulate gating pore currents. This focus on the VSD motif opens up a new area of research centered on developing molecules to treat a number of cell excitability disorders such as epilepsy, cardiac arrhythmias, and pain. The purpose of the present review is to summarize existing knowledge of the pathophysiology, biophysics, and pharmacology of gating pore currents and to serve as a guide for future studies aimed at improving our understanding of gating pores and their pathophysiological roles. PMID:24772081

  19. Brownian Dynamics: Simulation for Ion Channel Permeation1

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chung, Shin-Ho; Krishnamurthy, Vikram

    All living cells are surrounded by a thin membrane, composed of two layers of phospholipid molecules, called the lipid bilayer. This thin membrane effectively confines some ions and molecules inside and exchanges others with outside and acts as a hydrophobic, low dielectric barrier to hydrophilic molecules. Because of a large difference between the dielectric constants of the membrane and electrolyte solutions, no charged particles, such as Na+, K+, and Cl- ions, can jump across the membrane. The amount of energy needed to transport one monovalent ion, in either direction across the membrane, known as the Born energy, is enormously high. For a living cell to function, however, the proper ionic gradient has to be maintained, and ions at times must move across the membrane to maintain the potential difference across the membrane and to generate synaptic and action potentials. The delicate tasks of regulating the transport of ions across the membrane are carried out by biological nanotubes called "ion channels," water-filled conduits inserted across the cell membrane through which ions can freely move in and out when the gates are open. These ion channels can be viewed as biological sub-nanotubes, the typical pore diameters of which are ~10-9 m or 10 Å.

  20. Differential expression of genes encoding neuronal ion-channel subunits in major depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia: implications for pathophysiology.

    PubMed

    Smolin, Bella; Karry, Rachel; Gal-Ben-Ari, Shunit; Ben-Shachar, Dorit

    2012-08-01

    Evidence concerning ion-channel abnormalities in the pathophysiology of common psychiatric disorders is still limited. Given the significance of ion channels in neuronal activity, neurotransmission and neuronal plasticity we hypothesized that the expression patterns of genes encoding different ion channels may be altered in schizophrenia, bipolar and unipolar disorders. Frozen samples of striatum including the nucleus accumbens (Str-NAc) and the lateral cerebellar hemisphere of 60 brains from depressed (MDD), bipolar (BD), schizophrenic and normal subjects, obtained from the Stanley Foundation Brain Collection, were assayed. mRNA of 72 different ion-channel subunits were determined by qRT-PCR and alteration in four genes were verified by immunoblotting. In the Str-NAc the prominent change was observed in the MDD group, in which there was a significant up-regulation in genes encoding voltage-gated potassium-channel subunits. However, in the lateral cerebellar hemisphere (cerebellum), the main change was observed in schizophrenia specimens, as multiple genes encoding various ion-channel subunits were significantly down-regulated. The impaired expression of genes encoding ion channels demonstrates a disease-related neuroanatomical pattern. The alterations observed in Str-NAc of MDD may imply electrical hypo-activity of this region that could be of relevance to MDD symptoms and treatment. The robust unidirectional alteration of both excitatory and inhibitory ion channels in the cerebellum may suggests cerebellar general hypo-transcriptional activity in schizophrenia.

  1. Ion Selectivity Mechanism in a Bacterial Pentameric Ligand-Gated Ion Channel

    SciTech Connect

    Fritsch, Sebastian; Ivanov, Ivaylo; Wang, Hailong; Cheng, Xiaolin

    2010-01-01

    The proton-gated ion channel from Gloeobacter violaceus (GLIC) is a prokaryotic homolog of the eukaryotic nicotinic acetylcholine receptor that responds to the binding of neurotransmitter acetylcholine and mediates fast signal transmission. Recent emergence of a high-resolution crystal structure of GLIC captured in a potentially open state allowed detailed, atomic-level insight into ion conduction and selectivity mechanisms in these channels. Herein, we have examined the barriers to ion conduction and origins of ion selectivity in the GLIC channel by the construction of potential-of-mean-force profiles for sodium and chloride ions inside the transmembrane region. Our calculations reveal that the GLIC channel is open for a sodium ion to transport, but presents a 11 kcal/mol free energy barrier for a chloride ion. Our collective findings identify three distinct contributions to the observed preference for the permeant ions. First, there is a substantial contribution due to a ring of negatively charged glutamate residues (E-2 ) at the narrow intracellular end of the channel. The negative electrostatics of this region and the ability of the glutamate side chains to directly bind cations would strongly favor the passage of sodium ions while hindering translocation of chloride ions. Second, our results imply a significant hydrophobic contribution to selectivity linked to differences in the desolvation penalty for the sodium versus chloride ions in the central hydrophobic region of the pore. This hydrophobic contribution is evidenced by the large free energy barriers experienced by Cl in the middle of the pore for both GLIC and the E-2 A mutant. Finally, there is a distinct contribution arising from the overall negative electrostatics of the channel.

  2. Simultaneous Patch-Clamp Recording and Single-Molecule Imaging Study of Single-Molecule Ion Channel Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harms, Greg; Orr, Galya; Thrall, Brian; Montal, Mauricio; Colson, Steve; Lu, H. Peter

    2002-03-01

    By combining real-time single-molecule fluorescence imaging measurements with real-time single-channel current measurements in membranes of lipid bilayers or in living cells, we are now able to probe single ion-channel-protein conformational changes simultaneously correlated with single ion-channel current trajectories, providing an understanding at the molecular-level of the dynamics and mechanisms of ion-channel proteins. This technical innovation has been used to gain an understanding of how ion-channel activities are regulated by conformational change dynamics and assembly mechanisms of the dye-labeled gramicidin channels, which has revealed that the gramicidin channel activity is regulated by complex gramicidin dimer conformational changes. A new multiple-state model for gramicidin ion-channel dynamics, more complex than the classic two-state diffusion model, has been postulated based on our experimental results. The single-channel activity of recombinant NMDA receptors transiently expressed in a mammalian cell-line has been recorded when tetramethylrhodamine-labeled cysteine (TMR-cysteine) and glycine were introduced into the patch-pipette in cell-attached or inside-out patches. Correlated images of a single TMR-cysteine and single NMDA channel recordings have been investigated in real-time, which begins to shed light on the molecular-level understanding of the ligand-receptor interaction dynamics in NMDA receptors in living cells.

  3. Four basic residues critical for the ion selectivity and pore blocker sensitivity of TMEM16A calcium-activated chloride channels.

    PubMed

    Peters, Christian J; Yu, Haibo; Tien, Jason; Jan, Yuh Nung; Li, Min; Jan, Lily Yeh

    2015-03-17

    TMEM16A (transmembrane protein 16) (Anoctamin-1) forms a calcium-activated chloride channel (CaCC) that regulates a broad array of physiological properties in response to changes in intracellular calcium concentration. Although known to conduct anions according to the Eisenman type I selectivity sequence, the structural determinants of TMEM16A anion selectivity are not well-understood. Reasoning that the positive charges on basic residues are likely contributors to anion selectivity, we performed whole-cell recordings of mutants with alanine substitution for basic residues within the putative pore region and identified four residues on four different putative transmembrane segments that significantly increased the permeability of the larger halides and thiocyanate relative to that of chloride. Because TMEM16A permeation properties are known to shift with changes in intracellular calcium concentration, we further examined the calcium dependence of anion selectivity. We found that WT TMEM16A but not mutants with alanine substitution at those four basic residues exhibited a clear decline in the preference for larger anions as intracellular calcium was increased. Having implicated these residues as contributing to the TMEM16A pore, we scrutinized candidate small molecules from a high-throughput CaCC inhibitor screen to identify two compounds that act as pore blockers. Mutations of those four putative pore-lining basic residues significantly altered the IC50 of these compounds at positive voltages. These findings contribute to our understanding regarding anion permeation of TMEM16A CaCC and provide valuable pharmacological tools to probe the channel pore.

  4. Adjuvant Effect of an Alternative Plasticizer, Diisopropyl Adipate, on a Contact Hypersensitivity Mouse Model: Link with Sensory Ion Channel TRPA1 Activation.

    PubMed

    Kurohane, Kohta; Kimura, Ayako; Terasawa, Rie; Sahara, Yurina; Kobayashi, Kamiyu; Suzuki, Wakana; Matsuoka, Takeshi; Watanabe, Tatsuo; Imai, Yasuyuki

    2015-01-01

    Due to health concerns about phthalate esters, the use of alternative plasticizers is being considered. Phthalate esters enhance skin sensitization to fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC) in mouse models. We have demonstrated that phthalate esters stimulate transient receptor potential ankyrin 1 (TRPA1) cation channels expressed on sensory neurons. We also found a correlation between TRPA1 activation and the enhancing effect on FITC-induced contact hypersensitivity (CHS) when testing various types of phthalate esters. Here we investigated the effects of an alternative plasticizer, diisopropyl adipate (DIA). Activation of TRPA1 by DIA was demonstrated by calcium mobilization using Chinese hamster ovary cells expressing TRPA1 in vitro. The effect of DIA was inhibited by a TRPA1-specific antagonist, HC-030031. The presence of DIA or dibutyl phthalate (DBP; positive control) during skin sensitization of BALB/c mice to FITC augmented the CHS response, as revealed by the level of ear-swelling. The enhancing effect of DIA was inhibited by in vivo pretreatment with HC-030031. FITC-presenting CD11c(+) dendritic cell (DC)-trafficking to draining lymph nodes was facilitated both by DIA and by DBP. DBP and DIA were similarly active in the enhancement of interferon-γ production by draining lymph nodes, but the effect on interleukin-4 production was weaker with DIA. Overall, DIA activated TRPA1 and enhanced FITC-induced CHS, as DBP did. The adjuvant effects of adipate esters may need to be considered because they are used as ingredients in cosmetics and drug formulations topically applied to the skin. PMID:25959058

  5. Tonic PKA Activity Regulates SK Channel Nanoclustering and Somatodendritic Distribution.

    PubMed

    Abiraman, Krithika; Sah, Megha; Walikonis, Randall S; Lykotrafitis, George; Tzingounis, Anastasios V

    2016-06-01

    Small-conductance calcium-activated potassium (SK) channels mediate a potassium conductance in the brain and are involved in synaptic plasticity, learning, and memory. SK channels show a distinct subcellular localization that is crucial for their neuronal functions. However, the mechanisms that control this spatial distribution are unknown. We imaged SK channels labeled with fluorophore-tagged apamin and monitored SK channel nanoclustering at the single molecule level by combining atomic force microscopy and toxin (i.e., apamin) pharmacology. Using these two complementary approaches, we found that native SK channel distribution in pyramidal neurons, across the somatodendritic domain, depends on ongoing cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP)-protein kinase A (PKA) levels, strongly limiting SK channel expression at the pyramidal neuron soma. Furthermore, tonic cAMP-PKA levels also controlled whether SK channels were expressed in nanodomains as single entities or as a group of multiple channels. Our study reveals a new level of regulation of SK channels by cAMP-PKA and suggests that ion channel topography and nanoclustering might be under the control of second messenger cascades. PMID:27107637

  6. Energetics of Multi-Ion Conduction Pathways in Potassium Ion Channels

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Potassium ion channels form pores in cell membranes, allowing potassium ions through while preventing the passage of sodium ions. Despite numerous high-resolution structures, it is not yet possible to relate their structure to their single molecule function other than at a qualitative level. Over the past decade, there has been a concerted effort using molecular dynamics to capture the thermodynamics and kinetics of conduction by calculating potentials of mean force (PMF). These can be used, in conjunction with the electro-diffusion theory, to predict the conductance of a specific ion channel. Here, we calculate seven independent PMFs, thereby studying the differences between two potassium ion channels, the effect of the CHARMM CMAP forcefield correction, and the sensitivity and reproducibility of the method. Thermodynamically stable ion–water configurations of the selectivity filter can be identified from all the free energy landscapes, but the heights of the kinetic barriers for potassium ions to move through the selectivity filter are, in nearly all cases, too high to predict conductances in line with experiment. This implies it is not currently feasible to predict the conductance of potassium ion channels, but other simpler channels may be more tractable. PMID:24353479

  7. Molecular dynamics of ion transport through the open conformation of a bacterial voltage-gated sodium channel.

    PubMed

    Ulmschneider, Martin B; Bagnéris, Claire; McCusker, Emily C; Decaen, Paul G; Delling, Markus; Clapham, David E; Ulmschneider, Jakob P; Wallace, B A

    2013-04-16

    The crystal structure of the open conformation of a bacterial voltage-gated sodium channel pore from Magnetococcus sp. (NaVMs) has provided the basis for a molecular dynamics study defining the channel's full ion translocation pathway and conductance process, selectivity, electrophysiological characteristics, and ion-binding sites. Microsecond molecular dynamics simulations permitted a complete time-course characterization of the protein in a membrane system, capturing the plethora of conductance events and revealing a complex mixture of single and multi-ion phenomena with decoupled rapid bidirectional water transport. The simulations suggest specific localization sites for the sodium ions, which correspond with experimentally determined electron density found in the selectivity filter of the crystal structure. These studies have also allowed us to identify the ion conductance mechanism and its relation to water movement for the NavMs channel pore and to make realistic predictions of its conductance properties. The calculated single-channel conductance and selectivity ratio correspond closely with the electrophysiology measurements of the NavMs channel expressed in HEK 293 cells. The ion translocation process seen in this voltage-gated sodium channel is clearly different from that exhibited by members of the closely related family of voltage-gated potassium channels and also differs considerably from existing proposals for the conductance process in sodium channels. These studies simulate sodium channel conductance based on an experimentally determined structure of a sodium channel pore that has a completely open transmembrane pathway and activation gate.

  8. Pressure effects on stopping power of solids for channeled ions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pathak, A. P.; Cruz, S. A.; Soullard, J.

    2005-01-01

    Pressure effects on the energy loss of swift channeled ions through silicon are considered. This is accomplished by estimating the changes in orbital charge densities and the corresponding mean ionization potentials, induced by increasing pressure. The bulk density for the compressed material is obtained from available experimental information on the corresponding equation of state for pressures up to 11.3 GPa, beyond which a structural phase transformation occurs. The high pressure is simulated by first caging the individual Si atom in a small spherical volume V and estimated as P=-partial derivative E/partial derivative V, where E is the total electronic energy for a particular confinement volume. The energy is selfconsistently calculated through a recently developed shell-wise version of the Thomas-Fermi-Dirac-Weizsacker density functional, which compares favorably with ab initio calculations on the basis of a cluster model where the Si atom is surrounded by neon (helium) atoms (in a molecular scheme). The resulting individual electronic shell charge densities are then averaged along planar channels to find the effective charge densities needed in the channeling energy loss calculations for channeled ions. The position dependence of the energy loss in the channels for the free and high-pressure case is calculated for 5 Me V protons and alpha particles along the (110) planar channels.

  9. Dopamine modulates the kinetics of ion channels gated by excitatory amino acids in retinal horizontal cells.

    PubMed Central

    Knapp, A G; Schmidt, K F; Dowling, J E

    1990-01-01

    Upon exposure to dopamine, cultured teleost retinal horizontal cells become more responsive to the putative photoreceptor neurotransmitter L-glutamate and to its analog kainate. We have recorded unitary and whole-cell currents to determine the mechanism by which dopamine enhances ion channels activated by these agents. In single-channel recordings from cell-attached patches with agonist in the patch pipette, the frequency of 5- to 10-pS unitary events, but not their amplitude, increased by as much as 150% after application of dopamine to the rest of the cell. The duration of channel openings also increased somewhat, by 20-30%. In whole-cell experiments, agonists with and without dopamine were applied to voltage-clamped horizontal cells by slow superfusion. Analysis of whole-cell current variance as a function of mean current indicated that dopamine increased the probability of channel opening for a give agonist concentration without changing the amount of current passed by an individual channel. For kainate, noise analysis additionally demonstrated that dopamine did not alter the number of functional channels. Dopamine also increased a slow spectral component of whole-cell currents elicited by kainate or glutamate, suggesting a change in the open-time kinetics of the channels. This effect was more pronounced for currents induced by glutamate than for those induced by kainate. We conclude that dopamine potentiates the activity of horizontal cell glutamate receptors by altering the kinetics of the ion channel to favor the open state. PMID:1689053

  10. Ion Channels as Single Molecular Sensors: Extracting Information from Noise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goychuk, Igor

    2001-03-01

    Ion channels are the evolution's solution to participate in electrical signaling. A question that has been haunting the Stochastic Resonance (SR) community ever since its first evidence in biological systems in the early nineties is whether -- and how -- SR occurs in single and/or coupled ion channels. Up to this very date, there exists no convincing experimental proof that SR actually takes place in a realistic ion channel such as the Shaker IR potassium-selective channel. The idea, however, that the environmental noise assists in a beneficial manner the transduction of electric encoded information is appealing; i.e. the occurrence of SR on this most fundamental level of biological complexity should not come as too big a surprise. In order to elucidate this prominent challenge we theoretically have investigated SR for a simple, yet realistic enough model of a voltage-gated ion channel. In doing so, we model the process of successive opening and closing events by a continuous time, two-state random point process with experimentally determined residence time distributions. Using measures of information theory such as the rate of information gain we have shown that SR indeed occurs when the closed state of the channel is predominantly dwelled. With increasing opening probability noise deteriorates the rate of information transfer that eventually assumes a robust behavior, which is essentially insensitive to noise. (I. Goychuk and P. Hänggi, Phys. Rev. E 61), 4272 (2000); Eur. Biophys. J. 29, 345 (2000). Moreover, we study additional SR measures such as the spectral amplification and the signal-to-noise ratio. In a next step, we generalize this investigation to account also for non-Markovian conductance fluctuations with nonexponential residence time distributions and study their consequences for the likelihood for SR to persist.

  11. Chemical and genetic engineering of selective ligand-ion channel interactions

    PubMed Central

    Magnus, Christopher J.; Lee, Peter H.; Atasoy, Deniz; Su, Helen H.; Looger, Loren L.; Sternson, Scott M.

    2011-01-01

    Ionic flux in defined cell populations mediates essential physiological and behavioral functions. Cell type-specific activators of diverse ionic conductances are needed for probing these relationships. We combined chemistry and protein engineering to enable systematic creation of a toolbox of ligand-gated ion channels (LGICs) with orthogonal pharmacologic selectivity and divergent functional properties. The LGICs and their small molecule effectors can activate a range of ionic conductances in genetically-specified cell types. LGICs constructed for neuronal perturbation can be used to selectively manipulate neuron activity in mammalian brains in vivo. The diversity of ion channel tools accessible from this approach will be useful for examining the relationship between neuronal activity and animal behavior, as well as for cell biological and physiological applications requiring chemical control of ion conductance. PMID:21885782

  12. Electrical pumping of potassium ions against an external concentration gradient in a biological ion channel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Queralt-Martín, María; García-Giménez, Elena; Aguilella, Vicente M.; Ramirez, Patricio; Mafe, Salvador; Alcaraz, Antonio

    2013-07-01

    We show experimentally and theoretically that significant currents can be obtained with a biological ion channel, the OmpF porin of Escherichia coli, using zero-average potentials as driving forces. The channel rectifying properties can be used to pump potassium ions against an external concentration gradient under asymmetric pH conditions. The results are discussed in terms of the ionic selectivity and rectification ratio of the channel. The physical concepts involved may be applied to separation processes with synthetic nanopores and to bioelectrical phenomena.

  13. Molecular Motions in Ion Channels: a Possible Link to Noise in Single Channels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tieleman, D. Peter

    2003-05-01

    Molecular dynamics simulations of proteins and lipid bilayers give detailed information on molecular motions on a timescale of up to a microsecond. Collective motions of proteins are thought to play a functionally important role in many water-soluble proteins and simulations of potassium channel structures show that ion transport might be linked to structural fluctuations in key areas of the protein. I describe simulations of two model channels —a channel consisting of parallel alpha-helices formed by the antimicrobial peptide alamethicin, and the bacterial porin OmpF, a large beta-barrel protein that forms three water-filled pores that allow transport of small molecules. Structural fluctuations in alamethicin during ion transport are hypothesized to be a possible source of high-frequency noise observed in single-channel conductance measurements. In a model of the alamethicin channel on a 100 ns time scale almost all the structural fluctuations are in individual helices with no evidence for collective motions of the channel as a whole. In porins, single channel measurements can obtain information on the interaction between permeating molecules and the protein. I present recent simulations that study the interactions between glucose and alanine with OmpF.

  14. Optical electrophysiology for probing function and pharmacology of voltage-gated ion channels

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Hongkang; Reichert, Elaine; Cohen, Adam E

    2016-01-01

    Voltage-gated ion channels mediate electrical dynamics in excitable tissues and are an important class of drug targets. Channels can gate in sub-millisecond timescales, show complex manifolds of conformational states, and often show state-dependent pharmacology. Mechanistic studies of ion channels typically involve sophisticated voltage-clamp protocols applied through manual or automated electrophysiology. Here, we develop all-optical electrophysiology techniques to study activity-dependent modulation of ion channels, in a format compatible with high-throughput screening. Using optical electrophysiology, we recapitulate many voltage-clamp protocols and apply to Nav1.7, a channel implicated in pain. Optical measurements reveal that a sustained depolarization strongly potentiates the inhibitory effect of PF-04856264, a Nav1.7-specific blocker. In a pilot screen, we stratify a library of 320 FDA-approved compounds by binding mechanism and kinetics, and find close concordance with patch clamp measurements. Optical electrophysiology provides a favorable tradeoff between throughput and information content for studies of NaV channels, and possibly other voltage-gated channels. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.15202.001 PMID:27215841

  15. Combined single channel and single molecule detection identifies subunit composition of STIM1-activated transient receptor potential canonical (TRPC) channels.

    PubMed

    Asanov, Alexander; Sampieri, Alicia; Moreno, Claudia; Pacheco, Jonathan; Salgado, Alfonso; Sherry, Ryan; Vaca, Luis

    2015-01-01

    Depletion of intracellular calcium ion stores initiates a rapid cascade of events culminating with the activation of the so-called Store-Operated Channels (SOC) at the plasma membrane. Calcium influx via SOC is essential in the initiation of calcium-dependent intracellular signaling and for the refilling of internal calcium stores, ensuring the regeneration of the signaling cascade. In spite of the significance of this evolutionary conserved mechanism, the molecular identity of SOC has been the center of a heated controversy spanning over the last 20 years. Initial studies positioned some members of the transient receptor potential canonical (TRPC) channel superfamily of channels (with the more robust evidence pointing to TRPC1) as a putative SOC. Recent evidence indicates that Stromal Interacting Molecule 1 (STIM1) activates some members from the TRPC family of channels. However, the exact subunit composition of TRPC channels remains undetermined to this date. To identify the subunit composition of STIM1-activated TRPC channels, we developed novel method, which combines single channel electrophysiological measurements based on the patch clamp technique with single molecule fluorescence imaging. We termed this method Single ion Channel Single Molecule Detection technique (SC-SMD). Using SC-SMD method, we have obtained direct evidence of the subunit composition of TRPC channels activated by STIM1. Furthermore, our electrophysiological-imaging SC-SMD method provides evidence at the molecular level of the mechanism by which STIM1 and calmodulin antagonize to modulate TRPC channel activity.

  16. Ion channel noise can explain firing correlation in auditory nerves.

    PubMed

    Moezzi, Bahar; Iannella, Nicolangelo; McDonnell, Mark D

    2016-10-01

    Neural spike trains are commonly characterized as a Poisson point process. However, the Poisson assumption is a poor model for spiking in auditory nerve fibres because it is known that interspike intervals display positive correlation over long time scales and negative correlation over shorter time scales. We have therefore developed a biophysical model based on the well-known Meddis model of the peripheral auditory system, to produce simulated auditory nerve fibre spiking statistics that more closely match the firing correlations observed in empirical data. We achieve this by introducing biophysically realistic ion channel noise to an inner hair cell membrane potential model that includes fractal fast potassium channels and deterministic slow potassium channels. We succeed in producing simulated spike train statistics that match empirically observed firing correlations. Our model thus replicates macro-scale stochastic spiking statistics in the auditory nerve fibres due to modeling stochasticity at the micro-scale of potassium channels. PMID:27480847

  17. Ion Selectivity Mechanism in a Bacterial Pentameric Ligand-Gated Ion Channel

    SciTech Connect

    Fritsch, Sebastian M; Ivanov, Ivaylo N; Wang, Hailong; Cheng, Xiaolin

    2011-01-01

    The proton-gated ion channel from Gloeobacter violaceus (GLIC) is a prokaryotic homolog of the eukaryotic nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) that responds to the binding of neurotransmitter acetylcholine and mediates fast signal transmission. Recent emergence of a high resolution crystal structure of GLIC captured in a potentially open state allowed detailed, atomic-level insight into ion conduction and selectivity mechanisms in these channels. Herein, we have examined the barriers to ion conduction and origins of ion selectivity in the GLIC channel by the construction of potential of mean force (PMF) profiles for sodium and chloride ions inside the transmembrane region. Our calculations reveal that the GLIC channel is open for a sodium ion to transport, but presents a ~10 kcal/mol free energy barrier for a chloride ion, which arises primarily from the unfavorable interactions with a ring of negatively charged glutamate residues (E-2 ) at the intracellular end and a ring of hydrophobic residues (I9 ) in the middle of the transmembrane domain. Our collective findings further suggest that the charge selection mechanism can, to a large extent, be attributed to the narrow intracellular end and a ring of glutamate residues in this position their strong negative electrostatics and ability to bind cations. By contrast, E19 at the extracellular entrance only plays a minor role in ion selectivity of GLIC. In addition to electrostatics, both ion hydration and protein dynamics are found to be crucial for ion conduction as well, which explains why a chloride ion experiences a much greater barrier than a sodium ion in the hydrophobic region of the pore.

  18. Nonselective block by La3+ of Arabidopsis ion channels involved in signal transduction

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lewis, B. D.; Spalding, E. P.; Evans, M. L. (Principal Investigator)

    1998-01-01

    Lanthanide ions such as La3+ are frequently used as blockers to test the involvement of calcium channels in plant and animal signal transduction pathways. For example, the large rise in cytoplasmic Ca2+ concentration triggered by cold shock in Arabidopsis seedlings is effectively blocked by 10 mM La3+ and we show here that the simultaneous large membrane depolarization is similarly blocked. However, a pharmacological tool is only as useful as it is selective and the specificity of La3+ for calcium channels was brought into question by our finding that it also blocked a blue light (BL)-induced depolarization that results from anion channel activation and believed not to involve calcium channels. This unexpected inhibitory effect of La3+ on the BL-induced depolarization is explained by our finding that 10 mM La3+ directly and completely blocked the BL-activated anion channel when applied to excised patches. We have investigated the ability of La3+ to block noncalcium channels in Arabidopsis. In addition to the BL-activated anion channel, 10 mM La3+ blocked a cation channel and a stretch-activated channel in patches of plasma membrane excised from hypocotyl cells. In root cells, 10 mM La3+ inhibited the activity of an outward-rectifying potassium channel at the whole cell and single-channel level by 47% and 58%, respectively. We conclude that La3+ is a nonspecific blocker of multiple ionic conductances in Arabidopsis and may disrupt signal transduction processes independently of any effect on Ca2+ channels.

  19. Finite element simulation of the gating mechanism of mechanosensitive ion channels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bavi, Navid; Qin, Qinghua; Martinac, Boris

    2013-08-01

    In order to eliminate limitations of existing experimental or computational methods (such as patch-clamp technique or molecular dynamic analysis) a finite element (FE) model for multi length-scale and time-scale investigation on the gating mechanism of mechanosensitive (MS) ion channels has been established. Gating force value (from typical patch clamping values) needed to activate Prokaryotic MS ion channels was applied as tensional force to the FE model of the lipid bilayer. Making use of the FE results, we have discussed the effects of the geometrical and the material properties of the Escherichia coli MscL mechanosensitive ion channel opening in relation to the membrane's Young's modulus (which will vary depending on the cell type or cholesterol density in an artificial membrane surrounding the MscL ion channel). The FE model has shown that when the cell membrane stiffens the required channel activation force increases considerably. This is in agreement with experimental results taken from the literature. In addition, the present study quantifies the relationship between the membrane stress distribution around a `hole' for modeling purposes and the stress concentration in the place transmembrane proteins attached to the hole by applying an appropriate mesh refinement as well as well defining contact condition in these areas.

  20. A microscopic view of ion conduction through the K+ channel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bernèche, Simon; Roux, Benoît

    2003-07-01

    Recent results from x-ray crystallography and molecular dynamics free-energy simulations have revealed the existence of a number of specific cation-binding sites disposed along the narrow pore of the K+ channel from Streptomyces lividans (KcsA), suggesting that K+ ions might literally "hop" in single file from one binding site to the next as permeation proceeds. In support of this view, it was found that the ion configurations correspond to energy wells of similar depth and that ion translocation is opposed only by small energy barriers. Although such features of the multiion potential energy surface are certainly essential for achieving a high throughput rate, diffusional and dissipative dynamical factors must also be taken into consideration to understand how rapid conduction of K+ is possible. To elucidate the mechanism of ion conduction, we established a framework theory enabling the direct simulation of nonequilibrium fluxes by extending the results of molecular dynamics over macroscopically long times. In good accord with experimental measurements, the simulated maximum conductance of the channel at saturating concentration is on the order of 550 and 360 pS for outward and inward ions flux, respectively, with a unidirectional flux-ratio exponent of 3. Analysis of the ion-conduction process reveals a lack of equivalence between the cation-binding sites in the selectivity filter. molecular dynamics | Brownian dynamics | potential of mean force | membrane potential | Poisson-Boltzmann equation

  1. Molecular dynamics and brownian dynamics investigation of ion permeation and anesthetic halothane effects on a proton-gated ion channel.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Mary Hongying; Coalson, Rob D; Tang, Pei

    2010-11-24

    Bacterial Gloeobacter violaceus pentameric ligand-gated ion channel (GLIC) is activated to cation permeation upon lowering the solution pH. Its function can be modulated by anesthetic halothane. In the present work, we integrate molecular dynamics (MD) and Brownian dynamics (BD) simulations to elucidate the ion conduction, charge selectivity, and halothane modulation mechanisms in GLIC, based on recently resolved X-ray crystal structures of the open-channel GLIC. MD calculations of the potential of mean force (PMF) for a Na(+) revealed two energy barriers in the extracellular domain (R109 and K38) and at the hydrophobic gate of transmembrane domain (I233), respectively. An energy well for Na(+) was near the intracellular entrance: the depth of this energy well was modulated strongly by the protonation state of E222. The energy barrier for Cl(-) was found to be 3-4 times higher than that for Na(+). Ion permeation characteristics were determined through BD simulations using a hybrid MD/continuum electrostatics approach to evaluate the energy profiles governing the ion movement. The resultant channel conductance and a near-zero permeability ratio (P(Cl)/P(Na)) were comparable to experimental data. On the basis of these calculations, we suggest that a ring of five E222 residues may act as an electrostatic gate. In addition, the hydrophobic gate region may play a role in charge selectivity due to a higher dehydration energy barrier for Cl(-) ions. The effect of halothane on the Na(+) PMF was also evaluated. Halothane was found to perturb salt bridges in GLIC that may be crucial for channel gating and open-channel stability, but had no significant impact on the single ion PMF profiles.

  2. Convergence of ion channel genome content in early animal evolution

    PubMed Central

    Liebeskind, Benjamin J.; Hillis, David M.; Zakon, Harold H.

    2015-01-01

    Multicellularity has evolved multiple times, but animals are the only multicellular lineage with nervous systems. This fact implies that the origin of nervous systems was an unlikely event, yet recent comparisons among extant taxa suggest that animal nervous systems may have evolved multiple times independently. Here, we use ancestral gene content reconstruction to track the timing of gene family expansions for the major families of ion-channel proteins that drive nervous system function. We find that animals with nervous systems have broadly similar complements of ion-channel types but that these complements likely evolved independently. We also find that ion-channel gene family evolution has included large loss events, two of which were immediately followed by rounds of duplication. Ctenophores, cnidarians, and bilaterians underwent independent bouts of gene expansion in channel families involved in synaptic transmission and action potential shaping. We suggest that expansions of these family types may represent a genomic signature of expanding nervous system complexity. Ancestral nodes in which nervous systems are currently hypothesized to have originated did not experience large expansions, making it difficult to distinguish among competing hypotheses of nervous system origins and suggesting that the origin of nerves was not attended by an immediate burst of complexity. Rather, the evolution of nervous system complexity appears to resemble a slow fuse in stem animals followed by many independent bouts of gene gain and loss. PMID:25675537

  3. Epithelial Sodium and Acid-Sensing Ion Channels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kellenberger, Stephan

    The epithelial Na+ channel (ENaC) and acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs) are non-voltage-gated Na+ channels that form their own subfamilies within the ENaC/degenerin ion channel family. ASICs are sensors of extracellular pH, and ENaC, whose main function is trans-epithelial Na+ transport, can sense extra- and intra-cellular Na+. In aldosterone-responsive epithelial cells of the kidney, ENaC plays a critical role in the control of sodium balance, blood volume and blood pressure. In airway epithelia, ENaC has a distinct role in controlling fluid reabsorption at the air-liquid interface, thereby determining the rate of mucociliary transport. In taste receptor cells of the tongue, ENaC is involved in salt taste sensation. ASICs have emerged as key sensors for extracellular protons in central and peripheral neurons. Although not all of their physiological and pathological functions are firmly established yet, there is good evidence for a role of ASICs in the brain in learning, expression of fear, and in neurodegeneration after ischaemic stroke. In sensory neurons, ASICs are involved in nociception and mechanosensation. ENaC and ASIC subunits share substantial sequence homology and the conservation of several functional domains. This chapter summarises our current understanding of the physiological functions and of the mechanisms of ion permeation, gating and regulation of ENaC and ASICs.

  4. 50 years of ion channeling in materials science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vantomme, André

    2016-03-01

    In the early days of ion beam analysis, i.e. the early 60s, channeling was discovered and brought to maturity via a combined effort in experimental, computational and theoretical research. It was soon realized that the probability for nuclear interaction (such as nuclear scattering, nuclear reactions, ionization followed by X-ray emission…) would significantly decrease when steering the ion beam along a crystallographic direction of a single crystal. Hence, this effect would be optimally suited to investigate a wide range of materials properties related to their crystal structure, such as defects, elastic strain, the lattice site of impurities, as well as phonon-related properties. In this paper, I will briefly review some of the pioneering work, which led to the discovery and theoretical understanding of ion channeling. Subsequently, a number of applications will be discussed where the strength of the ion beam analysis technique allows deducing information which is often hardly (or not) attainable by other techniques. Throughout the paper, I will reflect on the future of channeling in materials research, and pay special attention to potential pitfalls, challenges and opportunities.

  5. Redox Regulation of Ion Channels in the Pulmonary Circulation

    PubMed Central

    Weir, Edward Kenneth

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Significance: The pulmonary circulation is a low-pressure, low-resistance, highly compliant vasculature. In contrast to the systemic circulation, it is not primarily regulated by a central nervous control mechanism. The regulation of resting membrane potential due to ion channels is of integral importance in the physiology and pathophysiology of the pulmonary vasculature. Recent Advances: Redox-driven ion conductance changes initiated by direct oxidation, nitration, and S-nitrosylation of the cysteine thiols and indirect phosphorylation of the threonine and serine residues directly affect pulmonary vascular tone. Critical Issues: Molecular mechanisms of changes in ion channel conductance, especially the identification of the sites of action, are still not fully elucidated. Future Directions: Further investigation of the interaction between redox status and ion channel gating, especially the physiological significance of S-glutathionylation and S-nitrosylation, could result in a better understanding of the physiological and pathophysiological importance of these mediators in general and the implications of such modifications in cellular functions and related diseases and their importance for targeted treatment strategies. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 22, 465–485. PMID:24702125

  6. SLO2 Channels Are Inhibited by All Divalent Cations That Activate SLO1 K+ Channels.

    PubMed

    Budelli, Gonzalo; Sun, Qi; Ferreira, Juan; Butler, Alice; Santi, Celia M; Salkoff, Lawrence

    2016-04-01

    Two members of the family of high conductance K(+)channels SLO1 and SLO2 are both activated by intracellular cations. However, SLO1 is activated by Ca(2+)and other divalent cations, while SLO2 (Slack or SLO2.2 from rat) is activated by Na(+) Curiously though, we found that SLO2.2 is inhibited by all divalent cations that activate SLO1, with Zn(2+)being the most effective inhibitor with an IC50of ∼8 μmin contrast to Mg(2+), the least effective, with an IC50of ∼ 1.5 mm Our results suggest that divalent cations are not SLO2 pore blockers, but rather inhibit channel activity by an allosteric modification of channel gating. By site-directed mutagenesis we show that a histidine residue (His-347) downstream of S6 reduces inhibition by divalent cations. An analogous His residue present in some CNG channels is an inhibitory cation binding site. To investigate whether inhibition by divalent cations is conserved in an invertebrate SLO2 channel we cloned the SLO2 channel fromDrosophila(dSLO2) and compared its properties to those of rat SLO2.2. We found that, like rat SLO2.2, dSLO2 was also activated by Na(+)and inhibited by divalent cations. Inhibition of SLO2 channels in mammals andDrosophilaby divalent cations that have second messenger functions may reflect the physiological regulation of these channels by one or more of these ions.

  7. Ion transport through a T-intersection of nanofluidic channels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daiguji, Hirofumi; Adachi, Takuma; Tatsumi, Naoya

    2008-08-01

    Ion transport through a T-intersection of two silica nanochannels (a main channel, 5-μm long and 30-nm wide, and a subchannel, 5-μm long and 15-nm wide) with a surface charge distribution was investigated based on continuum dynamics calculations. The surface charge within 250nm of the intersection in the main channel and the entire subchannel was positive and that in the main channel outside this intersection region was negative. This nanofluidic system is analogous to a p-n-p transistor. The calculation results revealed that, by adjusting the electric potentials at the ends of the nanochannels, the ionic current could be (1) cut off, (2) regulated in the main channel, (3) diverged into the main and subchannels, (4) turned from the main channel to the subchannel, and (5) merged into the subchannel. A series connection of this nanofluidic system can therefore be used in biotechnological applications for electrophoretic separation and for sorting of ions and biomolecules.

  8. NOTE: Dielectrophoretic analysis of changes in cytoplasmic ion levels due to ion channel blocker action reveals underlying differences between drug-sensitive and multidrug-resistant leukaemic cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duncan, L.; Shelmerdine, H.; Hughes, M. P.; Coley, H. M.; Hübner, Y.; Labeed, F. H.

    2008-01-01

    Dielectrophoresis (DEP)—the motion of particles in non-uniform AC fields—has been used in the investigation of cell electrophysiology. The technique offers the advantages of rapid determination of the conductance and capacitance of membrane and cytoplasm. However, it is unable to directly determine the ionic strengths of individual cytoplasmic ions, which has potentially limited its application in assessing cell composition. In this paper, we demonstrate how dielectrophoresis can be used to investigate the cytoplasmic ion composition by using ion channel blocking agents. By blocking key ion transporters individually, it is possible to determine their overall contribution to the free ions in the cytoplasm. We use this technique to evaluate the relative contributions of chloride, potassium and calcium ions to the cytoplasmic conductivities of drug sensitive and resistant myelogenous leukaemic (K562) cells in order to determine the contributions of individual ion channel activity in mediating multi-drug resistance in cancer. Results indicate that whilst K+ and Ca2+ levels were extremely similar between sensitive and resistant lines, levels of Cl- were elevated by three times to that in the resistant line, implying increased chloride channel activity. This result is in line with current theories of MDR, and validates the use of ion channel blockers with DEP to investigate ion channel function.

  9. Ion channel models based on self-assembling cyclic peptide nanotubes

    PubMed Central

    Montenegro, Javier

    2013-01-01

    CONSPECTUS Compartmentalization and isolation from external media facilitates the sophisticated functionality and connectivity of all the different biological processes accomplished by living entities. The lipid bilayer membranes are the dynamic structural motifs selected by Nature to individualize cells and keep ions, proteins, biopolymers and metabolites confined in the appropriate location. However, cellular interaction with the exterior and the regulation of its internal environment requires the assistance of minimal energy short cuts for the transport of molecules across membranes. Ion channels and pores stand out from all other possible transport mechanisms due to their high selectivity and efficiency in discriminating and transporting ions or molecules across membrane barriers. Nevertheless, the complexity of these smart “membrane holes” has been a significant driving force to develop artificial structures with comparable performance to the natural systems. The emergence of the broad range of supramolecular interactions as efficient tools for the rational design and preparation of stable 3D superstructures has boosted the possibilities and stimulated the creativity of chemists to design synthetic mimics of natural active macromolecules and even to develop artificial functions and properties. In this account we highlight results from our laboratories on the construction of artificial ion channel models that exploit the self-assembling of flat cyclic peptides into supramolecular nanotubes. The straightforward synthesis of the cyclic peptide monomers and the complete control over the internal diameter and external surface properties of the resulting hollow tubular suprastructure make CPs the optimal candidates for the fabrication of ion channels. Ion channel activities and selective transport of small molecules are examples of the huge potential of cyclic peptide nanotubes for the construction of functional transmembrane ion channels or pores. Our

  10. Supramolecular Assemblies and Localized Regulation of Voltage-Gated Ion Channels

    PubMed Central

    Dai, Shuiping; Hall, Duane D.; Hell, Johannes W.

    2009-01-01

    This review addresses the localized regulation of voltage-gated ion channels by phosphorylation. Comprehensive data on channel regulation by associated protein kinases, phosphatases, and related regulatory proteins are mainly available for voltage-gated Ca2+ channels, which form the main focus of this review. Other voltage-gated ion channels and especially Kv7.1-3 (KCNQ1-3), the large- and small-conductance Ca2+-activated K+ channels BK and SK2, and the inward-rectifying K+ channels Kir3 have also been studied to quite some extent and will be included. Regulation of the L-type Ca2+ channel Cav1.2 by PKA has been studied most thoroughly as it underlies the cardiac fight-or-flight response. A prototypical Cav1.2 signaling complex containing the β2 adrenergic receptor, the heterotrimeric G protein Gs, adenylyl cyclase, and PKA has been identified that supports highly localized via cAMP. The type 2 ryanodine receptor as well as AMPA- and NMDA-type glutamate receptors are in close proximity to Cav1.2 in cardiomyocytes and neurons, respectively, yet independently anchor PKA, CaMKII, and the serine/threonine phosphatases PP1, PP2A, and PP2B, as is discussed in detail. Descriptions of the structural and functional aspects of the interactions of PKA, PKC, CaMKII, Src, and various phosphatases with Cav1.2 will include comparisons with analogous interactions with other channels such as the ryanodine receptor or ionotropic glutamate receptors. Regulation of Na+ and K+ channel phosphorylation complexes will be discussed in separate papers. This review is thus intended for readers interested in ion channel regulation or in localization of kinases, phosphatases, and their upstream regulators. PMID:19342611

  11. From Toxins Targeting Ligand Gated Ion Channels to Therapeutic Molecules

    PubMed Central

    Nasiripourdori, Adak; Taly, Valérie; Grutter, Thomas; Taly, Antoine

    2011-01-01

    Ligand-gated ion channels (LGIC) play a central role in inter-cellular communication. This key function has two consequences: (i) these receptor channels are major targets for drug discovery because of their potential involvement in numerous human brain diseases; (ii) they are often found to be the target of plant and animal toxins. Together this makes toxin/receptor interactions important to drug discovery projects. Therefore, toxins acting on LGIC are presented and their current/potential therapeutic uses highlighted. PMID:22069709

  12. Structure and Energetics of Allosteric Regulation of HCN2 Ion Channels by Cyclic Nucleotides.

    PubMed

    DeBerg, Hannah A; Brzovic, Peter S; Flynn, Galen E; Zagotta, William N; Stoll, Stefan

    2016-01-01

    Hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN) ion channels play an important role in regulating electrical activity in the heart and brain. They are gated by the binding of cyclic nucleotides to a conserved, intracellular cyclic nucleotide-binding domain (CNBD), which is connected to the channel pore by a C-linker region. Binding of cyclic nucleotides increases the rate and extent of channel activation and shifts it to less hyperpolarized voltages. We probed the allosteric mechanism of different cyclic nucleotides on the CNBD and on channel gating. Electrophysiology experiments showed that cAMP, cGMP, and cCMP were effective agonists of the channel and produced similar increases in the extent of channel activation. In contrast, electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) on the isolated CNBD indicated that the induced conformational changes and the degrees of stabilization of the active conformation differed for the three cyclic nucleotides. We explain these results with a model where different allosteric mechanisms in the CNBD all converge to have the same effect on the C-linker and render all three cyclic nucleotides similarly potent activators of the channel. PMID:26559974

  13. Structure and Energetics of Allosteric Regulation of HCN2 Ion Channels by Cyclic Nucleotides*

    PubMed Central

    DeBerg, Hannah A.; Brzovic, Peter S.; Flynn, Galen E.; Zagotta, William N.; Stoll, Stefan

    2016-01-01

    Hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN) ion channels play an important role in regulating electrical activity in the heart and brain. They are gated by the binding of cyclic nucleotides to a conserved, intracellular cyclic nucleotide-binding domain (CNBD), which is connected to the channel pore by a C-linker region. Binding of cyclic nucleotides increases the rate and extent of channel activation and shifts it to less hyperpolarized voltages. We probed the allosteric mechanism of different cyclic nucleotides on the CNBD and on channel gating. Electrophysiology experiments showed that cAMP, cGMP, and cCMP were effective agonists of the channel and produced similar increases in the extent of channel activation. In contrast, electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) on the isolated CNBD indicated that the induced conformational changes and the degrees of stabilization of the active conformation differed for the three cyclic nucleotides. We explain these results with a model where different allosteric mechanisms in the CNBD all converge to have the same effect on the C-linker and render all three cyclic nucleotides similarly potent activators of the channel. PMID:26559974

  14. Main ion channels and receptors associated with visceral hypersensitivity in irritable bowel syndrome

    PubMed Central

    de Carvalho Rocha, Heraldo Arcela; Dantas, Bruna Priscilla Vasconcelos; Rolim, Thaísa Leite; Costa, Bagnólia Araújo; de Medeiros, Arnaldo Correia

    2014-01-01

    Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a very frequent functional gastrointestinal disorder characterized by recurrent abdominal pain or discomfort and alteration of bowel habits. The IBS physiopathology is extremely complex. Visceral hypersensitivity plays an important role in the pathogenesis of abdominal pain in both in vitro and in vivo models of this functional disorder. In order to obtain a general view of the participation of the main ion channels and receptors regarding the visceral hypersensitivity in the IBS and to describe their chemical structure, a literature review was carried out. A bibliographical research in the following electronic databases: Pubmed and Virtual Library in Health (BVS) was fulfilled by using the search terms “ion channels” “or” “receptors” “and” “visceral hypersensitivity” “or” “visceral nociception” “and” “irritable bowel syndrome”. Original and review articles were considered for data acquisition. The activation of the ATP ion-gated channels, voltage-gated sodium (Nav) and calcium (Cav) channels, as well as the activation of protease-activated receptors (PAR2), transient receptor potential vanilloide-1, serotonin, cannabinoids and cholecystokinin are involved in the genesis of visceral hypersensitivity in IBS. The involvement of ion channels and receptors concerning visceral hypersensitivity is noteworthy in IBS models. PMID:24976114

  15. Mechanical sensitivity of Piezo1 ion channels can be tuned by cellular membrane tension.

    PubMed

    Lewis, Amanda H; Grandl, Jörg

    2015-12-08

    Piezo1 ion channels mediate the conversion of mechanical forces into electrical signals and are critical for responsiveness to touch in metazoans. The apparent mechanical sensitivity of Piezo1 varies substantially across cellular environments, stimulating methods and protocols, raising the fundamental questions of what precise physical stimulus activates the channel and how its stimulus sensitivity is regulated. Here, we measured Piezo1 currents evoked by membrane stretch in three patch configurations, while simultaneously visualizing and measuring membrane geometry. Building on this approach, we developed protocols to minimize resting membrane curvature and tension prior to probing Piezo1 activity. We find that Piezo1 responds to lateral membrane tension with exquisite sensitivity as compared to other mechanically activated channels and that resting tension can drive channel inactivation, thereby tuning overall mechanical sensitivity of Piezo1. Our results explain how Piezo1 can function efficiently and with adaptable sensitivity as a sensor of mechanical stimulation in diverse cellular contexts.

  16. Estimates of maximum trappable ion beam power in plasma channels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Watrous, J. J.; Olson, R. E.

    Conservation laws and solutions to the equations of motion for single particles have been used to obtained greatest lower bounds on the ion beam power that can be injected into and confined within plasma channels. These bounds are use in the evaluation of proposed light ion driven ICF experiments and reactor concepts. Simple estimates of trappable power based on conservation laws will be compared with estimates based on solutions to the equation of motion. Consequences of the results of these calculations to current design studies will be discussed.

  17. Unconventional secretory processing diversifies neuronal ion channel properties

    PubMed Central

    Hanus, Cyril; Geptin, Helene; Tushev, Georgi; Garg, Sakshi; Alvarez-Castelao, Beatriz; Sambandan, Sivakumar; Kochen, Lisa; Hafner, Anne-Sophie; Langer, Julian D; Schuman, Erin M

    2016-01-01

    N-glycosylation – the sequential addition of complex sugars to adhesion proteins, neurotransmitter receptors, ion channels and secreted trophic factors as they progress through the endoplasmic reticulum and the Golgi apparatus – is one of the most frequent protein modifications. In mammals, most organ-specific N-glycosylation events occur in the brain. Yet, little is known about the nature, function and regulation of N-glycosylation in neurons. Using imaging, quantitative immunoblotting and mass spectrometry, we show that hundreds of neuronal surface membrane proteins are core-glycosylated, resulting in the neuronal membrane displaying surprisingly high levels of glycosylation profiles that are classically associated with immature intracellular proteins. We report that while N-glycosylation is generally required for dendritic development and glutamate receptor surface expression, core-glycosylated proteins are sufficient to sustain these processes, and are thus functional. This atypical glycosylation of surface neuronal proteins can be attributed to a bypass or a hypo-function of the Golgi apparatus. Core-glycosylation is regulated by synaptic activity, modulates synaptic signaling and accelerates the turnover of GluA2-containing glutamate receptors, revealing a novel mechanism that controls the composition and sensing properties of the neuronal membrane. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.20609.001 PMID:27677849

  18. Function and regulation of TRPP2 ion channel revealed by a gain-of-function mutant.

    PubMed

    Arif Pavel, Mahmud; Lv, Caixia; Ng, Courtney; Yang, Lei; Kashyap, Parul; Lam, Clarissa; Valentino, Victoria; Fung, Helen Y; Campbell, Thomas; Møller, Simon Geir; Zenisek, David; Holtzman, Nathalia G; Yu, Yong

    2016-04-26

    Mutations in polycystin-1 and transient receptor potential polycystin 2 (TRPP2) account for almost all clinically identified cases of autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD), one of the most common human genetic diseases. TRPP2 functions as a cation channel in its homomeric complex and in the TRPP2/polycystin-1 receptor/ion channel complex. The activation mechanism of TRPP2 is unknown, which significantly limits the study of its function and regulation. Here, we generated a constitutively active gain-of-function (GOF) mutant of TRPP2 by applying a mutagenesis scan on the S4-S5 linker and the S5 transmembrane domain, and studied functional properties of the GOF TRPP2 channel. We found that extracellular divalent ions, including Ca(2+), inhibit the permeation of monovalent ions by directly blocking the TRPP2 channel pore. We also found that D643, a negatively charged amino acid in the pore, is crucial for channel permeability. By introducing single-point ADPKD pathogenic mutations into the GOF TRPP2, we showed that different mutations could have completely different effects on channel activity. The in vivo function of the GOF TRPP2 was investigated in zebrafish embryos. The results indicate that, compared with wild type (WT), GOF TRPP2 more efficiently rescued morphological abnormalities, including curly tail and cyst formation in the pronephric kidney, caused by down-regulation of endogenous TRPP2 expression. Thus, we established a GOF TRPP2 channel that can serve as a powerful tool for studying the function and regulation of TRPP2. The GOF channel may also have potential application for developing new therapeutic strategies for ADPKD. PMID:27071085

  19. Effects of Bisphenol A on ion channels: Experimental evidence and molecular mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Soriano, Sergi; Ripoll, Cristina; Alonso-Magdalena, Paloma; Fuentes, Esther; Quesada, Ivan; Nadal, Angel; Martinez-Pinna, Juan

    2016-07-01

    Bisphenol A (BPA) is an endocrine-disrupting chemical (EDC) produced in huge quantities in the manufacture of polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins. It is present in most humans in developed countries, acting as a xenoestrogen and it is considered an environmental risk factor associated to several diseases. Among the whole array of identified mechanisms by which BPA can interfere with physiological processes in living organisms, changes on ion channel activity is one of the most poorly understood. There is still little evidence about BPA regulation of ion channel expression and function. However, this information is key to understand how BPA disrupts excitable and non-excitable cells, including neurons, endocrine cells and muscle cells. This report is the result of a comprehensive literature review on the effects of BPA on ion channels. We conclude that there is evidence to say that these important molecules may be key end-points for EDCs acting as xenoestrogens. However, more research on channel-mediated BPA effects is needed. Particularly, mechanistic studies to unravel the pathophysiological actions of BPA on ion channels at environmentally relevant doses. PMID:26930576

  20. Binding of Capsaicin to the TRPV1 Ion Channel.

    PubMed

    Darré, Leonardo; Domene, Carmen

    2015-12-01

    Transient receptor potential (TRP) ion channels constitute a notable family of cation channels involved in the ability of an organisms to detect noxious mechanical, thermal, and chemical stimuli that give rise to the perception of pain, taste, and changes in temperature. One of the most experimentally studied agonist of TRP channels is capsaicin, which is responsible for the burning sensation produced when chili pepper is in contact with organic tissues. Thus, understanding how this molecule interacts and regulates TRP channels is essential to high impact pharmacological applications, particularly those related to pain treatment. The recent publication of a three-dimensional structure of the vanilloid receptor 1 (TRPV1) in the absence and presence of capsaicin from single particle electron cryomicroscopy experiments provides the opportunity to explore these questions at the atomic level. In the present work, molecular docking and unbiased and biased molecular dynamics simulations were employed to generate a structural model of the capsaicin-channel complex. In addition, the standard free energy of binding was estimated using alchemical transformations coupled with conformational, translational, and orientational restraints on the ligand. Key binding modes consistent with previous experimental data are identified, and subtle but essential dynamical features of the binding site are characterized. These observations shed some light into how TRPV1 interacts with capsaicin, and may help to refine design parameters for new TRPV1 antagonists, and potentially guide further developments of TRP channel modulators. PMID:26502196

  1. Binding of Capsaicin to the TRPV1 Ion Channel.

    PubMed

    Darré, Leonardo; Domene, Carmen

    2015-12-01

    Transient receptor potential (TRP) ion channels constitute a notable family of cation channels involved in the ability of an organisms to detect noxious mechanical, thermal, and chemical stimuli that give rise to the perception of pain, taste, and changes in temperature. One of the most experimentally studied agonist of TRP channels is capsaicin, which is responsible for the burning sensation produced when chili pepper is in contact with organic tissues. Thus, understanding how this molecule interacts and regulates TRP channels is essential to high impact pharmacological applications, particularly those related to pain treatment. The recent publication of a three-dimensional structure of the vanilloid receptor 1 (TRPV1) in the absence and presence of capsaicin from single particle electron cryomicroscopy experiments provides the opportunity to explore these questions at the atomic level. In the present work, molecular docking and unbiased and biased molecular dynamics simulations were employed to generate a structural model of the capsaicin-channel complex. In addition, the standard free energy of binding was estimated using alchemical transformations coupled with conformational, translational, and orientational restraints on the ligand. Key binding modes consistent with previous experimental data are identified, and subtle but essential dynamical features of the binding site are characterized. These observations shed some light into how TRPV1 interacts with capsaicin, and may help to refine design parameters for new TRPV1 antagonists, and potentially guide further developments of TRP channel modulators.

  2. The screw-helical voltage gating of ion channels.

    PubMed Central

    Keynes, R D; Elinder, F

    1999-01-01

    In the voltage-gated ion channels of every animal, whether they are selective for K+, Na+ or Ca2+, the voltage sensors are the S4 transmembrane segments carrying four to eight positive charges always separated by two uncharged residues. It is proposed that they move across the membrane in a screw-helical fashion in a series of three or more steps that each transfer a single electronic charge. The unit steps are stabilized by ion pairing between the mobile positive charges and fixed negative charges, of which there are invariably two located near the inner ends of segments S2 and S3 and a third near the outer end of either S2 or S3. Opening of the channel involves three such steps in each domain. PMID:10343407

  3. Biomimetic Nanotubes Based on Cyclodextrins for Ion-Channel Applications.

    PubMed

    Mamad-Hemouch, Hajar; Ramoul, Hassen; Abou Taha, Mohammad; Bacri, Laurent; Huin, Cécile; Przybylski, Cédric; Oukhaled, Abdelghani; Thiébot, Bénédicte; Patriarche, Gilles; Jarroux, Nathalie; Pelta, Juan

    2015-11-11

    Biomimetic membrane channels offer a great potential for fundamental studies and applications. Here, we report the fabrication and characterization of short cyclodextrin nanotubes, their insertion into membranes, and cytotoxicity assay. Mass spectrometry and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy were used to confirm the synthesis pathway leading to the formation of short nanotubes and to describe their structural parameters in terms of length, diameter, and number of cyclodextrins. Our results show the control of the number of cyclodextrins threaded on the polyrotaxane leading to nanotube synthesis. Structural parameters obtained by electron microscopy are consistent with the distribution of the number of cyclodextrins evaluated by mass spectrometry from the initial polymer distribution. An electrophysiological study at single molecule level demonstrates the ion channel formation into lipid bilayers, and the energy penalty for the entry of ions into the confined nanotube. In the presence of nanotubes, the cell physiology is not altered.

  4. Ion channels and drug transporters as targets for anthelmintics

    PubMed Central

    Greenberg, Robert M.

    2014-01-01

    Infections with parasitic helminths such as schistosomes and soil-transmitted nematodes are hugely prevalent and responsible for a major portion of the global health and economic burdens associated with neglected tropical diseases. In addition, many of these parasites infect livestock and plants used in agriculture, resulting in further impoverishment. Treatment and control of these pathogens rely on anthelmintic drugs, which are few in number, and against which drug resistance can develop rapidly. The neuromuscular system of the parasite, and in particular, the ion channels and associated receptors underlying excitation and signaling, have proven to be outstanding targets for anthelmintics. This review will survey the different ion channels found in helminths, focusing on their unique characteristics and pharmacological sensitivities. It will also briefly review the literature on helminth multidrug efflux that may modulate parasite susceptibility to anthelmintics and may prove useful targets for new or repurposed agents that can enhance parasite drug susceptibility and perhaps overcome drug resistance. PMID:25554739

  5. Microstructured apertures in planar glass substrates for ion channel research.

    PubMed

    Fertig, Niels; George, Michael; Klau, Michèle; Meyer, Christine; Tilke, Armin; Sobotta, Constanze; Blick, Robert H; Behrends, Jan C

    2003-01-01

    We have developed planar glass chip devices for patch clamp recording. Glass has several key advantages as a substrate for planar patch clamp devices. It is a good dielectric, is well-known to interact strongly with cell membranes and is also a relatively in-expensive material. In addition, it is optically neutral. However, microstructuring processes for glass are less well established than those for silicon-based substrates. We have used ion-track etching techniques to produce micron-sized apertures into borosilicate and quartz-glass coverslips. These apertures, which can be easily produced in arrays, have been used for high resolution recording of single ion channels as well as for whole-cell current recordings from mammalian cell lines. An additional attractive application that is greatly facilitated by the combination of planar geometry with the optical neutrality of the substrate is single-molecule fluorescence recording with simultaneous single-channel measurements. PMID:12825296

  6. Automatable lipid bilayer formation for ion channel studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poulos, Jason L.; Bang, Hyunwoo; Jeon, Tae-Joon; Schmidt, Jacob J.

    2008-08-01

    Transmembrane proteins and ion channels are important drug targets and have been explored as single molecule sensors. For these proteins to function normally they must be integrated within lipid bilayers; however, the labor and skill required to create artificial lipid bilayers have the limited the possible applications utilizing these proteins. In order to reduce the complexity and cost of lipid bilayer formation and measurement, we have modified a previously published lipid bilayer formation technique using mechanically contacted monolayers so that the process is automatable, requiring minimal operator input. Measurement electronics are integrated with the fluid handling system, greatly reducing the time and operator feedback characteristically required of traditional bilayer experiments. To demonstrate the biological functionality of the resultant bilayers and the system's capabilities as a membrane platform, the ion channel gramicidin A was incorporated and measured with this system.

  7. LGICdb: the ligand-gated ion channel database.

    PubMed

    Le Novère, N; Changeux, J P

    2001-01-01

    Ligand-Gated Ion Channels (LGIC) are polymeric transmembrane proteins involved in the fast response to numerous neurotransmitters. All these receptors are formed by homologous subunits and the last two decades revealed an unexpected wealth of genes coding for these subunits. The Ligand-Gated Ion Channel database (LGICdb) has been developed to handle this increasing amount of data. The database aims to provide only one entry for each gene, containing annotated nucleic acid and protein sequences. The repository is carefully structured and the entries can be retrieved by various criteria. In addition to the sequences, the LGICdb provides multiple sequence alignments, phylogenetic analyses and atomic coordinates when available. The database is accessible via the World Wide Web (http://www.pasteur.fr/recherche/banques/LGIC /LGIC.html), where it is continuously updated. The version 16 (September 2000) available for download contained 333 entries covering 34 species.

  8. Ion channel involvement in anoxic depolarization induced by cardiac arrest in rat brain.

    PubMed

    Xie, Y; Zacharias, E; Hoff, P; Tegtmeier, F

    1995-07-01

    Anoxic depolarization (AD) and failure of ion homeostasis play an important role in ischemia-induced neuronal injury. In the present study, different drugs with known ion-channel-modulating properties were examined for their ability to interfere with cardiac-arrest-elicited AD and with the changes in the extracellular ion activity in rat brain. Our results indicate that only drugs primarily blocking membrane Na+ permeability (NBQX, R56865, and flunarizine) delayed the occurrence of AD, while compounds affecting cellular Ca2+ load (MK-801 and nimodipine) did not influence the latency time. The ischemia-induced [Na+]e reduction was attenuated by R56865. Blockade of the ATP-sensitive K+ channels with glibenclamide reduced the [K+]e increase upon ischemia, indicating an involvement of the KATP channels in ischemia-induced K+ efflux. The KATP channel opener cromakalim did not affect the AD or the [K+]e concentration. The ischemia-induced rapid decline of extracellular calcium was attenuated by receptor-operated Ca2+ channel blockers MK-801 and NBQX, but not by the voltage-operated Ca2+ channel blocker nimodipine, R56865, and flunarizine. PMID:7540620

  9. Amino acid-sensing ion channels in plants

    SciTech Connect

    Spalding, Edgar P.

    2014-08-12

    The title of our project is “Amino acid-sensing ion channels in plants”. Its goals are two-fold: to determine the molecular functions of glutamate receptor-like (GLR) proteins, and to elucidate their biological roles (physiological or developmental) in plants. Here is our final technical report. We were highly successful in two of the three aims, modestly successful in the third.

  10. Ion permeation properties of the glutamate receptor channel in cultured embryonic Drosophila myotubes.

    PubMed Central

    Chang, H; Ciani, S; Kidokoro, Y

    1994-01-01

    Ion permeation properties of the glutamate receptor channel in cultured myotubes of Drosophila embryos were studied using the inside-out configuration of the patch-clamp technique. Lowering the NaCl concentration in the bath (intracellular solution), while maintaining that of the external solution constant, caused a shift of the reversal potential in the positive direction, thus indicating a higher permeability of the channel to Na+ than to Cl- (PCl/PNa < 0.04), and suggesting that the channel is cation selective. With 145 mM Na+ on both sides of the membrane, the single-channel current-voltage relation was almost linear in the voltage range between -80 and +80 mV, the conductance showing some variability in the range between 140 and 170 pS. All monovalent alkali cations tested, as well as NH4+, permeated the channel effectively. Using the Goldman-Hodgkin-Katz equation for the reversal potential, the permeability ratios with respect to Na+ were estimated to be: 1.32 for K+, 1.18 for NH4+, 1.15 for Rb+, 1.09 for Cs+, and 0.57 for Li+. Divalent cations, i.e. Mg2+ and Ca2+, in the external solution depressed not only the inward but also the outward Na+ currents, although reversal potential measurements indicated that both ions have considerably higher permeabilities than Na+ (PMg/PNa = 2.31; PCa/PNa = 9.55). The conductance-activity relation for Na+ was described by a hyperbolic curve. The maximal conductance was about 195 pS and the half-saturating activity 45 mM. This result suggests that Na+ ions bind to sites in the channel. All data were fitted by a model based on the Eyring's reaction rate theory, in which the receptor channel is a one-ion pore with three energy barriers and two internal sites. PMID:7519261

  11. Ion Channel Voltage Sensors: Structure, Function, and Pathophysiology

    PubMed Central

    Catterall, William A.

    2010-01-01

    Voltage-gated ion channels generate electrical signals in species from bacteria to man. Their voltage-sensing modules are responsible for initiation of action potentials and graded membrane potential changes in response to synaptic input and other physiological stimuli. Extensive structure-function studies, structure determination, and molecular modeling are now converging on a sliding-helix mechanism for electromechanical coupling in which outward movement of gating charges in the S4 transmembrane segments catalyzed by sequential formation of ion pairs pulls the S4-S5 linker, bends the S6 segment, and opens the pore. Impairment of voltage-sensor function by mutations in Na+ channels contributes to several ion channelopathies, and gating pore current conducted by mutant voltage sensors in NaV1.4 channels is the primary pathophysiological mechanism in Hypokalemic Periodic Paralysis. The emerging structural model for voltage sensor function opens the way to development of a new generation of ionchannel drugs that act on voltage sensors rather than blocking the pore. PMID:20869590

  12. Automated ion channel screening: patch clamping made easy.

    PubMed

    Farre, Cecilia; Stoelzle, Sonja; Haarmann, Claudia; George, Michael; Brüggemann, Andrea; Fertig, Niels

    2007-04-01

    Efficient high resolution techniques are required for screening efforts and research targeting ion channels. The conventional patch clamp technique, a high resolution but low efficiency technique, has been established for 25 years. Recent advances have opened up new possibilities for automated patch clamping. This new technology meets the need of drug developers for higher throughput and facilitates new experimental approaches in ion channel research. Specifically, Nanion's electrophysiology workstations, the Port-a-Patch and the Patchliner, have been successfully introduced as high-quality automated patch clamp platforms for industry as well as academic users. Both platforms give high quality patch clamp recordings, capable of true giga-seals and stable recordings, accessible to the user without the need for years of practical training. They also offer sophisticated experimental possibilities, such as accurate and fast ligand application, temperature control and internal solution exchange. This article describes the chip-based patch clamp technology and its usefulness in ion channel drug screening and academic research.

  13. Regulation of lysosomal ion homeostasis by channels and transporters.

    PubMed

    Xiong, Jian; Zhu, Michael X

    2016-08-01

    Lysosomes are the major organelles that carry out degradation functions. They integrate and digest materials compartmentalized by endocytosis, phagocytosis or autophagy. In addition to more than 60 hydrolases residing in the lysosomes, there are also ion channels and transporters that mediate the flux or transport of H(+), Ca(2+), Na(+), K(+), and Cl(-) across the lysosomal membranes. Defects in ionic exchange can lead to abnormal lysosome morphology, defective vesicle trafficking, impaired autophagy, and diseases such as neurodegeneration and lysosomal storage disorders. The latter are characterized by incomplete lysosomal digestion and accumulation of toxic materials inside enlarged intracellular vacuoles. In addition to degradation, recent studies have revealed the roles of lysosomes in metabolic pathways through kinases such as mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) and transcriptional regulation through calcium signaling molecules such as transcription factor EB (TFEB) and calcineurin. Owing to the development of new approaches including genetically encoded fluorescence probes and whole endolysosomal patch clamp recording techniques, studies on lysosomal ion channels have made remarkable progress in recent years. In this review, we will focus on the current knowledge of lysosome-resident ion channels and transporters, discuss their roles in maintaining lysosomal function, and evaluate how their dysfunction can result in disease. PMID:27430889

  14. Peptidomimetic Star Polymers for Targeting Biological Ion Channels

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Rong; Lu, Derong; Xie, Zili; Feng, Jing; Jia, Zhongfan; Ho, Junming; Coote, Michelle L.; Wu, Yingliang; Monteiro, Michael J.; Chung, Shin-Ho

    2016-01-01

    Four end-functionalized star polymers that could attenuate the flow of ionic currents across biological ion channels were first de novo designed computationally, then synthesized and tested experimentally on mammalian K+ channels. The 4-arm ethylene glycol conjugate star polymers with lysine or a tripeptide attached to the end of each arm were specifically designed to mimic the action of scorpion toxins on K+ channels. Molecular dynamics simulations showed that the lysine side chain of the polymers physically occludes the pore of Kv1.3, a target for immuno-suppression therapy. Two of the compounds tested were potent inhibitors of Kv1.3. The dissociation constants of these two compounds were computed to be 0.1 μM and 0.7 μM, respectively, within 3-fold to the values derived from subsequent experiments. These results demonstrate the power of computational methods in molecular design and the potential of star polymers as a new infinitely modifiable platform for ion channel drug discovery. PMID:27007701

  15. Peptidomimetic Star Polymers for Targeting Biological Ion Channels.

    PubMed

    Chen, Rong; Lu, Derong; Xie, Zili; Feng, Jing; Jia, Zhongfan; Ho, Junming; Coote, Michelle L; Wu, Yingliang; Monteiro, Michael J; Chung, Shin-Ho

    2016-01-01

    Four end-functionalized star polymers that could attenuate the flow of ionic currents across biological ion channels were first de novo designed computationally, then synthesized and tested experimentally on mammalian K+ channels. The 4-arm ethylene glycol conjugate star polymers with lysine or a tripeptide attached to the end of each arm were specifically designed to mimic the action of scorpion toxins on K+ channels. Molecular dynamics simulations showed that the lysine side chain of the polymers physically occludes the pore of Kv1.3, a target for immuno-suppression therapy. Two of the compounds tested were potent inhibitors of Kv1.3. The dissociation constants of these two compounds were computed to be 0.1 μM and 0.7 μM, respectively, within 3-fold to the values derived from subsequent experiments. These results demonstrate the power of computational methods in molecular design and the potential of star polymers as a new infinitely modifiable platform for ion channel drug discovery.

  16. The Concise Guide to Pharmacology 2013/14: Ion Channels

    PubMed Central

    Alexander, Stephen PH; Benson, Helen E; Faccenda, Elena; Pawson, Adam J; Sharman, Joanna L; Catterall, William A; Spedding, Michael; Peters, John A; Harmar, Anthony J

    2013-01-01

    The Concise Guide to PHARMACOLOGY 2013/14 provides concise overviews of the key properties of over 2000 human drug targets with their pharmacology, plus links to an open access knowledgebase of drug targets and their ligands (www.guidetopharmacology.org), which provides more detailed views of target and ligand properties. The full contents can be found at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bph.12444/full. Ion channels are one of the seven major pharmacological targets into which the Guide is divided, with the others being G protein-coupled receptors, ligand-gated ion channels, catalytic receptors, nuclear hormone receptors, transporters and enzymes. These are presented with nomenclature guidance and summary information on the best available pharmacological tools, alongside key references and suggestions for further reading. A new landscape format has easy to use tables comparing related targets. It is a condensed version of material contemporary to late 2013, which is presented in greater detail and constantly updated on the website www.guidetopharmacology.org, superseding data presented in previous Guides to Receptors and Channels. It is produced in conjunction with NC-IUPHAR and provides the official IUPHAR classification and nomenclature for human drug targets, where appropriate. It consolidates information previously curated and displayed separately in IUPHAR-DB and the Guide to Receptors and Channels, providing a permanent, citable, point-in-time record that will survive database updates. PMID:24528239

  17. Direct activation of cardiac pacemaker channels by intracellular cyclic AMP.

    PubMed

    DiFrancesco, D; Tortora, P

    1991-05-01

    Cyclic AMP acts as a second messenger in the modulation of several ion channels that are typically controlled by a phosphorylation process. In cardiac pacemaker cells, adrenaline and acetylcholine regulate the hyperpolarization-activated current (if), but in opposite ways; this current is involved in the generation and modulation of pacemaker activity. These actions are mediated by cAMP and underlie control of spontaneous rate by neurotransmitters. Whether the cAMP modulation of if is mediated by channel phosphorylation is, however, still unknown. Here we investigate the action of cAMP on if in excised patches of cardiac pacemaker cells and find that cAMP activates if by a mechanism independent of phosphorylation, involving a direct interaction with the channels at their cytoplasmic side. Cyclic AMP activates if by shifting its activation curve to more positive voltages, in agreement with whole-cell results. This is the first evidence of an ion channel whose gating is dually regulated by voltage and direct cAMP binding.

  18. Energetics of double-ion occupancy in the gramicidin A channel.

    PubMed

    Li, Yuhui; Andersen, Olaf S; Roux, Benoît

    2010-11-01

    To understand the energetics of double-ion occupancy in gramicidin A (gA) channels, the 2D potential of mean force (PMF) is calculated for two ions at different positions along the channel axis. The cross sections of this 2D PMF are compared with available one-ion PMFs to highlight the effect of one ion on the permeation dynamics of the other. It is found that, if the first ion stays on one side in the channel, the second ion has to pass over an additional barrier to move into the outer binding site. At the same time, both outer and inner binding sites for the second ion become shallower than those in the one-ion PMF. The calculated ion-ion repulsion for a doubly occupied channel is about 2 kcal/mol, in good agreement with previous experimental estimates. The number of water molecules inside the channel and their dipole moment are calculated to interpret the energetics of double-ion occupancy. As the first ion moves into the outer binding site and then further into the channel, the oxygen atoms of the single-file water column in the channel are oriented to point toward the ion. The observed dipole moment distribution of a singly occupied channel has only one sharp peak, and the water alignment is essentially perfect once the ion is in the inner binding site. For this reason, there is an energy penalty to accommodate a second ion at the opposite end of the channel.

  19. A consensus segment in the M2 domain of the hP2X(7) receptor shows ion channel activity in planar lipid bilayers and in biological membranes.

    PubMed

    de Souza, Cristina Alves Magalhães; Teixeira, Pedro Celso Nogueira; Faria, Robson Xavier; Krylova, Oxana; Pohl, Peter; Alves, Luiz Anastacio

    2012-01-01

    The P2X(7) receptor (P2X(7)R) is an ATP-gated, cation-selective channel permeable to Na(+), K(+) and Ca(2+). This channel has also been associated with the opening of a non-selective pore that allows the flow of large organic ions. However, the biophysical properties of the P2X(7)R have yet to be characterized unequivocally. We investigated a region named ADSEG, which is conserved among all subtypes of P2X receptors (P2XRs). It is located in the M2 domain of hP2X(7)R, which aligns with the H5 signature sequence of potassium channels. We investigated the channel forming ability of ADSEG in artificial planar lipid bilayers and in biological membranes using the cell-attached patch-clamp techniques. ADSEG forms channels, which exhibit a preference for cations. They are voltage independent and show long-term stability in planar lipid bilayers as well as under patch-clamping conditions. The open probability of the ADSEG was similar to that of native P2X(7)R. The conserved part of the M2 domain of P2X(7)R forms ionic channels in planar lipid bilayers and in biological membranes. Its electrophysiological characteristics are similar to those of the whole receptor. Conserved and hydrophobic part of the M2 domain forms ion channels.

  20. An external sodium ion binding site controls allosteric gating in TRPV1 channels

    PubMed Central

    Jara-Oseguera, Andres; Bae, Chanhyung; Swartz, Kenton J

    2016-01-01

    TRPV1 channels in sensory neurons are integrators of painful stimuli and heat, yet how they integrate diverse stimuli and sense temperature remains elusive. Here, we show that external sodium ions stabilize the TRPV1 channel in a closed state, such that removing the external ion leads to channel activation. In studying the underlying mechanism, we find that the temperature sensors in TRPV1 activate in two steps to favor opening, and that the binding of sodium to an extracellular site exerts allosteric control over temperature-sensor activation and opening of the pore. The binding of a tarantula toxin to the external pore also exerts control over temperature-sensor activation, whereas binding of vanilloids influences temperature-sensitivity by largely affecting the open/closed equilibrium. Our results reveal a fundamental role of the external pore in the allosteric control of TRPV1 channel gating and provide essential constraints for understanding how these channels can be tuned by diverse stimuli. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.13356.001 PMID:26882503

  1. Modulation of acid-sensing ion channels: molecular mechanisms and therapeutic potential

    PubMed Central

    Chu, Xiang-Ping; Papasian, Christopher J; Wang, John Q; Xiong, Zhi-Gang

    2011-01-01

    Increases in extracellular proton concentrations, which takes place in physiological conditions such as synaptic signaling and pathological conditions such as tissue inflammation, ischemic stroke, traumatic brain injury, and epileptic seizure, activates a unique family of membrane ion channels; the acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs). All ASICs belong to amiloride-sensitive degenerin/epithelial Na+ channel superfamily. Four genes encoded at seven sub-units have been identified. ASICs are expressed primarily in neurons and have been shown to play critical roles in synaptic plasticity, learning/memory, fear conditioning, sensory transduction, pain perception, ischemic brain injury, seizure, and other neurological as well as psychological disorders. Although protons are the primary activator for ASICs, the properties and/or level of expression of these channels are modulated dramatically by neuropeptides, di-and polyvalent cations, inflammatory mediators, associated proteins, and protein phosphorylations, etc. Modulation of ASICs can result in profound changes in the activities and functions of these channels in both physiological and pathological processes. In this article, we provide an up to date review on the modulations of ASICs by exogenous agents and endogenous signaling molecules. A better understanding of how ASICs can be modulated should help define new strategies to counteract the deleterious effects of dysregulated ASIC activity. PMID:22162785

  2. An external sodium ion binding site controls allosteric gating in TRPV1 channels.

    PubMed

    Jara-Oseguera, Andres; Bae, Chanhyung; Swartz, Kenton J

    2016-01-01

    TRPV1 channels in sensory neurons are integrators of painful stimuli and heat, yet how they integrate diverse stimuli and sense temperature remains elusive. Here, we show that external sodium ions stabilize the TRPV1 channel in a closed state, such that removing the external ion leads to channel activation. In studying the underlying mechanism, we find that the temperature sensors in TRPV1 activate in two steps to favor opening, and that the binding of sodium to an extracellular site exerts allosteric control over temperature-sensor activation and opening of the pore. The binding of a tarantula toxin to the external pore also exerts control over temperature-sensor activation, whereas binding of vanilloids influences temperature-sensitivity by largely affecting the open/closed equilibrium. Our results reveal a fundamental role of the external pore in the allosteric control of TRPV1 channel gating and provide essential constraints for understanding how these channels can be tuned by diverse stimuli. PMID:26882503

  3. Bioinformatic characterizations and prediction of K+ and Na+ ion channels effector toxins

    PubMed Central

    Soli, Rima; Kaabi, Belhassen; Barhoumi, Mourad; El-Ayeb, Mohamed; Srairi-Abid, Najet

    2009-01-01

    Background K+ and Na+ channel toxins constitute a large set of polypeptides, which interact with their ion channel targets. These polypeptides are classified in two different structural groups. Recently a new structural group called birtoxin-like appeared to contain both types of toxins has been described. We hypothesized that peptides of this group may contain two conserved structural motifs in K+ and/or Na+ channels scorpion toxins, allowing these birtoxin-like peptides to be active on K+ and/or Na+ channels. Results Four multilevel motifs, overrepresented and specific to each group of K+ and/or Na+ ion channel toxins have been identified, using GIBBS and MEME and based on a training dataset of 79 sequences judged as representative of K+ and Na+ toxins. Unexpectedly birtoxin-like peptides appeared to present a new structural motif distinct from those present in K+ and Na+ channels Toxins. This result, supported by previous experimental data, suggests that birtoxin-like peptides may exert their activity on different sites than those targeted by classic K+ or Na+ toxins. Searching, the nr database with these newly identified motifs using MAST, retrieved several sequences (116 with e-value < 1) from various scorpion species (test dataset). The filtering process left 30 new and highly likely ion channel effectors. Phylogenetic analysis was used to classify the newly found sequences. Alternatively, classification tree analysis, using CART algorithm adjusted with the training dataset, using the motifs and their 2D structure as explanatory variables, provided a model for prediction of the activity of the new sequences. Conclusion The phylogenetic results were in perfect agreement with those obtained by the CART algorithm. Our results may be used as criteria for a new classification of scorpion toxins based on functional motifs. PMID:19284552

  4. Swell activated chloride channel function in human neutrophils

    SciTech Connect

    Salmon, Michael D.; Ahluwalia, Jatinder

    2009-04-17

    Non-excitable cells such as neutrophil granulocytes are the archetypal inflammatory immune cell involved in critical functions of the innate immune system. The electron current generated (I{sub e}) by the neutrophil NADPH oxidase is electrogenic and rapidly depolarises the membrane potential. For continuous function of the NADPH oxidase, I{sub e} has to be balanced to preserve electroneutrality, if not; sufficient depolarisation would prevent electrons from leaving the cell and neutrophil function would be abrogated. Subsequently, the depolarisation generated by the neutrophil NADPH oxidase I{sub e} must be counteracted by ion transport. The finding that depolarisation required counter-ions to compensate electron transport was followed by the observation that chloride channels activated by swell can counteract the NADPH oxidase membrane depolarisation. In this mini review, we discuss the research findings that revealed the essential role of swell activated chloride channels in human neutrophil function.

  5. Molecular dynamics simulations of water within models of ion channels.

    PubMed Central

    Breed, J; Sankararamakrishnan, R; Kerr, I D; Sansom, M S

    1996-01-01

    The transbilayer pores formed by ion channel proteins contain extended columns of water molecules. The dynamic properties of such waters have been suggested to differ from those of water in its bulk state. Molecular dynamics simulations of ion channel models solvated within and at the mouths of their pores are used to investigate the dynamics and structure of intra-pore water. Three classes of channel model are investigated: a) parallel bundles of hydrophobic (Ala20) alpha-helices; b) eight-stranded hydrophobic (Ala10) antiparallel beta-barrels; and c) parallel bundles of amphipathic alpha-helices (namely, delta-toxin, alamethicin, and nicotinic acetylcholine receptor M2 helix). The self-diffusion coefficients of water molecules within the pores are reduced significantly relative to bulk water in all of the models. Water rotational reorientation rates are also reduced within the pores, particularly in those pores formed by alpha-helix bundles. In the narrowest pore (that of the Ala20 pentameric helix bundle) self-diffusion coefficients and reorientation rates of intra-pore waters are reduced by approximately an order of magnitude relative to bulk solvent. In Ala20 helix bundles the water dipoles orient antiparallel to the helix dipoles. Such dipole/dipole interaction between water and pore may explain how water-filled ion channels may be formed by hydrophobic helices. In the bundles of amphipathic helices the orientation of water dipoles is modulated by the presence of charged side chains. No preferential orientation of water dipoles relative to the pore axis is observed in the hydrophobic beta-barrel models. Images FIGURE 1 FIGURE 5 FIGURE 7 PMID:8785323

  6. Regulation of Intestinal Glucose Absorption by Ion Channels and Transporters.

    PubMed

    Chen, Lihong; Tuo, Biguang; Dong, Hui

    2016-01-14

    The absorption of glucose is electrogenic in the small intestinal epithelium. The major route for the transport of dietary glucose from intestinal lumen into enterocytes is the Na⁺/glucose cotransporter (SGLT1), although glucose transporter type 2 (GLUT2) may also play a role. The membrane potential of small intestinal epithelial cells (IEC) is important to regulate the activity of SGLT1. The maintenance of membrane potential mainly depends on the activities of cation channels and transporters. While the importance of SGLT1 in glucose absorption has been systemically studied in detail, little is currently known about the regulation of SGLT1 activity by cation channels and transporters. A growing line of evidence suggests that cytosolic calcium ([Ca(2+)]cyt) can regulate the absorption of glucose by adjusting GLUT2 and SGLT1. Moreover, the absorption of glucose and homeostasis of Ca(2+) in IEC are regulated by cation channels and transporters, such as Ca(2+) channels, K⁺ channels, Na⁺/Ca(2+) exchangers, and Na⁺/H⁺ exchangers. In this review, we consider the involvement of these cation channels and transporters in the regulation of glucose uptake in the small intestine. Modulation of them may be a potential strategy for the management of obesity and diabetes.

  7. Autocrine-Based Selection of Drugs That Target Ion Channels from Combinatorial Venom Peptide Libraries.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Hongkai; Du, Mingjuan; Xie, Jia; Liu, Xiao; Sun, Jingying; Wang, Wei; Xin, Xiu; Possani, Lourival D; Yea, Kyungmoo; Lerner, Richard A

    2016-08-01

    Animal venoms represent a rich source of pharmacologically active peptides that interact with ion channels. However, a challenge to discovering drugs remains because of the slow pace at which venom peptides are discovered and refined. An efficient autocrine-based high-throughput selection system was developed to discover and refine venom peptides that target ion channels. The utility of this system was demonstrated by the discovery of novel Kv1.3 channel blockers from a natural venom peptide library that was formatted for autocrine-based selection. We also engineered a Kv1.3 blocker peptide (ShK) derived from sea anemone to generate a subtype-selective Kv1.3 blocker with a long half-life in vivo. PMID:27197631

  8. A family of fluoride-specific ion channels with dual-topology architecture

    PubMed Central

    Stockbridge, Randy B; Robertson, Janice L; Kolmakova-Partensky, Ludmila; Miller, Christopher

    2013-01-01

    Fluoride ion, ubiquitous in soil, water, and marine environments, is a chronic threat to microorganisms. Many prokaryotes, archea, unicellular eukaryotes, and plants use a recently discovered family of F− exporter proteins to lower cytoplasmic F− levels to counteract the anion’s toxicity. We show here that these ‘Fluc’ proteins, purified and reconstituted in liposomes and planar phospholipid bilayers, form constitutively open anion channels with extreme selectivity for F− over Cl−. The active channel is a dimer of identical or homologous subunits arranged in antiparallel transmembrane orientation. This dual-topology assembly has not previously been seen in ion channels but is known in multidrug transporters of the SMR family, and is suggestive of an evolutionary antecedent of the inverted repeats found within the subunits of many membrane transport proteins. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.01084.001 PMID:23991286

  9. Novel ion channels in the protists, Mougeotia and Saprolegnia, using sub-gigaseals.

    PubMed

    Lew, R R; Garrill, A; Covic, L; Heath, I B; Serlin, B S

    1992-10-01

    Protoplasts of the filamentous alga, Mougeotia, and the filamentous fungal oomycete, Saprolegnia ferax, exhibit two K+ ion channels (2-6 pA) using the patch-clamp technique when the seals are less than 1 G omega (about 100 M omega). The membrane potential of the protoplasts was near 0 mV as measured intracellularly with double-barreled micropipettes; thus, inward K+ flux is due solely to concentration differences. Although conductances are in the range expected for K+ channels, the activity at 0 mV is not seen in other organisms under gigaseal conditions. This paper draws attention to the usefulness of this subsidiary patch-clamp technique and the novel characteristics of ion channels in Mougeotia and Saprolegnia.

  10. Moving Fe2+ from ferritin ion channels to catalytic OH centers depends on conserved protein cage carboxylates.

    PubMed

    Behera, Rabindra K; Theil, Elizabeth C

    2014-06-01

    Ferritin biominerals are protein-caged metabolic iron concentrates used for iron-protein cofactors and oxidant protection (Fe(2+) and O2 sequestration). Fe(2+) passage through ion channels in the protein cages, like membrane ion channels, required for ferritin biomineral synthesis, is followed by Fe(2+) substrate movement to ferritin enzyme (Fox) sites. Fe(2+) and O2 substrates are coupled via a diferric peroxo (DFP) intermediate, λmax 650 nm, which decays to [Fe(3+)-O-Fe(3+)] precursors of caged ferritin biominerals. Structural studies show multiple conformations for conserved, carboxylate residues E136 and E57, which are between ferritin ion channel exits and enzymatic sites, suggesting functional connections. Here we show that E136 and E57 are required for ferritin enzyme activity and thus are functional links between ferritin ion channels and enzymatic sites. DFP formation (Kcat and kcat/Km), DFP decay, and protein-caged hydrated ferric oxide accumulation decreased in ferritin E57A and E136A; saturation required higher Fe(2+) concentrations. Divalent cations (both ion channel and intracage binding) selectively inhibit ferritin enzyme activity (block Fe(2+) access), Mn(2+) < Co(2+) < Cu(2+) < Zn(2+), reflecting metal ion-protein binding stabilities. Fe(2+)-Cys126 binding in ferritin ion channels, observed as Cu(2+)-S-Cys126 charge-transfer bands in ferritin E130D UV-vis spectra and resistance to Cu(2+) inhibition in ferritin C126S, was unpredicted. Identifying E57 and E136 links in Fe(2+) movement from ferritin ion channels to ferritin enzyme sites completes a bucket brigade that moves external Fe(2+) into ferritin enzymatic sites. The results clarify Fe(2+) transport within ferritin and model molecular links between membrane ion channels and cytoplasmic destinations. PMID:24843174

  11. Moving Fe2+ from ferritin ion channels to catalytic OH centers depends on conserved protein cage carboxylates.

    PubMed

    Behera, Rabindra K; Theil, Elizabeth C

    2014-06-01

    Ferritin biominerals are protein-caged metabolic iron concentrates used for iron-protein cofactors and oxidant protection (Fe(2+) and O2 sequestration). Fe(2+) passage through ion channels in the protein cages, like membrane ion channels, required for ferritin biomineral synthesis, is followed by Fe(2+) substrate movement to ferritin enzyme (Fox) sites. Fe(2+) and O2 substrates are coupled via a diferric peroxo (DFP) intermediate, λmax 650 nm, which decays to [Fe(3+)-O-Fe(3+)] precursors of caged ferritin biominerals. Structural studies show multiple conformations for conserved, carboxylate residues E136 and E57, which are between ferritin ion channel exits and enzymatic sites, suggesting functional connections. Here we show that E136 and E57 are required for ferritin enzyme activity and thus are functional links between ferritin ion channels and enzymatic sites. DFP formation (Kcat and kcat/Km), DFP decay, and protein-caged hydrated ferric oxide accumulation decreased in ferritin E57A and E136A; saturation required higher Fe(2+) concentrations. Divalent cations (both ion channel and intracage binding) selectively inhibit ferritin enzyme activity (block Fe(2+) access), Mn(2+) < Co(2+) < Cu(2+) < Zn(2+), reflecting metal ion-protein binding stabilities. Fe(2+)-Cys126 binding in ferritin ion channels, observed as Cu(2+)-S-Cys126 charge-transfer bands in ferritin E130D UV-vis spectra and resistance to Cu(2+) inhibition in ferritin C126S, was unpredicted. Identifying E57 and E136 links in Fe(2+) movement from ferritin ion channels to ferritin enzyme sites completes a bucket brigade that moves external Fe(2+) into ferritin enzymatic sites. The results clarify Fe(2+) transport within ferritin and model molecular links between membrane ion channels and cytoplasmic destinations.

  12. Computer Simulation Studies of Ion Channels at High Temperatures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Song, Hyun Deok

    The gramicidin channel is the smallest known biological ion channel, and it exhibits cation selectivity. Recently, Dr. John Cuppoletti's group at the University of Cincinnati showed that the gramicidin channel can function at high temperatures (360 ˜ 380K) with significant currents. This finding may have significant implications for fuel cell technology. In this thesis, we have examined the gramicidin channel at 300K, 330K, and 360K by computer simulation. We have investigated how the temperature affects the current and differences in magnitude of free energy between the two gramicidin forms, the helical dimer (HD) and the double helix (DH). A slight decrease of the free energy barrier inside the gramicidin channel and increased diffusion at high temperatures result in an increase of current. An applied external field of 0.2V/nm along the membrane normal results in directly observable ion transport across the channels at high temperatures for both HD and DH forms. We found that higher temperatures also affect the probability distribution of hydrogen bonds, the bending angle, the distance between dimers, and the size of the pore radius for the helical dimer structure. These findings may be related to the gating of the gramicidin channel. Methanococcus jannaschii (MJ) is a methane-producing thermophile, which was discovered at a depth of 2600m in a Pacific Ocean vent in 1983. It has the ability to thrive at high temperatures and high pressures, which are unfavorable for most life forms. There have been some experiments to study its stability under extreme conditions, but still the origin of the stability of MJ is not exactly known. MJ0305 is the chloride channel protein from the thermophile MJ. After generating a structure of MJ0305 by homology modeling based on the Ecoli ClC templates, we examined the thermal stability, and the network stability from the change of network entropy calculated from the adjacency matrices of the protein. High temperatures increase the

  13. The role of ion channels in the hypoxia-induced aggressiveness of glioblastoma

    PubMed Central

    Sforna, Luigi; Cenciarini, Marta; Belia, Silvia; D’Adamo, Maria Cristina; Pessia, Mauro; Franciolini, Fabio; Catacuzzeno, Luigi

    2015-01-01

    The malignancy of glioblastoma multiform (GBM), the most common and aggressive form of human brain tumors, strongly correlates with the presence of hypoxic areas, but the mechanisms controlling the hypoxia-induced aggressiveness are still unclear. GBM cells express a number of ion channels whose activity supports cell volume changes and increases in the cytosolic Ca2+ concentration, ultimately leading to cell proliferation, migration or death. In several cell types it has previously been shown that low oxygen levels regulate the expression and activity of these channels, and more recent data indicate that this also occurs in GBM cells. Based on these findings, it may be hypothesized that the modulation of ion channel activity or expression by the hypoxic environment may participate in the acquisition of the aggressive phenotype observed in GBM cells residing in a hypoxic environment. If this hypothesis will be confirmed, the use of available ion channels modulators may be considered for implementing novel therapeutic strategies against these tumors. PMID:25642170

  14. Structural plasticity and dynamic selectivity of acid-sensing ion channel-spider toxin complexes

    SciTech Connect

    Baconguis, Isabelle; Gouaux, Eric

    2012-07-29

    Acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs) are voltage-independent, amiloride-sensitive channels involved in diverse physiological processes ranging from nociception to taste. Despite the importance of ASICs in physiology, we know little about the mechanism of channel activation. Here we show that psalmotoxin activates non-selective and Na+-selective currents in chicken ASIC1a at pH7.25 and 5.5, respectively. Crystal structures of ASIC1a–psalmotoxin complexes map the toxin binding site to the extracellular domain and show how toxin binding triggers an expansion of the extracellular vestibule and stabilization of the open channel pore. At pH7.25 the pore is approximately 10Å in diameter, whereas at pH5.5 the pore is largely hydrophobic and elliptical in cross-section with dimensions of approximately 5 by 7Å, consistent with a barrier mechanism for ion selectivity. These studies define mechanisms for activation of ASICs, illuminate the basis for dynamic ion selectivity and provide the blueprints for new therapeutic agents.

  15. Nerve membrane ion channels as the target site of environmental toxicants

    SciTech Connect

    Narahashi, T.

    1987-04-01

    There are many environmentally important chemicals which exhibit potent effects on the nervous system. Since nerve excitation takes place in a fraction of a second, electrophysiological methods provide the authors with the most straightforward approach to the study of the mechanisms of action of environmental toxicants on the nervous system. Aquatic animals such as crayfish, lobster, squid, and marine snails represent extremely useful materials for such electrophysiological studies, because much of the authors knowledge of nerve excitation is derived from those animals. Nerve excitation takes place as a result of opening and closing of ion channels of the membrane. These functions are independent of metabolic energy, and can be measured most effectively by voltage clamp techniques as applied to the giant axons of the crayfish and the squid. Patch clamp techniques developed during the past 10 years have added a new dimension to the electrophysiological investigation. These techniques allow them to measure the activity of individual ion channels, thereby making it possible to analyze the interaction of toxic molecules directly with single ion channels. Examples are given summarizing electrophysiological studies of environmental neurotoxicants. The abdominal nerve cords and neuromuscular preparations isolated from the crayfish are convenient materials for bioassay of certain environmental toxicants such as pyrethroids, chlorinated hydrocarbons, and other insecticides. Only a small fraction of the flux through the sodium channel, less than 1%, must be modified by pyrethroids for the animal to develop symptoms of poisoning. Such a toxicological application from channel to animal is important is understanding the potent toxic effect.

  16. Charging the Quantum Capacitance of Graphene with a Single Biological Ion Channel

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    The interaction of cell and organelle membranes (lipid bilayers) with nanoelectronics can enable new technologies to sense and measure electrophysiology in qualitatively new ways. To date, a variety of sensing devices have been demonstrated to measure membrane currents through macroscopic numbers of ion channels. However, nanoelectronic based sensing of single ion channel currents has been a challenge. Here, we report graphene-based field-effect transistors combined with supported lipid bilayers as a platform for measuring, for the first time, individual ion channel activity. We show that the supported lipid bilayers uniformly coat the single layer graphene surface, acting as a biomimetic barrier that insulates (both electrically and chemically) the graphene from the electrolyte environment. Upon introduction of pore-forming membrane proteins such as alamethicin and gramicidin A, current pulses are observed through the lipid bilayers from the graphene to the electrolyte, which charge the quantum capacitance of the graphene. This approach combines nanotechnology with electrophysiology to demonstrate qualitatively new ways of measuring ion channel currents. PMID:24754625

  17. Conduits of life’s spark: A perspective on ion channel research since the birth of Neuron

    PubMed Central

    Isacoff, Ehud Y.; Jan, Lily Y.; Minor, Daniel L.

    2013-01-01

    Heartbeats, muscle twitches, and lightning fast thoughts are all manifestations of bioelectricity and rely on the activity of a class of membrane proteins known as ion channels. The basic function of an ion channel can be distilled into: ‘The hole opens. Ions go through. The hole closes.’ Studies of the how the fundamental mechanisms by which this process happens and the consequences of such activity in the setting of excitable cells remains the central focus of much of the field. One might wonder after so many years of detailed poking at such a seemingly simple process, is there anything left to learn? PMID:24183018

  18. Ion Channels in the Eye: Involvement in Ocular Pathologies.

    PubMed

    Giblin, Jonathan P; Comes, Nuria; Strauss, Olaf; Gasull, Xavier

    2016-01-01

    The eye is the sensory organ of vision. There, the retina transforms photons into electrical signals that are sent to higher brain areas to produce visual sensations. In the light path to the retina, different types of cells and tissues are involved in maintaining the transparency of avascular structures like the cornea or lens, while others, like the retinal pigment epithelium, have a critical role in the maintenance of photoreceptor function by regenerating the visual pigment. Here, we have reviewed the roles of different ion channels expressed in ocular tissues (cornea, conjunctiva and neurons innervating the ocular surface, lens, retina, retinal pigment epithelium, and the inflow and outflow systems of the aqueous humor) that are involved in ocular disease pathophysiologies and those whose deletion or pharmacological modulation leads to specific diseases of the eye. These include pathologies such as retinitis pigmentosa, macular degeneration, achromatopsia, glaucoma, cataracts, dry eye, or keratoconjunctivitis among others. Several disease-associated ion channels are potential targets for pharmacological intervention or other therapeutic approaches, thus highlighting the importance of these channels in ocular physiology and pathophysiology.

  19. Ion Channels in the Eye: Involvement in Ocular Pathologies.

    PubMed

    Giblin, Jonathan P; Comes, Nuria; Strauss, Olaf; Gasull, Xavier

    2016-01-01

    The eye is the sensory organ of vision. There, the retina transforms photons into electrical signals that are sent to higher brain areas to produce visual sensations. In the light path to the retina, different types of cells and tissues are involved in maintaining the transparency of avascular structures like the cornea or lens, while others, like the retinal pigment epithelium, have a critical role in the maintenance of photoreceptor function by regenerating the visual pigment. Here, we have reviewed the roles of different ion channels expressed in ocular tissues (cornea, conjunctiva and neurons innervating the ocular surface, lens, retina, retinal pigment epithelium, and the inflow and outflow systems of the aqueous humor) that are involved in ocular disease pathophysiologies and those whose deletion or pharmacological modulation leads to specific diseases of the eye. These include pathologies such as retinitis pigmentosa, macular degeneration, achromatopsia, glaucoma, cataracts, dry eye, or keratoconjunctivitis among others. Several disease-associated ion channels are potential targets for pharmacological intervention or other therapeutic approaches, thus highlighting the importance of these channels in ocular physiology and pathophysiology. PMID:27038375

  20. Crystal structures of a double-barrelled fluoride ion channel

    PubMed Central

    Stockbridge, Randy B.; Kolmakova-Partensky, Ludmila; Shane, Tania; Koide, Akiko; Koide, Shohei; Miller, Christopher; Newstead, Simon

    2016-01-01

    To contend with hazards posed by environmental fluoride, microorganisms export this anion through F--specific ion channels of the Fluc family1–4. Since the recent discovery of Fluc channels, numerous idiosyncratic features of these proteins have been unearthed, including extreme selectivity for F- over Cl- and dual-topology dimeric assembly5–6. To understand the chemical basis for F- permeation and how the antiparallel subunits convene to form a F--selective pore, we solved crystal structures of two bacterial Fluc homologues in complex with three different monobody inhibitors, with and without F- present, to a maximum resolution of 2.1 Å. The structures reveal a surprising “double-barrelled” channel architecture in which two F- ion pathways span the membrane and the dual-topology arrangement includes a centrally coordinated cation, most likely Na+. F- selectivity is proposed to arise from the very narrow pores and an unusual anion coordination that exploits the quadrupolar edges of conserved phenylalanine rings. PMID:26344196

  1. Novel Insights into Acid-Sensing Ion Channels: Implications for Degenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Ren-Peng; Wu, Xiao-Shan; Wang, Zhi-Sen; Xie, Ya-Ya; Ge, Jin-Fang; Chen, Fei-Hu

    2016-01-01

    Degenerative diseases often strike older adults and are characterized by progressive deterioration of cells, eventually leading to tissue and organ degeneration for which limited effective treatment options are currently available. Acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs), a family of extracellular H+-activated ligand-gated ion channels, play critical roles in physiological and pathological conditions. Aberrant activation of ASICs is reported to regulate cell apoptosis, differentiation and autophagy. Accumulating evidence has highlighted a dramatic increase and activation of ASICs in degenerative disorders, including multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, intervertebral disc degeneration and arthritis. In this review, we have comprehensively discussed the critical roles of ASICs and their potential utility as therapeutic targets in degenerative diseases. PMID:27493834

  2. Novel Insights into Acid-Sensing Ion Channels: Implications for Degenerative Diseases.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Ren-Peng; Wu, Xiao-Shan; Wang, Zhi-Sen; Xie, Ya-Ya; Ge, Jin-Fang; Chen, Fei-Hu

    2016-08-01

    Degenerative diseases often strike older adults and are characterized by progressive deterioration of cells, eventually leading to tissue and organ degeneration for which limited effective treatment options are currently available. Acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs), a family of extracellular H(+)-activated ligand-gated ion channels, play critical roles in physiological and pathological conditions. Aberrant activation of ASICs is reported to regulate cell apoptosis, differentiation and autophagy. Accumulating evidence has highlighted a dramatic increase and activation of ASICs in degenerative disorders, including multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, intervertebral disc degeneration and arthritis. In this review, we have comprehensively discussed the critical roles of ASICs and their potential utility as therapeutic targets in degenerative diseases. PMID:27493834

  3. Developmental Profile of Ion Channel Specializations in the Avian Nucleus Magnocellularis

    PubMed Central

    Hong, Hui; Rollman, Lisia; Feinstein, Brooke; Sanchez, Jason Tait

    2016-01-01

    Ultrafast and temporally precise action potentials (APs) are biophysical specializations of auditory brainstem neurons; properties necessary for encoding sound localization and communication cues. Fundamental to these specializations are voltage dependent potassium (KV) and sodium (NaV) ion channels. Here, we characterized the functional development of these ion channels and quantified how they shape AP properties in the avian cochlear nucleus magnocellularis (NM). We report that late developing NM neurons (embryonic [E] days 19–21) generate fast APs that reliably phase lock to sinusoidal inputs at 75 Hz. In contrast, early developing neurons (activated potassium (K+HVA) channels were blocked, APs for all ages became significantly slower. This was most evident for early developing neurons where the ratio of K+HVA current accounted for ~85% of the total KV response. This ratio dropped to ~50% for late developing neurons, suggesting a developmental upregulation of low-voltage activated potassium (K+LVA) channels. Indeed, blockade of K+LVA eliminated remaining current and increased neural excitability for late developing neurons. We also report developmental changes in the amplitude, kinetics and voltage dependence of NaV currents. For early developing neurons, increase in NaV current amplitude was due to channel density while channel conductance dominated for late developing neurons. From E10 to E21, NaV channel currents became faster but differed in their voltage dependence; early developing neurons (channel inactivation voltages while late developing NM neurons (>E19) contained NaV channels that inactivate at more

  4. Voltage-Gated Ion Channels in Cancer Cell Proliferation

    PubMed Central

    Rao, Vidhya R.; Perez-Neut, Mathew; Kaja, Simon; Gentile, Saverio

    2015-01-01

    Changes of the electrical charges across the surface cell membrane are absolutely necessary to maintain cellular homeostasis in physiological as well as in pathological conditions. The opening of ion channels alter the charge distribution across the surface membrane as they allow the diffusion of ions such as K+, Ca++, Cl−, Na+. Traditionally, voltage-gated ion channels (VGIC) are known to play fundamental roles in controlling rapid bioelectrical signaling including action potential and/or contraction. However, several investigations have revealed that these classes of proteins can also contribute significantly to cell mitotic biochemical signaling, cell cycle progression, as well as cell volume regulation. All these functions are critically important for cancer cell proliferation. Interestingly, a variety of distinct VGICs are expressed in different cancer cell types, including metastasis but not in the tissues from which these tumors were generated. Given the increasing evidence suggesting that VGIC play a major role in cancer cell biology, in this review we discuss the role of distinct VGIC in cancer cell proliferation and possible therapeutic potential of VIGC pharmacological manipulation. PMID:26010603

  5. Ion channel models based on self-assembling cyclic peptide nanotubes.

    PubMed

    Montenegro, Javier; Ghadiri, M Reza; Granja, Juan R

    2013-12-17

    The lipid bilayer membranes are Nature's dynamic structural motifs that individualize cells and keep ions, proteins, biopolymers and metabolites confined in the appropriate location. The compartmentalization and isolation of these molecules from the external media facilitate the sophisticated functions and connections between the different biological processes accomplished by living organisms. However, cells require assistance from minimal energy shortcuts for the transport of molecules across membranes so that they can interact with the exterior and regulate their internal environments. Ion channels and pores stand out from all other possible transport mechanisms due to their high selectivity and efficiency in discriminating and transporting ions or molecules across membrane barriers. Nevertheless, the complexity of these smart "membrane holes" has driven researchers to develop simpler artificial structures with comparable performance to the natural systems. As a broad range of supramolecular interactions have emerged as efficient tools for the rational design and preparation of stable 3D superstructures, these results have stimulated the creativity of chemists to design synthetic mimics of natural active macromolecules and even to develop artificial structures with functions and properties. In this Account, we highlight results from our laboratories on the construction of artificial ion channel models that exploit the self-assembly of conformationally flat cyclic peptides (CPs) into supramolecular nanotubes. Because of the straightforward synthesis of the cyclic peptide monomers and the complete control over the internal diameter and external surface properties of the resulting hollow tubular suprastructure, CPs are the optimal candidates for the fabrication of ion channels. The ion channel activity and selective transport of small molecules by these structures are examples of the great potential that cyclic peptide nanotubes show for the construction of

  6. Ion channel models based on self-assembling cyclic peptide nanotubes.

    PubMed

    Montenegro, Javier; Ghadiri, M Reza; Granja, Juan R

    2013-12-17

    The lipid bilayer membranes are Nature's dynamic structural motifs that individualize cells and keep ions, proteins, biopolymers and metabolites confined in the appropriate location. The compartmentalization and isolation of these molecules from the external media facilitate the sophisticated functions and connections between the different biological processes accomplished by living organisms. However, cells require assistance from minimal energy shortcuts for the transport of molecules across membranes so that they can interact with the exterior and regulate their internal environments. Ion channels and pores stand out from all other possible transport mechanisms due to their high selectivity and efficiency in discriminating and transporting ions or molecules across membrane barriers. Nevertheless, the complexity of these smart "membrane holes" has driven researchers to develop simpler artificial structures with comparable performance to the natural systems. As a broad range of supramolecular interactions have emerged as efficient tools for the rational design and preparation of stable 3D superstructures, these results have stimulated the creativity of chemists to design synthetic mimics of natural active macromolecules and even to develop artificial structures with functions and properties. In this Account, we highlight results from our laboratories on the construction of artificial ion channel models that exploit the self-assembly of conformationally flat cyclic peptides (CPs) into supramolecular nanotubes. Because of the straightforward synthesis of the cyclic peptide monomers and the complete control over the internal diameter and external surface properties of the resulting hollow tubular suprastructure, CPs are the optimal candidates for the fabrication of ion channels. The ion channel activity and selective transport of small molecules by these structures are examples of the great potential that cyclic peptide nanotubes show for the construction of

  7. The mechanosensory calcium-selective ion channel: key component of a plasmalemmal control centre?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pickard, B. G.; Ding, J. P.

    1993-01-01

    Mechanosensory calcium-selective ion channels probably serve to detect not only mechanical stress but also electrical, thermal, and diverse chemical stimuli. Because all stimuli result in a common output, most notably a shift in second messenger calcium concentration, the channels are presumed to serve as signal integrators. Further, insofar as second messenger calcium in turn gives rise to mechanical, electrical, and diverse chemical changes, the channels are postulated to initiate regulatory feedbacks. It is proposed that the channels and the feedback loops play a wide range of roles in regulating normal plant function, as well as in mediating disturbance of normal function by environmental stressors and various pathogens. In developing evidence for the physiological performance of the channel, a model for a cluster of regulatory plasmalemmal proteins and cytoskeletal elements grouped around a set of wall-to-membrane and transmembrane linkers has proved useful. An illustration of how the model might operate is presented. It is founded on the demonstration that several xenobiotics interfere both with normal channel behaviour and with gravitropic reception. Accordingly, the first part of the illustration deals with how the channels and the control system within which they putatively operate might initiate gravitropism. Assuming that gravitropism is an asymmetric expression of growth, the activities of the channels and the plasmalemmal control system are extrapolated to account for regulation of both rate and allometry of cell expansion. Finally, it is discussed how light, hormones, redox agents and herbicides could in principle affect growth via the putative plasmalemmal control cluster or centre.

  8. A parallel finite element simulator for ion transport through three-dimensional ion channel systems.

    PubMed

    Tu, Bin; Chen, Minxin; Xie, Yan; Zhang, Linbo; Eisenberg, Bob; Lu, Benzhuo

    2013-09-15

    A parallel finite element simulator, ichannel, is developed for ion transport through three-dimensional ion channel systems that consist of protein and membrane. The coordinates of heavy atoms of the protein are taken from the Protein Data Bank and the membrane is represented as a slab. The simulator contains two components: a parallel adaptive finite element solver for a set of Poisson-Nernst-Planck (PNP) equations that describe the electrodiffusion process of ion transport, and a mesh generation tool chain for ion channel systems, which is an essential component for the finite element computations. The finite element method has advantages in modeling irregular geometries and complex boundary conditions. We have built a tool chain to get the surface and volume mesh for ion channel systems, which consists of a set of mesh generation tools. The adaptive finite element solver in our simulator is implemented using the parallel adaptive finite element package Parallel Hierarchical Grid (PHG) developed by one of the authors, which provides the capability of doing large scale parallel computations with high parallel efficiency and the flexibility of choosing high order elements to achieve high order accuracy. The simulator is applied to a real transmembrane protein, the gramicidin A (gA) channel protein, to calculate the electrostatic potential, ion concentrations and I - V curve, with which both primitive and transformed PNP equations are studied and their numerical performances are compared. To further validate the method, we also apply the simulator to two other ion channel systems, the voltage dependent anion channel (VDAC) and α-Hemolysin (α-HL). The simulation results agree well with Brownian dynamics (BD) simulation results and experimental results. Moreover, because ionic finite size effects can be included in PNP model now, we also perform simulations using a size-modified PNP (SMPNP) model on VDAC and α-HL. It is shown that the size effects in SMPNP can

  9. Identification of the Energetic Plume Ion Escape Channel at Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, B. C.; Liemohn, M. W.; Fraenz, M.; Barabash, S.

    2013-12-01

    Mars lacks a global dipole magnetic field. The resulting induced magnetosphere arising from Mars' atmosphere's direct interaction with the solar wind differs significantly from that of Venus. The weak gravitational field of Mars creates scale heights so large that the exosphere extends out beyond the Induced Magnetosphere Boundary (IMB), where newly ionized exospheric oxygen is exposed to high speed shocked solar wind flow and the associated strong convective electric field (E). The weaker Interplanetary Magnetic Field (IMF) at Mars, combined with this strong electric field, should be expected to result in heavy pickup ions with gyroradii much larger than the radius of Mars. Test particle models and hybrid models have predicted that these pickup ions create an energetic plume of escaping planetary ions that may have a flux on the same order of magnitude as the flow of planetary ions down the central tail loss channel. This study presents an analysis of data from the Ion Mass Analyzer aboard European Space Agency's Mars Express (MEX) to identify the presence of this energetic ion plume. We searched through the time period when Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) was operating simultaneously with MEX, and selected hundreds of time intervals when IMF proxies from MGS show the convective electric field to be aligned with the orbit of MEX. We then examined plots of the MEX orbit during these intervals and selected times when MEX was positioned on the +E side of Mars and outside the nominal IMB. Finally, from these intervals we identified the cases in which oxygen ions were detected with energies above 2 keV. The result is a set of several direct measurements of the energetic plume.

  10. Transient receptor potential ion channels in primary sensory neurons as targets for novel analgesics

    PubMed Central

    Sousa-Valente, J; Andreou, A P; Urban, L; Nagy, I

    2014-01-01

    The last decade has witnessed an explosion in novel findings relating to the molecules involved in mediating the sensation of pain in humans. Transient receptor potential (TRP) ion channels emerged as the greatest group of molecules involved in the transduction of various physical stimuli into neuronal signals in primary sensory neurons, as well as, in the development of pain. Here, we review the role of TRP ion channels in primary sensory neurons in the development of pain associated with peripheral pathologies and possible strategies to translate preclinical data into the development of effective new analgesics. Based on available evidence, we argue that nociception-related TRP channels on primary sensory neurons provide highly valuable targets for the development of novel analgesics and that, in order to reduce possible undesirable side effects, novel analgesics should prevent the translocation from the cytoplasm to the cell membrane and the sensitization of the channels rather than blocking the channel pore or binding sites for exogenous or endogenous activators. LINKED ARTICLES This article is part of a themed section on the pharmacology of TRP channels. To view the other articles in this section visit http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bph.2014.171.issue-10 PMID:24283624

  11. Active channel for Fanno Creek, Oregon

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sobieszczyk, Steven

    2011-01-01

    Fanno Creek is a tributary to the Tualatin River and flows though parts of the southwest Portland metropolitan area. The stream is heavily influenced by urban runoff and shows characteristic flashy streamflow and poor water quality commonly associated with urban streams. This data set represents the active, wetted channel as derived from light detection and ranging (LiDAR) data and aerial photographic imagery. The wetted channel boundary is equivalent to the extent of water observed during a 2-yr high flow event.

  12. Stochastic resonance in ion channels characterized by information theory.

    PubMed

    Goychuk, I; Hänggi, P

    2000-04-01

    We identify a unifying measure for stochastic resonance (SR) in voltage dependent ion channels which comprises periodic (conventional), aperiodic, and nonstationary SR. Within a simplest setting, the gating dynamics is governed by two-state conductance fluctuations, which switch at random time points between two values. The corresponding continuous time point process is analyzed by virtue of information theory. In pursuing this goal we evaluate for our dynamics the tau information, the mutual information, and the rate of information gain. As a main result we find an analytical formula for the rate of information gain that solely involves the probability of the two channel states and their noise averaged rates. For small voltage signals it simplifies to a handy expression. Our findings are applied to study SR in a potassium channel. We find that SR occurs only when the closed state is predominantly dwelled upon. Upon increasing the probability for the open channel state the application of an extra dose of noise monotonically deteriorates the rate of information gain, i.e., no SR behavior occurs.

  13. Optimal Estimation of Ion-Channel Kinetics from Macroscopic Currents

    PubMed Central

    Zeng, Xuhui; Yao, Jing; Yuchi, Ming; Ding, Jiuping

    2012-01-01

    Markov modeling provides an effective approach for modeling ion channel kinetics. There are several search algorithms for global fitting of macroscopic or single-channel currents across different experimental conditions. Here we present a particle swarm optimization(PSO)-based approach which, when used in combination with golden section search (GSS), can fit macroscopic voltage responses with a high degree of accuracy (errors within 1%) and reasonable amount of calculation time (less than 10 hours for 20 free parameters) on a desktop computer. We also describe a method for initial value estimation of the model parameters, which appears to favor identification of global optimum and can further reduce the computational cost. The PSO-GSS algorithm is applicable for kinetic models of arbitrary topology and size and compatible with common stimulation protocols, which provides a convenient approach for establishing kinetic models at the macroscopic level. PMID:22536358

  14. Focusing in multiwell potentials: applications to ion channels.

    PubMed

    Ponzoni, L; Celardo, G L; Borgonovi, F; Kaplan, L; Kargol, A

    2013-05-01

    We investigate nonequilibrium stationary distributions induced by stochastic dichotomous noise in double-well and multiwell models of ion channel gating kinetics. The channel kinetics is analyzed using both overdamped Langevin equations and master equations. With the Langevin equation approach we show a nontrivial focusing effect due to the external stochastic noise, namely, the concentration of the probability distribution in one of the two wells of a double-well system or in one or more of the wells of the multiwell model. In the multiwell system, focusing in the outer wells is shown to be achievable under physiological conditions, while focusing in the central wells has proved possible so far only at very low temperatures. We also discuss the strength of the focusing effect and obtain the conditions necessary for maximal focusing to appear. These conditions cannot be predicted by a simple master equation approach.

  15. The TRPM2 ion channel is required for sensitivity to warmth.

    PubMed

    Tan, Chun-Hsiang; McNaughton, Peter A

    2016-08-25

    Thermally activated ion channels are known to detect the entire thermal range from extreme heat (TRPV2), painful heat (TRPV1, TRPM3 and ANO1), non-painful warmth (TRPV3 and TRPV4) and non-painful coolness (TRPM8) through to painful cold (TRPA1). Genetic deletion of each of these ion channels, however, has only modest effects on thermal behaviour in mice, with the exception of TRPM8, the deletion of which has marked effects on the perception of moderate coolness in the range 10-25 °C. The molecular mechanism responsible for detecting non-painful warmth, in particular, is unresolved. Here we used calcium imaging to identify a population of thermally sensitive somatosensory neurons which do not express any of the known thermally activated TRP channels. We then used a combination of calcium imaging, electrophysiology and RNA sequencing to show that the ion channel generating heat sensitivity in these neurons is TRPM2. Autonomic neurons, usually thought of as exclusively motor, also express TRPM2 and respond directly to heat. Mice in which TRPM2 had been genetically deleted showed a striking deficit in their sensation of non-noxious warm temperatures, consistent with the idea that TRPM2 initiates a 'warm' signal which drives cool-seeking behaviour. PMID:27533035

  16. The TRPM2 ion channel is required for sensitivity to warmth.

    PubMed

    Tan, Chun-Hsiang; McNaughton, Peter A

    2016-08-25

    Thermally activated ion channels are known to detect the entire thermal range from extreme heat (TRPV2), painful heat (TRPV1, TRPM3 and ANO1), non-painful warmth (TRPV3 and TRPV4) and non-painful coolness (TRPM8) through to painful cold (TRPA1). Genetic deletion of each of these ion channels, however, has only modest effects on thermal behaviour in mice, with the exception of TRPM8, the deletion of which has marked effects on the perception of moderate coolness in the range 10-25 °C. The molecular mechanism responsible for detecting non-painful warmth, in particular, is unresolved. Here we used calcium imaging to identify a population of thermally sensitive somatosensory neurons which do not express any of the known thermally activated TRP channels. We then used a combination of calcium imaging, electrophysiology and RNA sequencing to show that the ion channel generating heat sensitivity in these neurons is TRPM2. Autonomic neurons, usually thought of as exclusively motor, also express TRPM2 and respond directly to heat. Mice in which TRPM2 had been genetically deleted showed a striking deficit in their sensation of non-noxious warm temperatures, consistent with the idea that TRPM2 initiates a 'warm' signal which drives cool-seeking behaviour.

  17. Structure and Permeability of Ion-channels by Integrated AFM and Waveguide TIRF Microscopy

    PubMed Central

    Ramachandran, Srinivasan; Arce, Fernando Teran; Patel, Nirav R.; Quist, Arjan P.; Cohen, Daniel A.; Lal, Ratnesh

    2014-01-01

    Membrane ion channels regulate key cellular functions and their activity is dependent on their 3D structure. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) images 3D structure of membrane channels placed on a solid substrate. Solid substrate prevents molecular transport through ion channels thus hindering any direct structure-function relationship analysis. Here we designed a ~70 nm nanopore to suspend a membrane, allowing fluidic access to both sides. We used these nanopores with AFM and total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy (TIRFM) for high resolution imaging and molecular transport measurement. Significantly, membranes over the nanopore were stable for repeated AFM imaging. We studied structure-activity relationship of gap junction hemichannels reconstituted in lipid bilayers. Individual hemichannels in the membrane overlying the nanopore were resolved and transport of hemichannel-permeant LY dye was visualized when the hemichannel was opened by lowering calcium in the medium. This integrated technique will allow direct structure-permeability relationship of many ion channels and receptors. PMID:24651823

  18. Chemical activation of the mechanotransduction channel Piezo1

    PubMed Central

    Syeda, Ruhma; Xu, Jie; Dubin, Adrienne E; Coste, Bertrand; Mathur, Jayanti; Huynh, Truc; Matzen, Jason; Lao, Jianmin; Tully, David C; Engels, Ingo H; Petrassi, H Michael; Schumacher, Andrew M; Montal, Mauricio; Bandell, Michael; Patapoutian, Ardem

    2015-01-01

    Piezo ion channels are activated by various types of mechanical stimuli and function as biological pressure sensors in both vertebrates and invertebrates. To date, mechanical stimuli are the only means to activate Piezo ion channels and whether other modes of activation exist is not known. In this study, we screened ∼3.25 million compounds using a cell-based fluorescence assay and identified a synthetic small molecule we termed Yoda1 that acts as an agonist for both human and mouse Piezo1. Functional studies in cells revealed that Yoda1 affects the sensitivity and the inactivation kinetics of mechanically induced responses. Characterization of Yoda1 in artificial droplet lipid bilayers showed that Yoda1 activates purified Piezo1 channels in the absence of other cellular components. Our studies demonstrate that Piezo1 is amenable to chemical activation and raise the possibility that endogenous Piezo1 agonists might exist. Yoda1 will serve as a key tool compound to study Piezo1 regulation and function. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.07369.001 PMID:26001275

  19. Ion Channel Conductance Measurements on a Silicon-Based Platform

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilk, S. J.; Aboud, S.; Petrossian, L.; Goryll, M.; Tang, J. M.; Eisenberg, R. S.; Saraniti, M.; Goodnick, S. M.; Thornton, T. J.

    2006-05-01

    Conductance measurements of the transmembrane porin protein OmpF as a function of pH and bath concentration have been made with both a microfabricated silicon substrate device and a commercially available polystyrene aperture. Ion transport through the channel was simulated in atomic detail: the measured current was compared with theoretically calculated current, using a Brownian Dynamics kernel coupled to the Poisson equation by a P3M force field. The explicit protein structure and fixed charge distribution in the protein are calculated using the molecular dynamics code, GROMACS. Reasonable agreement is obtained in the simulated versus measured conductance over the range of experimental concentrations studied.

  20. Nicotinic acid is a common regulator of heat-sensing TRPV1-4 ion channels.

    PubMed

    Ma, Linlin; Lee, Bo Hyun; Clifton, Heather; Schaefer, Saul; Zheng, Jie

    2015-03-10

    Nicotinic acid (NA, a.k.a. vitamin B3 or niacin) can reduce blood cholesterol and low-density lipoproteins whereas increase high-density lipoproteins. However, when NA is used to treat dyslipidemias, it causes a strong side effect of cutaneous vasodilation, commonly called flushing. A recent study showed that NA may cause flushing by lowering activation threshold temperature of the heat-sensitive capsaicin receptor TRPV1 ion channel, leading to its activation at body temperature. The finding calls into question whether NA might also interact with the homologous heat-sensitive TRPV2-4 channels, particularly given that TRPV3 and TRPV4 are abundantly expressed in keratinocytes of the skin where much of the flushing response occurs. We found that NA indeed potentiated TRPV3 while inhibited TRPV2 and TRPV4. Consistent with these gating effects, NA lowered the heat-activation threshold of TRPV3 but elevated that of TRPV4. We further found that activity of TRPV1 was substantially prolonged by extracellular NA, which may further enhance the direct activation effect. Consistent with the broad gating effect on TRPV1-4 channels, evidence from the present study hints that NA may share the same activation pathway as 2-aminoethoxydiphenyl borate (2-APB), a common agonist for these TRPV channels. These findings shed new light on the molecular mechanism underlying NA regulation of TRPV channels.

  1. Human PIEZO1 Ion Channel Functions as a Split Protein

    PubMed Central

    Bae, Chilman; Suchyna, Thomas M.; Ziegler, Lynn; Sachs, Frederick; Gottlieb, Philip A.

    2016-01-01

    PIEZO1 is a mechanosensitive eukaryotic cation-selective channel that rapidly inactivates in a voltage-dependent manner. We previously showed that a fluorescent protein could be encoded within the hPIEZO1 sequence without loss of function. In this work, we split the channel into two at this site and asked if coexpression would produce a functional channel or whether gating and permeation might be contained in either segment. The split protein was expressed in two segments by a bicistronic plasmid where the first segment spanned residues 1 to 1591, and the second segment spanned 1592 to 2521. When the “split protein” is coexpressed, the parts associate to form a normal channel. We measured the whole-cell, cell-attached and outside-out patch currents in transfected HEK293 cells. Indentation produced whole-cell currents monotonic with the stimulus. Single channel recordings showed voltage-dependent inactivation. The Boltzmann activation curve for outside-out patches had a slope of 8.6/mmHg vs 8.1 for wild type, and a small leftward shift in the midpoint (32 mmHg vs 41 mmHg). The association of the two channel domains was confirmed by FRET measurements of mCherry on the N-terminus and EGFP on the C-terminus. Neither of the individual protein segments produced current when expressed alone. PMID:26963637

  2. Ion channels in synaptic vesicles from Torpedo electric organ.

    PubMed Central

    Rahamimoff, R; DeRiemer, S A; Sakmann, B; Stadler, H; Yakir, N

    1988-01-01

    A simple method has been developed for fusing synaptic vesicles into spherical structures 20-50 micron in diameter. The method has been applied to purified cholinergic synaptic vesicles from Torpedo electric organ, and the membrane properties of these fused structures have been studied by the "cell"-attached version of the patch clamp technique. A large conductance potassium-preferring channel, termed the P channel, was consistently observed in preparations of fused synaptic vesicles. The selectivity of the channel for potassium over sodium was approximately equal to 2.8-fold. Two major conductance levels were observed during P-channel activity, and their relative proportion was dependent on the voltage applied to the membrane through the patch pipette. P channels were not seen in fused preparations of purified Torpedo lipids, nor was the frequency of their occurrence increased in preparations enriched with plasma membrane or nonvesicular membranes. We suggest, therefore, that the P channels are components of the synaptic vesicle membrane. Their function in synaptic transmission physiology is still unknown. Images PMID:2455900

  3. Control of Cardiac Repolarization by Phosphoinositide 3-kinase Signaling to Ion Channels

    PubMed Central

    Ballou, Lisa M.; Lin, Richard Z.; Cohen, Ira S.

    2014-01-01

    Upregulation of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) signaling is a common alteration in human cancer, and numerous drugs that target this pathway have been developed for cancer treatment. However, recent studies have implicated inhibition of the PI3K signaling pathway as the cause of a drug-induced long QT syndrome in which alterations in several ion currents contribute to arrhythmogenic drug activity. Surprisingly, some drugs that were thought to induce long QT syndrome by direct block of the rapid delayed rectifier (IKr) also appear to inhibit PI3K signaling, an effect that may contribute to their arrhythmogenicity. The importance of PI3K in regulating cardiac repolarization is underscored by evidence that QT interval prolongation in diabetes also may result from changes in multiple currents due to decreased insulin activation of PI3K in the heart. How PI3K signaling regulates ion channels to control the cardiac action potential is poorly understood. Hence, this review summarizes what is known about the impact of PI3K and its downstream effectors including Akt on sodium, potassium and calcium currents in cardiac myocytes. We also refer to some studies in non-cardiac cells that provide insight into potential mechanisms of ion channel regulation by this signaling pathway in the heart. Drug development and safety could be improved with a better understanding of the mechanisms by which PI3K regulates cardiac ion channels and the extent to which PI3K inhibition contributes to arrhythmogenic susceptibility. PMID:25552692

  4. Pathways and Barriers for Ion Translocation through the 5-HT3A Receptor Channel

    PubMed Central

    Di Maio, Danilo; Chandramouli, Balasubramanian; Brancato, Giuseppe

    2015-01-01

    Pentameric ligand gated ion channels (pLGICs) are ionotropic receptors that mediate fast intercellular communications at synaptic level and include either cation selective (e.g., nAChR and 5-HT3) or anion selective (e.g., GlyR, GABAA and GluCl) membrane channels. Among others, 5-HT3 is one of the most studied members, since its first cloning back in 1991, and a large number of studies have successfully pinpointed protein residues critical for its activation and channel gating. In addition, 5-HT3 is also the target of a few pharmacological treatments due to the demonstrated benefits of its modulation in clinical trials. Nonetheless, a detailed molecular analysis of important protein features, such as the origin of its ion selectivity and the rather low conductance as compared to other channel homologues, has been unfeasible until the recent crystallization of the mouse 5-HT3A receptor. Here, we present extended molecular dynamics simulations and free energy calculations of the whole 5-HT3A protein with the aim of better understanding its ion transport properties, such as the pathways for ion permeation into the receptor body and the complex nature of the selectivity filter. Our investigation unravels previously unpredicted structural features of the 5-HT3A receptor, such as the existence of alternative intersubunit pathways for ion translocation at the interface between the extracellular and the transmembrane domains, in addition to the one along the channel main axis. Moreover, our study offers a molecular interpretation of the role played by an arginine triplet located in the intracellular domain on determining the characteristic low conductance of the 5-HT3A receptor, as evidenced in previous experiments. In view of these results, possible implications on other members of the superfamily are suggested. PMID:26465896

  5. Pathways and Barriers for Ion Translocation through the 5-HT3A Receptor Channel.

    PubMed

    Di Maio, Danilo; Chandramouli, Balasubramanian; Brancato, Giuseppe

    2015-01-01

    Pentameric ligand gated ion channels (pLGICs) are ionotropic receptors that mediate fast intercellular communications at synaptic level and include either cation selective (e.g., nAChR and 5-HT3) or anion selective (e.g., GlyR, GABAA and GluCl) membrane channels. Among others, 5-HT3 is one of the most studied members, since its first cloning back in 1991, and a large number of studies have successfully pinpointed protein residues critical for its activation and channel gating. In addition, 5-HT3 is also the target of a few pharmacological treatments due to the demonstrated benefits of its modulation in clinical trials. Nonetheless, a detailed molecular analysis of important protein features, such as the origin of its ion selectivity and the rather low conductance as compared to other channel homologues, has been unfeasible until the recent crystallization of the mouse 5-HT3A receptor. Here, we present extended molecular dynamics simulations and free energy calculations of the whole 5-HT3A protein with the aim of better understanding its ion transport properties, such as the pathways for ion permeation into the receptor body and the complex nature of the selectivity filter. Our investigation unravels previously unpredicted structural features of the 5-HT3A receptor, such as the existence of alternative intersubunit pathways for ion translocation at the interface between the extracellular and the transmembrane domains, in addition to the one along the channel main axis. Moreover, our study offers a molecular interpretation of the role played by an arginine triplet located in the intracellular domain on determining the characteristic low conductance of the 5-HT3A receptor, as evidenced in previous experiments. In view of these results, possible implications on other members of the superfamily are suggested. PMID:26465896

  6. Transition from heating to cooling of channeled ion beams

    SciTech Connect

    Toepffer, Christian

    2006-06-15

    Experiments showing a transverse heating or cooling of channeled ion beams are explained in terms of electron capture and loss processes between the projectile ions and the target. Such processes violate reversibility as the projectile captures electrons from occupied bound states and loses them to unoccupied weakly bound or continuum states. The transition probabilities for the transfer of electrons are calculated in the impact parameter Born approximation. Their dependence on the distance from the crystal strings is determined by scale factors which depend in turn on the relative velocity and the binding energies of the transferred electrons in the projectile and in the crystal, respectively. The appearance of transverse heating and cooling depends on the relative size of the scale factors for capture and loss. The transition from heating to cooling as function of velocity is described in good agreement with the experiments.

  7. Parameterization of ion channeling half-angles and minimum yields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doyle, Barney L.

    2016-03-01

    A MS Excel program has been written that calculates ion channeling half-angles and minimum yields in cubic bcc, fcc and diamond lattice crystals. All of the tables and graphs in the three Ion Beam Analysis Handbooks that previously had to be manually looked up and read from were programed into Excel in handy lookup tables, or parameterized, for the case of the graphs, using rather simple exponential functions with different power functions of the arguments. The program then offers an extremely convenient way to calculate axial and planar half-angles, minimum yields, effects on half-angles and minimum yields of amorphous overlayers. The program can calculate these half-angles and minimum yields for axes and [h k l] planes up to (5 5 5). The program is open source and available at

  8. Channeling Children's Energy through Vocabulary Activities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schindler, Andrea

    2006-01-01

    In this article, the author shares vocabulary development activities for young learners. These activities channel students' energy and make learning more effective and fun. The author stresses the importance of giving young learners a good language-learning experience, and the challenges of teaching young learners who are not literate in their L1.…

  9. Language Development Activities through the Auditory Channel.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fitzmaurice, Peggy, Comp.; And Others

    Presented primarily for use with educable mentally retarded and learning disabled children are approximately 100 activities for language development through the auditory channel. Activities are grouped under the following three areas: receptive skills (auditory decoding, auditory memory, and auditory discrimination); expressive skills (auditory…

  10. Acid Sensing Ion Channels (ASICs) in NS20Y cells - potential role in neuronal differentiation.

    PubMed

    O'Bryant, Zaven; Leng, Tiandong; Liu, Mingli; Inoue, Koichi; Vann, Kiara T; Xiong, Zhi-Gang

    2016-01-01

    Cultured neuronal cell lines can express properties of mature neurons if properly differentiated. Although the precise mechanisms underlying neuronal differentiation are not fully understood, the expression and activation of ion channels, particularly those of Ca(2+)-permeable channels, have been suggested to play a role. In this study, we explored the presence and characterized the properties of acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs) in NS20Y cells, a neuronal cell line previously used for the study of neuronal differentiation. In addition, the potential role of ASICs in cell differentiation was explored. Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction and Western blot revealed the presence of ASIC1 subunits in these cells. Fast drops of extracellular pH activated transient inward currents which were blocked, in a dose dependent manner, by amiloride, a non-selective ASIC blocker, and by Psalmotoxin-1 (PcTX1), a specific inhibitor for homomeric ASIC1a and heteromeric ASIC1a/2b channels. Incubation of cells with PcTX1 significantly reduced the differentiation of NS20Y cells induced by cpt-cAMP, as evidenced by decreased neurite length, dendritic complexity, decreased expression of functional voltage gated Na(+) channels. Consistent with ASIC1a inhibition, ASIC1a knockdown with small interference RNA significantly attenuates cpt-cAMP-induced increase of neurite outgrowth. In summary, we described the presence of functional ASICs in NS20Y cells and demonstrate that ASIC1a plays a role in the differentiation of these cells. PMID:27342076

  11. C-fiber recovery cycle supernormality depends on ion concentration and ion channel permeability.

    PubMed

    Tigerholm, Jenny; Petersson, Marcus E; Obreja, Otilia; Eberhardt, Esther; Namer, Barbara; Weidner, Christian; Lampert, Angelika; Carr, Richard W; Schmelz, Martin; Fransén, Erik

    2015-03-10

    Following each action potential, C-fiber nociceptors undergo cyclical changes in excitability, including a period of superexcitability, before recovering their basal excitability state. The increase in superexcitability during this recovery cycle depends upon their immediate firing history of the axon, but also determines the instantaneous firing frequency that encodes pain intensity. To explore the mechanistic underpinnings of the recovery cycle phenomenon a biophysical model of a C-fiber has been developed. The model represents the spatial extent of the axon including its passive properties as well as ion channels and the Na/K-ATPase ion pump. Ionic concentrations were represented inside and outside the membrane. The model was able to replicate the typical transitions in excitability from subnormal to supernormal observed empirically following a conducted action potential. In the model, supernormality depended on the degree of conduction slowing which in turn depends upon the frequency of stimulation, in accordance with experimental findings. In particular, we show that activity-dependent conduction slowing is produced by the accumulation of intraaxonal sodium. We further show that the supernormal phase results from a reduced potassium current Kdr as a result of accumulation of periaxonal potassium in concert with a reduced influx of sodium through Nav1.7 relative to Nav1.8 current. This theoretical prediction was supported by data from an in vitro preparation of small rat dorsal root ganglion somata showing a reduction in the magnitude of tetrodotoxin-sensitive relative to tetrodotoxin -resistant whole cell current. Furthermore, our studies provide support for the role of depolarization in supernormality, as previously suggested, but we suggest that the basic mechanism depends on changes in ionic concentrations inside and outside the axon. The understanding of the mechanisms underlying repetitive discharges in recovery cycles may provide insight into mechanisms

  12. Effects of cooperative ion-channel interactions on the dynamics of excitable membranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zarubin, Dmitry; Zhuchkova, Ekaterina; Schreiber, Susanne

    2012-06-01

    Cooperative interactions between ion channels are known to exist, but have so far received relatively little attention in the study of excitable membranes. Based on bifurcation analysis and stochastic simulations of an extended Morris-Lecar model, we show that cooperativity and anticooperativity can modify the range of sustained firing and cell-intrinsic noise, induce multistability, and account for a number of experimental observations, including prolongation of action-potential duration. We hypothesize that channel interactions could be an efficient mechanism to regulate the activity of neurons or cardiac muscle cells.

  13. Molecular basis of ion permeability in a voltage-gated sodium channel.

    PubMed

    Naylor, Claire E; Bagnéris, Claire; DeCaen, Paul G; Sula, Altin; Scaglione, Antonella; Clapham, David E; Wallace, B A

    2016-04-15

    Voltage-gated sodium channels are essential for electrical signalling across cell membranes. They exhibit strong selectivities for sodium ions over other cations, enabling the finely tuned cascade of events associated with action potentials. This paper describes the ion permeability characteristics and the crystal structure of a prokaryotic sodium channel, showing for the first time the detailed locations of sodium ions in the selectivity filter of a sodium channel. Electrostatic calculations based on the structure are consistent with the relative cation permeability ratios (Na(+) ≈ Li(+) ≫ K(+), Ca(2+), Mg(2+)) measured for these channels. In an E178D selectivity filter mutant constructed to have altered ion selectivities, the sodium ion binding site nearest the extracellular side is missing. Unlike potassium ions in potassium channels, the sodium ions in these channels appear to be hydrated and are associated with side chains of the selectivity filter residues, rather than polypeptide backbones. PMID:26873592

  14. Sea Anemone Peptide with Uncommon β-Hairpin Structure Inhibits Acid-sensing Ion Channel 3 (ASIC3) and Reveals Analgesic Activity*

    PubMed Central

    Osmakov, Dmitry I.; Kozlov, Sergey A.; Andreev, Yaroslav A.; Koshelev, Sergey G.; Sanamyan, Nadezhda P.; Sanamyan, Karen E.; Dyachenko, Igor A.; Bondarenko, Dmitry A.; Murashev, Arkadii N.; Mineev, Konstantin S.; Arseniev, Alexander S.; Grishin, Eugene V.

    2013-01-01

    Three novel peptides were isolated from the venom of the sea anemone Urticina grebelnyi. All of them are 29 amino acid peptides cross-linked by two disulfide bridges, with a primary structure similar to other sea anemone peptides belonging to structural group 9a. The structure of the gene encoding the shared precursor protein of the identified peptides was determined. One peptide, π-AnmTX Ugr 9a-1 (short name Ugr 9-1), produced a reversible inhibition effect on both the transient and the sustained current of human ASIC3 channels expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes. It completely blocked the transient component (IC50 10 ± 0.6 μm) and partially (48 ± 2%) inhibited the amplitude of the sustained component (IC50 1.44 ± 0.19 μm). Using in vivo tests in mice, Ugr 9-1 significantly reversed inflammatory and acid-induced pain. The other two novel peptides, AnmTX Ugr 9a-2 (Ugr 9-2) and AnmTX Ugr 9a-3 (Ugr 9-3), did not inhibit the ASIC3 current. NMR spectroscopy revealed that Ugr 9-1 has an uncommon spatial structure, stabilized by two S-S bridges, with three classical β-turns and twisted β-hairpin without interstrand disulfide bonds. This is a novel peptide spatial structure that we propose to name boundless β-hairpin. PMID:23801332

  15. Permeant ion effects on the gating kinetics of the type L potassium channel in mouse lymphocytes

    PubMed Central

    1991-01-01

    Permeant ion species was found to profoundly affect the gating kinetics of type l K+ currents in mouse T lymphocytes studied with the whole- cell or on-cell patch gigaohm-seal techniques. Replacing external K+ with Rb+ (as the sole monovalent cation, at 160 mM) shifted the peak conductance voltage (g-V) relation by approximately 20 mV to more negative potentials, while NH4+ shifted the g-V curve by 15 mV to more positive potentials. Deactivation (the tail current time constant, tau tail) was slowed by an average of 14-fold at -70 mV in external Rb+, by approximately 8-fold in Cs+, and by a factor of two to three in NH4+. Changing the external K+ concentration, [K+]o, from 4.5 to 160 mM or [Rb+]o from 10 to 160 mM had no effect on tau tail. With all the internal K+ replaced by Rb+ or Cs+ and either isotonic Rb+ or K+ in the bath, tau tail was indistinguishable from that with K+ in the cell. With the exception of NH4+, activation time constants were insensitive to permeant ion species. These results indicate that external permeant ions have stronger effects than internal permeant ions, suggesting an external modulatory site that influences K+ channel gating. However, in bi-ionic experiments with reduced external permeant ion concentrations, tau tail was sensitive to the direction of current flow, indicating that the modulatory site is either within the permeation pathway or in the outer vestibule of the channel. The latter interpretation implies that outward current through an open type l K+ channel significantly alters local ion concentrations at the modulatory site in the outer vestibule, and consequently at the mouth of the channel. Experiments with mixtures of K+ and Rb+ in the external solution reveal that deactivation kinetics are minimally affected by addition of Rb+ until the Rb+ mole fraction approaches unity. This relationship between mole fraction and tau tail, together with the concentration independence of tau tail, was hard to reconcile with simple

  16. Permeating protons contribute to tachyphylaxis of the acid-sensing ion channel (ASIC) 1a.

    PubMed

    Chen, Xuanmao; Gründer, Stefan

    2007-03-15

    The homomeric acid-sensing ion channel 1a (ASIC1a) is a H+-activated ion channel with important physiological functions and pathophysiological impact in the central nervous system. Here we show that homomeric ASIC1a is distinguished from other ASICs by a reduced response to successive acid stimulations. Such a reduced response is called tachyphylaxis. We show that tachyphylaxis depends on H+ permeating through ASIC1a, that tachyphylaxis is attenuated by extracellular Ca2+, and that tachyphylaxis is probably linked to Ca2+ permeability of ASIC1a. Moreover, we provide evidence that tachyphylaxis is probably due to a long-lived inactive state of ASIC1a. A deeper understanding of ASIC1a tachyphylaxis may lead to pharmacological control of ASIC1a activity that could be of potential benefit for the treatment of stroke.

  17. Na(+) -Activated K(+) Channels in Rat Supraoptic Neurones.

    PubMed

    Bansal, V; Fisher, T E

    2016-06-01

    The magnocellular neurosecretory cells (MNCs) of the hypothalamus secrete the neurohormones vasopressin and oxytocin. The systemic release of these hormones depends on the rate and pattern of MNC firing and it is therefore important to identify the ion channels that contribute to the electrical behaviour of MNCs. In the present study, we report evidence for the presence of Na(+) -activated K(+) (KN a ) channels in rat MNCs. KN a channels mediate outwardly rectifying K(+) currents activated by the increases in intracellular Na(+) that occur during electrical activity. Although the molecular identity of native KN a channels is unclear, their biophysical properties are consistent with those of expressed Slick (slo 2.1) and Slack (slo 2.2) proteins. Using immunocytochemistry and Western blot experiments, we found that both Slick and Slack proteins are expressed in rat MNCs. Using whole cell voltage clamp techniques on acutely isolated rat MNCs, we found that inhibiting Na(+) influx by the addition of the Na(+) channel blocker tetrodotoxin or the replacement of Na(+) in the external solution with Li(+) caused a significant decrease in sustained outward currents. Furthermore, the evoked outward current density was significantly higher in rat MNCs using patch pipettes containing 60 mm Na(+) than it was when patch pipettes containing 0 mm Na(+) were used. Our data show that functional KN a channels are expressed in rat MNCs. These channels could contribute to the activity-dependent afterhyperpolarisations that have been identified in the MNCs and thereby play a role in the regulation of their electrical behaviour. PMID:27091544

  18. Investigating ion channel distribution using a combination of spatially limited photolysis, Ca(2+) imaging, and patch clamp recording.

    PubMed

    Almassy, Janos; Yule, David I

    2013-01-01

    The production of saliva by parotid acinar cells is stimulated by Ca(2+) activation of Cl(-) and K(+) channels located in the apical plasma membrane of these polarized cells. Here, we utilize a combination of spatially limited flash photolysis, Ca(2+) imaging, and electrophysiological recording to investigate the distinct distribution of Ca(2+)-dependent ion channels in the plasma membrane (PM) of enzymatically isolated murine parotid acinar cells. In these experiments, the aim of photolysis is to selectively target and modify the activity of ion channels, thereby revealing membrane-domain-specific differences in distribution. Specifically, the relative distribution of channels to either apical or basal PM can be investigated. Since there is substantial evidence that Ca(2+)-dependent Cl(-) channels are exclusively localized to the apical membrane of acinar cells, this provides an important electrophysiological verification that a particular membrane has been specifically targeted.

  19. Cooperation of Hydrophobic Gating, Knock-on Effect, and Ion Binding Determines Ion Selectivity in the p7 Channel.

    PubMed

    Padhi, Siladitya; Priyakumar, U Deva

    2016-05-19

    Ion channels selectively allow certain ions to pass through at much higher rates than others, and thereby modulate ionic concentrations across cell membranes. The current molecular dynamics study elucidates the intricate mechanisms that render ion selectivity to the viral channel p7 by employing free energy calculations. Free energy barriers of 5.4 and 19.4 kcal mol(-1) for K(+) and Ca(2+), respectively, explain the selectivity of the channel reported in experiments. Initially, the permeating ions encounter a hydrophobic barrier followed by stabilization in an ion-binding site. Electrostatic repulsion between the permeating ions propels one of the ions out of the binding site to complete the process of permeation. K(+) and Ca(2+) are seen to exhibit different modes of binding toward a ring of asparagine residues, which serves as the binding site. The findings illustrate how the overall selectivity of a channel can be achieved by a combination of subtle differences. PMID:27111292

  20. Ion Channel Formation by Tau Protein: Implications for Alzheimer’s Disease and Tauopathies

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Tau is a microtubule associated protein implicated in the pathogenesis of several neurodegenerative diseases. Because of the channel forming properties of other amyloid peptides, we employed planar lipid bilayers and atomic force microscopy to test tau for its ability to form ion permeable channels. Our results demonstrate that tau can form such channels, but only under acidic conditions. The channels formed are remarkably similar to amyloid peptide channels in their appearance, physical and electrical size, permanence, lack of ion selectivity, and multiple channel conductances. These channels differ from amyloid channels in their voltage dependence and resistance to blockade by zinc ion. These channels could explain tau’s pathologic role in disease by lowering membrane potential, dysregulating calcium, depolarizing mitochondria, or depleting energy stores. Tau might also combine with amyloid beta peptides to form toxic channels. PMID:26575330

  1. Automated higher-throughput compound screening on ion channel targets based on the Xenopus laevis oocyte expression system.

    PubMed

    Pehl, Ulrich; Leisgen, Christine; Gampe, Kristine; Guenther, Elke

    2004-10-01

    As numerous diseases have been shown to be related to dysfunction of ion channels and neurotransmitter receptors and to affect regulatory pathways, ion channels have attracted increasing attention as a target class for drug discovery. The concomitant demand of the pharmaceutical industry for adequate electrophysiological methods to investigate drug effects on specific ion channels in secondary and safety screening has resulted in the development of electrophysiological instrumentation that allows automated monitoring of ion channel function with a higher throughput. Here we tested a fully automated screening system based on the Xenopus laevis oocyte expression system. We addressed the questions of data quality and reproducibility obtained by automated oocyte injection and two-electrode voltage-clamp (TEVC) recording using the Roboocyte (Multi Channel Systems GmbH, Reutlingen, Germany) technology compared to conventional oocyte recording. A gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)A-receptor subtype (alpha(1)beta(2)) was chosen as an example for a ligand-gated ion channel, and the slowly activating potassium current I(Ks) as a voltage-activated ion channel. Oocytes were injected with cDNA or cRNA via the Roboocyte injection stage. Ion channel currents were successfully recorded after 2-7 days in about 40% of the oocytes injected with GABA(A) receptor cDNA, and after 2-4 days in about 60% of the oocytes injected with KCNE1 cRNA. EC(50) values for the GABA(A) receptor and IC(50) values for blockers of I(Ks) were comparable to values obtained with conventional TEVC recording techniques. In conclusion, our results show that the Roboocyte is a valuable automated tool for oocyte injection and TEVC recording that can be used in drug screening and target validation to enhance the number of compounds and oocytes tested per day.

  2. Computational studies of transport in ion channels using metadynamics.

    PubMed

    Furini, Simone; Domene, Carmen

    2016-07-01

    Molecular dynamics simulations have played a fundamental role in numerous fields of science by providing insights into the structure and dynamics of complex systems at the atomistic level. However, exhaustive sampling by standard molecular dynamics is in most cases computationally prohibitive, and the time scales accessible remain significantly shorter than many biological processes of interest. In particular, in the study of ion channels, realistic models to describe permeation and gating require accounting for large numbers of particles and accurate interaction potentials, which severely limits the length of the simulations. To overcome such limitations, several advanced methods have been proposed among which is metadynamics. In this algorithm, an external bias potential to accelerate sampling along selected collective variables is introduced. This bias potential discourages visiting regions of the configurational space already explored. In addition, the bias potential provides an estimate of the free energy as a function of the collective variables chosen once the simulation has converged. In this review, recent contributions of metadynamics to the field of ion channels are discussed, including how metadynamics has been used to search for transition states, predict permeation pathways, treat conformational flexibility that underlies the coupling between gating and permeation, or compute free energy of permeation profiles. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Membrane Proteins edited by J.C. Gumbart and Sergei Noskov.

  3. Interaction of a polar molecule with an ion channel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levadny, V.; Aguilella, V. M.; Aguilella-Arzo, M.; Belaya, M.

    2004-10-01

    The binding of a polar macromolecule to a large ion channel is studied theoretically, paying special attention to the influence of external conditions (applied voltage and ion strength of solution). The molecule behavior in bound state is considered as random thermal fluctuations within a limited fraction of its phase space. The mean duration of molecule binding (residence time τr ) is represented as the mean first passage time to reach the boundary of that restricted domain. By invoking the adiabatic approximation we reduce the problem to one dimension with the angle between macromolecule dipole and channel axes being the key variable of the problem. The model accounts for experimental measurements of τr for the antibiotic Ampicillin within the bacterial porin OmpF of Escherichia coli. By assuming that the electrical interaction between Am