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Sample records for activated 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. Mechanically Activated Ion Channels.

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-23

    Mechanotransduction, the conversion of physical forces into biochemical signals, is essential for various physiological processes such as the conscious sensations of touch and hearing, and the unconscious sensation of blood flow. 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.

  3. Agonist-activated ion channels

    PubMed Central

    Colquhoun, David

    2006-01-01

    This paper looks at ion channels as an example of the pharmacologist's stock in trade, the action of an agonist on a receptor to produce a response. Looked at in this way, ion channels have been helpful because they are still the only system which is simple enough for quantitative investigation of transduction mechanisms. A short history is given of attempts to elucidate what happens between the time when agonist first binds, and the time when the channel opens. PMID:16402101

  4. Metal interactions with voltage- and receptor-activated ion channels.

    PubMed Central

    Vijverberg, H P; Oortgiesen, M; Leinders, T; van Kleef, R G

    1994-01-01

    Effects of Pb and several other metal ions on various distinct types of voltage-, receptor- and Ca-activated ion channels have been investigated in cultured N1E-115 mouse neuroblastoma cells. Experiments were performed using the whole-cell voltage clamp and single-channel patch clamp techniques. External superfusion of nanomolar to submillimolar concentrations of Pb causes multiple effects on ion channels. Barium current through voltage-activated Ca channels is blocked by micromolar concentrations of Pb, whereas voltage-activated Na current appears insensitive. Neuronal type nicotinic acetylcholine receptor-activated ion current is blocked by nanomolar concentrations of Pb and this block is reversed at micromolar concentrations. Serotonin 5-HT3 receptor-activated ion current is much less sensitive to Pb. In addition, external superfusion with micromolar concentrations of Pb as well as of Cd and aluminum induces inward current, associated with the direct activation of nonselective cation channels by these metal ions. In excised inside-out membrane patches of neuroblastoma cells, micromolar concentrations of Ca activate small (SK) and big (BK) Ca-activated K channels. Internally applied Pb activates SK and BK channels more potently than Ca, whereas Cd is approximately equipotent to Pb with respect to SK channel activation, but fails to activate BK channels. The results show that metal ions cause distinct, selective effects on the various types of ion channels and that metal ion interaction sites of ion channels may be highly selective for particular metal ions. PMID:7531139

  5. Flow-activated ion channels in vascular endothelium.

    PubMed

    Gautam, Mamta; Gojova, Andrea; Barakat, Abdul I

    2006-01-01

    The ability of vascular endothelial cells (ECs) to respond to fluid mechanical forces associated with blood flow is essential for flow-mediated vasoregulation and arterial wall remodeling. Abnormalities in endothelial responses to flow also play a role in the development of atherosclerosis. Although our understanding of the endothelial signaling pathways stimulated by flow has greatly increased over the past two decades, the mechanisms by which ECs sense flow remain largely unknown. Activation of flow-sensitive ion channels is among the fastest known endothelial responses to flow; therefore, these ion channels have been proposed as candidate flow sensors. This review focuses on: 1) describing the various types of flow-sensitive ion channels that have been reported in ECs, 2) discussing the implications of activation of these ion channels for endothelial function, and 3) proposing candidate mechanisms for activation of flow-sensitive ion channels.

  6. 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.

  7. Effect of Cytoskeletal Reagents on Stretch Activated Ion Channels

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1992-11-12

    transduction. Biophys J59: 1143-1145, 1991. 23. SACHS, F., W. SIGURDSON, A. RUKNUDIN, AND C. BOWMAN. Single- channel mechanosensitive currents. Science 253: 800... mechanosensitive ion channels . In: Advances in Comparative and Environmental Physiology, v0C, edited by F. Ito. Berlin: Springer-Verlag, 1992, p. 55-77. Report of Inventions: None 4 ...EFFECT OF CYTOSKELETAL REAGENTS ON STRETCH ACTIVATED ION CHANNELS b lfli..3-f-I’- o0*’t 6. AUTHOR(S) Dr.-Frederick Sachs DI 7. PERFORMING ORGANIZATION NAME

  8. Ion channel activity in lobster skeletal muscle membrane.

    PubMed

    Worden, M K; Rahamimoff, R; Kravitz, E A

    1993-09-01

    Ion channel activity in the sarcolemmal membrane of muscle fibers is critical for regulating the excitability, and therefore the contractility, of muscle. To begin the characterization of the biophysical properties of the sarcolemmal membrane of lobster exoskeletal muscle fibers, recordings were made from excised patches of membrane from enzymatically induced muscle fiber blebs. Blebs formed as evaginations of the muscle sarcolemmal membrane and were sufficiently free of extracellular debris to allow the formation of gigaohm seals. Under simple experimental conditions using bi-ionic symmetrical recording solutions and maintained holding potentials, a variety of single channel types with conductances in the range 32-380 pS were detected. Two of these ion channel species are described in detail, both are cation channels selective for potassium. They can be distinguished from each other on the basis of their single-channel conductance and gating properties. The results suggest that current flows through a large number of ion channels that open spontaneously in bleb membranes in the absence of exogenous metabolites or hormones.

  9. Ligand-Gated Ion Channels: Permeation and Activation1

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lynch, Joseph W.; Barry, Peter H.

    Ligand-gated ion channels (LGICs) are fast-responding channels in which the receptor, which binds the activating molecule (the ligand), and the ion channel are part of the same nanomolecular protein complex. This chapter will describe the properties and functions of the nicotinic acetylcholine LGIC superfamily, which play a critical role in the fast chemical transmission of electrical signals between nerve cells at synapses and between nerve and muscle cells at endplates. All the processing functions of the brain and the resulting behavioral output depend on chemical transmission across such neuronal interconnections. To describe the properties of the channels of this LGIC superfamily,we will mainly use two examples of this family of channels: the excitatory nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) and the inhibitory glycine receptor (GlyR) channels. In the chemical transmission of electrical signals, the arrival of an electrical signal at the synaptic terminal of a nerve causes the release of a chemical signal—a neurotransmitter molecule (the ligand, also referred to as the agonist). The neurotransmitter rapidly diffuses across the very narrow 20-40 nm synaptic gap between the cells and binds to the LGIC receptors in the membrane of the target (postsynaptic) cell and generates a new electrical signal in that cell (e.g., Kandel et al., 2000). How this chemical signal is converted into an electrical one depends on the fundamental properties of LGICs and the ionic composition of the postsynaptic cell and its external solution.

  10. Light-Activated Ion Channels for Remote Control of Neural Activity

    PubMed Central

    Chambers, James J.; Kramer, Richard H.

    2009-01-01

    Light-activated ion channels provide a new opportunity to precisely and remotely control neuronal activity for experimental applications in neurobiology. In the past few years, several strategies have arisen that allow light to control ion channels and therefore neuronal function. Light-based triggers for ion channel control include caged compounds, which release active neurotransmitters when photolyzed with light, and natural photoreceptive proteins, which can be expressed exogenously in neurons. More recently, a third type of light trigger has been introduced: a photoisomerizable tethered ligand that directly controls ion channel activity in a light-dependent manner. Beyond the experimental applications for light-gated ion channels, there may be clinical applications in which these light-sensitive ion channels could prove advantageous over traditional methods. Electrodes for neural stimulation to control disease symptoms are invasive and often difficult to reposition between cells in tissue. Stimulation by chemical agents is difficult to constrain to individual cells and has limited temporal accuracy in tissue due to diffusional limitations. In contrast, ion channels that can be directly activated with light allow control with unparalleled spatial and temporal precision. The goal of this chapter is to describe light-regulated ion channels and how they have been tailored to control different aspects of neural activity, and how to use these channels to manipulate and better understand development, function, and plasticity of neurons and neural circuits. PMID:19195553

  11. Ion channels in asthma.

    PubMed

    Valverde, Miguel A; Cantero-Recasens, Gerard; Garcia-Elias, Anna; Jung, Carole; Carreras-Sureda, Amado; Vicente, Rubén

    2011-09-23

    Ion channels are specialized transmembrane proteins that permit the passive flow of ions following their electrochemical gradients. In the airways, ion channels participate in the production of epithelium-based hydroelectrolytic secretions and in the control of intracellular Ca(2+) levels that will ultimately activate almost all lung cells, either resident or circulating. Thus, ion channels have been the center of many studies aiming to understand asthma pathophysiological mechanisms or to identify therapeutic targets for better control of the disease. In this minireview, we focus on molecular, genetic, and animal model studies associating ion channels with asthma.

  12. Hydrogen ions control synaptic vesicle ion channel activity in Torpedo electromotor neurones.

    PubMed

    Ahdut-Hacohen, Ronit; Duridanova, Dessislava; Meiri, Halina; Rahamimoff, Rami

    2004-04-15

    During exocytosis the synaptic vesicle fuses with the surface membrane and undergoes a pH jump. When the synaptic vesicle is inside the presynaptic nerve terminal its internal pH is about 5.5 and after fusion, the inside of the vesicle comes in contact with the extracellular medium with a pH of about 7.25. We examined the effect of such pH jump on the opening of the non-specific ion channel in the synaptic vesicle membrane, in the context of the post-fusion hypothesis of transmitter release control. The vesicles were isolated from Torpedo ocellata electromotor neurones. The pH dependence of the opening of the non-specific ion channel was examined using the fused vesicle-attached configuration of the patch clamp technique. The rate of opening depends on both pH and voltage. Increasing the pH from 5.5 to 7.25 activated dramatically the non-specific ion channel of the vesicle membrane. The single channel conductance did not change significantly with the alteration in the pH, and neither did the mean channel open time. These results support the hypothesis that during partial fusion of the vesicle with the surface membrane, ion channels in the vesicle membrane open, admit ions and thus help in the ion exchange process mechanism, leading to the release of the transmitter from the intravesicular ion exchange matrix. This process may have also a pathophysiological significance in conditions of altered pH.

  13. 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.

  14. Ion channels in toxicology.

    PubMed

    Restrepo-Angulo, Iván; De Vizcaya-Ruiz, Andrea; Camacho, Javier

    2010-08-01

    Ion channels play essential roles in human physiology and toxicology. Cardiac contraction, neural transmission, temperature sensing, insulin release, regulation of apoptosis, cellular pH and oxidative stress, as well as detection of active compounds from chilli, are some of the processes in which ion channels have an important role. Regulation of ion channels by several chemicals including those found in air, water and soil represents an interesting potential link between environmental pollution and human diseases; for instance, de novo expression of ion channels in response to exposure to carcinogens is being considered as a potential tool for cancer diagnosis and therapy. Non-specific binding of several drugs to ion channels is responsible for a huge number of undesirable side-effects, and testing guidelines for several drugs now require ion channel screening for pharmaceutical safety. Animal toxins targeting human ion channels have serious effects on the population and have also provided a remarkable tool to study the molecular structure and function of ion channels. In this review, we will summarize the participation of ion channels in biological processes extensively used in toxicological studies, including cardiac function, apoptosis and cell proliferation. Major findings on the adverse effects of drugs on ion channels as well as the regulation of these proteins by different chemicals, including some pesticides, are also reviewed. Association of ion channels and toxicology in several biological processes strongly suggests these proteins to be excellent candidates to follow the toxic effects of xenobiotics, and as potential early indicators of life-threatening situations including chronic degenerative diseases.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. What Ion Flow along Ion Channels Can Tell us about Their Functional Activity

    PubMed Central

    Becucci, Lucia; Guidelli, Rolando

    2016-01-01

    The functional activity of channel-forming peptides and proteins is most directly verified by monitoring the flow of physiologically relevant inorganic ions, such as Na+, K+ and Cl−, along the ion channels. Electrical current measurements across bilayer lipid membranes (BLMs) interposed between two aqueous solutions have been widely employed to this end and are still extensively used. However, a major drawback of BLMs is their fragility, high sensitivity toward vibrations and mechanical shocks, and low resistance to electric fields. To overcome this problem, metal-supported tethered BLMs (tBLMs) have been devised, where the BLM is anchored to the metal via a hydrophilic spacer that replaces and mimics the water phase on the metal side. However, only mercury-supported tBLMs can measure and regulate the flow of the above inorganic ions, thanks to mercury liquid state and high hydrogen overpotential. This review summarizes the main results achieved by BLMs incorporating voltage-gated channel-forming peptides, interpreting them on the basis of a kinetic mechanism of nucleation and growth. Hg-supported tBLMs are then described, and their potential for the investigation of voltage-gated and ohmic channels is illustrated by the use of different electrochemical techniques. PMID:27983579

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Ion channels in the RPE.

    PubMed

    Wimmers, Sönke; Karl, Mike O; Strauss, Olaf

    2007-05-01

    In close interaction with photoreceptors, the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) plays an essential role for visual function. The analysis of RPE functions, specifically ion channel functions, provides a basis to understand many degenerative diseases of the retina. The invention of the patch-clamp technique significantly improved the knowledge of ion channel structure and function, which enabled a new understanding of cell physiology and patho-physiology of many diseases. In this review, ion channels identified in the RPE will be described in terms of their specific functional role in RPE physiology. The RPE expresses voltage- and ligand-gated K(+), Cl(-), and Ca(2+)-conducting channels. K(+) and Cl(-) channels are involved in transepithelial ion transport and volume regulation. Voltage-dependent Ca(2+) channels act as regulators of secretory activity, and ligand-gated cation channels contribute to RPE function by providing driving forces for ion transport or by influencing intracellular Ca(2+) homoeostasis. Collectively, activity of these ion channels determines the physiology of the RPE and its interaction with photoreceptors. Furthermore, changes in ion channel function, such as mutations in ion channel genes or a changed regulation of ion channel activity, have been shown to lead to degenerative diseases of the retina. Increasing knowledge about the properties of RPE ion channels has not only provided a new understanding of RPE function but has also provided greater understanding of RPE function in health and disease.

  3. 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.

  4. Relevance of Viroporin Ion Channel Activity on Viral Replication and Pathogenesis.

    PubMed

    Nieto-Torres, Jose L; Verdiá-Báguena, Carmina; Castaño-Rodriguez, Carlos; Aguilella, Vicente M; Enjuanes, Luis

    2015-07-03

    Modification of host-cell ionic content is a significant issue for viruses, as several viral proteins displaying ion channel activity, named viroporins, have been identified. Viroporins interact with different cellular membranes and self-assemble forming ion conductive pores. In general, these channels display mild ion selectivity, and, eventually, membrane lipids play key structural and functional roles in the pore. Viroporins stimulate virus production through different mechanisms, and ion channel conductivity has been proved particularly relevant in several cases. Key stages of the viral cycle such as virus uncoating, transport and maturation are ion-influenced processes in many viral species. Besides boosting virus propagation, viroporins have also been associated with pathogenesis. Linking pathogenesis either to the ion conductivity or to other functions of viroporins has been elusive for a long time. This article summarizes novel pathways leading to disease stimulated by viroporin ion conduction, such as inflammasome driven immunopathology.

  5. Mitochondrial Ion Channels

    PubMed Central

    O’Rourke, Brian

    2009-01-01

    In work spanning more than a century, mitochondria have been recognized for their multifunctional roles in metabolism, energy transduction, ion transport, inheritance, signaling, and cell death. Foremost among these tasks is the continuous production of ATP through oxidative phosphorylation, which requires a large electrochemical driving force for protons across the mitochondrial inner membrane. This process requires a membrane with relatively low permeability to ions to minimize energy dissipation. However, a wealth of evidence now indicates that both selective and nonselective ion channels are present in the mitochondrial inner membrane, along with several known channels on the outer membrane. Some of these channels are active under physiological conditions, and others may be activated under pathophysiological conditions to act as the major determinants of cell life and death. This review summarizes research on mitochondrial ion channels and efforts to identify their molecular correlates. Except in a few cases, our understanding of the structure of mitochondrial ion channels is limited, indicating the need for focused discovery in this area. PMID:17059356

  6. Ion channels in inflammation.

    PubMed

    Eisenhut, Michael; Wallace, Helen

    2011-04-01

    Most physical illness in vertebrates involves inflammation. Inflammation causes disease by fluid shifts across cell membranes and cell layers, changes in muscle function and generation of pain. These disease processes can be explained by changes in numbers or function of ion channels. Changes in ion channels have been detected in diarrhoeal illnesses, pyelonephritis, allergy, acute lung injury and systemic inflammatory response syndromes involving septic shock. The key role played by changes in ion transport is directly evident in inflammation-induced pain. Expression or function of all major categories of ion channels like sodium, chloride, calcium, potassium, transient receptor potential, purinergic receptor and acid-sensing ion channels can be influenced by cyto- and chemokines, prostaglandins, leukotrienes, histamine, ATP, reactive oxygen species and protons released in inflammation. Key pathways in this interaction are cyclic nucleotide, phosphoinositide and mitogen-activated protein kinase-mediated signalling, direct modification by reactive oxygen species like nitric oxide, ATP or protons and disruption of the cytoskeleton. Therapeutic interventions to modulate the adverse and overlapping effects of the numerous different inflammatory mediators on each ion transport system need to target adversely affected ion transport systems directly and locally.

  7. 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

    2015-09-23

    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.

  8. 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.

  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. 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.

  11. Fragile X mental retardation protein controls ion channel expression and activity.

    PubMed

    Ferron, Laurent

    2016-10-15

    Fragile X-associated disorders are a family of genetic conditions resulting from the partial or complete loss of fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP). Among these disorders is fragile X syndrome, the most common cause of inherited intellectual disability and autism. FMRP is an RNA-binding protein involved in the control of local translation, which has pleiotropic effects, in particular on synaptic function. Analysis of the brain FMRP transcriptome has revealed hundreds of potential mRNA targets encoding postsynaptic and presynaptic proteins, including a number of ion channels. FMRP has been confirmed to bind voltage-gated potassium channels (Kv 3.1 and Kv 4.2) mRNAs and regulates their expression in somatodendritic compartments of neurons. Recent studies have uncovered a number of additional roles for FMRP besides RNA regulation. FMRP was shown to directly interact with, and modulate, a number of ion channel complexes. The sodium-activated potassium (Slack) channel was the first ion channel shown to directly interact with FMRP; this interaction alters the single-channel properties of the Slack channel. FMRP was also shown to interact with the auxiliary β4 subunit of the calcium-activated potassium (BK) channel; this interaction increases calcium-dependent activation of the BK channel. More recently, FMRP was shown to directly interact with the voltage-gated calcium channel, Cav 2.2, and reduce its trafficking to the plasma membrane. Studies performed on animal models of fragile X syndrome have revealed links between modifications of ion channel activity and changes in neuronal excitability, suggesting that these modifications could contribute to the phenotypes observed in patients with fragile X-associated disorders.

  12. Fast and slow activation of voltage-dependent ion channels in radish vacuoles.

    PubMed Central

    Gambale, F; Cantu, A M; Carpaneto, A; Keller, B U

    1993-01-01

    The molecular processes associated with voltage-dependent opening and closing (gating) of ion channels were investigated using a new preparation from plant cells, i.e., voltage and calcium-activated ion channels in radish root vacuoles. These channels display a main single channel conductance of approximately 90 pS and are characterized by long activation times lasting several hundreds of milliseconds. Here, we demonstrate that these channels have a second kinetically distinct activation mode which is characterized by even longer activation times. Different membrane potential protocols allowed to switch between the fast and the slow mode in a controlled and reversible manner. At transmembrane potentials of -100 mV, the ratio between the fast and slow activation time constant was around 1:5. Correspondingly, activation times lasting several seconds were observed in the slow mode. The molecular process controlling fast and slow activation may represent an effective modulator of voltage-dependent gating of ion channels in other plant and animal systems. PMID:7507716

  13. Members of the chloride intracellular ion channel protein family demonstrate glutaredoxin-like enzymatic activity.

    PubMed

    Al Khamici, Heba; Brown, Louise J; Hossain, Khondker R; Hudson, Amanda L; Sinclair-Burton, Alxcia A; Ng, Jane Phui Mun; Daniel, Elizabeth L; Hare, Joanna E; Cornell, Bruce A; Curmi, Paul M G; Davey, Mary W; Valenzuela, Stella M

    2015-01-01

    The Chloride Intracellular Ion Channel (CLIC) family consists of six evolutionarily conserved proteins in humans. Members of this family are unusual, existing as both monomeric soluble proteins and as integral membrane proteins where they function as chloride selective ion channels, however no function has previously been assigned to their soluble form. Structural studies have shown that in the soluble form, CLIC proteins adopt a glutathione S-transferase (GST) fold, however, they have an active site with a conserved glutaredoxin monothiol motif, similar to the omega class GSTs. We demonstrate that CLIC proteins have glutaredoxin-like glutathione-dependent oxidoreductase enzymatic activity. CLICs 1, 2 and 4 demonstrate typical glutaredoxin-like activity using 2-hydroxyethyl disulfide as a substrate. Mutagenesis experiments identify cysteine 24 as the catalytic cysteine residue in CLIC1, which is consistent with its structure. CLIC1 was shown to reduce sodium selenite and dehydroascorbate in a glutathione-dependent manner. Previous electrophysiological studies have shown that the drugs IAA-94 and A9C specifically block CLIC channel activity. These same compounds inhibit CLIC1 oxidoreductase activity. This work for the first time assigns a functional activity to the soluble form of the CLIC proteins. Our results demonstrate that the soluble form of the CLIC proteins has an enzymatic activity that is distinct from the channel activity of their integral membrane form. This CLIC enzymatic activity may be important for protecting the intracellular environment against oxidation. It is also likely that this enzymatic activity regulates the CLIC ion channel function.

  14. A semi-synthetic ion channel platform for detection of phosphatase and protease activity.

    PubMed

    Macrae, Michael X; Blake, Steven; Jiang, Xiayun; Capone, Ricardo; Estes, Daniel J; Mayer, Michael; Yang, Jerry

    2009-11-24

    Sensitive methods to probe the activity of enzymes are important for clinical assays and for elucidating the role of these proteins in complex biochemical networks. This paper describes a semi-synthetic ion channel platform for detecting the activity of two different classes of enzymes with high sensitivity. In the first case, this method uses single ion channel conductance measurements to follow the enzyme-catalyzed hydrolysis of a phosphate group attached to the C-terminus of gramicidin A (gA, an ion channel-forming peptide) in the presence of alkaline phosphatase (AP). Enzymatic hydrolysis of this phosphate group removes negative charges from the entrance of the gA pore, resulting in a product with measurably reduced single ion channel conductance compared to the original gA-phosphate substrate. This technique employs a standard, commercial bilayer setup and takes advantage of the catalytic turnover of enzymes and the amplification characteristics of ion flux through individual gA pores to detect picomolar concentrations of active AP in solution. Furthermore, this technique makes it possible to study the kinetics of an enzyme and provides an estimate for the observed rate constant (k(cat)) and the Michaelis constant (K(M)) by following the conversion of the gA-phosphate substrate to product over time in the presence of different concentrations of AP. In the second case, modification of gA with a substrate for proteolytic cleavage by anthrax lethal factor (LF) afforded a sensitive method for detection of LF activity, illustrating the utility of ion channel-based sensing for detection of a potential biowarfare agent. This ion channel-based platform represents a powerful, novel approach to monitor the activity of femtomoles to picomoles of two different classes of enzymes in solution. Furthermore, this platform has the potential for realizing miniaturized, cost-effective bioanalytical assays that complement currently established assays.

  15. Cooperative gating between ion channels.

    PubMed

    Choi, Kee-Hyun

    2014-01-01

    Cooperative gating between ion channels, i.e. the gating of one channel directly coupled to the gating of neighboring channels, has been observed in diverse channel types at the single-channel level. Positively coupled gating could enhance channel-mediated signaling while negative coupling may effectively reduce channel gating noise. Indeed, the physiological significance of cooperative channel gating in signal transduction has been recognized in several in vivo studies. Moreover, coupled gating of ion channels was reported to be associated with some human disease states. In this review, physiological roles for channel cooperativity and channel clustering observed in vitro and in vivo are introduced, and stimulation-induced channel clustering and direct channel cross linking are suggested as the physical mechanisms of channel assembly. Along with physical clustering, several molecular mechanisms proposed as the molecular basis for functional coupling of neighboring channels are covered: permeant ions as a channel coupling mediator, concerted channel activation through the membrane, and allosteric mechanisms. Also, single-channel analysis methods for cooperative gating such as the binomial analysis, the variance analysis, the conditional dwell time density analysis, and the maximum likelihood fitting analysis are reviewed and discussed.

  16. 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

  17. Ion Channel Activity of Vpu Proteins Is Conserved throughout Evolution of HIV-1 and SIV

    PubMed Central

    Greiner, Timo; Bolduan, Sebastian; Hertel, Brigitte; Groß, Christine; Hamacher, Kay; Schubert, Ulrich; Moroni, Anna; Thiel, Gerhard

    2016-01-01

    The human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) protein Vpu is encoded exclusively by HIV-1 and related simian immunodeficiency viruses (SIVs). The transmembrane domain of the protein has dual functions: it counteracts the human restriction factor tetherin and forms a cation channel. Since these two functions are causally unrelated it remains unclear whether the channel activity has any relevance for viral release and replication. Here we examine structure and function correlates of different Vpu homologs from HIV-1 and SIV to understand if ion channel activity is an evolutionary conserved property of Vpu proteins. An electrophysiological testing of Vpus from different HIV-1 groups (N and P) and SIVs from chimpanzees (SIVcpz), and greater spot-nosed monkeys (SIVgsn) showed that they all generate channel activity in HEK293T cells. This implies a robust and evolutionary conserved channel activity and suggests that cation conductance may also have a conserved functional significance. PMID:27916968

  18. Synthesis and characterization of a Redox-active artificial ion channel.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The synthesis and characterization of an artificial ion channel containing both fluorescent and redox-active centers is described. fluorescence spectroscopy was used to study qualitative and quantitative aspects of the coordination of alkali metal cations and black lipid membrane studies were used ...

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Modulation of the Activities of Neuronal Ion Channels by Fatty Acid-Derived Pro-Resolvents

    PubMed Central

    Choi, Geunyeol; Hwang, Sun Wook

    2016-01-01

    Progress of inflammation depends on the balance between two biological mechanisms: pro-inflammatory and pro-resolving processes. Many extracellular and intracellular molecular components including cytokines, growth factors, steroids, neurotransmitters, and lipidergic mediators and their receptors contribute to the two processes, generated from cellular participants during inflammation. Fatty acid-derived mediators are crucial in directing the inflammatory phase and orchestrating heterogeneous reactions of participants such as inflamed cells, innate immune cells, vascular components, innervating neurons, etc. As well as activating specific types of receptor molecules, lipidergic mediators can actively control the functions of various ion channels via direct binding and/or signal transduction, thereby altering cellular functions. Lipid mediators can be divided into two classes based on which of the two processes they promote: pro-inflammatory, which includes prostaglandins and leukotrienes, and pro-resolving, which includes lipoxins, resolvins, and maresins. The research on the modulations of neuronal ion channels regarding the actions of the pro-inflammatory class has begun relatively earlier while the focus is currently expanding to cover the ion channel interaction with pro-resolvents. As a result, knowledge of inhibitory mechanisms by the pro-resolvents, historically seldom found for other known endogenous modulators or pro-inflammatory mediators, is accumulating particularly upon sensory neuronal cation channels. Diverse mechanistic explanations at molecular levels are being proposed and refined. Here we overviewed the interactions of lipidergic pro-resolvents with neuronal ion channels and outcomes from the interactions, focusing on transient receptor potential (TRP) ion channels. We also discuss unanswered hypotheses and perspectives regarding their interactions. PMID:27877134

  2. 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.

  3. Activation of the mechanosensitive ion channel MscL by mechanical stimulation of supported Droplet-Hydrogel bilayers.

    PubMed

    Rosholm, Kadla R; Baker, Matthew A B; Ridone, Pietro; Nakayama, Yoshitaka; Rohde, Paul R; Cuello, Luis G; Lee, Lawrence K; Martinac, Boris

    2017-03-27

    The droplet on hydrogel bilayer (DHB) is a novel platform for investigating the function of ion channels. Advantages of this setup include tight control of all bilayer components, which is compelling for the investigation of mechanosensitive (MS) ion channels, since they are highly sensitive to their lipid environment. However, the activation of MS ion channels in planar supported lipid bilayers, such as the DHB, has not yet been established. Here we present the activation of the large conductance MS channel of E. coli, (MscL), in DHBs. By selectively stretching the droplet monolayer with nanolitre injections of buffer, we induced quantifiable DHB tension, which could be related to channel activity. The MscL activity response revealed that the droplet monolayer tension equilibrated over time, likely by insertion of lipid from solution. Our study thus establishes a method to controllably activate MS channels in DHBs and thereby advances studies of MS channels in this novel platform.

  4. Activation of the mechanosensitive ion channel MscL by mechanical stimulation of supported Droplet-Hydrogel bilayers

    PubMed Central

    Rosholm, Kadla R.; Baker, Matthew A. B.; Ridone, Pietro; Nakayama, Yoshitaka; Rohde, Paul R.; Cuello, Luis G.; Lee, Lawrence K.; Martinac, Boris

    2017-01-01

    The droplet on hydrogel bilayer (DHB) is a novel platform for investigating the function of ion channels. Advantages of this setup include tight control of all bilayer components, which is compelling for the investigation of mechanosensitive (MS) ion channels, since they are highly sensitive to their lipid environment. However, the activation of MS ion channels in planar supported lipid bilayers, such as the DHB, has not yet been established. Here we present the activation of the large conductance MS channel of E. coli, (MscL), in DHBs. By selectively stretching the droplet monolayer with nanolitre injections of buffer, we induced quantifiable DHB tension, which could be related to channel activity. The MscL activity response revealed that the droplet monolayer tension equilibrated over time, likely by insertion of lipid from solution. Our study thus establishes a method to controllably activate MS channels in DHBs and thereby advances studies of MS channels in this novel platform. PMID:28345591

  5. 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

  6. Activity-dependent regulation of T-type calcium channels by submembrane calcium ions

    PubMed Central

    Cazade, Magali; Bidaud, Isabelle; Lory, Philippe; Chemin, Jean

    2017-01-01

    Voltage-gated Ca2+ channels are involved in numerous physiological functions and various mechanisms finely tune their activity, including the Ca2+ ion itself. This is well exemplified by the Ca2+-dependent inactivation of L-type Ca2+ channels, whose alteration contributes to the dramatic disease Timothy Syndrome. For T-type Ca2+ channels, a long-held view is that they are not regulated by intracellular Ca2+. Here we challenge this notion by using dedicated electrophysiological protocols on both native and expressed T-type Ca2+ channels. We demonstrate that a rise in submembrane Ca2+ induces a large decrease in T-type current amplitude due to a hyperpolarizing shift in the steady-state inactivation. Activation of most representative Ca2+-permeable ionotropic receptors similarly regulate T-type current properties. Altogether, our data clearly establish that Ca2+ entry exerts a feedback control on T-type channel activity, by modulating the channel availability, a mechanism that critically links cellular properties of T-type Ca2+ channels to their physiological roles. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.22331.001 PMID:28109159

  7. Activity-dependent regulation of T-type calcium channels by submembrane calcium ions.

    PubMed

    Cazade, Magali; Bidaud, Isabelle; Lory, Philippe; Chemin, Jean

    2017-01-21

    Voltage-gated Ca(2+) channels are involved in numerous physiological functions and various mechanisms finely tune their activity, including the Ca(2+) ion itself. This is well exemplified by the Ca(2+)-dependent inactivation of L-type Ca(2+) channels, whose alteration contributes to the dramatic disease Timothy Syndrome. For T-type Ca(2+) channels, a long-held view is that they are not regulated by intracellular Ca(2+). Here we challenge this notion by using dedicated electrophysiological protocols on both native and expressed T-type Ca(2+) channels. We demonstrate that a rise in submembrane Ca(2+) induces a large decrease in T-type current amplitude due to a hyperpolarizing shift in the steady-state inactivation. Activation of most representative Ca(2+)-permeable ionotropic receptors similarly regulate T-type current properties. Altogether, our data clearly establish that Ca(2+) entry exerts a feedback control on T-type channel activity, by modulating the channel availability, a mechanism that critically links cellular properties of T-type Ca(2+) channels to their physiological roles.

  8. 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

  9. Simulating complex ion channel kinetics with IonChannelLab

    PubMed Central

    Covarrubias, Manuel; Sánchez-Rodríguez, Jorge E; Perez-Cornejo, Patricia; Arreola, Jorge

    2010-01-01

    In-silico simulation based on Markov chains is a powerful way to describe and predict the activity of many transport proteins including ion channels. However, modeling and simulation using realistic models of voltage- or ligand-gated ion channels exposed to a wide range of experimental conditions require building complex kinetic schemes and solving complicated differential equations. To circumvent these problems, we developed IonChannelLab a software tool that includes a user-friendly Graphical User Interface and a simulation library. This program supports channels with Ohmic or Goldman-Hodgkin-Katz behavior and can simulate the time-course of ionic and gating currents, single channel behavior and steady-state conditions. The program allows the simulation of experiments where voltage, ligand and ionic concentration are varied independently or simultaneously. PMID:20935453

  10. 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

  11. Noxious compounds activate TRPA1 ion channels through covalent modification of cysteines.

    PubMed

    Macpherson, Lindsey J; Dubin, Adrienne E; Evans, Michael J; Marr, Felix; Schultz, Peter G; Cravatt, Benjamin F; Patapoutian, Ardem

    2007-02-01

    The nervous system senses peripheral damage through nociceptive neurons that transmit a pain signal. TRPA1 is a member of the Transient Receptor Potential (TRP) family of ion channels and is expressed in nociceptive neurons. TRPA1 is activated by a variety of noxious stimuli, including cold temperatures, pungent natural compounds, and environmental irritants. How such diverse stimuli activate TRPA1 is not known. We observed that most compounds known to activate TRPA1 are able to covalently bind cysteine residues. Here we use click chemistry to show that derivatives of two such compounds, mustard oil and cinnamaldehyde, covalently bind mouse TRPA1. Structurally unrelated cysteine-modifying agents such as iodoacetamide (IA) and (2-aminoethyl)methanethiosulphonate (MTSEA) also bind and activate TRPA1. We identified by mass spectrometry fourteen cytosolic TRPA1 cysteines labelled by IA, three of which are required for normal channel function. In excised patches, reactive compounds activated TRPA1 currents that were maintained at least 10 min after washout of the compound in calcium-free solutions. Finally, activation of TRPA1 by disulphide-bond-forming MTSEA is blocked by the reducing agent dithiothreitol (DTT). Collectively, our data indicate that covalent modification of reactive cysteines within TRPA1 can cause channel activation, rapidly signalling potential tissue damage through the pain pathway.

  12. 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.

  13. Structure of a potentially open state of a proton-activated pentameric ligand-gated ion channel.

    PubMed

    Hilf, Ricarda J C; Dutzler, Raimund

    2009-01-01

    The X-ray structure of a pentameric ligand-gated ion channel from Erwinia chrysanthemi (ELIC) has recently provided structural insight into this family of ion channels at high resolution. The structure shows a homo-pentameric protein with a barrel-stave architecture that defines an ion-conduction pore located on the fivefold axis of symmetry. In this structure, the wide aqueous vestibule that is encircled by the extracellular ligand-binding domains of the five subunits narrows to a discontinuous pore that spans the lipid bilayer. The pore is constricted by bulky hydrophobic residues towards the extracellular side, which probably serve as barriers that prevent the diffusion of ions. This interrupted pore architecture in ELIC thus depicts a non-conducting conformation of a pentameric ligand-gated ion channel, the thermodynamically stable state in the absence of bound ligand. As ligand binding promotes pore opening in these ion channels and the specific ligand for ELIC has not yet been identified, we have turned our attention towards a homologous protein from the cyanobacterium Gloebacter violaceus (GLIC). GLIC was shown to form proton-gated channels that are activated by a pH decrease on the extracellular side and that do not desensitize after activation. Both prokaryotic proteins, ELIC and GLIC form ion channels that are selective for cations over anions with poor discrimination among monovalent cations, characteristics that resemble the conduction properties of the cation-selective branch of the family that includes acetylcholine and serotonin receptors. Here we present the X-ray structure of GLIC at 3.1 A resolution. The structure reveals a conformation of the channel that is distinct from ELIC and that probably resembles the open state. In combination, both structures suggest a novel gating mechanism for pentameric ligand-gated ion channels where channel opening proceeds by a change in the tilt of the pore-forming helices.

  14. Expression and biological significance of Ca2+-activated ion channels in human keratinocytes.

    PubMed

    Koegel, H; Alzheimer, C

    2001-01-01

    In whole-cell recordings from HaCaT keratinocytes, ATP, bradykinin, and histamine caused a biphasic change of the membrane potential consisting of an initial transient depolarization, followed by a pronounced and long-lasting hyperpolarization. Flash photolysis of caged IP3 mimicked the agonist-induced voltage response, suggesting that intracellular Ca2+ release and subsequent opening of Ca2+-activated ion channels serve as the common transduction mechanism. In contrast, cAMP- and PKC-dependent pathways were not involved in the electrophysiological effects of the extracellular signaling molecules. The depolarization was predominantly mediated by a DIDS- and niflumic acid-sensitive Cl- current, whereas a charybdotoxin- and clotrimazole-sensitive K+ current underlay the prominent hyperpolarization. Consistent with the electrophysiological data, RT-PCR showed that HaCaT keratinocytes express two types of Ca2+-activated Cl- channels, CaCC2 and CaCC3 (CLCA2), as well as the Ca2+-activated K+ channel hSK4. That the pronounced hSK4-mediated hyperpolarization bears significance on the growth and differentiation properties of keratinocytes is suggested by RNase protection assays showing that hSK4 mRNA expression is strongly down-regulated under conditions that allow keratinocyte differentiation. hSK4 might thus play a role in linking changes in membrane potential to the biological fate of keratinocytes.

  15. Non-acidic activation of pain-related Acid-Sensing Ion Channel 3 by lipids.

    PubMed

    Marra, Sébastien; Ferru-Clément, Romain; Breuil, Véronique; Delaunay, Anne; Christin, Marine; Friend, Valérie; Sebille, Stéphane; Cognard, Christian; Ferreira, Thierry; Roux, Christian; Euller-Ziegler, Liana; Noel, Jacques; Lingueglia, Eric; Deval, Emmanuel

    2016-02-15

    Extracellular pH variations are seen as the principal endogenous signal that triggers activation of Acid-Sensing Ion Channels (ASICs), which are basically considered as proton sensors, and are involved in various processes associated with tissue acidification. Here, we show that human painful inflammatory exudates, displaying non-acidic pH, induce a slow constitutive activation of human ASIC3 channels. This effect is largely driven by lipids, and we identify lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC) and arachidonic acid (AA) as endogenous activators of ASIC3 in the absence of any extracellular acidification. The combination of LPC and AA evokes robust depolarizing current in DRG neurons at physiological pH 7.4, increases nociceptive C-fiber firing, and induces pain behavior in rats, effects that are all prevented by ASIC3 blockers. Lipid-induced pain is also significantly reduced in ASIC3 knockout mice. These findings open new perspectives on the roles of ASIC3 in the absence of tissue pH variation, as well as on the contribution of those channels to lipid-mediated signaling.

  16. MscS-Like10 is a stretch-activated ion channel from Arabidopsis thaliana with a preference for anions

    PubMed Central

    Maksaev, Grigory; Haswell, Elizabeth S.

    2012-01-01

    Like many other organisms, plants are capable of sensing and responding to mechanical stimuli such as touch, osmotic pressure, and gravity. One mechanism for the perception of force is the activation of mechanosensitive (or stretch-activated) ion channels, and a number of mechanosensitive channel activities have been described in plant membranes. Based on their homology to the bacterial mechanosensitive channel MscS, the 10 MscS-Like (MSL) proteins of Arabidopsis thaliana have been hypothesized to form mechanosensitive channels in plant cell and organelle membranes. However, definitive proof that MSLs form mechanosensitive channels has been lacking. Here we used single-channel patch clamp electrophysiology to show that MSL10 is capable of providing a MS channel activity when heterologously expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes. This channel had a conductance of ∼100 pS, consistent with the hypothesis that it underlies an activity previously observed in the plasma membrane of plant root cells. We found that MSL10 formed a channel with a moderate preference for anions, which was modulated by strongly positive and negative membrane potentials, and was reversibly inhibited by gadolinium, a known inhibitor of mechanosensitive channels. MSL10 demonstrated asymmetric activation/inactivation kinetics, with the channel closing at substantially lower tensions than channel opening. The electrophysiological characterization of MSL10 reported here provides insight into the evolution of structure and function of this important family of proteins. PMID:23112188

  17. Investigating Sterol and Redox Regulation of the Ion Channel Activity of CLIC1 Using Tethered Bilayer Membranes.

    PubMed

    Al Khamici, Heba; Hossain, Khondher R; Cornell, Bruce A; Valenzuela, Stella M

    2016-12-08

    The Chloride Intracellular Ion Channel (CLIC) family consists of six conserved proteins in humans. These are a group of enigmatic proteins, which adopt both a soluble and membrane bound form. CLIC1 was found to be a metamorphic protein, where under specific environmental triggers it adopts more than one stable reversible soluble structural conformation. CLIC1 was found to spontaneously insert into cell membranes and form chloride ion channels. However, factors that control the structural transition of CLIC1 from being an aqueous soluble protein into a membrane bound protein have yet to be adequately described. Using tethered bilayer lipid membranes and electrical impedance spectroscopy system, herein we demonstrate that CLIC1 ion channel activity is dependent on the type and concentration of sterols in bilayer membranes. These findings suggest that membrane sterols play an essential role in CLIC1's acrobatic switching from a globular soluble form to an integral membrane form, promoting greater ion channel conductance in membranes. What remains unclear is the precise nature of this regulation involving membrane sterols and ultimately determining CLIC1's membrane structure and function as an ion channel. Furthermore, our impedance spectroscopy results obtained using CLIC1 mutants, suggest that the residue Cys24 is not essential for CLIC1's ion channel function. However Cys24 does appear important for optimal ion channel activity. We also observe differences in conductance between CLIC1 reduced and oxidized forms when added to our tethered membranes. Therefore, we conclude that both membrane sterols and redox play a role in the ion channel activity of CLIC1.

  18. Investigating Sterol and Redox Regulation of the Ion Channel Activity of CLIC1 Using Tethered Bilayer Membranes

    PubMed Central

    Al Khamici, Heba; Hossain, Khondker R.; Cornell, Bruce A.; Valenzuela, Stella M.

    2016-01-01

    The Chloride Intracellular Ion Channel (CLIC) family consists of six conserved proteins in humans. These are a group of enigmatic proteins, which adopt both a soluble and membrane bound form. CLIC1 was found to be a metamorphic protein, where under specific environmental triggers it adopts more than one stable reversible soluble structural conformation. CLIC1 was found to spontaneously insert into cell membranes and form chloride ion channels. However, factors that control the structural transition of CLIC1 from being an aqueous soluble protein into a membrane bound protein have yet to be adequately described. Using tethered bilayer lipid membranes and electrical impedance spectroscopy system, herein we demonstrate that CLIC1 ion channel activity is dependent on the type and concentration of sterols in bilayer membranes. These findings suggest that membrane sterols play an essential role in CLIC1’s acrobatic switching from a globular soluble form to an integral membrane form, promoting greater ion channel conductance in membranes. What remains unclear is the precise nature of this regulation involving membrane sterols and ultimately determining CLIC1’s membrane structure and function as an ion channel. Furthermore, our impedance spectroscopy results obtained using CLIC1 mutants, suggest that the residue Cys24 is not essential for CLIC1’s ion channel function. However Cys24 does appear important for optimal ion channel activity. We also observe differences in conductance between CLIC1 reduced and oxidized forms when added to our tethered membranes. Therefore, we conclude that both membrane sterols and redox play a role in the ion channel activity of CLIC1. PMID:27941637

  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. Quantitative characterization of capsaicin-induced TRPV1 ion channel activation in HEK293 cells by impedance spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Weyer, Maxi; Jahnke, Heinz-Georg; Krinke, Dana; Zitzmann, Franziska D; Hill, Kerstin; Schaefer, Michael; Robitzki, Andrea A

    2016-11-01

    The analysis of receptor activity, especially in its native cellular environment, has always been of great interest to evaluate its intrinsic but also downstream biological activity. An important group of cellular receptors are ion channels. Since they are involved in a broad range of crucial cell functions, they represent important therapeutic targets. Thus, novel analytical techniques for the quantitative monitoring and screening of biological receptor activity are of great interest. In this context, we developed an impedance spectroscopy-based label-free and non-invasive monitoring system that enabled us to analyze the activation of the transient receptor potential channel Vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) in detail. TRPV1 channel activation by capsaicin resulted in a reproducible impedance decrease. Moreover, concentration response curves with an EC50 value of 0.9 μM could be determined. Control experiments with non TRPV1 channel expressing HEK cells as well as experiments with the TRPV1 channel blocker ruthenium red validated the specificity of the observed impedance decrease. More strikingly, through correlative studies with a cytoskeleton restructuring inhibitor mixture and equivalent circuit analysis of the acquired impedance spectra, we could quantitatively discriminate between the direct TRPV1 channel activation and downstream-induced biological effects. In summary, we developed a quantitative impedimetric monitoring system for the analysis of TRPV1 channel activity as well as downstream-induced biological activity in living cells. It has the capabilities to identify novel ion channel activators as well as inhibitors for the TRPV1 channel but could also easily be applied to other ion channel-based receptors.

  1. 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).

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. A Cytosolic Amphiphilic α-Helix Controls the Activity of the Bile Acid-sensitive Ion Channel (BASIC).

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Axel; Löhrer, Daniel; Alsop, Richard J; Lenzig, Pia; Oslender-Bujotzek, Adrienne; Wirtz, Monika; Rheinstädter, Maikel C; Gründer, Stefan; Wiemuth, Dominik

    2016-11-18

    The bile acid-sensitive ion channel (BASIC) is a member of the degenerin/epithelial Na(+) channel (Deg/ENaC) family of ion channels. It is mainly found in bile duct epithelial cells, the intestinal tract, and the cerebellum and is activated by alterations of its membrane environment. Bile acids, one class of putative physiological activators, exert their effect by changing membrane properties, leading to an opening of the channel. The physiological function of BASIC, however, is unknown. Deg/ENaC channels are characterized by a trimeric subunit composition. Each subunit is composed of two transmembrane segments, which are linked by a large extracellular domain. The termini of the channels protrude into the cytosol. Many Deg/ENaC channels contain regulatory domains and sequence motifs within their cytosolic domains. In this study, we show that BASIC contains an amphiphilic α-helical structure within its N-terminal domain. This α-helix binds to the cytosolic face of the plasma membrane and stabilizes a closed state. Truncation of this domain renders the channel hyperactive. Collectively, we identify a cytoplasmic domain, unique to BASIC, that controls channel activity via membrane interaction.

  5. Ion channel and lipid scramblase activity associated with expression of TMEM16F/ANO6 isoforms.

    PubMed

    Scudieri, Paolo; Caci, Emanuela; Venturini, Arianna; Sondo, Elvira; Pianigiani, Giulia; Marchetti, Carla; Ravazzolo, Roberto; Pagani, Franco; Galietta, Luis J V

    2015-09-01

    TMEM16F is a membrane protein with possible dual function as an ion channel and a phospholipid scramblase. The properties of ion channels associated with TMEM16F and the link between ion channel and scramblase activity are a matter of debate. We studied the properties of four isoforms of TMEM16F generated by alternative splicing. Upregulation of three TMEM16F isoforms or silencing of endogenous TMEM16F increased and decreased, respectively, both scramblase and channel activities. Introduction of an activating mutation in TMEM16F sequence caused a marked increase in phosphatidylserine scrambling and in ion transport indicating direct involvement of the protein in both functions. TMEM16F, also known as ANO6, is a membrane protein that has been associated with phospholipid scramblase and ion channel activity. However, the characteristics of TMEM16F-dependent channels, particularly the ion selectivity, are a matter of debate. Furthermore, the direct involvement of TMEM16F in phospholipid scrambling has been questioned. We studied the properties of different TMEM16F variants generated by alternative splicing. Using whole-cell patch-clamp recordings, we found that V1, V2 and V5 variants generated membrane currents activated by very high (micromolar) intracellular Ca(2+) concentrations and positive membrane potentials. These variants showed different degrees of Ca(2+) sensitivity and kinetics of activation but similar ion permeability, characterized by a slight selectivity for Cl(-) over Na(+) . A fourth variant (V3) showing a unique carboxy-terminus was devoid of activity, in agreement with its intracellular localization. We also measured scramblase activity using the binding of annexin V to detect phosphatidylserine on the cell surface. V1, V2 and V5 variants were associated with calcium-dependent phosphatidylserine externalization. Interestingly, introduction of an activating mutation, D409G, produced a marked increase in the apparent Ca(2+) sensitivity of TMEM16F

  6. Gastrodin inhibits the activity of acid-sensing ion channels in rat primary sensory neurons.

    PubMed

    Qiu, Fang; Liu, Ting-Ting; Qu, Zu-Wei; Qiu, Chun-Yu; Yang, Zhifan; Hu, Wang-Ping

    2014-05-15

    Acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs), a family of proton-gated cation channels, are believed to mediate pain caused by extracellular acidification. Gastrodin is a main bioactive constituent of the traditional herbal Gastrodia elata Blume, which has been widely used in Oriental countries for centuries. As an analgesic, gastrodin has been used clinically to treat pain such as migraine and headache. However, the mechanisms underlying analgesic action of gastrodin are still poorly understood. Here, we have found that gastrodin inhibited the activity of native ASICs in rat dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons. Gastrodin dose-dependently inhibited proton-gated currents mediated by ASICs. Gastrodin shifted the proton concentration-response curve downwards, with a decrease of 36.92 ± 6.23% in the maximum current response but with no significant change in the pH0.5 value. Moreover, gastrodin altered acid-evoked membrane excitability of rat DRG neurons and caused a significant decrease in the amplitude of the depolarization and the number of action potentials induced by acid stimuli. Finally, peripheral applied gastrodin relieved pain evoked by intraplantar injection of acetic acid in rats. Our results indicate that gastrodin can inhibit the activity of ASICs in the primary sensory neurons, which provided a novel mechanism underlying analgesic action of gastrodin.

  7. Ion Channels in Neurological Disorders.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Pravir; Kumar, Dhiraj; Jha, Saurabh Kumar; Jha, Niraj Kumar; Ambasta, Rashmi K

    2016-01-01

    The convergent endeavors of the neuroscientist to establish a link between clinical neurology, genetics, loss of function of an important protein, and channelopathies behind neurological disorders are quite intriguing. Growing evidence reveals the impact of ion channels dysfunctioning in neurodegenerative disorders (NDDs). Many neurological/neuromuscular disorders, viz, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and age-related disorders are caused due to altered function or mutation in ion channels. To maintain cell homeostasis, ion channels are playing a crucial role which is a large transmembrane protein. Further, these channels are important as it determines the membrane potential and playing critically in the secretion of neurotransmitter. Behind NDDs, losses of pathological proteins and defective ion channels have been reported and are found to aggravate the disease symptoms. Moreover, ion channel dysfunctions are eliciting a range of symptoms, including memory loss, movement disabilities, neuromuscular sprains, and strokes. Since the possible mechanistic role played by aberrant ion channels, their receptor and associated factors in neurodegeneration remained elusive; therefore, it is a challenging task for the neuroscientist to implement the therapeutics for targeting NDDs. This chapter reviews the potential role of the ion channels in membrane physiology and brain homeostasis, where ion channels and their associated factors have been characterized with their functional consequences in neurological diseases. Moreover, mechanistic role of perturbed ion channels has been identified in various NDDs, and finally, ion channel modulators have been investigated for their therapeutic intervention in treating common NDDs.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Independent activation of ion conduction pores in the double-barreled calcium-activated chloride channel TMEM16A.

    PubMed

    Lim, Novandy K; Lam, Andy K M; Dutzler, Raimund

    2016-11-01

    The TMEM16 proteins constitute a family of membrane proteins with unusual functional breadth, including lipid scramblases and Cl(-) channels. Members of both these branches are activated by Ca(2+), acting from the intracellular side, and probably share a common architecture, which was defined in the recent structure of the lipid scramblase nhTMEM16. The structural features of subunits and the arrangement of Ca(2+)-binding sites in nhTMEM16 suggest that the dimeric protein harbors two locations for catalysis that are independent with respect to both activation and lipid conduction. Here, we ask whether a similar independence is observed in the Ca(2+)-activated Cl(-) channel TMEM16A. For this purpose, we generated concatenated constructs containing subunits with distinct activation and permeation properties. Our biochemical investigations demonstrate the integrity of concatemers after solubilization and purification. During investigation by patch-clamp electrophysiology, the functional behavior of constructs containing either two wild-type (WT) subunits or one WT subunit paired with a second subunit with compromised activation closely resembles TMEM16A. This resemblance extends to ion selectivity, conductance, and the concentration and voltage dependence of channel activation by Ca(2+) Constructs combining subunits with different potencies for Ca(2+) show a biphasic activation curve that can be described as a linear combination of the properties of its constituents. The functional independence is further supported by mutation of a putative pore-lining residue that changes the conduction properties of the mutated subunit. Our results strongly suggest that TMEM16A contains two ion conduction pores that are independently activated by Ca(2+) binding to sites that are embedded within the transmembrane part of each subunit.

  11. 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.

  12. Inflammatory and neuropathic pain are rapidly suppressed by peripheral block of hyperpolarisation-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated ion channels.

    PubMed

    Young, Gareth T; Emery, Edward C; Mooney, Elizabeth R; Tsantoulas, Christoforos; McNaughton, Peter A

    2014-09-01

    Previous studies have shown that hyperpolarisation-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN)-2 ion channels regulate the firing frequency of nociceptive sensory neurons and thus play a central role in both inflammatory and neuropathic pain conditions. Here we use ivabradine, a clinically approved anti-anginal agent that blocks all HCN channel isoforms approximately equally, to investigate the effect on inflammatory and neuropathic pain of HCN ion channel block. We show that ivabradine does not have major off-target effects on a sample group of Na, Ca, and K ion channels, and that it is peripherally restricted because it is a substrate for the P-glycoprotein (PgP) multidrug transporter that is expressed in the blood-brain barrier. Its effects are therefore likely to be due to an action on HCN ion channels in peripheral sensory neurons. Using patch clamp electrophysiology, we found that ivabradine was a use-dependent blocker of native HCN channels expressed in small sensory neurons. Ivabradine suppressed the action potential firing that is induced in nociceptive neurons by elevation of intracellular cAMP. In the formalin model of inflammatory pain, ivabradine reduced pain behaviour only in the second (inflammatory) phase. In nerve injury and chemotherapy models of neuropathic pain, we observed rapid and effective analgesia as effective as that with gabapentin. We conclude that both inflammatory and neuropathic pain are rapidly inhibited by blocking HCN-dependent repetitive firing in peripheral nociceptive neurons.

  13. UV light phototransduction activates transient receptor potential A1 ion channels in human melanocytes.

    PubMed

    Bellono, Nicholas W; Kammel, Laura G; Zimmerman, Anita L; Oancea, Elena

    2013-02-05

    Human skin is constantly exposed to solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR), the most prevalent environmental carcinogen. Humans have the unique ability among mammals to respond to UVR by increasing their skin pigmentation, a protective process driven by melanin synthesis in epidermal melanocytes. The molecular mechanisms used by melanocytes to detect and respond to long-wavelength UVR (UVA) are not well understood. We recently identified a UVA phototransduction pathway in melanocytes that is mediated by G protein-coupled receptors and leads to rapid calcium mobilization. Here we report that in human epidermal melanocytes physiological doses of UVR activate a retinal-dependent current mediated by transient receptor potential A1 (TRPA1) ion channels. The TRPA1 photocurrent is UVA-specific and requires G protein and phospholipase C signaling, thus contributing to UVA-induced calcium responses to mediate downstream cellular effects and providing evidence for TRPA1 function in mammalian phototransduction. Remarkably, TRPA1 activation is required for the UVR-induced and retinal-dependent early increase in cellular melanin. Our results show that TRPA1 is essential for a unique extraocular phototransduction pathway in human melanocytes that is activated by physiological doses of UVR and results in early melanin synthesis.

  14. Potentiation of acid-sensing ion channel activity by peripheral group I metabotropic glutamate receptor signaling.

    PubMed

    Gan, Xiong; Wu, Jing; Ren, Cuixia; Qiu, Chun-Yu; Li, Yan-Kun; Hu, Wang-Ping

    2016-05-01

    Glutamate activates peripheral group I metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) and contributes to inflammatory pain. However, it is still not clear the mechanisms are involved in group I mGluR-mediated peripheral sensitization. Herein, we report that group I mGluRs signaling sensitizes acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs) in dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons and contributes to acidosis-evoked pain. DHPG, a selective group I mGluR agonist, can potentiate the functional activity of ASICs, which mediated the proton-induced events. DHPG concentration-dependently increased proton-gated currents in DRG neurons. It shifted the proton concentration-response curve upwards, with a 47.3±7.0% increase of the maximal current response to proton. Group I mGluRs, especially mGluR5, mediated the potentiation of DHPG via an intracellular cascade. DHPG potentiation of proton-gated currents disappeared after inhibition of intracellular Gq/11 proteins, PLCβ, PKC or PICK1 signaling. Moreover, DHPG enhanced proton-evoked membrane excitability of rat DRG neurons and increased the amplitude of the depolarization and the number of spikes induced by acid stimuli. Finally, peripherally administration of DHPG dose-dependently exacerbated nociceptive responses to intraplantar injection of acetic acid in rats. Potentiation of ASIC activity by group I mGluR signaling in rat DRG neurons revealed a novel peripheral mechanism underlying group I mGluRs involvement in hyperalgesia.

  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 as targets for cancer therapy

    PubMed Central

    Li, Minghua; Xiong, Zhi-Gang

    2011-01-01

    Cancer is a leading cause of death in the world. Conventional treatments have severe side effects and low survival rate. It is important to discover new targets and therapeutic strategies to improve the clinical outcomes of cancer patients. Ion channels are specialized membrane proteins that play important roles in various physiological processes. Recent studies have shown that abnormal expression and/or activity of a number of ion channels e.g. voltage-gated K+, Na+, Ca2+ channels, TRP channels, and epithelial Na+/degenerin family of ion channels, are involved in the growth/proliferation, migration and/or invasion of cancer cells. In this review, we summarize the present knowledge about the roles of different ion channels in the development of cancer. PMID:21760973

  17. Dendrotoxins: structure-activity relationships and effects on potassium ion channels.

    PubMed

    Harvey, A L; Robertson, B

    2004-12-01

    Dendrotoxins are small proteins isolated from mamba (Dendroaspis) snakes. The original dendrotoxin was found in venom of the Eastern green mamba, Dendroaspis angusticeps, and related proteins were subsequently found in other mamba venoms. The dendrotoxins contain 57-60 amino acid residues cross-linked by three disulphide bridges, and they are homologous to Kunitz-type serine protease inhibitors, such as aprotinin (BPTI). The dendrotoxins have little or no anti-protease activity, but they block particular subtypes of voltage-dependent potassium channels of the Kv1 subfamily in neurones. Alpha-dendrotoxin from green mamba Dendroaspis angusticeps and toxin I from the black mamba Dendroaspis polylepis block cloned Kv1.1, Kv1.2 and Kv1.6 channels in the low nanomolar range; toxin K, also from the black mamba Dendroaspis polylepis, preferentially blocks Kv1.1 channels and is active at picomolar concentrations. Structural modifications and mutations to dendrotoxins have helped to define the molecular recognition properties of different types of K+ channels, although more work is needed to characterise the chemical features of the toxins that underlie their selectivity and potency at particular subtypes of channels. Dendrotoxins have been useful markers of subtypes of K+ channels in vivo, and dendrotoxins have become widely used as probes for studying the function of K+ channels in physiology and pathophysiology. With some pathological conditions being associated with voltage-gated K+ channels, analogues of dendrotoxins might have therapeutic potential.

  18. 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.

  19. Regulation of ion channels and transporters by AMP-activated kinase (AMPK)

    PubMed Central

    Lang, Florian; Föller, Michael

    2014-01-01

    The energy-sensing AMP-activated kinase AMPK ensures survival of energy-depleted cells by stimulating ATP production and limiting ATP utilization. Both energy production and energy consumption are profoundly influenced by transport processes across the cell membane including channels, carriers and pumps. Accordingly, AMPK is a powerful regulator of transport across the cell membrane. AMPK regulates diverse K+ channels, Na+ channels, Ca2+ release activated Ca2+ channels, Cl- channels, gap junctional channels, glucose carriers, Na+/H+-exchanger, monocarboxylate-, phosphate-, creatine-, amino acid-, peptide- and osmolyte-transporters, Na+/Ca2+-exchanger, H+-ATPase and Na+/K+-ATPase. AMPK activates ubiquitin ligase Nedd4–2, which labels several plasma membrane proteins for degradation. AMPK further regulates transport proteins by inhibition of Rab GTPase activating protein (GAP) TBC1D1. It stimulates phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate 5-kinase PIKfyve and inhibits phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) via glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β). Moreover, it stabilizes F-actin as well as downregulates transcription factor NF-κB. All those cellular effects serve to regulate transport proteins. PMID:24366036

  20. 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

  1. Barium ions selectively activate BK channels via the Ca2+-bowl site.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Yu; Zeng, Xu-Hui; Lingle, Christopher J

    2012-07-10

    Activation of Ca(2+)-dependent BK channels is increased via binding of micromolar Ca(2+) to two distinct high-affinity sites per BK α-subunit. One site, termed the Ca(2+) bowl, is embedded within the second RCK domain (RCK2; regulator of conductance for potassium) of each α-subunit, while oxygen-containing residues in the first RCK domain (RCK1) have been linked to a separate Ca(2+) ligation site. Although both sites are activated by Ca(2+) and Sr(2+), Cd(2+) selectively favors activation via the RCK1 site. Divalent cations of larger ionic radius than Sr(2+) are thought to be ineffective at activating BK channels. Here we show that Ba(2+), better known as a blocker of K(+) channels, activates BK channels and that this effect arises exclusively from binding at the Ca(2+)-bowl site. Compared with previous estimates for Ca(2+) bowl-mediated activation by Ca(2+), the affinity of Ba(2+) to the Ca(2+) bowl is reduced about fivefold, and coupling of binding to activation is reduced from ∼3.6 for Ca(2+) to about ∼2.8 for Ba(2+). These results support the idea that ionic radius is an important determinant of selectivity differences among different divalent cations observed for each Ca(2+)-binding site.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Interaction of hydrogen sulfide with ion channels.

    PubMed

    Tang, Guanghua; Wu, Lingyun; Wang, Rui

    2010-07-01

    1. Hydrogen sulfide (H(2)S) is a signalling gasotransmitter. It targets different ion channels and receptors, and fulfils its various roles in modulating the functions of different systems. However, the interaction of H(2)S with different types of ion channels and underlying molecular mechanisms has not been reviewed systematically. 2. H(2)S is the first identified endogenous gaseous opener of ATP-sensitive K(+) channels in vascular smooth muscle cells. Through the activation of ATP-sensitive K(+) channels, H(2)S lowers blood pressure, protects the heart from ischemia and reperfusion injury, inhibits insulin secretion in pancreatic beta cells, and exerts anti-inflammatory, anti-nociceptive and anti-apoptotic effects. 3. H(2)S inhibited L-type Ca(2+) channels in cardiomyocytes but stimulated the same channels in neurons, thus regulating intracellular Ca(2+) levels. H(2)S activated small and medium conductance K(Ca) channels but its effect on BK(Ca) channels has not been consistent. 4. H(2)S-induced hyperalgesia and pro-nociception seems to be related to the sensitization of both T-type Ca(2+) channels and TRPV(1) channels. The activation of TRPV(1) and TRPA(1) by H(2)S is believed to result in contraction of nonvascular smooth muscles and increased colonic mucosal Cl(-) secretion. 5. The activation of Cl(-) channel by H(2)S has been shown as a protective mechanism for neurons from oxytosis. H(2)S also potentiates N-methyl-d-aspartic acid receptor-mediated currents that are involved in regulating synaptic plasticity for learning and memory. 6. Given the important modulatory effects of H(2)S on different ion channels, many cellular functions and disease conditions related to homeostatic control of ion fluxes across cell membrane should be re-evaluated.

  5. Elevated Expression of Acid-Sensing Ion Channel 3 Inhibits Epilepsy via Activation of Interneurons.

    PubMed

    Cao, Qingqing; Wang, Wei; Gu, Juan; Jiang, Guohui; Bian, Xiling; Wang, Kewei; Xu, Zucai; Li, Jie; Chen, Guojun; Wang, Xuefeng

    2016-01-01

    Recent studies have indicated that acid-sensing ion channels may play a significant role in the termination of epilepsy. In particular, acid-sensing ion channel 3 (ASIC3) is expressed in the central nervous system and is most sensitive to extracellular pH. However, whether ASIC3 plays a role in epilepsy is unknown. In this study, qRT-PCR, Western blot, immunohistochemistry, double immunofluorescence labeling, and slice recordings were used. We first detected elevated ASIC3 expression patterns in the brains of temporal lobe epilepsy patients and epileptic rats. ASIC3 was expressed in neurons and glia in both humans and in an experimental model of epilepsy, and ASIC3 was colocalized with inhibitory GABAergic interneurons. By blocking ASIC3 with its antagonist APETx2, we observed that injected APETx2 shortened the latency to seizure and increased the incidence of generalized tonic clonic seizure compared to the control group in models of both pilocarpine- and pentylenetetrazole (PTZ)-induced seizures. Additionally, blocking ASIC3 significantly decreased the frequency of action potential (AP) firing in interneurons. Moreover, APETx2 significantly reduced the amplitudes and frequencies of miniature inhibitory postsynaptic currents (mIPSCs) while showed no differences with the APETx2 + bicuculline group and the bicuculline group. These findings suggest that elevated levels of ASIC3 may serve as an anti-epileptic mechanism via postsynaptic mechanisms in interneurons. It could represent a novel therapeutic strategy for epilepsy treatment.

  6. 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.

  7. The ion-channel laser

    SciTech Connect

    Whittum, D.H.; Sessler, A.M. ); Dawson, J.M. . Dept. of Physics)

    1990-01-01

    A relativistic electron beam propagating through a plasma in the ion-focused regime exhibits an electromagnetic instability at a resonant frequency {omega} {approximately} 2{gamma}{sup 2} {omega}{sub {beta}}. Growth is enhanced by optical guiding in the ion channel, which acts as dielectric waveguide, with fiber parameter V {approximately} 2 (I/I{sub A}){sup 1/2}. A 1-D theory for such an ion-channel laser'' is formulated, scaling laws are derived and numerical examples are given. Possible experimental evidence is noted. 23 refs., 1 fig., 1 tab.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. The activation mode of the mechanosensitive ion channel, MscL, by lysophosphatidylcholine differs from tension-induced gating

    PubMed Central

    Mukherjee, Nobina; Jose, Mac Donald; Birkner, Jan Peter; Walko, Martin; Ingólfsson, Helgi I.; Dimitrova, Anna; Arnarez, Clément; Marrink, Siewert J.; Koçer, Armağan

    2014-01-01

    One of the best-studied mechanosensitive channels is the mechanosensitive channel of large conductance (MscL). MscL senses tension in the membrane evoked by an osmotic down shock and directly couples it to large conformational changes leading to the opening of the channel. Spectroscopic techniques offer unique possibilities to monitor these conformational changes if it were possible to generate tension in the lipid bilayer, the native environment of MscL, during the measurements. To this end, asymmetric insertion of l-α-lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC) into the lipid bilayer has been effective; however, how LPC activates MscL is not fully understood. Here, the effects of LPC on tension-sensitive mutants of a bacterial MscL and on MscL homologs with different tension sensitivities are reported, leading to the conclusion that the mode of action of LPC is different from that of applied tension. Our results imply that LPC shifts the free energy of gating by interfering with MscL-membrane coupling. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the fine-tuned addition of LPC can be used for controlled activation of MscL in spectroscopic studies.—Mukherjee, N., Jose, M. D., Birkner, J. P., Walko, M., Ingólfsson, H. I., Dimitrova, A., Arnarez, C., Marrink, S. J., Koçer, A. The activation mode of the mechanosensitive ion channel, MscL, by lysophosphatidylcholine differs from tension-induced gating. PMID:24958207

  12. Flufenamic acid as an ion channel modulator

    PubMed Central

    Guinamard, Romain; Simard, Christophe; Negro, Christopher Del

    2014-01-01

    Flufenamic acid has been known since the 1960s to have anti-inflammatory properties attributable to the reduction of prostaglandin synthesis. Thirty years later, flufenamic acid appeared to be an ion channel modulator. Thus, while its use in medicine diminished, its use in ionic channel research expanded. Flufenamic acid commonly affects non-selective cation channels and chloride channels, but also modulates potassium, calcium and sodium channels with effective concentrations ranging from 10-6 M in TRPM4 channel inhibition to 10-3 M in two-pore outwardly rectifying potassium channel activation. Because flufenamic acid effects develop and reverse rapidly, it is a convenient and widely used tool. However, given the broad spectrum of its targets, experimental results have to be interpreted cautiously. Here we provide an overview of ion channels targeted by flufenamic acid to aid in interpreting its effects at the molecular, cellular, and systems levels. If it is used with good practices, flufenamic acid remains a useful tool for ion channel research. Understanding the targets of FFA may help reevaluate its physiological impacts and revive interest in its therapeutic potential. PMID:23356979

  13. Ion channels regulating mast cell biology.

    PubMed

    Ashmole, I; Bradding, P

    2013-05-01

    Mast cells play a central role in the pathophysiology of asthma and related allergic conditions. Mast cell activation leads to the degranulation of preformed mediators such as histamine and the secretion of newly synthesised proinflammatory mediators such as leukotrienes and cytokines. Excess release of these mediators contributes to allergic disease states. An influx of extracellular Ca2+ is essential for mast cell mediator release. From the Ca2+ channels that mediate this influx, to the K+ , Cl- and transient receptor potential channels that set the cell membrane potential and regulate Ca2+ influx, ion channels play a critical role in mast cell biology. In this review we provide an overview of our current knowledge of ion channel expression and function in mast cells with an emphasis on how channels interact to regulate Ca2+ signalling.

  14. 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.

  15. ( sup 3 H)PN200-110 and ( sup 3 H)ryanodine binding and reconstitution of ion channel activity with skeletal muscle membranes

    SciTech Connect

    Hamilton, S.L.; Alvarez, R.M.; Fill, M.; Hawkes, M.J.; Brush, K.L.; Schilling, W.P.; Stefani, E. )

    1989-11-15

    Skeletal muscle membranes derived either from the tubular (T) network or from the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) were characterized with respect to the binding of the dihydropyridine, ({sup 3}H)PN200-110, and the alkaloid, ({sup 3}H)ryanodine; polypeptide composition; and ion channel activity. Conditions for optimizing the binding of these radioligands are discussed. A bilayer pulsing technique is described and is used to examine the channels present in these membranes. Fusion of T-tubule membranes into bilayers revealed the presence of chloride channels and dihydropyridine-sensitive calcium channels with three distinct conductances. The dihydropyridine-sensitive channels were further characterized with respect to their voltage dependence. Pulsing experiments indicated that two different populations of dihydropyridine-sensitive channels existed. Fusion of heavy SR vesicles revealed three different ion channels; the putative calcium release channel, a potassium channel, and a chloride channel. Thus, this fractionation procedure provides T-tubules and SR membranes which, with radioligand binding and single channel recording techniques, provide a useful tool to study the characteristics of skeletal muscle ion channels and their possible role in excitation-contraction coupling.

  16. Ion channels and transporters in metastasis.

    PubMed

    Stock, Christian; Schwab, Albrecht

    2015-10-01

    An elaborate interplay between ion channels and transporters, components of the cytoskeleton, adhesion molecules, and signaling cascades provides the basis for each major step of the metastatic cascade. Ion channels and transporters contribute to cell motility by letting through or transporting ions essential for local Ca2+, pH and--in cooperation with water permeable aquaporins--volume homeostasis. Moreover, in addition to the actual ion transport they, or their auxiliary subunits, can display non-conducting activities. They can exert kinase activity in order to phosphorylate cytoskeletal constituents or their associates. They can become part of signaling processes by permeating Ca2+, by generating local pH-nanodomains or by being final downstream effectors. A number of channels and transporters are found at focal adhesions, interacting directly or indirectly with proteins of the extracellular matrix, with integrins or with components of the cytoskeleton. We also include the role of aquaporins in cell motility. They drive the outgrowth of lamellipodia/invadopodia or control the number of β1 integrins in the plasma membrane. The multitude of interacting ion channels and transporters (called transportome) including the associated signaling events holds great potential as therapeutic target(s) for anticancer agents that are aimed at preventing metastasis. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Membrane channels and transporters in cancers.

  17. Hydrophobic gating in ion channels.

    PubMed

    Aryal, Prafulla; Sansom, Mark S P; Tucker, Stephen J

    2015-01-16

    Biological ion channels are nanoscale transmembrane pores. When water and ions are enclosed within the narrow confines of a sub-nanometer hydrophobic pore, they exhibit behavior not evident from macroscopic descriptions. At this nanoscopic level, the unfavorable interaction between the lining of a hydrophobic pore and water may lead to stochastic liquid-vapor transitions. These transient vapor states are "dewetted", i.e. effectively devoid of water molecules within all or part of the pore, thus leading to an energetic barrier to ion conduction. This process, termed "hydrophobic gating", was first observed in molecular dynamics simulations of model nanopores, where the principles underlying hydrophobic gating (i.e., changes in diameter, polarity, or transmembrane voltage) have now been extensively validated. Computational, structural, and functional studies now indicate that biological ion channels may also exploit hydrophobic gating to regulate ion flow within their pores. Here we review the evidence for this process and propose that this unusual behavior of water represents an increasingly important element in understanding the relationship between ion channel structure and function.

  18. Ion channels in development and cancer.

    PubMed

    Bates, Emily

    2015-01-01

    Ion channels have emerged as regulators of developmental processes. In model organisms and in people with mutations in ion channels, disruption of ion channel function can affect cell proliferation, cell migration, and craniofacial and limb patterning. Alterations of ion channel function affect morphogenesis in fish, frogs, mammals, and flies, demonstrating that ion channels have conserved roles in developmental processes. One model suggests that ion channels affect proliferation and migration through changes in cell volume. However, ion channels have not explicitly been placed in canonical developmental signaling cascades until recently. This review gives examples of ion channels that influence developmental processes, offers a potential underlying molecular mechanism involving bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling, and finally explores exciting possibilities for manipulating ion channels to influence cell fate for regenerative medicine and to impact disease.

  19. Ferritin Protein Nanocage Ion Channels

    PubMed Central

    Tosha, Takehiko; Behera, Rabindra K.; Ng, Ho-Leung; Bhattasali, Onita; Alber, Tom; Theil, Elizabeth C.

    2012-01-01

    Ferritin protein nanocages, self-assembled from four-α-helix bundle subunits, use Fe2+ and oxygen to synthesize encapsulated, ferric oxide minerals. Ferritin minerals are iron concentrates stored for cell growth. Ferritins are also antioxidants, scavenging Fenton chemistry reactants. Channels for iron entry and exit consist of helical hairpin segments surrounding the 3-fold symmetry axes of the ferritin nanocages. We now report structural differences caused by amino acid substitutions in the Fe2+ ion entry and exit channels and at the cytoplasmic pores, from high resolution (1.3–1.8 Å) protein crystal structures of the eukaryotic model ferritin, frog M. Mutations that eliminate conserved ionic or hydrophobic interactions between Arg-72 and Asp-122 and between Leu-110 and Leu-134 increase flexibility in the ion channels, cytoplasmic pores, and/or the N-terminal extensions of the helix bundles. Decreased ion binding in the channels and changes in ordered water are also observed. Protein structural changes coincide with increased Fe2+ exit from dissolved, ferric minerals inside ferritin protein cages; Fe2+ exit from ferritin cages depends on a complex, surface-limited process to reduce and dissolve the ferric mineral. High concentrations of bovine serum albumin or lysozyme (protein crowders) to mimic the cytoplasm restored Fe2+ exit in the variants to wild type. The data suggest that fluctuations in pore structure control gating. The newly identified role of the ferritin subunit N-terminal extensions in gating Fe2+ exit from the cytoplasmic pores strengthens the structural and functional analogies between ferritin ion channels in the water-soluble protein assembly and membrane protein ion channels gated by cytoplasmic N-terminal peptides. PMID:22362775

  20. 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

  1. Improved Ion-Channel Biosensors

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nadeau, Jay; White, Victor; Dougherty, Dennis; Maurer, Joshua

    2004-01-01

    An effort is underway to develop improved biosensors of a type based on ion channels in biomimetic membranes. These sensors are microfabricated from silicon and other materials compatible with silicon. As described, these sensors offer a number of advantages over prior sensors of this type.

  2. Mechanosensitive Ion Channels in Cardiovascular Physiology.

    PubMed

    Teng, Jinfeng; Loukin, Steve; Kung, Ching

    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.

  3. Ozone activates airway nerves via the selective stimulation of TRPA1 ion channels.

    PubMed

    Taylor-Clark, Thomas E; Undem, Bradley J

    2010-02-01

    Inhalation of ozone is a major health risk in industrialized nations. Ozone can impair lung function and induce respiratory symptoms through sensory neural-mediated pathways, yet the specific interaction of ozone with airway sensory nerves has yet to be elucidated. Here we demonstrate, using a vagally innervated ex vivo tracheal-lung mouse preparation, that ozone selectively and directly evokes action potential discharge in a subset of nociceptive bronchopulmonary nerves, namely slow conducting C-fibres. Sensitivity to ozone correlated with the transient receptor potential (TRP) A1 agonist, cinnamaldehyde, with ozone having no effect on cinnamaldehyde-insensitive fibres. C-fibre responses to ozone were abolished by ruthenium red (TRP inhibitor). Ozone also stimulated a subset of nociceptive sensory neurones isolated from vagal ganglia of wild-type mice, but failed to activate neurones isolated from transient receptor potential ankyrin 1 (TRPA1) knockout mice. Ozone activated HEK293 cells transfected with TRPA1, but failed to activate non-transfected HEK293 or HEK293 transfected with the capsaicin-sensitive transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) channel. Thus, ozone is not an indiscriminate neuronal activator, but rather it potently and selectively activates a subset of airway C-fibres by directly stimulating TRPA1.

  4. 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

  5. Energy channeling from trapped to passing fast ions mediated by GAE/CAE activity in NSTX

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Medley, S. S.; Belova, E.; Kramer, G.; Podesta, M.; Liu, D.

    2013-10-01

    In the National Spherical Torus Experiment, an increased charge exchange neutral flux localized at the neutral beam full injection energy is measured by the E||B Neutral Particle Analyzer. Termed the High-Energy Feature (HEF), it appears on the beam-injected energetic ion spectrum in discharges where NTM or kink modes (f < 10 kHz) are absent, TAE activity (f ~ 10-150 kHz) is weak and CAE/GAE activity (f ~ 400 - 1200 kHz) is robust. The HEF exhibits a growth time of t ~ 20-80 ms and develops a slowing down distribution that continues to evolve over periods > 100 ms. HEFs are observed only in H-mode discharges with NB power Pb >= 4 MW and in the pitch range v||/v ~ 0.7 - 0.9. The HEF appears to be caused by a CAE/GAE wave-particle interaction that modifies the fast ion distribution, fi(E,v||/v,r). This mechanism was studied using the SPIRAL code that evolves an initial TRANSP-calculated fi(E,v||/v,r) distribution in the presence of background plasma profiles under drive from wave-particle resonances with CAE/GAE Alfvén eigenmodes. Supported by U.S. Department of Energy under Contract No. DE-AC02-09CH11466.

  6. P2Y1 Receptor Activation of the TRPV4 Ion Channel Enhances Purinergic Signaling in Satellite Glial Cells*

    PubMed Central

    Rajasekhar, Pradeep; Poole, Daniel P.; Liedtke, Wolfgang; Bunnett, Nigel W.; Veldhuis, Nicholas A.

    2015-01-01

    Transient receptor potential (TRP) ion channels of peripheral sensory pathways are important mediators of pain, itch, and neurogenic inflammation. They are expressed by primary sensory neurons and by glial cells in the central nervous system, but their expression and function in satellite glial cells (SGCs) of sensory ganglia have not been explored. SGCs tightly ensheath neurons of sensory ganglia and can regulate neuronal excitability in pain and inflammatory states. Using a modified dissociation protocol, we isolated neurons with attached SGCs from dorsal root ganglia of mice. SGCs, which were identified by expression of immunoreactive Kir4.1 and glutamine synthetase, were closely associated with neurons, identified using the pan-neuronal marker NeuN. A subpopulation of SGCs expressed immunoreactive TRP vanilloid 4 (TRPV4) and responded to the TRPV4-selective agonist GSK1016790A by an influx of Ca2+ ions. SGCs did not express functional TRPV1, TRPV3, or TRP ankyrin 1 channels. Responses to GSK1016790A were abolished by the TRPV4 antagonist HC067047 and were absent in SGCs from Trpv4−/− mice. The P2Y1-selective agonist 2-methylthio-ADP increased [Ca2+]i in SGCs, and responses were prevented by the P2Y1-selective antagonist MRS2500. P2Y1 receptor-mediated responses were enhanced in TRPV4-expressing SGCs and HEK293 cells, suggesting that P2Y1 couples to and activates TRPV4. PKC inhibitors prevented P2Y1 receptor activation of TRPV4. Our results provide the first evidence for expression of TRPV4 in SGCs and demonstrate that TRPV4 is a purinergic receptor-operated channel in SGCs of sensory ganglia. PMID:26475857

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Potassium ion channels operated by receptor stimulation can be activated simply by raising temperature.

    PubMed

    Tamazawa, Y; Matsumoto, M; Kudo, A; Sasaki, K

    1991-01-01

    Application of either dopamine (DA), acetylcholine (ACh), or histamine (HA) to the identified ganglion cells of Aplysia elicits a K(+)-dependent slow hyperpolarization. When temperature of the bathing solution was raised from 22 to 32 degrees C, these cells were also hyperpolarized with a marked increase in K+ conductance. The warm- and transmitter-induced current responses recorded under voltage clamp were not blocked by either 1 mM Ba2+ or 10 mM TEA. Intracellularly injected guanosine 5'-O-(2-thiodiphosphate) (GDP beta S) depressed both warm- and transmitter-induced K+ responses immediately after the injection. Intracellular application of guanosine 5'-O-(3-thiotriphosphate) (GTP gamma S) caused a gradual, irreversible increase in K+ conductance of the plasma membrane and occluded both responses. Transmitter-induced response markedly decreased when the temperature was raised from 22 to 32 degrees C, suggesting that the response to transmitter was occluded during the warm-induced response. These results suggested that the G-protein regulating the receptor-operated K+ channels could be activated simply by raising temperature.

  10. Acid-Sensing Ion Channels Activated by Evoked Released Protons Modulate Synaptic Transmission at the Mouse Calyx of Held Synapse.

    PubMed

    González-Inchauspe, Carlota; Urbano, Francisco J; Di Guilmi, Mariano N; Uchitel, Osvaldo D

    2017-03-08

    Acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs) regulate synaptic activities and play important roles in neurodegenerative diseases. We found that these channels can be activated in neurons of the medial nucleus of the trapezoid body (MNTB) of the auditory system in the CNS. A drop in extracellular pH induces transient inward ASIC currents (IASICs) in postsynaptic MNTB neurons from wild-type mice. The inhibition of IASICs by psalmotoxin-1 (PcTx1) and the absence of these currents in knock-out mice for ASIC-1a subunit (ASIC1a(-/-)) suggest that homomeric ASIC-1as are mediating these currents in MNTB neurons. Furthermore, we detect ASIC1a-dependent currents during synaptic transmission, suggesting an acidification of the synaptic cleft due to the corelease of neurotransmitter and H(+) from synaptic vesicles. These currents are capable of eliciting action potentials in the absence of glutamatergic currents. A significant characteristic of these homomeric ASIC-1as is their permeability to Ca(2+) Activation of ASIC-1a in MNTB neurons by exogenous H(+) induces an increase in intracellular Ca(2+) Furthermore, the activation of postsynaptic ASIC-1as during high-frequency stimulation (HFS) of the presynaptic nerve terminal leads to a PcTx1-sensitive increase in intracellular Ca(2+) in MNTB neurons, which is independent of glutamate receptors and is absent in neurons from ASIC1a(-/-) mice. During HFS, the lack of functional ASICs in synaptic transmission results in an enhanced short-term depression of glutamatergic EPSCs. These results strongly support the hypothesis of protons as neurotransmitters and demonstrate that presynaptic released protons modulate synaptic transmission by activating ASIC-1as at the calyx of Held-MNTB synapse.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The manuscript demonstrates that postsynaptic neurons of the medial nucleus of the trapezoid body at the mouse calyx of Held synapse express functional homomeric Acid-sensing ion channel-1a (ASIC-1as) that can be activated by protons

  11. Nuclear pore complex ion channels (review).

    PubMed

    Bustamante, J O; Liepins, A; Hanover, J A

    1994-01-01

    It is currently thought that nuclear pore complexes (NPCs) primarily govern nucleocytoplasmic interactions via selective recognition and active transport of macromolecules. However, in various nuclear preparations, patch-clamp and fluorescence, luminiscence and ion microscopy support classical microelectrode measurements indicating that monoatomic ion flow across the nuclear envelope (NE) is strictly regulated. Gating of large conductance nuclear envelope ion channels (NICs) somewhat resembles that of gap junctional channels. In other respects, NICs are distinct in that they require cytosolic factors, are blocked by wheat germ agglutinin and are blocked and/or modified by antibodies to epitopes of NPC glycoproteins. Therefore, NIC activity, recorded as electrical current/conductance is likely to be intrinsic to NPCs. This observation suggests a potential use for the patch-clamp technique in establishing the mechanisms underlying nuclear pore gating in response to cytosolic and nucleosolic factors such as transcription and growth factors, oncogene and proto-oncogene products and receptors for retinoids, steroids and thyroid hormone. NIC activity may also be useful in evaluating the mechanisms of nuclear import of foreign nucleic acid material such as that contained in virons and viroids. Finally, in consideration to the electrophysiological data accumulated so far, the study of nuclear pore ion channel activity may help our understanding of other important issues such as cell suicide, programmed cell death or apoptosis.

  12. Bile acids potentiate proton-activated currents in Xenopus laevis oocytes expressing human acid-sensing ion channel (ASIC1a).

    PubMed

    Ilyaskin, Alexandr V; Diakov, Alexei; Korbmacher, Christoph; Haerteis, Silke

    2017-02-01

    Acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs) are nonvoltage-gated sodium channels transiently activated by extracellular protons and belong to the epithelial sodium channel (ENaC)/Degenerin (DEG) family of ion channels. Bile acids have been shown to activate two members of this family, the bile acid-sensitive ion channel (BASIC) and ENaC. To investigate whether bile acids also modulate ASIC function, human ASIC1a was heterologously expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes. Exposing oocytes to tauro-conjugated cholic (t-CA), deoxycholic (t-DCA), and chenodeoxycholic (t-CDCA) acid at pH 7.4 did not activate ASIC1a-mediated whole-cell currents. However, in ASIC1a expressing oocytes the whole-cell currents elicited by pH 5.5 were significantly increased in the presence of these bile acids. Single-channel recordings in outside-out patches confirmed that t-DCA enhanced the stimulatory effect of pH 5.5 on ASIC1a channel activity. Interestingly, t-DCA reduced single-channel current amplitude by ~15% which suggests an interaction of t-DCA with a region close to the channel pore. Molecular docking predicted binding of bile acids to the pore region near the degenerin site (G433) in the open conformation of the channel. Site-directed mutagenesis demonstrated that the amino acid residue G433 is critically involved in the potentiating effect of bile acids on ASIC1a activation by protons.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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 [Chicago, IL; Sears, Devin N [Spruce Grove, CA; Smith, Luis J [Natick, MA; Klingler, Robert J [Glenview, IL; Rathke, Jerome W [Homer Glen, IL

    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.

  16. Ion channels and anti-cancer immunity.

    PubMed

    Panyi, Gyorgy; Beeton, Christine; Felipe, Antonio

    2014-03-19

    The outcome of a malignant disease depends on the efficacy of the immune system to destroy cancer cells. Key steps in this process, for example the generation of a proper Ca(2+) signal induced by recognition of a specific antigen, are regulated by various ion channel including voltage-gated Kv1.3 and Ca(2+)-activated KCa3.1 K(+) channels, and the interplay between Orai and STIM to produce the Ca(2+)-release-activated Ca(2+) (CRAC) current required for T-cell proliferation and function. Understanding the immune cell subset-specific expression of ion channels along with their particular function in a given cell type, and the role of cancer tissue-dependent factors in the regulation of operation of these ion channels are emerging questions to be addressed in the fight against cancer disease. Answering these questions might lead to a better understanding of the immunosuppression phenomenon in cancer tissue and the development of drugs aimed at skewing the distribution of immune cell types towards killing of the tumour cells.

  17. Calcium homeostasis modulator (CALHM) ion channels.

    PubMed

    Ma, Zhongming; Tanis, Jessica E; Taruno, Akiyuki; Foskett, J Kevin

    2016-03-01

    Calcium homeostasis modulator 1 (CALHM1), formerly known as FAM26C, was recently identified as a physiologically important plasma membrane ion channel. CALHM1 and its Caenorhabditis elegans homolog, CLHM-1, are regulated by membrane voltage and extracellular Ca(2+) concentration ([Ca(2+)]o). In the presence of physiological [Ca(2+)]o (∼1.5 mM), CALHM1 and CLHM-1 are closed at resting membrane potentials but can be opened by strong depolarizations. Reducing [Ca(2+)]o increases channel open probability, enabling channel activation at negative membrane potentials. Together, voltage and Ca(2+) o allosterically regulate CALHM channel gating. Through convergent evolution, CALHM has structural features that are reminiscent of connexins and pannexins/innexins/LRRC8 (volume-regulated anion channel (VRAC)) gene families, including four transmembrane helices with cytoplasmic amino and carboxyl termini. A CALHM1 channel is a hexamer of CALHM1 monomers with a functional pore diameter of ∼14 Å. CALHM channels discriminate poorly among cations and anions, with signaling molecules including Ca(2+) and ATP able to permeate through its pore. CALHM1 is expressed in the brain where it plays an important role in cortical neuron excitability induced by low [Ca(2+)]o and in type II taste bud cells in the tongue that sense sweet, bitter, and umami tastes where it functions as an essential ATP release channel to mediate nonsynaptic neurotransmitter release. CLHM-1 is expressed in C. elegans sensory neurons and body wall muscles, and its genetic deletion causes locomotion defects. Thus, CALHM is a voltage- and Ca(2+) o-gated ion channel, permeable to large cations and anions, that plays important roles in physiology.

  18. Calcium homeostasis modulator (CALHM) ion channels

    PubMed Central

    Tanis, Jessica E.; Taruno, Akiyuki

    2017-01-01

    Calcium homeostasis modulator 1 (CALHM1), formerly known as FAM26C, was recently identified as a physiologically important plasma membrane ion channel. CALHM1 and its Caenorhabditis elegans homolog, CLHM-1, are regulated by membrane voltage and extracellular Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]o). In the presence of physiological [Ca2+]o (~1.5 mM), CALHM1 and CLHM-1 are closed at resting membrane potentials but can be opened by strong de-polarizations. Reducing [Ca2+]o increases channel open probability, enabling channel activation at negative membrane potentials. Together, voltage and Ca2+o allosterically regulate CALHM channel gating. Through convergent evolution, CALHM has structural features that are reminiscent of connexins and pannexins/innexins/LRRC8 (volume-regulated anion channel (VRAC)) gene families, including four trans-membrane helices with cytoplasmic amino and carboxyl termini. A CALHM1 channel is a hexamer of CALHM1 monomers with a functional pore diameter of ~14 Å. CALHM channels discriminate poorly among cations and anions, with signaling molecules including Ca2+ and ATP able to permeate through its pore. CALHM1 is expressed in the brain where it plays an important role in cortical neuron excitability induced by low [Ca2+]o and in type II taste bud cells in the tongue that sense sweet, bitter, and umami tastes where it functions as an essential ATP release channel to mediate nonsynaptic neuro-transmitter release. CLHM-1 is expressed in C. elegans sensory neurons and body wall muscles, and its genetic deletion causes locomotion defects. Thus, CALHM is a voltage- and Ca2+o-gated ion channel, permeable to large cations and anions, that plays important roles in physiology. PMID:26603282

  19. Functional ion channels in stem cells

    PubMed Central

    Li, Gui-Rong; Deng, Xiu-Ling

    2011-01-01

    Bioelectrical signals generated by ion channels play crucial roles in excitation genesis and impulse conduction in excitable cells as well as in cell proliferation, migration and apoptosis in proliferative cells. Recent studies have demonstrated that multiple ion channels are heterogeneously present in different stem cells; however, patterns and phenotypes of ion channels are species- and/or origin-dependent. This editorial review focuses on the recent findings related to the expression of functional ion channels and the roles of these channels in regulation of cell proliferation in stem cells. Additional effort is required in the future to clarify the ion channel expression in different types of stem cells; special attention should be paid to the relationship between ion channels and stem cell proliferation, migration and differentiation. PMID:21607133

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. The exceptionally high reactivity of Cys 621 is critical for electrophilic activation of the sensory nerve ion channel TRPA1.

    PubMed

    Bahia, Parmvir K; Parks, Thomas A; Stanford, Katherine R; Mitchell, David A; Varma, Sameer; Stevens, Stanley M; Taylor-Clark, Thomas E

    2016-06-01

    Activation of the sensory nerve ion channel TRPA1 by electrophiles is the key mechanism that initiates nociceptive signaling, and leads to defensive reflexes and avoidance behaviors, during oxidative stress in mammals. TRPA1 is rapidly activated by subtoxic levels of electrophiles, but it is unclear how TRPA1 outcompetes cellular antioxidants that protect cytosolic proteins from electrophiles. Here, using physiologically relevant exposures, we demonstrate that electrophiles react with cysteine residues on mammalian TRPA1 at rates that exceed the reactivity of typical cysteines by 6,000-fold and that also exceed the reactivity of antioxidant enzymes. We show that TRPA1 possesses a complex reactive cysteine profile in which C621 is necessary for electrophile-induced binding and activation. Modeling of deprotonation energies suggests that K620 contributes to C621 reactivity and mutation of K620 alone greatly reduces the effect of electrophiles on TRPA1. Nevertheless, binding of electrophiles to C621 is not sufficient for activation, which also depends on the function of another reactive cysteine (C665). Together, our results demonstrate that TRPA1 acts as an effective electrophilic sensor because of the exceptionally high reactivity of C621.

  3. The exceptionally high reactivity of Cys 621 is critical for electrophilic activation of the sensory nerve ion channel TRPA1

    PubMed Central

    Bahia, Parmvir K.; Parks, Thomas A.; Stanford, Katherine R.; Mitchell, David A.; Varma, Sameer; Stevens, Stanley M.

    2016-01-01

    Activation of the sensory nerve ion channel TRPA1 by electrophiles is the key mechanism that initiates nociceptive signaling, and leads to defensive reflexes and avoidance behaviors, during oxidative stress in mammals. TRPA1 is rapidly activated by subtoxic levels of electrophiles, but it is unclear how TRPA1 outcompetes cellular antioxidants that protect cytosolic proteins from electrophiles. Here, using physiologically relevant exposures, we demonstrate that electrophiles react with cysteine residues on mammalian TRPA1 at rates that exceed the reactivity of typical cysteines by 6,000-fold and that also exceed the reactivity of antioxidant enzymes. We show that TRPA1 possesses a complex reactive cysteine profile in which C621 is necessary for electrophile-induced binding and activation. Modeling of deprotonation energies suggests that K620 contributes to C621 reactivity and mutation of K620 alone greatly reduces the effect of electrophiles on TRPA1. Nevertheless, binding of electrophiles to C621 is not sufficient for activation, which also depends on the function of another reactive cysteine (C665). Together, our results demonstrate that TRPA1 acts as an effective electrophilic sensor because of the exceptionally high reactivity of C621. PMID:27241698

  4. Differential hERG ion channel activity of ultrasmall gold nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Leifert, Annika; Pan, Yu; Kinkeldey, Anne; Schiefer, Frank; Setzler, Julia; Scheel, Olaf; Lichtenbeld, Hera; Schmid, Günter; Wenzel, Wolfgang; Jahnen-Dechent, Willi; Simon, Ulrich

    2013-05-14

    Understanding the mechanism of toxicity of nanomaterials remains a challenge with respect to both mechanisms involved and product regulation. Here we show toxicity of ultrasmall gold nanoparticles (AuNPs). Depending on the ligand chemistry, 1.4-nm-diameter AuNPs failed electrophysiology-based safety testing using human embryonic kidney cell line 293 cells expressing human ether-á-go-go-Related gene (hERG), a Food and Drug Administration-established drug safety test. In patch-clamp experiments, phosphine-stabilized AuNPs irreversibly blocked hERG channels, whereas thiol-stabilized AuNPs of similar size had no effect in vitro, and neither particle blocked the channel in vivo. We conclude that safety regulations may need to be reevaluated and adapted to reflect the fact that the binding modality of surface functional groups becomes a relevant parameter for the design of nanoscale bioactive compounds.

  5. Differential hERG ion channel activity of ultrasmall gold nanoparticles

    PubMed Central

    Leifert, Annika; Pan, Yu; Kinkeldey, Anne; Schiefer, Frank; Setzler, Julia; Scheel, Olaf; Lichtenbeld, Hera; Schmid, Günter; Wenzel, Wolfgang; Jahnen-Dechent, Willi; Simon, Ulrich

    2013-01-01

    Understanding the mechanism of toxicity of nanomaterials remains a challenge with respect to both mechanisms involved and product regulation. Here we show toxicity of ultrasmall gold nanoparticles (AuNPs). Depending on the ligand chemistry, 1.4-nm-diameter AuNPs failed electrophysiology-based safety testing using human embryonic kidney cell line 293 cells expressing human ether-á-go-go-Related gene (hERG), a Food and Drug Administration-established drug safety test. In patch-clamp experiments, phosphine-stabilized AuNPs irreversibly blocked hERG channels, whereas thiol-stabilized AuNPs of similar size had no effect in vitro, and neither particle blocked the channel in vivo. We conclude that safety regulations may need to be reevaluated and adapted to reflect the fact that the binding modality of surface functional groups becomes a relevant parameter for the design of nanoscale bioactive compounds. PMID:23630249

  6. 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

  7. Circadian regulation of ion channels and their functions

    PubMed Central

    Ko, Gladys Y.-P.; Shi, Liheng; Ko, Michael L.

    2010-01-01

    Ion channels are the gatekeepers to neuronal excitability. Retinal neurons of vertebrates and invertebrates, neurons of the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of vertebrates, and pinealocytes of non-mammalian vertebrates display daily rhythms in their activities. The interlocking transcription–translation feedback loops with specific post-translational modulations within individual cells form the molecular clock, the basic mechanism that maintains the autonomic ~24-h rhythm. The molecular clock regulates downstream output signaling pathways that further modulate activities of various ion channels. Ultimately, it is the circadian regulation of ion channel properties that govern excitability and behavior output of these neurons. In this review, we focus on the recent development of research in circadian neurobiology mainly from 1980 forward. We will emphasize the circadian regulation of various ion channels, including cGMP-gated cation channels, various voltage-gated calcium and potassium channels, Na+/K+-ATPase, and a long-opening cation channel. The cellular mechanisms underlying the circadian regulation of these ion channels and their functions in various tissues and organisms will also be discussed. Despite the magnitude of chronobiological studies in recent years, the circadian regulation of ion channels still remains largely unexplored. Through more investigation and understanding of the circadian regulation of ion channels, the future development of therapeutic strategies for the treatment of sleep disorders, cardiovascular diseases, and other illnesses linked to circadian misalignment will benefit. PMID:19549279

  8. United in diversity: mechanosensitive ion channels in plants.

    PubMed

    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.

  9. 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

  10. On the Evolution of Voltage Gated Ion Channels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brenner, Michael

    2006-03-01

    This talk summarizes some ideas, calculations and data analysis/collection surrounding the structure and evolution of ion channels, in particular voltage gated sodium channels. The great advantage of ion channels is that they are individual proteins whose function has long been known and is readily inferred through voltage measurements. Their evolution can be tracked through the growing data base of sequences. Kinetic data is readily available, showing important differences between nearly identical channels. I will discuss our efforts to collate available functional data on voltage gated sodium channels into an 'ion channel property space' . We then use this dataset to infer underlying kinetic models, and to create evolutionary trees based on the function of the channels. Finally, I will discuss our endeavors to how ion channels evolved to be the way they are: Examples of questions we would like to answer include: to what extent do design principles dictate the details of the kinetic schemes of ion channels, such as (a) the symmetry of the sodium and potassium channels (or lack thereof), as reflected in their kinetic schemes ; (b) the coupling of sodium channel kinetics to potassium channel kinetics; or (c) activation/inactivation of the channels themselves.

  11. Atomic absorption spectroscopy in ion channel screening.

    PubMed

    Stankovich, Larisa; Wicks, David; Despotovski, Sasko; Liang, Dong

    2004-10-01

    This article examines the utility of atomic absorption spectroscopy, in conjunction with cold flux assays, to ion channel screening. The multiplicity of ion channels that can be interrogated using cold flux assays and atomic absorption spectroscopy is summarized. The importance of atomic absorption spectroscopy as a screening tool is further elaborated upon by providing examples of the relevance of ion channels to various physiological processes and targeted diseases.

  12. 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

  13. Dehydrated hereditary stomatocytosis linked to gain-of-function mutations in mechanically activated PIEZO1 ion channels.

    PubMed

    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; Simon Rohrlich, Pierre; Delaunay, Jean; Picard, Véronique; Jeunemaitre, Xavier; Patapoutian, Ardem

    2013-01-01

    Dehydrated hereditary stomatocytosis is a genetic condition with defective red blood cell membrane properties that causes an imbalance in intracellular cation concentrations. Recently, two missense mutations in the mechanically activated PIEZO1 (FAM38A) ion channel were associated with dehydrated hereditary stomatocytosis. 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 dehydrated hereditary stomatocytosis cases, we identify three novel missense mutations and one recurrent duplication in PIEZO1, demonstrating that it is the major gene for dehydrated hereditary stomatocytosis. All the dehydrated hereditary stomatocytosis-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 red blood cells of dehydrated hereditary stomatocytosis patients. Our findings also suggest a new role for mechanotransduction in red blood cell biology and pathophysiology.

  14. Coexpression of high-voltage-activated ion channels Kv3.4 and Cav1.2 in pioneer axons during pathfinding in the developing rat forebrain.

    PubMed

    Huang, Chia-Yi; Chu, Dachen; Hwang, Wei-Chao; Tsaur, Meei-Ling

    2012-11-01

    Precise axon pathfinding is crucial for establishment of the initial neuronal network during development. Pioneer axons navigate without the help of preexisting axons and pave the way for follower axons that project later. Voltage-gated ion channels make up the intrinsic electrical activity of pioneer axons and regulate axon pathfinding. To elucidate which channel molecules are present in pioneer axons, immunohistochemical analysis was performed to examine 14 voltage-gated ion channels (Kv1.1-Kv1.3, Kv3.1-Kv3.4, Kv4.3, Cav1.2, Cav1.3, Cav2.2, Nav1.2, Nav1.6, and Nav1.9) in nine axonal tracts in the developing rat forebrain, including the optic nerve, corpus callosum, corticofugal fibers, thalamocortical axons, lateral olfactory tract, hippocamposeptal projection, anterior commissure, hippocampal commissure, and medial longitudinal fasciculus. We found A-type K⁺ channel Kv3.4 in both pioneer axons and early follower axons and L-type Ca²⁺ channel Cav1.2 in pioneer axons and early and late follower axons. Spatially, Kv3.4 and Cav1.2 were colocalized with markers of pioneer neurons and pioneer axons, such as deleted in colorectal cancer (DCC), in most fiber tracts examined. Temporally, Kv3.4 and Cav1.2 were expressed abundantly in most fiber tracts during axon pathfinding but were downregulated beginning in synaptogenesis. By contrast, delayed rectifier Kv channels (e.g., Kv1.1) and Nav channels (e.g., Nav1.2) were absent from these fiber tracts (except for the corpus callosum) during pathfinding of pioneer axons. These data suggest that Kv3.4 and Cav1.2, two high-voltage-activated ion channels, may act together to control Ca²⁺ -dependent electrical activity of pioneer axons and play important roles during axon pathfinding.

  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. 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

  17. Ion channels in innate and adaptive immunity.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-06

    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.

  19. 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

  20. Studying mechanosensitive ion channels with an automated patch clamp.

    PubMed

    Barthmes, Maria; Jose, Mac Donald F; Birkner, Jan Peter; Brüggemann, Andrea; Wahl-Schott, Christian; Koçer, Armağan

    2014-03-01

    Patch clamp electrophysiology is the main technique to study mechanosensitive ion channels (MSCs), however, conventional patch clamping is laborious and success and output depends on the skills of the operator. Even though automated patch systems solve these problems for other ion channels, they could not be applied to MSCs. Here, we report on activation and single channel analysis of a bacterial mechanosensitive ion channel using an automated patch clamp system. With the automated system, we could patch not only giant unilamellar liposomes but also giant Escherichia coli (E. coli) spheroplasts. The tension sensitivity and channel kinetics data obtained in the automated system were in good agreement with that obtained from the conventional patch clamp. The findings will pave the way to high throughput fundamental and drug screening studies on mechanosensitive ion channels.

  1. Surface dynamics of voltage-gated ion channels

    PubMed Central

    Heine, Martin; Ciuraszkiewicz, Anna; Voigt, Andreas; Heck, Jennifer; Bikbaev, Arthur

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Neurons encode information in fast changes of the membrane potential, and thus electrical membrane properties are critically important for the integration and processing of synaptic inputs by a neuron. These electrical properties are largely determined by ion channels embedded in the membrane. The distribution of most ion channels in the membrane is not spatially uniform: they undergo activity-driven changes in the range of minutes to days. Even in the range of milliseconds, the composition and topology of ion channels are not static but engage in highly dynamic processes including stochastic or activity-dependent transient association of the pore-forming and auxiliary subunits, lateral diffusion, as well as clustering of different channels. In this review we briefly discuss the potential impact of mobile sodium, calcium and potassium ion channels and the functional significance of this for individual neurons and neuronal networks. PMID:26891382

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Arachidonic acid and ion channels: an update

    PubMed Central

    Meves, H

    2008-01-01

    Arachidonic acid (AA), a polyunsaturated fatty acid with four double bonds, has multiple actions on living cells. Many of these effects are mediated by an action of AA or its metabolites on ion channels. During the last 10 years, new types of ion channels, transient receptor potential (TRP) channels, store-operated calcium entry (SOCE) channels and non-SOCE channels have been studied. This review summarizes our current knowledge about the effects of AA on TRP and non-SOCE channels as well as classical ion channels. It aims to distinguish between effects of AA itself and effects of AA metabolites. Lipid mediators are of clinical interest because some of them (for example, leukotrienes) play a role in various diseases, others (such as prostaglandins) are targets for pharmacological therapeutic intervention. PMID:18552881

  5. 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.

  6. Large fraction of crystal directions leads to ion channeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nordlund, K.; Djurabekova, F.; Hobler, G.

    2016-12-01

    It is well established that when energetic ions are moving in crystals, they may penetrate much deeper if they happen to be directed in some specific crystal directions. This `channeling' effect is utilized for instance in certain ion beam analysis methods and has been described by analytical theories and atomistic computer simulations. However, there have been very few systematic studies of channeling in directions other than the principal low-index ones. We present here a molecular dynamics-based approach to calculate ion channeling systematically over all crystal directions, providing ion `channeling maps' that easily show in which directions channeling is expected. The results show that channeling effects can be quite significant even at energies below 1 keV, and that in many cases, significant planar channeling occurs also in a wide range of crystal directions between the low-index principal ones. In all of the cases studied, a large fraction (˜20 -60 % ) of all crystal directions show channeling. A practical implication of this is that modern experiments on randomly oriented nanostructures will have a large probability of channeling. It also means that when ion irradiations are carried out on polycrystalline samples, channeling effects on the results cannot a priori be assumed to be negligible. The maps allow for easy selection of good `nonchanneling' directions in experiments or alternatively finding wide channels for beneficial uses of channeling. We implement channeling theory to also give the fraction of channeling directions in a manner directly comparable to the simulations. The comparison shows good qualitative agreement. In particular, channeling theory is very good at predicting which channels are active at a given energy. This is true down to sub-keV energies, provided the penetration depth is not too small.

  7. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  9. 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.

  10. Enhancement of acid-sensing ion channel activity by metabotropic P2Y UTP receptors in primary sensory neurons.

    PubMed

    Ren, Cuixia; Gan, Xiong; Wu, Jing; Qiu, Chun-Yu; Hu, Wang-Ping

    2016-03-01

    Peripheral purinergic signaling plays an important role in nociception. Increasing evidence suggests that metabotropic P2Y receptors are also involved, but little is known about the underlying mechanism. Herein, we report that selective P2Y receptor agonist uridine 5'-triphosphate (UTP) can exert an enhancing effect on the functional activity of acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs), key sensors for extracellular protons, in rat dorsal root ganglia (DRG) neurons. First, UTP dose-dependently increased the amplitude of ASIC currents. UTP also shifted the concentration-response curve for proton upwards, with a 56.6 ± 6.4% increase of the maximal current response to proton. Second, UTP potentiation of proton-gated currents can be mimicked by adenosine 5'-triphosphate (ATP), but not by P2Y1 receptor agonist ADP. Potentiation of UTP was blocked by P2Y receptor antagonist suramin and by inhibition of intracellular G protein, phospholipase C (PLC), protein kinase C (PKC), or protein interacting with C-kinase 1 (PICK1) signaling. Third, UTP altered acidosis-evoked membrane excitability of DRG neurons and caused a significant increase in the amplitude of the depolarization and the number of spikes induced by acid stimuli. Finally, UTP dose-dependently exacerbated nociceptive responses to injection of acetic acid in rats. These results suggest that UTP enhanced ASIC-mediated currents and nociceptive responses, which reveal a novel peripheral mechanism underlying UTP-sensitive P2Y2 receptor involvement in hyperalgesia by sensitizing ASICs in primary sensory neurons.

  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.

  12. Structure and selectivity in bestrophin ion channels

    DOE PAGES

    Yang, Tingting; Liu, Qun; Kloss, Brian; ...

    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

  13. Arachidonic acid activates release of calcium ions from reticulum via ryanodine receptor channels in C2C12 skeletal myotubes.

    PubMed

    Muslikhov, E R; Sukhanova, I F; Avdonin, P V

    2014-05-01

    Arachidonic acid causes an increase in free cytoplasmic calcium concentration ([Ca2+]i) in differentiated skeletal multinucleated myotubes C2C12 and does not induce calcium response in C2C12 myoblasts. The same reaction of myotubes to arachidonic acid is observed in Ca2+-free medium. This indicates that arachidonic acid induces release of calcium ions from intracellular stores. The blocker of ryanodine receptor channels of sarcoplasmic reticulum dantrolene (20 µM) inhibits this effect by 68.7 ± 6.3% (p < 0.001). The inhibitor of two-pore calcium channels of endolysosomal vesicles trans-NED19 (10 µM) decreases the response to arachidonic acid by 35.8 ± 5.4% (p < 0.05). The phospholipase C inhibitor U73122 (10 µM) has no effect. These data indicate the involvement of ryanodine receptor calcium channels of sarcoplasmic reticulum in [Ca2+]i elevation in skeletal myotubes caused by arachidonic acid and possible participation of two-pore calcium channels from endolysosomal vesicles in this process.

  14. 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

  15. Acid-sensing ion channels under hypoxia.

    PubMed

    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.

  16. Pore architecture and ion sites in acid-sensing ion channels and P2X receptors.

    PubMed

    Gonzales, Eric B; Kawate, Toshimitsu; Gouaux, Eric

    2009-07-30

    Acid-sensing ion channels are proton-activated, sodium-selective channels composed of three subunits, and are members of the superfamily of epithelial sodium channels, mechanosensitive and FMRF-amide peptide-gated ion channels. These ubiquitous eukaryotic ion channels have essential roles in biological activities as diverse as sodium homeostasis, taste and pain. Despite their crucial roles in biology and their unusual trimeric subunit stoichiometry, there is little knowledge of the structural and chemical principles underlying their ion channel architecture and ion-binding sites. Here we present the structure of a functional acid-sensing ion channel in a desensitized state at 3 A resolution, the location and composition of the approximately 8 A 'thick' desensitization gate, and the trigonal antiprism coordination of caesium ions bound in the extracellular vestibule. Comparison of the acid-sensing ion channel structure with the ATP-gated P2X(4) receptor reveals similarity in pore architecture and aqueous vestibules, suggesting that there are unanticipated yet common structural and mechanistic principles.

  17. 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.

  18. Pair creation in heavy ion channeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belov, N. A.; Harman, Z.

    2016-04-01

    Heavy ions channeled through crystals with multi-GeV kinetic energies can create electron-positron pairs. In the framework of the ion, the energy of virtual photons arising from the periodic crystal potential may exceed the threshold 2mec2. The repeated periodic collisions with the crystal ions yield high pair production rates. When the virtual photon frequency matches a nuclear transition in the ion, the production rate can be resonantly increased. In this two-step excitation-pair conversion scheme, the excitation rates are coherently enhanced, and scale approximately quadratically with the number of crystal sites along the channel.

  19. Hydroxyproline-induced Helical Disruption in Conantokin Rl-B Affects Subunit-selective Antagonistic Activities toward Ion Channels of N-Methyl-d-aspartate Receptors*

    PubMed Central

    Kunda, Shailaja; Yuan, Yue; Balsara, Rashna D.; Zajicek, Jaroslav; Castellino, Francis J.

    2015-01-01

    Conantokins are ∼20-amino acid peptides present in predatory marine snail venoms that function as allosteric antagonists of ion channels of the N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR). These peptides possess a high percentage of post-/co-translationally modified amino acids, particularly γ-carboxyglutamate (Gla). Appropriately spaced Gla residues allow binding of functional divalent cations, which induces end-to-end α-helices in many conantokins. A smaller number of these peptides additionally contain 4-hydroxyproline (Hyp). Hyp should prevent adoption of the metal ion-induced full α-helix, with unknown functional consequences. To address this disparity, as well as the role of Hyp in conantokins, we have solved the high resolution three-dimensional solution structure of a Gla/Hyp-containing 18-residue conantokin, conRl-B, by high field NMR spectroscopy. We show that Hyp10 disrupts only a small region of the α-helix of the Mn2+·peptide complex, which displays cation-induced α-helices on each terminus of the peptide. The function of conRl-B was examined by measuring its inhibition of NMDA/Gly-mediated current through NMDAR ion channels in mouse cortical neurons. The conRl-B displays high inhibitory selectivity for subclasses of NMDARs that contain the functionally important GluN2B subunit. Replacement of Hyp10 with N8Q results in a Mg2+-complexed end-to-end α-helix, accompanied by attenuation of NMDAR inhibitory activity. However, replacement of Hyp10 with Pro10 allowed the resulting peptide to retain its inhibitory property but diminished its GluN2B specificity. Thus, these modified amino acids, in specific peptide backbones, play critical roles in their subunit-selective inhibition of NMDAR ion channels, a finding that can be employed to design NMDAR antagonists that function at ion channels of distinct NMDAR subclasses. PMID:26048991

  20. Ion channels and the hallmarks of cancer.

    PubMed

    Prevarskaya, Natalia; Skryma, Roman; Shuba, Yaroslav

    2010-03-01

    Plasma membrane (PM) ion channels contribute to virtually all basic cellular processes and are also involved in the malignant phenotype of cancer cells. Here, we review the role of ion channels in cancer in the context of their involvement in the defined hallmarks of cancer: 1) self-sufficiency in growth signals, 2) insensitivity to antigrowth signals, 3) evasion of programmed cell death (apoptosis), 4) limitless replicative potential, 5) sustained angiogenesis and 6) tissue invasion and metastasis. Recent studies have indicated that the contribution of specific ion channels to these hallmarks varies for different types of cancer. Therefore, to determine the importance of ion channels as targets for cancer diagnosis and treatment their expression, function and regulation must be assessed for each cancer.

  1. 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

  2. The transient receptor potential family of ion channels.

    PubMed

    Nilius, Bernd; Owsianik, Grzegorz

    2011-01-01

    The transient receptor potential (TRP) multigene superfamily encodes integral membrane proteins that function as ion channels. Members of this family are conserved in yeast, invertebrates and vertebrates. The TRP family is subdivided into seven subfamilies: TRPC (canonical), TRPV (vanilloid), TRPM (melastatin), TRPP (polycystin), TRPML (mucolipin), TRPA (ankyrin) and TRPN (NOMPC-like); the latter is found only in invertebrates and fish. TRP ion channels are widely expressed in many different tissues and cell types, where they are involved in diverse physiological processes, such as sensation of different stimuli or ion homeostasis. Most TRPs are non-selective cation channels, only few are highly Ca2+ selective, some are even permeable for highly hydrated Mg2+ ions. This channel family shows a variety of gating mechanisms, with modes of activation ranging from ligand binding, voltage and changes in temperature to covalent modifications of nucleophilic residues. Activated TRP channels cause depolarization of the cellular membrane, which in turn activates voltage-dependent ion channels, resulting in a change of intracellular Ca2+ concentration; they serve as gatekeeper for transcellular transport of several cations (such as Ca2+ and Mg2+), and are required for the function of intracellular organelles (such as endosomes and lysosomes). Because of their function as intracellular Ca2+ release channels, they have an important regulatory role in cellular organelles. Mutations in several TRP genes have been implicated in diverse pathological states, including neurodegenerative disorders, skeletal dysplasia, kidney disorders and pain, and ongoing research may help find new therapies for treatments of related diseases.

  3. Ion channels in control of pancreatic stellate cell migration

    PubMed Central

    Storck, Hannah; Hild, Benedikt; Schimmelpfennig, Sandra; Sargin, Sarah; Nielsen, Nikolaj; Zaccagnino, Angela; Budde, Thomas; Novak, Ivana; Kalthoff, Holger; Schwab, Albrecht

    2017-01-01

    Pancreatic stellate cells (PSCs) play a critical role in the progression of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). Once activated, PSCs support proliferation and metastasis of carcinoma cells. PSCs even co-metastasise with carcinoma cells. This requires the ability of PSCs to migrate. In recent years, it has been established that almost all “hallmarks of cancer” such as proliferation or migration/invasion also rely on the expression and function of ion channels. So far, there is only very limited information about the function of ion channels in PSCs. Yet, there is growing evidence that ion channels in stromal cells also contribute to tumor progression. Here we investigated the function of KCa3.1 channels in PSCs. KCa3.1 channels are also found in many tumor cells of different origin. We revealed the functional expression of KCa3.1 channels by means of Western blot, immunofluorescence and patch clamp analysis. The impact of KCa3.1 channel activity on PSC function was determined with live-cell imaging and by measuring the intracellular Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i). KCa3.1 channel blockade or knockout prevents the stimulation of PSC migration and chemotaxis by reducing the [Ca2+]i and calpain activity. KCa3.1 channels functionally cooperate with TRPC3 channels that are upregulated in PDAC stroma. Knockdown of TRPC3 channels largely abolishes the impact of KCa3.1 channels on PSC migration. In summary, our results clearly show that ion channels are crucial players in PSC physiology and pathophysiology. PMID:27903970

  4. Misfolded amyloid ion channels present mobile beta-sheet subunits in contrast to conventional ion channels.

    PubMed

    Jang, Hyunbum; Arce, Fernando Teran; Capone, Ricardo; Ramachandran, Srinivasan; Lal, Ratnesh; Nussinov, Ruth

    2009-12-02

    In Alzheimer's disease, calcium permeability through cellular membranes appears to underlie neuronal cell death. It is increasingly accepted that calcium permeability involves toxic ion channels. We modeled Alzheimer's disease ion channels of different sizes (12-mer to 36-mer) in the lipid bilayer using molecular dynamics simulations. Our Abeta channels consist of the solid-state NMR-based U-shaped beta-strand-turn-beta-strand motif. In the simulations we obtain ion-permeable channels whose subunit morphologies and shapes are consistent with electron microscopy/atomic force microscopy. In agreement with imaged channels, the simulations indicate that beta-sheet channels break into loosely associated mobile beta-sheet subunits. The preferred channel sizes (16- to 24-mer) are compatible with electron microscopy/atomic force microscopy-derived dimensions. Mobile subunits were also observed for beta-sheet channels formed by cytolytic PG-1 beta-hairpins. The emerging picture from our large-scale simulations is that toxic ion channels formed by beta-sheets spontaneously break into loosely interacting dynamic units that associate and dissociate leading to toxic ionic flux. This sharply contrasts intact conventional gated ion channels that consist of tightly interacting alpha-helices that robustly prevent ion leakage, rather than hydrogen-bonded beta-strands. The simulations suggest why conventional gated channels evolved to consist of interacting alpha-helices rather than hydrogen-bonded beta-strands that tend to break in fluidic bilayers. Nature designs folded channels but not misfolded toxic channels.

  5. Block of ATP-binding cassette B19 ion channel activity by 5-nitro-2-(3-phenylpropylamino)-benzoic acid impairs polar auxin transport and root gravitropism.

    PubMed

    Cho, Misuk; Henry, Elizabeth M; Lewis, Daniel R; Wu, Guosheng; Muday, Gloria K; Spalding, Edgar P

    2014-12-01

    Polar transport of the hormone auxin through tissues and organs depends on membrane proteins, including some B-subgroup members of the ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter family. The messenger RNA level of at least one B-subgroup ABCB gene in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), ABCB19, increases upon treatment with the anion channel blocker 5-nitro-2-(3-phenylpropylamino)-benzoic acid (NPPB), possibly to compensate for an inhibitory effect of the drug on ABCB19 activity. Consistent with this hypothesis, NPPB blocked ion channel activity associated with ABCB19 expressed in human embryonic kidney cells as measured by patch-clamp electrophysiology. NPPB inhibited polar auxin transport through Arabidopsis seedling roots similarly to abcb19 mutations. NPPB also inhibited shootward auxin transport, which depends on the related ABCB4 protein. NPPB substantially decreased ABCB4 and ABCB19 protein levels when cycloheximide concomitantly inhibited new protein synthesis, indicating that blockage by NPPB enhances the degradation of ABCB transporters. Impairing the principal auxin transport streams in roots with NPPB caused aberrant patterns of auxin signaling reporters in root apices. Formation of the auxin-signaling gradient across the tips of gravity-stimulated roots, and its developmental consequence (gravitropism), were inhibited by micromolar concentrations of NPPB that did not affect growth rate. These results identify ion channel activity of ABCB19 that is blocked by NPPB, a compound that can now be considered an inhibitor of polar auxin transport with a defined molecular target.

  6. Converging roles of ion channels, calcium, metabolic stress, and activity pattern of Substantia nigra dopaminergic neurons in health and Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Duda, Johanna; Pötschke, Christina; Liss, Birgit

    2016-10-01

    Dopamine-releasing neurons within the Substantia nigra (SN DA) are particularly vulnerable to degeneration compared to other dopaminergic neurons. The age-dependent, progressive loss of these neurons is a pathological hallmark of Parkinson's disease (PD), as the resulting loss of striatal dopamine causes its major movement-related symptoms. SN DA neurons release dopamine from their axonal terminals within the dorsal striatum, and also from their cell bodies and dendrites within the midbrain in a calcium- and activity-dependent manner. Their intrinsically generated and metabolically challenging activity is created and modulated by the orchestrated function of different ion channels and dopamine D2-autoreceptors. Here, we review increasing evidence that the mechanisms that control activity patterns and calcium homeostasis of SN DA neurons are not only crucial for their dopamine release within a physiological range but also modulate their mitochondrial and lysosomal activity, their metabolic stress levels, and their vulnerability to degeneration in PD. Indeed, impaired calcium homeostasis, lysosomal and mitochondrial dysfunction, and metabolic stress in SN DA neurons represent central converging trigger factors for idiopathic and familial PD. We summarize double-edged roles of ion channels, activity patterns, calcium homeostasis, and related feedback/feed-forward signaling mechanisms in SN DA neurons for maintaining and modulating their physiological function, but also for contributing to their vulnerability in PD-paradigms. We focus on the emerging roles of maintained neuronal activity and calcium homeostasis within a physiological bandwidth, and its modulation by PD-triggers, as well as on bidirectional functions of voltage-gated L-type calcium channels and metabolically gated ATP-sensitive potassium (K-ATP) channels, and their probable interplay in health and PD. We propose that SN DA neurons possess several feedback and feed-forward mechanisms to protect and adapt

  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. Potentiation of acid-sensing ion channel activity by the activation of 5-HT₂ receptors in rat dorsal root ganglion neurons.

    PubMed

    Qiu, Fang; Qiu, Chun-Yu; Liu, Yu-Qiang; Wu, Dan; Li, Jia-Da; Hu, Wang-Ping

    2012-09-01

    Acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs), as key sensors for extracellular protons, are expressed in nociceptive sensory neurons and contribute to signalling pain caused by tissue acidosis. ASICs are also the subject of various factors. Here, we further provide evidence that the activity of ASICs is potentiated by the activation of 5-HT₂ receptors in rat dorsal root ganglion neurons. A specific 5-HT₂ receptor agonist, α-methyl-5-HT, dose-dependently enhanced proton-gated currents with an EC₅₀ of 0.13 ± 0.07 nM. The α-methyl-5-HT enhancing effect on proton-gated currents was blocked by cyproheptadine, a 5-HT₂ receptor antagonist, and removed by intracellular dialysis of either GDP-β-S or protein kinase C inhibitor GF109203X. Moreover, α-methyl-5-HT altered acid-evoked membrane excitability of rat DRG neurons and caused a significant increase in the amplitude of the depolarization and the number of spikes induced by acid stimuli. Finally, α-methyl-5-HT increased nociceptive responses to injection of acetic acid in rats. These results suggest that α-methyl-5-HT up-regulates the activity of ASICs via 5-HT₂ receptor and protein kinase C dependent signal pathways in rat primary sensory neurons and this potentiation contributed to acid- mediated pain in tissue injury and inflammation.

  9. Introduction: Applying Chemical Biology to Ion Channels.

    PubMed

    Pless, Stephan A; Ahern, Christopher A

    2015-01-01

    Ion channels are membrane-spanning proteins that control the flow of ions across biological membranes through an aqueous pathway. The opening or closing of this pore can be controlled by a myriad of physiological inputs (voltage, ligands, temperature, metabolites, pH), which in turn allow for the controlled flux of ions across membranes, resulting in the generation of minute electrical signals. The functional implications of ion channel function on physiological processes are vast. Electrical impulses, in the form of action potentials or diverse chemo-electrical signals, coordinate the syncytium of the heart beat, support a myriad of neuronal communication pathways, insulin secretion, and are central to the immune response, with more roles being discovered virtually everyday. Thus, ion channel function is a biophysical process that is central to biological life at many levels. And with over 500 channel-forming subunits known today in humans, this large class of proteins is also increasingly recognised as important drug targets, as inherited or acquired ion channel dysfunction are known causes of disease.

  10. 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.

  11. Ion channels, long QT syndrome and arrhythmogenesis in ageing.

    PubMed

    Jeevaratnam, Kamalan; Chadda, Karan R; Salvage, Samantha C; Valli, Haseeb; Ahmad, Shiraz; Grace, Andrew A; Huang, Christopher L-H

    2016-12-26

    Ageing is associated with increased prevalences of both atrial and ventricular arrhythmias, reflecting disruption of the normal sequence of ion channel activation and inactivation generating the propagated cardiac action potential. Experimental models with specific ion channel genetic modifications have helped clarify the interacting functional roles of ion channels and how their dysregulation contributes to arrhythmogenic processes at the cellular and systems level. They have also investigated interactions between these ion channel abnormalities and age-related processes in producing arrhythmic tendency. Previous reviews have explored the relationships between age and loss-of-function Nav 1.5 mutations in producing arrhythmogenicity. The present review now explores complementary relationships arising from gain-of-function Nav 1.5 mutations associated with long QT3 (LQTS3). LQTS3 patients show increased risks of life-threatening ventricular arrhythmias particularly after 40 years of age consistent with such interactions between the ion channel abnormailities and ageing. In turn clinical evidence suggests that ageing is accompanied by structural, particularly fibrotic, as well as electrophysiological change. These abnormalities may result from biochemical changes producing low-grade inflammation resulting from increased production of reactive oxygen species and superoxide. Experimental studies offer further insights into the underlying mechanisms underlying these phenotypes. Thus, studies in genetically modified murine models for LQTS implicated action potential recovery processes in arrhythmogenesis resulting from functional ion channel abnormalities. In addition, ageing WT murine models demonstrated both ion channel alterations and fibrotic changes with ageing. Murine models then suggested evidence for interactions between ageing and ion channel mutations and provided insights into potential arrhythmic mechanisms inviting future exploration. This article is

  12. 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.

  13. Carbon monoxide: an emerging regulator of ion channels.

    PubMed

    Wilkinson, William J; Kemp, Paul J

    2011-07-01

    Carbon monoxide is rapidly emerging as an important cellular messenger, regulating a wide range of physiological processes. Crucial to its role in both physiology and disease is its ability differentially to regulate several classes of ion channels, including examples from calcium-activated K(+) (BK(Ca)), voltage-activated K(+) (K(v)) and Ca(2+) channel (L-type) families, ligand-gated P2X receptors (P2X2 and P2X4), tandem P domain K(+) channels (TREK1) and the epithelial Na(+) channel (ENaC). The mechanisms by which CO regulates these ion channels are still unclear and remain somewhat controversial. However, available structure-function studies suggest that a limited range of amino acid residues confer CO sensitivity, either directly or indirectly, to particular ion channels and that cellular redox state appears to be important to the final integrated response. Whatever the molecular mechanism by which CO regulates ion channels, endogenous production of this gasotransmitter has physiologically important roles and is currently being explored as a potential therapeutic.

  14. 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.

  15. [Acid-Sensing Ion Channels (ASICs) in pain].

    PubMed

    Lingueglia, Eric

    2014-01-01

    The discovery of new drug targets represents a real opportunity for developing fresh strategies against pain. Ion channels are interesting targets because they are directly involved in the detection and the transmission of noxious stimuli by sensory fibres of the peripheral nervous system and by neurons of the spinal cord. Acid-Sensing Ion Channels (ASICs) have emerged as important players in the pain pathway. They are neuronal, voltage-independent depolarizing sodium channels activated by extracellular protons. The ASIC family comprises several subunits that need to associate into homo- or hetero-trimers to form a functional channel. The ASIC1 and ASIC3 isoforms are particularly important in sensory neurons, whereas ASIC1a, alone or in association with ASIC2, is essential in the central nervous system. The potent analgesic effects associated with their inhibition in animals (which can be comparable to those of morphine) and data suggesting a role in human pain illustrate the therapeutic potential of these channels.

  16. Acid-Sensing Ion Channels and Pain.

    PubMed

    Gu, Qihai; Lee, Lu-Yuan

    2010-05-11

    Pathophysiological conditions such as inflammation, ischemia, infection and tissue injury can all evoke pain, and each is accompanied by local acidosis. Acid sensing ion channels (ASICs) are proton-gated cation channels expressed in both central and peripheral nervous systems. Increasing evidence suggests that ASICs represent essential sensors for tissue acidosis-related pain. This review provides an update on the role of ASICs in pain sensation and discusses their therapeutic potential for pain management.

  17. Mitochondrial Ion Channels: Gatekeepers of Life and Death

    PubMed Central

    O'Rourke, Brian; Cortassa, Sonia; Aon, Miguel A.

    2009-01-01

    Continuous generation of ATP by mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation is essential to maintain function in mechanically active cells such as cardiomyocytes. Emerging evidence indicates that mitochondrial ion channels activated by reactive oxygen species can induce a mitochondrial "critical" state, which can scale to cause electrical and contractile dysfunction of the cardiac cell and, ultimately, the whole heart. Here we focus on how mitochondrial ion channels participate in life-and-death decisions of the cell and discuss the challenges ahead for translating recent findings into novel therapeutic applications. PMID:16174870

  18. Cocaine withdrawal and neuro-adaptations in ion channel function.

    PubMed

    Hu, Xiu-Ti

    2007-02-01

    Chronic exposure to psychostimulants induces neuro-adaptations in ion channel function of dopamine (DA)-innervated cells localized within the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and nucleus accumbens (NAc). Although neuroplasticity in ion channel function is initially found in drug-sensitized animals, it has recently been believed to underlie the withdrawal effects of cocaine, including craving that leads to relapse in human addicts. Recent studies have also revealed remarkable differences in altered ion channel activities between mPFC pyramidal neurons and medium spiny NAc neurons in cocaine-withdrawn animals. In response to psychostimulant or certain "excitatory" stimuli, increased intrinsic excitability is found in mPFC pyramidal neurons, whereas decreased excitability is observed in medium spiny NAc cells in drug-withdrawn animals compared to drug-free control animals. These changes in ion channel function are modulated by interrupted DA/Ca2+ signaling with decreased DA D2 receptor function but increased D1 receptor signaling. More importantly, they are correlated to behavioral changes in cocaine-withdrawn human addicts and sensitized animals. Based on growing evidence, researchers have proposed that cocaine-induced neuro-adaptations in ion channel activity and DA/Ca2+ signaling in mPFC pyramidal neurons and medium spiny NAc cells may be the fundamental cellular mechanism underlying the cocaine withdrawal effects observed in human addicts.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Channeling technique to make nanoscale ion beams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Biryukov, V. M.; Bellucci, S.; Guidi, V.

    2005-04-01

    Particle channeling in a bent crystal lattice has led to an efficient instrument for beam steering at accelerators [Biryukov et al., Crystal Channeling and its Application at High Energy Accelerators, Springer, Berlin, 1997], demonstrated from MeV to TeV energies. In particular, crystal focusing of high-energy protons to micron size has been demonstrated at IHEP with the results well in match with Lindhard (critical angle) prediction. Channeling in crystal microstructures has been proposed as a unique source of a microbeam of high-energy particles [Bellucci et al., Phys. Rev. ST Accel. Beams 6 (2003) 033502]. Channeling in nanostructures (single-wall and multi-wall nanotubes) offers the opportunities to produce ion beams on nanoscale. Particles channeled in a nanotube (with typical diameter of about 1 nm) are trapped in two dimensions and can be steered (deflected, focused) with the efficiency similar to that of crystal channeling or better. This technique has been a subject of computer simulations, with experimental efforts under way in several high-energy labs, including IHEP. We present the theoretical outlook for making channeling-based nanoscale ion beams and report the experience with crystal-focused microscale proton beams.

  3. Ion channels: Key elements in sea urchin sperm physiology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Darszon, Alberto; de De Latorre, Lucia; Vargas, Irma; Liévano, Arturo; Beltrán, Carmen; Santi, Celia; Labarca, Pedro; Zapata, Otilia

    1995-08-01

    Ion channels are deeply involved in sea urchin sperm activation, motility, chemotaxis and in the acrosome reaction. Unraveling ion channel function and regulation in sperm behavior has required a combination of complementary approaches since spermatozoa are very tiny cells. Planar bilayer and patch clamp techniques have allowed us to detect, for the first time, the activity of single channels in the plasma membrane of these cells. Unlike intact sperm, swollen sperm can be much more easily patch clamped and single channel activity recorded. These techniques, together with studies of membrane potential, intracellular Ca2+ and pH in whole sperm, have established the presence of K+, Ca2+, and Cl- channels in this cell. The strategies developed to study sea urchin sperm channels are applicable to mammalian spermatozoa. We recently detected a Ca2+ channel resembling one found in S. purpuratus sperm in planar bilayers containing mouse sperm plasma membranes. The presence of this Ca2+ channel in such diverse species suggests it is important in sperm function.

  4. Activation of the Chemosensory Ion Channels TRPA1 and TRPV1 by Hydroalcohol Extract of Kalopanax pictus Leaves.

    PubMed

    Son, Hee Jin; Kim, Yiseul; Misaka, Takumi; Noh, Bong Soo; Rhyu, Mee-Ra

    2012-11-01

    TRPA1 and TRPV1 are members of the TRP superfamily of structurally related, nonselective cation channels. TRPA1 and TRPV1 are often co-expressed in sensory neurons and play an important role in somatosense such as cold, pain, and irritants. The first leaves of Kalopanax pictus Nakai (Araliaceae) have long been used as a culinary ingredient in Korea because of their unique chemesthetic flavor. In this study, we observed the intracellular Ca(2+) response to cultured cells expressing human TRPA1 (hTRPA1) and human TRPV1 (hTRPV1) by Ca(2+) imaging analysis to investigate the ability of the first leaves of K. pictus to activate the hTRPA1 and hTRPV1. An 80% ethanol extract of K. pictus (KPEx) increased intracellular Ca(2+) influx in a response time- and concentration-dependent manner via either hTRPA1 or hTRPV1. KPEx-induced response to hTRPA1 was markedly attenuated by ruthenium red, a general blocker of TRP channels, and HC-030031, a specific antagonist of TRPA1. In addition, the intracellular Ca(2+) influx attained with KPEx to hTRPV1 was mostly blocked by ruthenium red, and capsazepine, a specific antagonist of TRPV1. These results indicate that KPEx selectively activates both hTRPA1 and hTRPV1, which may provide evidence that the first leaves of K. pictus primarily activate TRPA1 and TRPV1 to induce their unique chemesthetic sense.

  5. Inherited ion channel diseases: a brief review.

    PubMed

    Lieve, Krystien V V; Wilde, Arthur A M

    2015-10-01

    Ion channelopathies are diseases caused by dysfunctional ion channels that may lead to sudden death. These diseases can be either acquired or inherited. The main phenotypes observed in patients carrying these heritable arrhythmia syndromes are congenital long QT syndrome, Brugada syndrome, catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia, and short QT syndrome. In the recent years, tremendous progress has been made in the recognition, mechanisms, and treatment of these diseases. The goal of this review is to provide an overview of the main phenotypes, genetic underpinnings, risk stratification, and treatment options for these so-called cardiac ion channelopathies.

  6. Functional Contributions of Positive Charges in the Pore-Lining Helix 3 of the Bordetella pertussis CyaA-Hemolysin to Hemolytic Activity and Ion-Channel Opening

    PubMed Central

    Kurehong, Chattip; Kanchanawarin, Chalermpol; Powthongchin, Busaba; Prangkio, Panchika; Katzenmeier, Gerd; Angsuthanasombat, Chanan

    2017-01-01

    The Bordetella pertussis CyaA-hemolysin (CyaA-Hly) domain was previously demonstrated to be an important determinant for hemolysis against target erythrocytes and ion-channel formation in planar lipid bilayers (PLBs). Here, net-charge variations in the pore-lining helix of thirteen related RTX cytolysins including CyaA-Hly were revealed by amino acid sequence alignments, reflecting their different degrees of hemolytic activity. To analyze possible functional effects of net-charge alterations on hemolytic activity and channel formation of CyaA-Hly, specific mutations were made at Gln574 or Glu581 in its pore-lining α3 of which both residues are highly conserved Lys in the three highly active RTX cytolysins (i.e., Escherichia coli α-hemolysin, Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae toxin, and Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans leukotoxin). All six constructed CyaA-Hly mutants that were over-expressed in E. coli as 126 kDa His-tagged soluble proteins were successfully purified via immobilized Ni2+-affinity chromatography. Both positive-charge substitutions (Q574K, Q574R, E581K, E581R) and negative-charge elimination (E581Q) appeared to increase the kinetics of toxin-induced hemolysis while the substitution with a negatively-charged side-chain (Q574E) completely abolished its hemolytic activity. When incorporated into PLBs under symmetrical conditions (1.0 M KCl, pH 7.4), all five mutant toxins with the increased hemolytic activity produced clearly-resolved single channels with higher open probability and longer lifetime than the wild-type toxin, albeit with a half decrease in their maximum conductance. Molecular dynamics simulations for 50 ns of a trimeric CyaA-Hly pore model comprising three α2-loop-α3 transmembrane hairpins revealed a significant role of the positive charge at both target positions in the structural stability and enlarged diameter of the simulated pore. Altogether, our present data have disclosed functional contributions of positively-charged side

  7. Functional Contributions of Positive Charges in the Pore-Lining Helix 3 of the Bordetella pertussis CyaA-Hemolysin to Hemolytic Activity and Ion-Channel Opening.

    PubMed

    Kurehong, Chattip; Kanchanawarin, Chalermpol; Powthongchin, Busaba; Prangkio, Panchika; Katzenmeier, Gerd; Angsuthanasombat, Chanan

    2017-03-16

    The Bordetella pertussis CyaA-hemolysin (CyaA-Hly) domain was previously demonstrated to be an important determinant for hemolysis against target erythrocytes and ion-channel formation in planar lipid bilayers (PLBs). Here, net-charge variations in the pore-lining helix of thirteen related RTX cytolysins including CyaA-Hly were revealed by amino acid sequence alignments, reflecting their different degrees of hemolytic activity. To analyze possible functional effects of net-charge alterations on hemolytic activity and channel formation of CyaA-Hly, specific mutations were made at Gln(574) or Glu(581) in its pore-lining α3 of which both residues are highly conserved Lys in the three highly active RTX cytolysins (i.e., Escherichia coli α-hemolysin, Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae toxin, and Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans leukotoxin). All six constructed CyaA-Hly mutants that were over-expressed in E. coli as 126 kDa His-tagged soluble proteins were successfully purified via immobilized Ni(2+)-affinity chromatography. Both positive-charge substitutions (Q574K, Q574R, E581K, E581R) and negative-charge elimination (E581Q) appeared to increase the kinetics of toxin-induced hemolysis while the substitution with a negatively-charged side-chain (Q574E) completely abolished its hemolytic activity. When incorporated into PLBs under symmetrical conditions (1.0 M KCl, pH 7.4), all five mutant toxins with the increased hemolytic activity produced clearly-resolved single channels with higher open probability and longer lifetime than the wild-type toxin, albeit with a half decrease in their maximum conductance. Molecular dynamics simulations for 50 ns of a trimeric CyaA-Hly pore model comprising three α2-loop-α3 transmembrane hairpins revealed a significant role of the positive charge at both target positions in the structural stability and enlarged diameter of the simulated pore. Altogether, our present data have disclosed functional contributions of positively

  8. Impact of mechanical stress on ion transport in native lung epithelium (Xenopus laevis): short-term activation of Na+, Cl (-) and K+ channels.

    PubMed

    Bogdan, Roman; Veith, Christine; Clauss, Wolfgang; Fronius, Martin

    2008-09-01

    Epithelia, in general, and the lung epithelium, in particular, are exposed to mechanical forces, but little is known about their impact on pulmonary ion transport. In our present study, we employed transepithelial ion transport measurements on Xenopus lung preparations using custom-built Ussing chambers. Tissues were exposed to mechanical stress by increasing the water column (5 cm) at one side of the tissues. Apical exposure to hydrostatic pressure significantly decreased the short circuit current (I (SC): 24 +/- 1%, n = 152), slightly decreased the transepithelial resistance (R (T): 7 +/- 2%, n = 152), but increased the apical membrane capacitance (C (M): 16 +/- 6%, n = 9). The pressure-induced effect was sensitive to Na+ (amiloride), Cl(-) (DIDS, NFA, NPPB) and K+ channel blockers (Ba2+), glibenclamide). Further on, it was accompanied by increased extracellular ATP levels. The results show that mechanical stress leads to an activation of Na+, Cl(-), and K+ conductances in a native pulmonary epithelium resulting in a net decrease of ion absorption. This could be of considerable interest, since an altered ion transport may contribute to pathophysiological conditions, e.g., the formation of pulmonary edema during artificial ventilation.

  9. Ion channels and transporters [corrected] in cancer. 2. Ion channels and the control of cancer cell migration.

    PubMed

    Cuddapah, Vishnu Anand; Sontheimer, Harald

    2011-09-01

    A hallmark of high-grade cancers is the ability of malignant cells to invade unaffected tissue and spread disease. This is particularly apparent in gliomas, the most common and lethal type of primary brain cancer affecting adults. Migrating cells encounter restricted spaces and appear able to adjust their shape to accommodate to narrow extracellular spaces. A growing body of work suggests that cell migration/invasion is facilitated by ion channels and transporters. The emerging concept is that K(+) and Cl(-) function as osmotically active ions, which cross the plasma membrane in concert with obligated water thereby adjusting a cell's shape and volume. In glioma cells Na(+)-K(+)-Cl(-) cotransporters (NKCC1) actively accumulate K(+) and Cl(-), establishing a gradient for KCl efflux. Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channels and voltage-gated Cl(-) channels are largely responsible for effluxing KCl promoting hydrodynamic volume changes. In other cancers, different K(+) or even Na(+) channels may function in concert with a variety of Cl(-) channels to support similar volume changes. Channels involved in migration are frequently regulated by Ca(2+) signaling, most likely coupling extracellular stimuli to cell migration. Importantly, the inhibition of ion channels and transporters appears to be clinically relevant for the treatment of cancer. Recent preclinical data indicates that inhibition of NKCC1 with an FDA-approved drug decreases neoplastic migration. Additionally, ongoing clinical trials demonstrate that an inhibitor of chloride channels may be a therapy for the treatment of gliomas. Data reviewed here strongly indicate that ion channels are a promising target for the development of novel therapeutics to combat cancer.

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

    PubMed Central

    Bicknell, Brendan A.

    2016-01-01

    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 Ca2+ 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. General anesthesia mediated by effects on ion channels

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Cheng; Liu, Jin; Chen, Xiang-Dong

    2012-01-01

    Although it has been more than 165 years since the first introduction of modern anesthesia to the clinic, there is surprisingly little understanding about the exact mechanisms by which general anesthetics induce unconsciousness. As a result, we do not know how general anesthetics produce anesthesia at different levels. The main handicap to understanding the mechanisms of general anesthesia is the diversity of chemically unrelated compounds including diethyl ether and halogenated hydrocarbons, gases nitrous oxide, ketamine, propofol, benzodiazepines and etomidate, as well as alcohols and barbiturates. Does this imply that general anesthesia is caused by many different mechanisms Until now, many receptors, molecular targets and neuronal transmission pathways have been shown to contribute to mechanisms of general anesthesia. Among these molecular targets, ion channels are the most likely candidates for general anesthesia, in particular γ-aminobutyric acid type A, potassium and sodium channels, as well as ion channels mediated by various neuronal transmitters like acetylcholine, amino acids amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolpropionic acid or N-methyl-D-aspartate. In addition, recent studies have demonstrated the involvement in general anesthesia of other ion channels with distinct gating properties such as hyperpolarization-activated, cyclic- nucleotide-gated channels. The main aim of the present review is to summarize some aspects of current knowledge of the effects of general anesthetics on various ion channels. PMID:24701405

  13. 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.

  14. Acid-sensing ion channels contribute to neurotoxicity.

    PubMed

    Chu, Xiang-Ping; Grasing, Kenneth A; Wang, John Q

    2014-02-01

    Acidosis that occurs under pathological conditions not only affects intracellular signaling molecules, but also directly activates a unique family of ligand-gated ion channels: acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs). ASICs are widely expressed throughout the central and peripheral nervous systems and play roles in pain sensation, learning and memory, and fear conditioning. Overactivation of ASICs contributes to neurodegenerative diseases such as ischemic brain/spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, and Huntington's disease. Thus, targeting ASICs might be a potential therapeutic strategy for these conditions. This mini-review focuses on the electrophysiology and pharmacology of ASICs and roles of ASICs in neuronal toxicity.

  15. Dysfunctional HCN ion channels in neurological diseases.

    PubMed

    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

  16. 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

  17. Ion Trapping with Fast-Response Ion-Selective Microelectrodes Enhances Detection of Extracellular Ion Channel Gradients

    PubMed Central

    Messerli, Mark A.; Collis, Leon P.; Smith, Peter J.S.

    2009-01-01

    Previously, functional mapping of channels has been achieved by measuring the passage of net charge and of specific ions with electrophysiological and intracellular fluorescence imaging techniques. However, functional mapping of ion channels using extracellular ion-selective microelectrodes has distinct advantages over the former methods. We have developed this method through measurement of extracellular K+ gradients caused by efflux through Ca2+-activated K+ channels expressed in Chinese hamster ovary cells. We report that electrodes constructed with short columns of a mechanically stable K+-selective liquid membrane respond quickly and measure changes in local [K+] consistent with a diffusion model. When used in close proximity to the plasma membrane (<4 μm), the ISMs pose a barrier to simple diffusion, creating an ion trap. The ion trap amplifies the local change in [K+] without dramatically changing the rise or fall time of the [K+] profile. Measurement of extracellular K+ gradients from activated rSlo channels shows that rapid events, 10–55 ms, can be characterized. This method provides a noninvasive means for functional mapping of channel location and density as well as for characterizing the properties of ion channels in the plasma membrane. PMID:19217875

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-17

    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.

  20. Quantum Interference and Selectivity through Biological Ion Channels

    PubMed Central

    Salari, Vahid; Naeij, Hamidreza; Shafiee, Afshin

    2017-01-01

    The mechanism of selectivity in ion channels is still an open question in biology for more than half a century. Here, we suggest that quantum interference can be a solution to explain the selectivity mechanism in ion channels since interference happens between similar ions through the same size of ion channels. In this paper, we simulate two neighboring ion channels on a cell membrane with the famous double-slit experiment in physics to investigate whether there is any possibility of matter-wave interference of ions via movement through ion channels. Our obtained decoherence timescales indicate that the quantum states of ions can only survive for short times, i.e. ≈100 picoseconds in each channel and ≈17–53 picoseconds outside the channels, giving the result that the quantum interference of ions seems unlikely due to environmental decoherence. However, we discuss our results and raise few points, which increase the possibility of interference. PMID:28134331

  1. Quantum Interference and Selectivity through Biological Ion Channels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salari, Vahid; Naeij, Hamidreza; Shafiee, Afshin

    2017-01-01

    The mechanism of selectivity in ion channels is still an open question in biology for more than half a century. Here, we suggest that quantum interference can be a solution to explain the selectivity mechanism in ion channels since interference happens between similar ions through the same size of ion channels. In this paper, we simulate two neighboring ion channels on a cell membrane with the famous double-slit experiment in physics to investigate whether there is any possibility of matter-wave interference of ions via movement through ion channels. Our obtained decoherence timescales indicate that the quantum states of ions can only survive for short times, i.e. ≈100 picoseconds in each channel and ≈17–53 picoseconds outside the channels, giving the result that the quantum interference of ions seems unlikely due to environmental decoherence. However, we discuss our results and raise few points, which increase the possibility of interference.

  2. 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

  3. Enhanced production of nitric oxide in A549 cells through activation of TRPA1 ion channel by cold stress.

    PubMed

    Sun, Wenwu; Wang, Zhonghua; Cao, Jianping; Wang, Xu; Han, Yaling; Ma, Zhuang

    2014-08-31

    The respiratory epithelium is exposed to the external environment, and inhalation of cold air is common during the season of winter. In addition, the lung is a major source of nitric oxide (NO). However, the effect of cold stress on the production of NO is still unclear. In the present work, We measured the change of NO in single cell with DACF-DA and the change in cytosolic Ca(2+) concentration ([Ca(2+)]c) in A549 cell. We observed that cold stress (from 20 °C to 5 °C) induced an increase of NO in A549 cell, which was completely abolished by applying an extracellular Ca(2+) free medium. Further experiments showed that cold-sensing transient receptor potential subfamily member 1 (TRPA1) channel agonist (allyl isothiocyanate, AITC) increased the production of NO and the level of [Ca(2+)]c in A549 cell. Additionally, TRPA1 inhibitor, Ruthenium red (RR) and camphor, significantly blocked the enhanced production of NO and the rise of [Ca(2+)]c induced by AITC or cold stimulation, respectively. Taken together, these data indicated that cold-induced TRPA1 activation was responsible for the enhanced production of NO in A549 cell.

  4. Radiative electron capture by channeled ions

    SciTech Connect

    Pitarke, J.M. . Zientzi Fakultatea); Ritchie, R.H. Tennessee Univ., Knoxville, TN . Dept. of Physics)

    1989-01-01

    Considerable experimental data have been accumulated relative to the emission of photons accompanying electron capture by swift, highly stripped atoms penetrating crystalline matter under channeling conditions. Recent data suggest that the photon energies may be less than that expected from simple considerations of transitions from the valence band of the solid to hydrogenic states on the moving ion. We have studied theoretically the impact parameter dependence of the radiative electron capture (REC) process, the effect of the ion's wake and the effect of capture from inner shells of the solid on the photon emission probability, using a statistical approach. Numerical comparisons of our results with experiment are made. 13 refs., 6 figs.

  5. Ion channel diversity, channel expression and function in the choroid plexuses

    PubMed Central

    Millar, Ian D; Bruce, Jason IE; Brown, Peter D

    2007-01-01

    Knowledge of the diversity of ion channel form and function has increased enormously over the last 25 years. The initial impetus in channel discovery came with the introduction of the patch clamp method in 1981. Functional data from patch clamp experiments have subsequently been augmented by molecular studies which have determined channel structures. Thus the introduction of patch clamp methods to study ion channel expression in the choroid plexus represents an important step forward in our knowledge understanding of the process of CSF secretion. Two K+ conductances have been identified in the choroid plexus: Kv1 channel subunits mediate outward currents at depolarising potentials; Kir 7.1 carries an inward-rectifying conductance at hyperpolarising potentials. Both K+ channels are localised at the apical membrane where they may contribute to maintenance of the membrane potential while allowing the recycling of K+ pumped in by Na+-K+ ATPase. Two anion conductances have been identified in choroid plexus. Both have significant HCO3- permeability, and may play a role in CSF secretion. One conductance exhibits inward-rectification and is regulated by cyclic AMP. The other is carried by an outward-rectifying channel, which is activated by increases in cell volume. The molecular identity of the anion channels is not known, nor is it clear whether they are expressed in the apical or basolateral membrane. Recent molecular evidence indicates that choroid plexus also expresses the non-selective cation channels such as transient receptor potential channels (TRPV4 and TRPM3) and purinoceptor type 2 (P2X) receptor operated channels. In conclusion, good progress has been made in identifying the channels expressed in the choroid plexus, but determining the precise roles of these channels in CSF secretion remains a challenge for the future. PMID:17883837

  6. Thermally activated TRPV3 channels.

    PubMed

    Luo, Jialie; Hu, Hongzhen

    2014-01-01

    TRPV3 is a temperature-sensitive transient receptor potential (TRP) ion channel. The TRPV3 protein functions as a Ca(2+)-permeable nonselective cation channel with six transmembrane domains forming a tetrameric complex. TRPV3 is known to be activated by warm temperatures, synthetic small-molecule chemicals, and natural compounds from plants. Its function is regulated by a variety of physiological factors including extracellular divalent cations and acidic pH, intracellular adenosine triphosphate, membrane voltage, and arachidonic acid. TRPV3 shows a broad expression pattern in both neuronal and non-neuronal tissues including epidermal keratinocytes, epithelial cells in the gut, endothelial cells in blood vessels, and neurons in dorsal root ganglia and CNS. TRPV3 null mice exhibit abnormal hair morphogenesis and compromised skin barrier function. Recent advances suggest that TRPV3 may play critical roles in inflammatory skin disorders, itch, and pain sensation. Thus, identification of selective TRPV3 activators and inhibitors could potentially lead to beneficial pharmacological interventions in several diseases. The intent of this review is to summarize our current knowledge of the tissue expression, structure, function, and mechanisms of activation of TRPV3.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Viral dependence on cellular ion channels - an emerging anti-viral target?

    PubMed

    Hover, Samantha; Foster, Becky; Barr, John; Mankouri, Jamel

    2017-01-22

    The broad range of cellular functions governed by ion channels represents an attractive target for viral manipulation. Indeed, modulation of host cell ion channel activity by viral proteins is being increasingly identified as an important virus-host interaction. Recent examples have demonstrated that virion entry, virus-egress and the maintenance of a cellular environment conducive to virus persistence are in part, dependent on virus manipulation of ion channel activity. Most excitingly, evidence has emerged that targeting ion channels pharmacologically can impede virus lifecycles. Here we discuss current examples of virus-ion channel interactions and the potential of targeting ion channel function as a new, pharmacologically safe and broad ranging anti-viral therapeutic strategy.

  10. Contribution of mechanosensitive ion channels to somatosensation.

    PubMed

    Sharif-Naeini, Reza

    2015-01-01

    Mechanotransduction, the conversion of a mechanical stimulus into an electrical signal, is a central mechanism to several physiological functions in mammals. It relies on the function of mechanosensitive ion channels (MSCs). Although the first single-channel recording from MSCs dates back to 30 years ago, the identity of the genes encoding MSCs has remained largely elusive. Because these channels have an important role in the development of mechanical hypersensitivity, a better understanding of their function may lead to the identification of selective inhibitors and generate novel therapeutic pathways in the treatment of chronic pain. Here, I will describe our current understanding of the role MSCs may play in somatosensation and the potential candidate genes proposed to encode them.

  11. 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.

  12. Constitutive Activation of the Shaker Kv Channel

    PubMed Central

    Sukhareva, Manana; Hackos, David H.; Swartz, Kenton J.

    2003-01-01

    In different types of K+ channels the primary activation gate is thought to reside near the intracellular entrance to the ion conduction pore. In the Shaker Kv channel the gate is closed at negative membrane voltages, but can be opened with membrane depolarization. In a previous study of the S6 activation gate in Shaker (Hackos, D.H., T.H. Chang, and K.J. Swartz. 2002. J. Gen. Physiol. 119:521–532.), we found that mutation of Pro 475 to Asp results in a channel that displays a large macroscopic conductance at negative membrane voltages, with only small increases in conductance with membrane depolarization. In the present study we explore the mechanism underlying this constitutively conducting phenotype using both macroscopic and single-channel recordings, and probes that interact with the voltage sensors or the intracellular entrance to the ion conduction pore. Our results suggest that constitutive conduction results from a dramatic perturbation of the closed-open equilibrium, enabling opening of the activation gate without voltage-sensor activation. This mechanism is discussed in the context of allosteric models for activation of Kv channels and what is known about the structure of this critical region in K+ channels. PMID:14557403

  13. Simulations of ion current in realistic models of ion channels: the KcsA potassium channel.

    PubMed

    Burykin, A; Schutz, C N; Villá, J; Warshel, A

    2002-05-15

    Realistic studies of ion current in biologic channels present a major challenge for computer simulation approaches. All-atom molecular dynamics simulations involve serious time limitations that prevent their use in direct evaluation of ion current in channels with significant barriers. The alternative use of Brownian dynamics (BD) simulations can provide the current for simplified macroscopic models. However, the time needed for accurate calculations of electrostatic energies can make BD simulations of ion current expensive. The present work develops an approach that overcomes some of the above challenges and allows one to simulate ion currents in models of biologic channels. Our method provides a fast and reliable estimate of the energetics of the system by combining semimacroscopic calculations of the self-energy of each ion and an implicit treatment of the interactions between the ions, as well as the interactions between the ions and the protein-ionizable groups. This treatment involves the use of the semimacroscopic version of the protein dipole Langevin dipole (PDLD/S) model in its linear response approximation (LRA) implementation, which reduces the uncertainties about the value of the protein "dielectric constant." The resulting free energy surface is used to generate the forces for on-the-fly BD simulations of the corresponding ion currents. Our model is examined in a preliminary simulation of the ion current in the KcsA potassium channel. The complete free energy profile for a single ion transport reflects reasonable energetics and captures the effect of the protein-ionized groups. This calculated profile indicates that we are dealing with the channel in its closed state. Reducing the barrier at the gate region allows us to simulate the ion current in a reasonable computational time. Several limiting cases are examined, including those that reproduce the observed current, and the nature of the productive trajectories is considered. The ability to simulate

  14. Two-pore channels (TPCs): Novel voltage-gated ion channels with pleiotropic functions.

    PubMed

    Feijóo-Bandín, Sandra; García-Vence, María; García-Rúa, Vanessa; Roselló-Lletí, Esther; Portolés, Manuel; Rivera, Miguel; González-Juanatey, José Ramón; Lago, Francisca

    2017-01-02

    Two-pore channels (TPC1-3) comprise a subfamily of the eukaryotic voltage-gated ion channels (VGICs) superfamily that are mainly expressed in acidic stores in plants and animals. TPCS are widespread across the animal kingdom, with primates, mice and rats lacking TPC3, and mainly act as Ca(+) and Na(+) channels, although it was also suggested that they could be permeable to other ions. Nowadays, TPCs have been related to the development of different diseases, including Parkinson´s disease, obesity or myocardial ischemia. Due to this, their study has raised the interest of the scientific community to try to understand their mechanism of action in order to be able to develop an efficient drug that could regulate TPCs activity. In this review, we will provide an updated view regarding TPCs structure, function and activation, as well as their role in different pathophysiological processes.

  15. [Role of voltage-dependent ion channels in epileptogenesis].

    PubMed

    Ricard-Mousnier, B; Couraud, F

    1993-10-01

    The aim of this review is to gather information in favour of the involvement of voltage-dependent ion channels in epileptogenesis. Although, up to now, no study has shown that epilepsy is accompanied by a modification in the activity to these channels, the recently acquired knowledge of their physiology allows to presume would favor their involvement in epileptogenesis. The results from electrophysiological studies are as follows: a persistent sodium current increases neuronal excitability whereas potassium currents have an inhibitory role. In particular, calcium-dependent potassium current are involved in the post-hyperpolarization phases which follows PDS. Calcium currents are also involved in the genesis of the "bursting pacemaker" activity displayed by the neurons presumed to be inducers of the epileptic activity. Biochemical data has shown that as a consequence of epileptic activity, sodium and calcium channels are down regulated. This down-regulation could be a way to reduces neuronal hyperexcitability. Pharmacological data demonstrate the drugs which activate calcium channels or which inhibit potassium channels have a convusilvant effect. On the contrary, agents which block calcium or sodium channels or which properties. Among the latter ones, some antiepileptic drugs can be found. In summary situations which lead to increase in calcium and sodium currents and/or to an inhibition in potassium currents are potentially epileptogenic.

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

    PubMed Central

    Longden, Thomas A; Hill-Eubanks, David C

    2015-01-01

    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

  17. A kinetic model of NMDA ion channel under varying noise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Rubin; Chen, Hao; Zhang, Zhikang

    2004-05-01

    It is well known that when transmitters are applied to the postsynaptic membrane, the resulting depolarization is noisy that is due to the random opening and closing of the ion channels activated by the transmitters[1]. In other words, the energy of noise is associated with changes in ion channels. On the base of these ideas, we explore a model of relationship between NMDA (n-methyl-D-aspartate) ion channels and LTP (long-term synaptic potentiation). We have proved that NMDA ion channel and calcium-dependent protein kinases, which are the triggers for the inducement of LTP, could be regarded as "molecular machines". In this system all of these molecules require energy and the energy of the system is supplied from the random motion of water molecules generated through heat energy of ATP hydrolysis[2]. So the appropriate framework to describe them comes from bioenergetics. Models of LTP previously reported are all on the macroscopic level [3-7]. Instead, we research a model at the molecular level by applying energy parameters [8].

  18. Activation of CRH receptor type 1 expressed on glutamatergic neurons increases excitability of CA1 pyramidal neurons by the modulation of voltage-gated ion channels.

    PubMed

    Kratzer, Stephan; Mattusch, Corinna; Metzger, Michael W; Dedic, Nina; Noll-Hussong, Michael; Kafitz, Karl W; Eder, Matthias; Deussing, Jan M; Holsboer, Florian; Kochs, Eberhard; Rammes, Gerhard

    2013-01-01

    Corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) plays an important role in a substantial number of patients with stress-related mental disorders, such as anxiety disorders and depression. CRH has been shown to increase neuronal excitability in the hippocampus, but the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. The effects of CRH on neuronal excitability were investigated in acute hippocampal brain slices. Population spikes (PS) and field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSP) were evoked by stimulating Schaffer-collaterals and recorded simultaneously from the somatic and dendritic region of CA1 pyramidal neurons. CRH was found to increase PS amplitudes (mean ± Standard error of the mean; 231.8 ± 31.2% of control; n = 10) while neither affecting fEPSPs (104.3 ± 4.2%; n = 10) nor long-term potentiation (LTP). However, when Schaffer-collaterals were excited via action potentials (APs) generated by stimulation of CA3 pyramidal neurons, CRH increased fEPSP amplitudes (119.8 ± 3.6%; n = 8) and the magnitude of LTP in the CA1 region. Experiments in slices from transgenic mice revealed that the effect on PS amplitude is mediated exclusively by CRH receptor 1 (CRHR1) expressed on glutamatergic neurons. The effects of CRH on PS were dependent on phosphatase-2B, L- and T-type calcium channels and voltage-gated potassium channels but independent on intracellular Ca(2+)-elevation. In patch-clamp experiments, CRH increased the frequency and decay times of APs and decreased currents through A-type and delayed-rectifier potassium channels. These results suggest that CRH does not affect synaptic transmission per se, but modulates voltage-gated ion currents important for the generation of APs and hence elevates by this route overall neuronal activity.

  19. Activation of CRH receptor type 1 expressed on glutamatergic neurons increases excitability of CA1 pyramidal neurons by the modulation of voltage-gated ion channels

    PubMed Central

    Kratzer, Stephan; Mattusch, Corinna; Metzger, Michael W.; Dedic, Nina; Noll-Hussong, Michael; Kafitz, Karl W.; Eder, Matthias; Deussing, Jan M.; Holsboer, Florian; Kochs, Eberhard; Rammes, Gerhard

    2013-01-01

    Corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) plays an important role in a substantial number of patients with stress-related mental disorders, such as anxiety disorders and depression. CRH has been shown to increase neuronal excitability in the hippocampus, but the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. The effects of CRH on neuronal excitability were investigated in acute hippocampal brain slices. Population spikes (PS) and field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSP) were evoked by stimulating Schaffer-collaterals and recorded simultaneously from the somatic and dendritic region of CA1 pyramidal neurons. CRH was found to increase PS amplitudes (mean ± Standard error of the mean; 231.8 ± 31.2% of control; n = 10) while neither affecting fEPSPs (104.3 ± 4.2%; n = 10) nor long-term potentiation (LTP). However, when Schaffer-collaterals were excited via action potentials (APs) generated by stimulation of CA3 pyramidal neurons, CRH increased fEPSP amplitudes (119.8 ± 3.6%; n = 8) and the magnitude of LTP in the CA1 region. Experiments in slices from transgenic mice revealed that the effect on PS amplitude is mediated exclusively by CRH receptor 1 (CRHR1) expressed on glutamatergic neurons. The effects of CRH on PS were dependent on phosphatase-2B, L- and T-type calcium channels and voltage-gated potassium channels but independent on intracellular Ca2+-elevation. In patch-clamp experiments, CRH increased the frequency and decay times of APs and decreased currents through A-type and delayed-rectifier potassium channels. These results suggest that CRH does not affect synaptic transmission per se, but modulates voltage-gated ion currents important for the generation of APs and hence elevates by this route overall neuronal activity. PMID:23882180

  20. Ion channels on microglia: therapeutic targets for neuroprotection.

    PubMed

    Skaper, Stephen D

    2011-02-01

    Under pathological conditions microglia (resident CNS immune cells) become activated, and produce reactive oxygen and nitrogen species and pro-inflammatory cytokines: molecules that can contribute to axon demyelination and neuron death. Because some microglia functions can exacerbate CNS disorders, including stroke, traumatic brain injury, progressive neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and multiple sclerosis, and several retinal diseases, controlling their activation might ameliorate immune-mediated CNS disorders. A growing body of evidence now points to ion channels on microglia as contributing to the above neuropathologies. For example, the ATP-gated P2X7 purinergic receptor cation channel is up-regulated around amyloid β-peptide plaques in transgenic mouse models of Alzheimer's disease and co-localizes to microglia and astrocytes. Upregulation of the P2X7 receptor subtype on microglia occurs also following spinal cord injury and after ischemia in the cerebral cortex of rats, while P2X7 receptor-like immunoreactivity is increased in activated microglial cells of multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis spinal cord. Utilizing neuron/microglia co-cultures as an in vitro model for neuroinflammation, P2X7 receptor activation on microglia appears necessary for microglial cell-mediated injury of neurons. A second example can be found in the chloride intracellular channel 1 (CLIC1), whose expression is related to macrophage activation, undergoes translocation from the cytosol to the plasma membrane (activation) of microglia exposed to amyloid β-peptide, and participates in amyloid β-peptide-induced neurotoxicity through the generation of reactive oxygen species. A final example is the small-conductance Ca2+/calmodulin-activated K+ channel KCNN4/KCa3.1/SK4/IK1, which is highly expressed in rat microglia. Lipopolysaccharide-activated microglia are capable of killing adjacent neurons

  1. Computational Methods for Structural and Functional Studies of Alzheimer's Amyloid Ion Channels.

    PubMed

    Jang, Hyunbum; Arce, Fernando Teran; Lee, Joon; Gillman, Alan L; Ramachandran, Srinivasan; Kagan, Bruce L; Lal, Ratnesh; Nussinov, Ruth

    2016-01-01

    Aggregation can be studied by a range of methods, experimental and computational. Aggregates form in solution, across solid surfaces, and on and in the membrane, where they may assemble into unregulated leaking ion channels. Experimental probes of ion channel conformations and dynamics are challenging. Atomistic molecular dynamics (MD) simulations are capable of providing insight into structural details of amyloid ion channels in the membrane at a resolution not achievable experimentally. Since data suggest that late stage Alzheimer's disease involves formation of toxic ion channels, MD simulations have been used aiming to gain insight into the channel shapes, morphologies, pore dimensions, conformational heterogeneity, and activity. These can be exploited for drug discovery. Here we describe computational methods to model amyloid ion channels containing the β-sheet motif at atomic scale and to calculate toxic pore activity in the membrane.

  2. Abeta ion channels. Prospects for treating Alzheimer's disease with Abeta channel blockers.

    PubMed

    Arispe, Nelson; Diaz, Juan C; Simakova, Olga

    2007-08-01

    The main pathological features in the Alzheimer's brain are progressive depositions of amyloid protein plaques among nerve cells, and neurofibrillary tangles within the nerve cells. The major components of plaques are Abeta peptides. Numerous reports have provided evidence that Abeta peptides are cytotoxic and may play a role in the pathogenesis of AD. An increasing number of research reports support the concept that the Abeta-membrane interaction event may be followed by the insertion of Abeta into the membrane in a structural configuration which forms an ion channel. This review summarizes experimental procedures which have been designed to test the hypothesis that the interaction of Abeta with a variety of membranes, both artificial and natural, results in the subsequent formation of Abeta ion channels We describe experiments, by ourselves and others, that support the view that Abeta is cytotoxic largely due to the action of Abeta channels in the cell membrane. The interaction of Abeta with the surface of the cell membrane may results in the activation of a chain of processes that, when large enough, become cytotoxic and induce cell death by apoptosis. Remarkably, the blockage of Abeta ion channels at the surface of the cell absolutely prevents the activation of these processes at different intracellular levels, thereby preserving the life of the cells. As a prospect for therapy for Alzheimer's disease, our findings at cellular level may be testable on AD animal models to elucidate the potential role and the magnitude of the contribution of the Abeta channels for induction of the disease.

  3. Crotalphine desensitizes TRPA1 ion channels to alleviate inflammatory hyperalgesia.

    PubMed

    Bressan, Elisangela; Touska, Filip; Vetter, Irina; Kistner, Katrin; Kichko, Tatjana I; Teixeira, Nathália B; Picolo, Gisele; Cury, Yara; Lewis, Richard J; Fischer, Michael J M; Zimmermann, Katharina; Reeh, Peter W

    2016-11-01

    Crotalphine is a structural analogue to a novel analgesic peptide that was first identified in the crude venom from the South American rattlesnake Crotalus durissus terrificus. Although crotalphine's analgesic effect is well established, its direct mechanism of action remains unresolved. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of crotalphine on ion channels in peripheral pain pathways. We found that picomolar concentrations of crotalphine selectively activate heterologously expressed and native TRPA1 ion channels. TRPA1 activation by crotalphine required intact N-terminal cysteine residues and was followed by strong and long-lasting desensitization of the channel. Homologous desensitization of recombinant TRPA1 and heterologous desensitization in cultured dorsal root ganglia neurons was observed. Likewise, crotalphine acted on peptidergic TRPA1-expressing nerve endings ex vivo as demonstrated by suppression of calcitonin gene-related peptide release from the trachea and in vivo by inhibition of chemically induced and inflammatory hypersensitivity in mice. The crotalphine-mediated desensitizing effect was abolished by the TRPA1 blocker HC030031 and absent in TRPA1-deficient mice. Taken together, these results suggest that crotalphine is the first peptide to mediate antinociception selectively and at subnanomolar concentrations by targeting TRPA1 ion channels.

  4. 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

  5. Ion channels: molecular targets of neuroactive insecticides.

    PubMed

    Raymond-Delpech, Valérie; Matsuda, Kazuhiko; Sattelle, Benedict M; Rauh, James J; Sattelle, David B

    2005-11-01

    Many of the insecticides in current use act on molecular targets in the insect nervous system. Recently, our understanding of these targets has improved as a result of the complete sequencing of an insect genome, i.e., Drosophila melanogaster. Here we examine the recent work, drawing on genetics, genomics and physiology, which has provided evidence that specific receptors and ion channels are targeted by distinct chemical classes of insect control agents. The examples discussed include, sodium channels (pyrethroids, p,p'-dichlorodiphenyl-trichloroethane (DDT), dihydropyrazoles and oxadiazines); nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (cartap, spinosad, imidacloprid and related nitromethylenes/nitroguanidines); gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors (cyclodienes, gamma-BHC and fipronil) and L-glutamate receptors (avermectins). Finally, we have examined the molecular basis of resistance to these molecules, which in some cases involves mutations in the molecular target, and we also consider the future impact of molecular genetic technologies in our understanding of the actions of neuroactive insecticides.

  6. Theoretical Study of Ion Transport in the Gramicidin a Channel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roux, Benoi T.

    Modern techniques are used to study the permeation process of ions through the gramicidin A channel. The conformation of the gramicidin molecule is investigated experimentally in dimethylsulfoxide/acetone using the techniques of two-dimensional NMR spectroscopy. An empirical energy function is developed from ab initio calculations to represent the interaction of Li^{+}, Na^{+} and K^ {+} ions with the backbone of polypeptides; the parameters are tested in dense systems with free energy simulations. The dynamics of the gramicidin A channel dimer in the absence of water and ions is studied in the harmonic approximation by a vibrational analysis of the atomic motions relative to their equilibrium positions. The behavior of the water molecules in the channel is studied with a molecular dynamics simulation of a fully solvated Gramicidin A dimer embedded in a model membrane. the potential of mean force and the mobility of Na^{+ }, K^{+} and water are calculated in the interior of a gramicidin-like periodic poly (L,D)-alanine beta -helix. The potential of mean force of Na^ {+} ion along the axis of the gramicidin A channel is calculated with a molecular dynamics simulation of a fully solvated Gramicidin A dimer embedded in a model membrane; the gramicidin channel is modeled as a right -handed head-to-head beta-helix dimer. Binding sites are found at the extremities of the channel; no large activation energy barrier is caused by the dehydration process at the entrance of the channel. In the appendices, Statistical Mechanical theories are used to investigate the equilibrium and dynamical properties of the liquid state. A theory of aqueous solutions is used to provide an interpretation for the Born model of ion hydration at the molecular level; the Born radius of hydration is interpreted in terms of the first peak in the solute-solvent radial distribution function. We show that some proposed closures for the RISM equation of Chandler and Andersen possess no solution because

  7. Artificial transmembrane ion channels from self-assembling peptide nanotubes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ghadiri, M. Reza; Granja, Juan R.; Buehler, Lukas K.

    1994-05-01

    NATURALLY occurring membrane channels and pores are formed from a large family of diverse proteins, peptides and organic secon-dary metabolites whose vital biological functions include control of ion flow, signal transduction, molecular transport and produc-tion of cellular toxins. But despite the availability of a large amount of biochemical information about these molecules1, the design and synthesis of artificial systems that can mimic the bio-logical function of natural compounds remains a formidable task2-12. Here we present a simple strategy for the design of artifi-cial membrane ion channels based on a self-assembled cylindrical β-sheet peptide architecture13. Our systems-essentially stacks of peptide rings-display good channel-mediated ion-transport activ-ity with rates exceeding 107 ions s-1, rivalling the performance of many naturally occurring counterparts. Such molecular assemblies should find use in the design of novel cytotoxic agents, membrane transport vehicles and drug-delivery systems.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    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 Ca2+ 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. PMID:23929777

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Principles Governing Metal Ion Selectivity in Ion Channel Proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lim, Carmay

    2014-03-01

    Our research interests are to (i) unravel the principles governing biological processes and use them to identify novel drug targets and guide drug design, and (ii) develop new methods for studying macromolecular interactions. This talk will provide an overview of our work in these two areas and an example of how our studies have helped to unravel the principles underlying the conversion of Ca2+-selective to Na+-selective channels. Ion selectivity of four-domain voltage-gated Ca2+(Cav) and sodium (Nav) channels, which is controlled by the selectivity filter (SF, the narrowest region of an open pore), is crucial for electrical signaling. Over billions of years of evolution, mutation of the Glu from domain II/III in the EEEE/DEEA SF of Ca2+-selective Cav channels to Lys made these channels Na+-selective. This talk will delineate the physical principles why Lys is sufficient for Na+/Ca2+selectivity and why the DEKA SF is more Na+-selective than the DKEA one.

  14. 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.

  15. Lipid agonism: The PIP2 paradigm of ligand-gated ion channels.

    PubMed

    Hansen, Scott B

    2015-05-01

    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.

  16. Stochastic theory of ion movement in channels with single-ion occupancy. Application to sodium permeation of gramicidin channels.

    PubMed Central

    Jakobsson, E; Chiu, S W

    1987-01-01

    The electrodiffusion equations were solved for the one-ion channel both by the analytical method due to Levitt and also by Brownian dynamic simulations. For both types of calculations equilibration of ion distribution between the bath and the ends of the channel was assumed. Potential profiles were found that give good fits to published data on Na+ permeation of gramicidin channels. The data were best fit by profiles that have no relative energy maximum at the mouth of the channel. This finding suggests that alignment of waters or channel charged groups inside the channel in response to an ion's approach may provide an energetically favorable situation for entry sufficient to overcome the energy required for removing bulk waters of hydration. An alternative possibility is that the barrier to ion entry is situated outside the region restricted to single-ion occupancy. Replacement of valine with more polar amino acids at the No. 1 location was found to correspond to a deepening of the potential minima near the channel mouths, an increase in height of the central barrier to ion translocation across the channel, and possibly a reduction in the mobility of the ion-water complex in the channel. The Levitt theory was extended to calculate passage times for ions to cross the channel and the blocking effects of ions that entered the channel but didn't cross. These quantities were also calculated by the Brownian dynamics method. PMID:2440492

  17. Impact of intracellular ion channels on cancer development and progression.

    PubMed

    Peruzzo, Roberta; Biasutto, Lucia; Szabò, Ildikò; Leanza, Luigi

    2016-10-01

    Cancer research is nowadays focused on the identification of possible new targets in order to try to develop new drugs for curing untreatable tumors. Ion channels have emerged as "oncogenic" proteins, since they have an aberrant expression in cancers compared to normal tissues and contribute to several hallmarks of cancer, such as metabolic re-programming, limitless proliferative potential, apoptosis-resistance, stimulation of neo-angiogenesis as well as cell migration and invasiveness. In recent years, not only the plasma membrane but also intracellular channels and transporters have arisen as oncological targets and were proposed to be associated with tumorigenesis. Therefore, the research is currently focusing on understanding the possible role of intracellular ion channels in cancer development and progression on one hand and, on the other, on developing new possible drugs able to modulate the expression and/or activity of these channels. In a few cases, the efficacy of channel-targeting drugs in reducing tumors has already been demonstrated in vivo in preclinical mouse models.

  18. Mechanical transduction by ion channels: A cautionary tale

    PubMed Central

    Sachs, Frederick

    2016-01-01

    Mechanical transduction by ion channels occurs in all cells. The physiological functions of these channels have just begun to be elaborated, but if we focus on the upper animal kingdom, these channels serve the common sensory services such as hearing and touch, provide the central nervous system with information on the force and position of muscles and joints, and they provide the autonomic system with information about the filling of hollow organs such as blood vessels. However, all cells of the body have mechanosensitive channels (MSCs), including red cells. Most of these channels are cation selective and are activated by bilayer tension. There are also K+ selective MSCs found commonly in neurons where they may be responsible for both general anesthesia and knockout punches in the boxing ring by hyperpolarizing neurons to reduce excitability. The cationic MSCs are typically inactive under normal mechanical stress, but open under pathologic stress. The channels are normally inactive because they are shielded from stress by the cytoskeleton. The cationic MSCs are specifically blocked by the externally applied peptide GsMtx4 (aka, AT-300). This is the first drug of its class and provides a new approach to many pathologies since it is nontoxic, non-immunogenic, stable in a biological environment and has a long pharmacokinetic lifetime. Pathologies involving excessive stress are common. They produce cardiac arrhythmias, contraction in stretched dystrophic muscle, xerocytotic and sickled red cells, etc. The channels seem to function primarily as “fire alarms”, providing feedback to the cytoskeleton that a region of the bilayer is under excessive tension and needs reinforcing. The eukaryotic forms of MSCs have only been cloned in recent years and few people have experience working with them. “Newbies” need to become aware of the technology, potential artifacts, and the fundamentals of mechanics. The most difficult problem in studying MSCs is that the actual

  19. The role of synaptic ion channels in synaptic plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Voglis, Giannis; Tavernarakis, Nektarios

    2006-01-01

    The nervous system receives a large amount of information about the environment through elaborate sensory routes. Processing and integration of these wide-ranging inputs often results in long-term behavioural alterations as a result of past experiences. These relatively permanent changes in behaviour are manifestations of the capacity of the nervous system for learning and memory. At the cellular level, synaptic plasticity is one of the mechanisms underlying this process. Repeated neural activity generates physiological changes in the nervous system that ultimately modulate neuronal communication through synaptic transmission. Recent studies implicate both presynaptic and postsynaptic ion channels in the process of synapse strength modulation. Here, we review the role of synaptic ion channels in learning and memory, and discuss the implications and significance of these findings towards deciphering the molecular biology of learning and memory. PMID:17077866

  20. Recent genetic discoveries implicating ion channels in human cardiovascular diseases.

    PubMed

    George, Alfred L

    2014-04-01

    The term 'channelopathy' refers to human genetic disorders caused by mutations in genes encoding ion channels or their interacting proteins. Recent advances in this field have been enabled by next-generation DNA sequencing strategies such as whole exome sequencing with several intriguing and unexpected discoveries. This review highlights important discoveries implicating ion channels or ion channel modulators in cardiovascular disorders including cardiac arrhythmia susceptibility, cardiac conduction phenotypes, pulmonary and systemic hypertension. These recent discoveries further emphasize the importance of ion channels in the pathophysiology of human disease and as important druggable targets.

  1. Ion channels, ion channel receptors, and visceral hypersensitivity in irritable bowel syndrome.

    PubMed

    Fuentes, I M; Christianson, J A

    2016-11-01

    Ion channels are expressed throughout the gastrointestinal system and regulate nearly every aspect of digestion, including fluid secretion and absorption, motility, and visceral sensitivity. It is therefore not surprising that in the setting of functional bowel disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), ion channels are often altered in terms of expression level and function and are a target of pharmacological intervention. This is particularly true of their role in driving abdominal pain through visceral hypersensitivity (VH), which is the main reason IBS patients seek medical care. In the study by Scanzi et al., in the current issue of this journal, they provide evidence that the T-type voltage-gated calcium channel (Cav ) Cav 3.2 is upregulated in human IBS patients, and is necessary for the induction of an IBS-like disease state in mice. In this mini-review, we will discuss the contribution of specific ion channels to VH in IBS, both in human patients and rodent models. We will also discuss how Cav 3.2 may play a role as an integrator of multiple environmental stimuli contributing toward VH.

  2. Hierarchical approach to predicting permeation in ion channels.

    PubMed Central

    Mashl, R J; Tang, Y; Schnitzer, J; Jakobsson, E

    2001-01-01

    A hierarchical computational strategy combining molecular modeling, electrostatics calculations, molecular dynamics, and Brownian dynamics simulations is developed and implemented to compute electrophysiologically measurable properties of the KcsA potassium channel. Models for a series of channels with different pore sizes are developed from the known x-ray structure, using insights into the gating conformational changes as suggested by a variety of published experiments. Information on the pH dependence of the channel gating is incorporated into the calculation of potential profiles for K(+) ions inside the channel, which are then combined with K(+) ion mobilities inside the channel, as computed by molecular dynamics simulations, to provide inputs into Brownian dynamics simulations for computing ion fluxes. The open model structure has a conductance of approximately 110 pS under symmetric 250 mM K(+) conditions, in reasonable agreement with experiments for the largest conducting substate. The dimensions of this channel are consistent with electrophysiologically determined size dependence of quaternary ammonium ion blocking from the intracellular end of this channel as well as with direct structural evidence that tetrabutylammonium ions can enter into the interior cavity of the channel. Realistic values of Ussing flux ratio exponents, distribution of ions within the channel, and shapes of the current-voltage and current-concentration curves are obtained. The Brownian dynamics calculations suggest passage of ions through the selectivity filter proceeds by a "knock-off" mechanism involving three ions, as has been previously inferred from functional and structural studies of barium ion blocking. These results suggest that the present calculations capture the essential nature of K(+) ion permeation in the KcsA channel and provide a proof-of-concept for the integrated microscopic/mesoscopic multitiered approach for predicting ion channel function from structure, which

  3. Pre-formed plasma channels for ion beam fusion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peterson, R. R.; Olson, C. L.

    1997-04-01

    The transport of driver ions to the target in an IFE power plant is an important consideration in IFE target chamber design. Pre-formed laser-guided plasma discharge channels have been considered for light ions because they reduce the beam microdivergence constraints, allow long transport lengths, and require a target chamber fill gas that can help protect the target chamber from the target explosion. Here, pre-formed plasma discharge channels are considered for heavy ion transport. The channel formation parameters are similar to those for light ions. The allowable ion power per channel is limited by the onset of plasma instabilities and energy loss due to a reverse emf from the rapid channel expansion driven by the ion beam.

  4. VOCCs and TREK-1 ion channel expression in human tenocytes.

    PubMed

    Magra, Merzesh; Hughes, Steven; El Haj, Alicia J; Maffulli, Nicola

    2007-03-01

    Mechanosensitive and voltage-gated ion channels are known to perform important roles in mechanotransduction in a number of connective tissues, including bone and muscle. It is hypothesized that voltage-gated and mechanosensitive ion channels also may play a key role in some or all initial responses of human tenocytes to mechanical stimulation. However, to date there has been no direct investigation of ion channel expression by human tenocytes. Human tenocytes were cultured from patellar tendon samples harvested from five patients undergoing routine total knee replacement surgery (mean age: 66 yr; range: 63-73 yr). RT-PCR, Western blotting, and whole cell electrophysiological studies were performed to investigate the expression of different classes of ion channels within tenocytes. Human tenocytes expressed mRNA and protein encoding voltage-operated calcium channel (VOCC) subunits (Ca alpha(1A), Ca alpha(1C), Ca alpha(1D), Ca alpha(2)delta(1)) and the mechanosensitive tandem pore domain potassium channel (2PK(+)) TREK-1. They exhibit whole cell currents consistent with the functional expression of these channels. In addition, other ionic currents were detected within tenocytes consistent with the expression of a diverse array of other ion channels. VOCCs and TREK channels have been implicated in mechanotransduction signaling pathways in numerous connective tissue cell types. These mechanisms may be present in human tenocytes. In addition, human tenocytes may express other channel currents. Ion channels may represent potential targets for the pharmacological management of chronic tendinopathies.

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

    PubMed

    Peralta, Francisco Andrés; Huidobro-Toro, Juan Pablo

    2016-07-02

    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.

  6. Acid-sensing ion channels in pathological conditions

    PubMed Central

    Chu, Xiang-Ping; Xiong, Zhi-Gang

    2013-01-01

    Acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs), a novel family of proton-gated amiloride-sensitive cation channels, are expressed primarily in neurons of peripheral sensory and central nervous systems. Recent studies have shown that activation of ASICs, particularly the ASIC1a channels, plays a critical role in neuronal injury associated with neurological disorders such as brain ischemia, multiple sclerosis, and spinal cord injury, etc. In normal conditions in vitro, ASIC1a channels desensitize rapidly in the presence of a continuous acidosis or following a pre-exposure to minor pH drop, raising doubt for their contributions to the acidosis-mediated neuronal injury. It is now known that the properties of ASICs can be dramatically modulated by signaling molecules or biochemical changes associated with pathological conditions. Modulation of ASICs by these molecules can lead to dramatically enhanced and/or prolonged activities of these channels thus promoting their pathological functions. Understanding of how ASICs behave in pathological conditions may help define new strategies for the treatment and/or prevention of neuronal injury associated with various neurological disorders. PMID:23224900

  7. Big Potassium (BK) ion channels in biology, disease and possible targets for cancer immunotherapy.

    PubMed

    Ge, Lisheng; Hoa, Neil T; Wilson, Zechariah; Arismendi-Morillo, Gabriel; Kong, Xiao-Tang; Tajhya, Rajeev B; Beeton, Christine; Jadus, Martin R

    2014-10-01

    The Big Potassium (BK) ion channel is commonly known by a variety of names (Maxi-K, KCNMA1, slo, stretch-activated potassium channel, KCa1.1). Each name reflects a different physical property displayed by this single ion channel. This transmembrane channel is found on nearly every cell type of the body and has its own distinctive roles for that tissue type. The BKα channel contains the pore that releases potassium ions from intracellular stores. This ion channel is found on the cell membrane, endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi and mitochondria. Complex splicing pathways produce different isoforms. The BKα channels can be phosphorylated, palmitoylated and myristylated. BK is composed of a homo-tetramer that interacts with β and γ chains. These accessory proteins provide a further modulating effect on the functions of BKα channels. BK channels play important roles in cell division and migration. In this review, we will focus on the biology of the BK channel, especially its role, and its immune response towards cancer. Recent proteomic studies have linked BK channels with various proteins. Some of these interactions offer further insight into the role that BK channels have with cancers, especially with brain tumors. This review shows that BK channels have a complex interplay with intracellular components of cancer cells and still have plenty of secrets to be discovered.

  8. Acid-sensing ion channels in postoperative pain.

    PubMed

    Deval, Emmanuel; Noël, Jacques; Gasull, Xavier; Delaunay, Anne; Alloui, Abdelkrim; Friend, Valérie; Eschalier, Alain; Lazdunski, Michel; Lingueglia, Eric

    2011-04-20

    Iatrogenic pain consecutive to a large number of surgical procedures has become a growing health concern. The etiology and pathophysiology of postoperative pain are still poorly understood, but hydrogen ions appear to be important in this process. We have investigated the role of peripheral acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs), which form depolarizing channels activated by extracellular protons, in a rat model of postoperative pain (i.e., hindpaw skin/muscle incision). We report high levels of ASIC-type currents (∼ 77%) in sensory neurons innervating the hindpaw muscles, with a prevalence of ASIC3-like currents. The ASIC3 protein is largely expressed in lumbar DRG neurons innervating the plantar muscle, and its mRNA and protein levels are increased by plantar incision 24 h after surgery. Pharmacological inhibition of ASIC3 channels with the specific toxin APETx2 or in vivo knockdown of ASIC3 subunit by small interfering RNA led to a significant reduction of postoperative spontaneous, thermal, and postural pain behaviors (spontaneous flinching, heat hyperalgesia, and weight bearing). ASIC3 appears to have an important role in deep tissue but also affects prolonged pain evoked by skin incision alone. The specific homomeric ASIC1a blocker PcTx1 has no effect on spontaneous flinching, when applied peripherally. Together, these data demonstrate a significant role for peripheral ASIC3-containing channels in postoperative pain.

  9. 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

  10. Physiologic and pathophysiologic consequences of altered sialylation and glycosylation on ion channel function.

    PubMed

    Baycin-Hizal, Deniz; Gottschalk, Allan; Jacobson, Elena; Mai, Sunny; Wolozny, Daniel; Zhang, Hui; Krag, Sharon S; Betenbaugh, Michael J

    2014-10-17

    Voltage-gated ion channels are transmembrane proteins that regulate electrical excitability in cells and are essential components of the electrically active tissues of nerves, muscle and the heart. Potassium channels are one of the largest subfamilies of voltage sensitive channels and are among the most-studied of the voltage-gated ion channels. Voltage-gated channels can be glycosylated and changes in the glycosylation pattern can affect ion channel function, leading to neurological and neuromuscular disorders and congenital disorders of glycosylation (CDG). Alterations in glycosylation can also be acquired and appear to play a role in development and aging. Recent studies have focused on the impact of glycosylation and sialylation on ion channels, particularly for voltage-gated potassium and sodium channels. The terminal step of sialylation often affects channel activation and inactivation kinetics. The presence of sialic acids on O or N-glycans can alter the gating mechanism and cause conformational changes in the voltage-sensing domains due to sialic acid's negative charges. This manuscript will provide an overview of sialic acids, potassium and sodium channel function, and the impact of sialylation on channel activation and deactivation.

  11. Trails of kilovolt ions created by subsurface channeling.

    PubMed

    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+ 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Validation of an atomic absorption rubidium ion efflux assay for KCNQ/M-channels using the ion Channel Reader 8000.

    PubMed

    Wang, Kewei; McIlvain, Beal; Tseng, Eugene; Kowal, Dianne; Jow, Flora; Shen, Ru; Zhang, Howard; Shan, Qin Jennifer; He, Lan; Chen, Diana; Lu, Qiang; Dunlop, John

    2004-10-01

    M-channels (M-current), encoded by KCNQ2/3 K(+) channel genes, have emerged as novel drug targets for a number of neurological disorders. The lack of direct high throughput assays combined with the low throughput of conventional electrophysiology (EP) has impeded rapid screening and evaluation of K(+)-channel modulators. Development of a sensitive and efficient assay for the direct measurement of M-current activity is critical for identifying novel M-channel modulators and subsequent investigation of their therapeutic potential. Using a stable CHO cell line expressing rat KCNQ2/3 K(+) channels confirmed by EP, we have developed and validated a nonradioactive rubidium (Rb(+)) efflux assay in a 96-well plate format. The Rb(+) efflux assay directly measures the activity of functional channels by atomic absorption spectroscopy using the automated Ion Channel Reader (ICR) 8000. The stimulated Rb(+) efflux from KCNQ2/3-expressing cells was blocked by the channel blockers XE991 and linopirdine with IC(50) values of 0.15 microM and 1.3 microM, respectively. Twelve compounds identified as KCNQ2/3 openers were further assessed in this assay, and their EC(50) values were compared with those obtained with EP. A higher positive correlation coefficient between these two assays (r = 0.60) was observed than that between FlexStation membrane potential and EP assays (r = 0.23). To simplify the assay and increase the throughput, we demonstrate that EC(50) values obtained by measuring Rb(+) levels in the supernatant are as robust and consistent as those obtained from the ratio of Rb(+) in supernatant/lysate. By measuring the supernatant only, the throughput of ICR8000 in an eight-point titration is estimated to be 40 compounds per day, which is suitable for a secondary confirmation assay.

  14. Ion flux dependent and independent functions of ion channels in the vertebrate heart: lessons learned from zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Keßler, Mirjam; Just, Steffen; Rottbauer, Wolfgang

    2012-01-01

    Ion channels orchestrate directed flux of ions through membranes and are essential for a wide range of physiological processes including depolarization and repolarization of biomechanical activity of cells. Besides their electrophysiological functions in the heart, recent findings have demonstrated that ion channels also feature ion flux independent functions during heart development and morphogenesis. The zebrafish is a well-established animal model to decipher the genetics of cardiovascular development and disease of vertebrates. In large scale forward genetics screens, hundreds of mutant lines have been isolated with defects in cardiovascular structure and function. Detailed phenotyping of these lines and identification of the causative genetic defects revealed new insights into ion flux dependent and independent functions of various cardiac ion channels.

  15. Hypoxia-Dependent Reactive Oxygen Species Signaling in the Pulmonary Circulation: Focus on Ion Channels

    PubMed Central

    Veit, Florian; Pak, Oleg; Brandes, Ralf P.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Significance: An acute lack of oxygen in the lung causes hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction, which optimizes gas exchange. In contrast, chronic hypoxia triggers a pathological vascular remodeling causing pulmonary hypertension, and ischemia can cause vascular damage culminating in lung edema. Recent Advances: Regulation of ion channel expression and gating by cellular redox state is a widely accepted mechanism; however, it remains a matter of debate whether an increase or a decrease in reactive oxygen species (ROS) occurs under hypoxic conditions. Ion channel redox regulation has been described in detail for some ion channels, such as Kv channels or TRPC6. However, in general, information on ion channel redox regulation remains scant. Critical Issues and Future Directions: In addition to the debate of increased versus decreased ROS production during hypoxia, we aim here at describing and deciphering why different oxidants, under different conditions, can cause both activation and inhibition of channel activity. While the upstream pathways affecting channel gating are often well described, we need a better understanding of redox protein modifications to be able to determine the complexity of ion channel redox regulation. Against this background, we summarize the current knowledge on hypoxia-induced ROS-mediated ion channel signaling in the pulmonary circulation. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 22, 537–552 PMID:25545236

  16. 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.

  17. The unique contribution of ion channels to platelet and megakaryocyte function.

    PubMed

    Mahaut-Smith, M P

    2012-09-01

    Ion channels are transmembrane proteins that play ubiquitous roles in cellular homeostasis and activation. In addition to their recognized role in the regulation of ionic permeability and thus membrane potential, some channel proteins possess intrinsic kinase activity, directly interact with integrins or are permeable to molecules up to ≈1000 Da. The small size and anuclear nature of the platelet has often hindered progress in understanding the role of specific ion channels in hemostasis, thrombosis and other platelet-dependent events. However, with the aid of transgenic mice and 'surrogate' patch clamp recordings from primary megakaryocytes, important unique contributions to platelet function have been identified for several classes of ion channel. Examples include ATP-gated P2X1 channels, Orai1 store-operated Ca2+ channels, voltage-gated Kv1.3 channels, AMPA and kainate glutamate receptors and connexin gap junction channels. Furthermore, evidence exists that some ion channels, such as NMDA glutamate receptors, contribute to megakaryocyte development. This review examines the evidence for expression of a range of ion channels in the platelet and its progenitor cell, and highlights the distinct roles that these proteins may play in health and disease.

  18. 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

  19. Physiological and pathological functions of mechanosensitive ion channels.

    PubMed

    Gu, Yuanzheng; Gu, Chen

    2014-10-01

    Rapid sensation of mechanical stimuli is often mediated by mechanosensitve ion channels. Their opening results from conformational changes induced by mechanical forces. It leads to membrane permeation of selected ions and thereby to electrical signaling. Newly identified mechanosensitive ion channels are emerging at an astonishing rate, including some that are traditionally assigned for completely different functions. In this review, we first provide a brief overview of ion channels that are known to play a role in mechanosensation. Next, we focus on three representative ones, including the transient receptor potential channel V4 (TRPV4), Kv1.1 voltage-gated potassium (Kv) channel, and Piezo channels. Their structures, biophysical properties, expression and targeting patterns, and physiological functions are highlighted. The potential role of their mechanosensation in related diseases is further discussed. In sum, mechanosensation appears to be achieved in a variety of ways by different proteins and plays a fundamental role in the function of various organs under normal and abnormal conditions.

  20. Mutational consequences of aberrant ion channels in neurological disorders.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Dhiraj; Ambasta, Rashmi K; Kumar, Pravir

    2014-11-01

    Neurological channelopathies are attributed to aberrant ion channels affecting CNS, PNS, cardiac, and skeletal muscles. To maintain the homeostasis of excitable tissues, functional ion channels are necessary to rely electrical signals, whereas any malfunctioning serves as an intrinsic factor to develop neurological channelopathies. Molecular basis of these disease is studied based on genetic and biophysical approaches, e.g., loci positional cloning, whereas pathogenesis and bio-behavioral analysis revealed the dependency on genetic mutations and inter-current triggering factors. Although electrophysiological studies revealed the possible mechanisms of diseases, analytical study of ion channels remained unsettled and therefore underlying mechanism in channelopathies is necessary for better clinical application. Herein, we demonstrated (i) structural and functional role of various ion channels (Na(+), K(+), Ca(2+),Cl(-)), (ii) pathophysiology involved in the onset of their associated channelopathies, and (iii) comparative sequence and phylogenetic analysis of diversified sodium, potassium, calcium, and chloride ion channel subtypes.

  1. 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%.

  2. Ion Channels in Native Chloroplast Membranes: Challenges and Potential for Direct Patch-Clamp Studies

    PubMed Central

    Pottosin, Igor; Dobrovinskaya, Oxana

    2015-01-01

    Photosynthesis without any doubt depends on the activity of the chloroplast ion channels. The thylakoid ion channels participate in the fine partitioning of the light-generated proton-motive force (p.m.f.). By regulating, therefore, luminal pH, they affect the linear electron flow and non-photochemical quenching. Stromal ion homeostasis and signaling, on the other hand, depend on the activity of both thylakoid and envelope ion channels. Experimentally, intact chloroplasts and swollen thylakoids were proven to be suitable for direct measurements of the ion channels activity via conventional patch-clamp technique; yet, such studies became infrequent, although their potential is far from being exhausted. In this paper we wish to summarize existing challenges for direct patch-clamping of native chloroplast membranes as well as present available results on the activity of thylakoid Cl− (ClC?) and divalent cation-permeable channels, along with their tentative roles in the p.m.f. partitioning, volume regulation, and stromal Ca2+ and Mg2+ dynamics. Patch-clamping of the intact envelope revealed both large-conductance porin-like channels, likely located in the outer envelope membrane and smaller conductance channels, more compatible with the inner envelope location. Possible equivalent model for the sandwich-like arrangement of the two envelope membranes within the patch electrode will be discussed, along with peculiar properties of the fast-activated cation channel in the context of the stromal pH control. PMID:26733887

  3. Signal transduction and ion channels in guard cells.

    PubMed Central

    MacRobbie, E A

    1998-01-01

    Our understanding of the signalling mechanisms involved in the process of stomatal closure is reviewed. Work has concentrated on the mechanisms by which abscisic acid (ABA) induces changes in specific ion channels at both the plasmalemma and the tonoplast, leading to efflux of both K+ and anions at both membranes, requiring four essential changes. For each we need to identify the specific channels concerned, and the detailed signalling chains by which each is linked through signalling intermediates to ABA. There are two global changes that are identified following ABA treatment: an increase in cytoplasmic pH and an increase in cytoplasmic Ca2+, although stomata can close without any measurable global increase in cytoplasmic Ca2+. There is also evidence for the importance of several protein phosphatases and protein kinases in the regulation of channel activity. At the plasmalemma, loss of K+ requires depolarization of the membrane potential into the range at which the outward K+ channel is open. ABA-induced activation of a non-specific cation channel, permeable to Ca2+, may contribute to the necessary depolarization, together with ABA-induced activation of S-type anion channels in the plasmalemma, which are then responsible for the necessary anion efflux. The anion channels are activated by Ca2+ and by phosphorylation, but the precise mechanism of their activation by ABA is not yet clear. ABA also up-regulates the outward K+ current at any given membrane potential; this activation is Ca(2+)-independent and is attributed to the increase in cytoplasmic pH, perhaps through the marked pH-sensitivity of protein phosphatase type 2C. Our understanding of mechanisms at the tonoplast is much less complete. A total of two channels, both Ca(2+)-activated, have been identified which are capable of K+ efflux; these are the voltage-independent VK channel specific to K+, and the slow vacuolar (SV) channel which opens only at non-physiological tonoplast potentials (cytoplasm

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Neurosensory mechanotransduction through acid-sensing ion channels

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Chih-Cheng; Wong, Chia-Wen

    2013-01-01

    Acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs) are voltage-insensitive cation channels responding to extracellular acidification. ASIC proteins have two transmembrane domains and a large extracellular domain. The molecular topology of ASICs is similar to that of the mechanosensory abnormality 4- or 10-proteins expressed in touch receptor neurons and involved in neurosensory mechanotransduction in nematodes. The ASIC proteins are involved in neurosensory mechanotransduction in mammals. The ASIC isoforms are expressed in Merkel cell–neurite complexes, periodontal Ruffini endings and specialized nerve terminals of skin and muscle spindles, so they might participate in mechanosensation. In knockout mouse models, lacking an ASIC isoform produces defects in neurosensory mechanotransduction of tissue such as skin, stomach, colon, aortic arch, venoatrial junction and cochlea. The ASICs are thus implicated in touch, pain, digestive function, baroreception, blood volume control and hearing. However, the role of ASICs in mechanotransduction is still controversial, because we lack evidence that the channels are mechanically sensitive when expressed in heterologous cells. Thus, ASIC channels alone are not sufficient to reconstruct the path of transducing molecules of mechanically activated channels. The mechanotransducers associated with ASICs need further elucidation. In this review, we discuss the expression of ASICs in sensory afferents of mechanoreceptors, findings of knockout studies, technical issues concerning studies of neurosensory mechanotransduction and possible missing links. Also we propose a molecular model and a new approach to disclose the molecular mechanism underlying the neurosensory mechanotransduction. PMID:23490035

  7. Transient receptor potential melastatin 3 is a phosphoinositide-dependent ion channel.

    PubMed

    Badheka, Doreen; Borbiro, Istvan; Rohacs, Tibor

    2015-07-01

    Phosphoinositides are emerging as general regulators of the functionally diverse transient receptor potential (TRP) ion channel family. Phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PI(4,5)P2) has been reported to positively regulate many TRP channels, but in several cases phosphoinositide regulation is controversial. TRP melastatin 3 (TRPM3) is a heat-activated ion channel that is also stimulated by chemical agonists, such as pregnenolone sulfate. Here, we used a wide array of approaches to determine the effects of phosphoinositides on TRPM3. We found that channel activity in excised inside-out patches decreased over time (rundown), an attribute of PI(4,5)P2-dependent ion channels. Channel activity could be restored by application of either synthetic dioctanoyl (diC8) or natural arachidonyl stearyl (AASt) PI(4,5)P2. The PI(4,5)P2 precursor phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate (PI(4)P) was less effective at restoring channel activity. TRPM3 currents were also restored by MgATP, an effect which was inhibited by two different phosphatidylinositol 4-kinase inhibitors, or by pretreatment with a phosphatidylinositol-specific phospholipase C (PI-PLC) enzyme, indicating that MgATP acted by generating phosphoinositides. In intact cells, reduction of PI(4,5)P2 levels by chemically inducible phosphoinositide phosphatases or a voltage-sensitive 5'-phosphatase inhibited channel activity. Activation of PLC via muscarinic receptors also inhibited TRPM3 channel activity. Overall, our data indicate that TRPM3 is a phosphoinositide-dependent ion channel and that decreasing PI(4,5)P2 abundance limits its activity. As all other members of the TRPM family have also been shown to require PI(4,5)P2 for activity, our data establish PI(4,5)P2 as a general positive cofactor of this ion channel subfamily.

  8. 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

  9. Transportation behavior of alkali ions through a cell membrane ion channel. A quantum chemical description of a simplified isolated model.

    PubMed

    Billes, Ferenc; Mohammed-Ziegler, Ildikó; Mikosch, Hans

    2012-08-01

    Quantum chemical model calculations were carried out for modeling the ion transport through an isolated ion channel of a cell membrane. An isolated part of a natural ion channel was modeled. The model channel was a calixarene derivative, hydrated sodium and potassium ions were the models of the transported ion. The electrostatic potential of the channel and the energy of the channel-ion system were calculated as a function of the alkali ion position. Both attractive and repulsive ion-channel interactions were found. The calculations - namely the dependence of the system energy and the atomic charges of the water molecules with respect to the position of the alkali ion in the channel - revealed the molecular-structural background of the potassium selectivity of this artificial ion channel. It was concluded that the studied ion channel mimics real biological ion channel quite well.

  10. Rescue of mutated cardiac ion channels in inherited arrhythmia syndromes.

    PubMed

    Balijepalli, Sadguna Y; Anderson, Corey L; Lin, Eric C; January, Craig T

    2010-08-01

    Inherited arrhythmia syndromes comprise an increasingly complex group of diseases involving mutations in multiple genes encoding ion channels, ion channel accessory subunits and channel interacting proteins, and various regulatory elements. These mutations serve to disrupt normal electrophysiology in the heart, leading to increased arrhythmogenic risk and death. These diseases have added impact as they often affect young people, sometimes without warning. Although originally thought to alter ion channel function, it is now increasingly recognized that mutations may alter ion channel protein and messenger RNA processing, to reduce the number of channels reaching the surface membrane. For many of these mutations, it is also known that several interventions may restore protein processing of mutant channels to increase their surface membrane expression toward normal. In this article, we reviewed inherited arrhythmia syndromes, focusing on long QT syndrome type 2, and discuss the complex biology of ion channel trafficking and pharmacological rescue of disease-causing mutant channels. Pharmacological rescue of misprocessed mutant channel proteins, or their transcripts providing appropriate small molecule drugs can be developed, has the potential for novel clinical therapies in some patients with inherited arrhythmia syndromes.

  11. A quantized mechanism for activation of pannexin channels

    PubMed Central

    Chiu, Yu-Hsin; Jin, Xueyao; Medina, Christopher B.; Leonhardt, Susan A.; Kiessling, Volker; Bennett, Brad C.; Shu, Shaofang; Tamm, Lukas K.; Yeager, Mark; Ravichandran, Kodi S.; Bayliss, Douglas A.

    2017-01-01

    Pannexin 1 (PANX1) subunits form oligomeric plasma membrane channels that mediate nucleotide release for purinergic signalling, which is involved in diverse physiological processes such as apoptosis, inflammation, blood pressure regulation, and cancer progression and metastasis. Here we explore the mechanistic basis for PANX1 activation by using wild type and engineered concatemeric channels. We find that PANX1 activation involves sequential stepwise sojourns through multiple discrete open states, each with unique channel gating and conductance properties that reflect contributions of the individual subunits of the hexamer. Progressive PANX1 channel opening is directly linked to permeation of ions and large molecules (ATP and fluorescent dyes) and occurs during both irreversible (caspase cleavage-mediated) and reversible (α1 adrenoceptor-mediated) forms of channel activation. This unique, quantized activation process enables fine tuning of PANX1 channel activity and may be a generalized regulatory mechanism for other related multimeric channels. PMID:28134257

  12. 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

  13. Ion transport in graphene nanofluidic channels.

    PubMed

    Xie, Quan; Xin, Fang; Park, Hyung Gyu; Duan, Chuanhua

    2016-12-01

    Carbon nanofluidic structures made of carbon nanotubes or graphene/graphene oxide have shown great promise in energy and environment applications due to the newly discovered fast and selective mass transport. However, they have yet to be utilized in nanofluidic devices for lab-on-a-chip applications because of great challenges in their fabrication and integration. Herein we report the fabrication of two-dimensional planar graphene nanochannel devices and the study of ion transport inside a graphene nanochannel array. A MEMS fabrication process that includes controlled nanochannel etching, graphene wet transfer, and vacuum anodic bonding is developed to fabricate graphene nanochannels where graphene conformally coats the channel surfaces. We observe higher ionic conductance inside the graphene nanochannels compared with silica nanochannels with the same geometries at low electrolyte concentrations (10(-6) M-10(-2) M). Enhanced electroosmotic flow due to the boundary slip at graphene surfaces is attributed to the measured higher conductance in the graphene nanochannels. Our results also suggest that the surface charge on the graphene surface, originating from the dissociation of oxygen-containing functional groups, is crucial to the enhanced electroosmotic flow inside the nanochannels.

  14. 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.

  15. Ion channels in gastrointestinal smooth muscle and interstitial cells of Cajal.

    PubMed

    Lyford, Gregory L; Farrugia, Gianrico

    2003-12-01

    A requirement for normal gastrointestinal motility is the tight regulation of ion channels expressed in interstitial cells of Cajal and smooth muscle. Interstitial cells of Cajal generate the slow wave and amplify neuronal signals; smooth muscle functions as the final effector organ. Recent advances in our understanding of the expression and mechano-regulation of these different subtypes of ion channels have allowed the development of hypotheses on how ion channels transduce a variety of inputs into electrical signals that directly or indirectly regulate gastrointestinal motor activity.

  16. Pathophysiological and protective roles of mitochondrial ion channels

    PubMed Central

    O’Rourke, Brian

    2000-01-01

    Mitochondria possess a highly permeable outer membrane and an inner membrane that was originally thought to be relatively impermeable to ions to prevent dissipation of the electrochemical gradient for protons. Although recent evidence has revealed a rich diversity of ion channels in both membranes, the purpose of these channels remains incompletely determined. Pores in the outer membrane are fundamental participants in apoptotic cell death, and this process may also involve permeability transition pores on the inner membrane. Novel functions are now being assigned to other ion channels of the inner membrane. Examples include protection against ischaemic injury by mitochondrial KATP channels and the contribution of inner membrane anion channels to spontaneous mitochondrial oscillations in cardiac myocytes. The central role of mitochondria in both the normal function of the cell and in its demise makes these channels prime targets for future research and drug development. PMID:11080248

  17. 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.

  18. Ion transport in a model gramicidin channel. Structure and thermodynamics.

    PubMed Central

    Roux, B; Karplus, M

    1991-01-01

    The potential of mean force for Na+ and K+ ions as a function of position in the interior of a periodic poly(L,D)-alanine model for the gramicidin beta-helix is calculated with a detailed atomic model and realistic interactions. The calculated free energy barriers are 4.5 kcal/mol for Na+ and 1.0 kcal/mol for K+. A decomposition of the free energy demonstrates that the water molecules make a significant contribution to the free energy of activation. There is an increase in entropy at the transition state associated with greater fluctuations. Analysis reveals that the free energy profile of ions in the periodic channel is controlled not by the large interaction energy involving the ion but rather by the weaker water-water, water-peptide and peptide-peptide hydrogen bond interactions. The interior of the channel retains much of the solvation properties of a liquid in its interactions with the cations. Of particular importance is the flexibility of the helix, which permits it to respond to the presence of an ion in a fluidlike manner. The distortion of the helix is local (limited to a few carbonyls) because the structure is too flexible to transmit a perturbation to large distances. The plasticity of the structure (i.e., the property to deform without generating a large energy stress) appears to be an essential factor in the transport of ions, suggesting that a rigid helix model would be inappropriate. Images FIGURE 1 FIGURE 10 PMID:1714305

  19. 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

  20. Macroscopic kinetics of pentameric ligand gated ion channels: comparisons between two prokaryotic channels and one eukaryotic channel.

    PubMed

    Laha, Kurt T; Ghosh, Borna; Czajkowski, Cynthia

    2013-01-01

    Electrochemical signaling in the brain depends on pentameric ligand-gated ion channels (pLGICs). Recently, crystal structures of prokaryotic pLGIC homologues from Erwinia chrysanthemi (ELIC) and Gloeobacter violaceus (GLIC) in presumed closed and open channel states have been solved, which provide insight into the structural mechanisms underlying channel activation. Although structural studies involving both ELIC and GLIC have become numerous, thorough functional characterizations of these channels are still needed to establish a reliable foundation for comparing kinetic properties. Here, we examined the kinetics of ELIC and GLIC current activation, desensitization, and deactivation and compared them to the GABAA receptor, a prototypic eukaryotic pLGIC. Outside-out patch-clamp recordings were performed with HEK-293T cells expressing ELIC, GLIC, or α1β2γ2L GABAA receptors, and ultra-fast ligand application was used. In response to saturating agonist concentrations, we found both ELIC and GLIC current activation were two to three orders of magnitude slower than GABAA receptor current activation. The prokaryotic channels also had slower current desensitization on a timescale of seconds. ELIC and GLIC current deactivation following 25 s pulses of agonist (cysteamine and pH 4.0 buffer, respectively) were relatively fast with time constants of 24.9 ± 5.1 ms and 1.2 ± 0.2 ms, respectively. Surprisingly, ELIC currents evoked by GABA activated very slowly with a time constant of 1.3 ± 0.3 s and deactivated even slower with a time constant of 4.6 ± 1.2 s. We conclude that the prokaryotic pLGICs undergo similar agonist-mediated gating transitions to open and desensitized states as eukaryotic pLGICs, supporting their use as experimental models. Their uncharacteristic slow activation, slow desensitization and rapid deactivation time courses are likely due to differences in specific structural elements, whose future identification may help uncover mechanisms underlying p

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-05

    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.

  2. Ion channel regulation of intracellular calcium and airway smooth muscle function.

    PubMed

    Perez-Zoghbi, Jose F; Karner, Charlotta; Ito, Satoru; Shepherd, Malcolm; Alrashdan, Yazan; Sanderson, Michael J

    2009-10-01

    Airway hyper-responsiveness associated with asthma is mediated by airway smooth muscle cells (SMCs) and has a complicated etiology involving increases in cell contraction and proliferation and the secretion of inflammatory mediators. Although these pathological changes are diverse, a common feature associated with their regulation is a change in intracellular Ca(2+) concentration ([Ca(2+)](i)). Because the [Ca(2+)](i) itself is a function of the activity and expression of a variety of ion channels, in both the plasma membrane and sarcoplasmic reticulum of the SMC, the modification of this ion channel activity may predispose airway SMCs to hyper-responsiveness. Our objective is to review how ion channels determine the [Ca(2+)](i) and influence the function of airway SMCs and emphasize the potential of ion channels as sites for therapeutic approaches to asthma.

  3. Active dendrites, potassium channels and synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed Central

    Johnston, Daniel; Christie, Brian R; Frick, Andreas; Gray, Richard; Hoffman, Dax A; Schexnayder, Lalania K; Watanabe, Shigeo; Yuan, Li-Lian

    2003-01-01

    The dendrites of CA1 pyramidal neurons in the hippocampus express numerous types of voltage-gated ion channel, but the distributions or densities of many of these channels are very non-uniform. Sodium channels in the dendrites are responsible for action potential (AP) propagation from the axon into the dendrites (back-propagation); calcium channels are responsible for local changes in dendritic calcium concentrations following back-propagating APs and synaptic potentials; and potassium channels help regulate overall dendritic excitability. Several lines of evidence are presented here to suggest that back-propagating APs, when coincident with excitatory synaptic input, can lead to the induction of either long-term depression (LTD) or long-term potentiation (LTP). The induction of LTD or LTP is correlated with the magnitude of the rise in intracellular calcium. When brief bursts of synaptic potentials are paired with postsynaptic APs in a theta-burst pairing paradigm, the induction of LTP is dependent on the invasion of the AP into the dendritic tree. The amplitude of the AP in the dendrites is dependent, in part, on the activity of a transient, A-type potassium channel that is expressed at high density in the dendrites and correlates with the induction of the LTP. Furthermore, during the expression phase of the LTP, there are local changes in dendritic excitability that may result from modulation of the functioning of this transient potassium channel. The results support the view that the active properties of dendrites play important roles in synaptic integration and synaptic plasticity of these neurons. PMID:12740112

  4. 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

  5. Ion channels induced by the prion protein: mediators of neurotoxicity.

    PubMed

    Solomon, Isaac H; Biasini, Emiliano; Harris, David A

    2012-01-01

    Prion diseases comprise a group of rapidly progressive and invariably fatal neurodegenerative disorders for which there are no effective treatments. While conversion of the cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) to a β-sheet rich isoform (PrP(Sc) ) is known to be a critical event in propagation of infectious prions, the identity of the neurotoxic form of PrP and its mechanism of action remain unclear. Insights into this mechanism have been provided by studying PrP molecules harboring deletions and point mutations in the conserved central region, encompassing residues 105-125. When expressed in transgenic mice, PrP deleted for these residues (Δ105-125) causes a spontaneous neurodegenerative illness that is reversed by co-expression of wild-type PrP. In cultured cells, Δ105-125 PrP confers hypersensitivity to certain cationic antibiotics and induces spontaneous ion channel activity that can be recorded by electrophysiological techniques. We have utilized these drug-hypersensitization and current-inducing activities to identify which PrP domains and subcellular locations are required for toxicity. We present an ion channel model for the toxicity of Δ105-125 PrP and related mutants and speculate how a similar mechanism could mediate PrP(Sc)-associated toxicity. Therapeutic regimens designed to inhibit prion-induced toxicity, as well as formation of PrP(Sc) , may prove to be the most clinically beneficial.

  6. Lubiprostone: a chloride channel activator.

    PubMed

    Lacy, Brian E; Levy, L Campbell

    2007-04-01

    In January 2006 the Food and Drug Administration approved lubiprostone for the treatment of chronic constipation in men and women aged 18 and over. Lubiprostone is categorized as a prostone, a bicyclic fatty acid metabolite of prostaglandin E1. Lubiprostone activates a specific chloride channel (ClC-2) in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract to enhance intestinal fluid secretion, which increases GI transit and improves symptoms of constipation. This article reviews the role of chloride channels in the GI tract, describes the structure, function, and pharmacokinetics of lubiprostone, and discusses clinically important data on this new medication.

  7. Transient receptor potential melastatin 1 (TRPM1) is an ion-conducting plasma membrane channel inhibited by zinc ions.

    PubMed

    Lambert, Sachar; Drews, Anna; Rizun, Oleksandr; Wagner, Thomas F J; Lis, Annette; Mannebach, Stefanie; Plant, Sandra; Portz, Melanie; Meissner, Marcel; Philipp, Stephan E; Oberwinkler, Johannes

    2011-04-08

    TRPM1 is the founding member of the melastatin subgroup of transient receptor potential (TRP) proteins, but it has not yet been firmly established that TRPM1 proteins form ion channels. Consequently, the biophysical and pharmacological properties of these proteins are largely unknown. Here we show that heterologous expression of TRPM1 proteins induces ionic conductances that can be activated by extracellular steroid application. However the current amplitudes observed were too small to enable a reliable biophysical characterization. We overcame this limitation by modifying TRPM1 channels in several independent ways that increased the similarity to the closely related TRPM3 channels. The resulting constructs produced considerably larger currents after overexpression. We also demonstrate that unmodified TRPM1 and TRPM3 proteins form functional heteromultimeric channels. With these approaches, we measured the divalent permeability profile and found that channels containing the pore of TRPM1 are inhibited by extracellular zinc ions at physiological concentrations, in contrast to channels containing only the pore of TRPM3. Applying these findings to pancreatic β cells, we found that TRPM1 proteins do not play a major role in steroid-activated currents of these cells. The inhibition of TRPM1 by zinc ions is primarily due to a short stretch of seven amino acids present only in the pore region of TRPM1 but not of TRPM3. Combined, our data demonstrate that TRPM1 proteins are bona fide ion-conducting plasma membrane channels. Their distinct biophysical properties allow a reliable identification of endogenous TRPM1-mediated currents.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Ion channels in postnatal neurogenesis: potential targets for brain repair.

    PubMed

    Swayne, Leigh Anne; Wicki-Stordeur, Leigh

    2012-01-01

    Neural stem and progenitor cells (NSC/NPCs) are unspecialized cells found in the adult peri-ventricular and sub-granular zones that are capable of self-renewal, migration, and differentiation into new neurons through the remarkable process of postnatal neurogenesis. We are now beginning to understand that the concerted action of ion channels, multi-pass transmembrane proteins that allow passage of ions across otherwise impermeable cellular membranes tightly regulate this process. Specific ion channels control proliferation, differentiation and survival. Furthermore, they have the potential to be highly selective drug targets due to their complex structures. As such, these proteins represent intriguing prospects for control and optimization of postnatal neurogenesis for neural regeneration following brain injury or disease. Here, we concentrate on ion channels identified in adult ventricular zone NSC/NPCs that have been found to influence the stages of neurogenesis. Finally, we outline the potential of these channels to elicit repair, and highlight the outstanding challenges.

  11. Antibody therapeutics targeting ion channels: are we there yet?

    PubMed

    Sun, Han; Li, Min

    2013-02-01

    The combination of technological advances, genomic sequences and market success is catalyzing rapid development of antibody-based therapeutics. Cell surface receptors and ion channel proteins are well known drug targets, but the latter has seen less success. The availability of crystal structures, better understanding of gating biophysics and validation of physiological roles now form an excellent foundation to pursue antibody-based therapeutics targeting ion channels to treat a variety of diseases.

  12. Antibody therapeutics targeting ion channels: are we there yet?

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Han; Li, Min

    2013-01-01

    The combination of technological advances, genomic sequences and market success is catalyzing rapid development of antibody-based therapeutics. Cell surface receptors and ion channel proteins are well known drug targets, but the latter has seen less success. The availability of crystal structures, better understanding of gating biophysics and validation of physiological roles now form an excellent foundation to pursue antibody-based therapeutics targeting ion channels to treat a variety of diseases. PMID:23381110

  13. 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.)

  14. Electrophysiology of lead intoxication: effects on voltage-sensitive ion channels.

    PubMed

    Audesirk, G

    1993-01-01

    Neuronal function depends on the activity of a variety of voltage-sensitive, ion-specific membrane channels, including channels permeable chiefly to sodium, potassium, and calcium. The plasma membranes of many neurons contain several types of each class of channel. In general, heavy metal ions exert little effect on voltage-sensitive sodium or potassium channels, but inhibit ion flow through voltage-sensitive calcium channels (VSCC). The literature abounds with descriptions of different types of calcium channels in vertebrate neurons. These descriptions suggest that there are many physiologically and pharmacologically distinct calcium channels, some of them possibly cell-type specific. Among the heavy metals, Pb2+ is one of the most potent inhibitors of VSCC in both vertebrate and invertebrate neurons. Some heavy metals, including Ni2+ and Cd2+, are fairly selective against certain types of calcium channels. Limited evidence suggests that Pb2+ inhibits all calcium channel types within a given cell, with only minor differences in potency. However, there appear to be substantial differences among cell types in the concentration dependence of calcium channel inhibition by Pb2+. Therefore, to appreciate the range of effects of Pb2+ on calcium channels throughout the nervous system, it will be important to examine a large number of cell types. Pb2+ is highly permeable through at least some types of VSCC. Entry of Pb2+ into the neuronal cytoplasm through VSCC, followed by disturbance of intracellular functions, may be a major mechanism of Pb2+ neurotoxicity.

  15. Evidence TRPV4 contributes to mechanosensitive ion channels in mouse skeletal muscle fibers.

    PubMed

    Ho, Tiffany C; Horn, Natalie A; Huynh, Tuan; Kelava, Lucy; Lansman, Jeffry B

    2012-01-01

    We recorded the activity of single mechanosensitive (MS) ion channels from membrane patches on single muscle fibers isolated from mice. We investigated the actions of various TRP (transient receptor potential) channel blockers on MS channel activity. 2-aminoethoxydiphenyl borate (2-APB) neither inhibited nor facilitated single channel activity at submillimolar concentrations. The absence of an effect of 2-APB indicates MS channels are not composed purely of TRPC or TRPV1, 2 or 3 proteins. Exposing patches to 1-oleolyl-2-acetyl-sn-glycerol (OAG), a potent activator of TRPC channels, also had no effect on MS channel activity. In addition, flufenamic acid and spermidine had no effect on the activity of single MS channels. By contrast, SKF-96365 and ruthenium red blocked single-channel currents at micromolar concentrations. SKF-96365 produced a rapid block of the open channel current. The blocking rate depended linearly on blocker concentration, while the unblocking rate was independent of concentration, consistent with a simple model of open channel block. A fit to the concentration-dependence of block gave k(on) = 13 x 10 ( 6) M (-1) s (-1) and k(off) = 1609 sec (-1) with K(D) = ~124 µM. Block by ruthenium red was complex, involving both reduction of the amplitude of the single-channel current and increased occupancy of subconductance levels. The reduction in current amplitude with increasing concentration of ruthenium red gave a K(D) = ~49 µM. The high sensitivity of MS channels to block by ruthenium red suggests MS channels in skeletal muscle contain TRPV subunits. Recordings from skeletal muscle isolated from TRPV4 knockout mice failed to show MS channel activity, consistent with a contribution of TRPV4. In addition, exposure to hypo-osmotic solutions increases opening of MS channels in muscle. Our results provide evidence TRPV4 contributes to MS channels in skeletal muscle.

  16. Permeation of ions across the potassium channel: Brownian dynamics studies.

    PubMed

    Chung, S H; Allen, T W; Hoyles, M; Kuyucak, S

    1999-11-01

    The physical mechanisms underlying the transport of ions across a model potassium channel are described. The shape of the model channel corresponds closely to that deduced from crystallography. From electrostatic calculations, we show that an ion permeating the channel, in the absence of any residual charges, encounters an insurmountable energy barrier arising from induced surface charges. Carbonyl groups along the selectivity filter, helix dipoles near the oval chamber, and mouth dipoles near the channel entrances together transform the energy barrier into a deep energy well. Two ions are attracted to this well, and their presence in the channel permits ions to diffuse across it under the influence of an electric field. Using Brownian dynamics simulations, we determine the magnitude of currents flowing across the channel under various conditions. The conductance increases with increasing dipole strength and reaches its maximum rapidly; a further increase in dipole strength causes a steady decrease in the channel conductance. The current also decreases systematically when the effective dielectric constant of the channel is lowered. The conductance with the optimal choice of dipoles reproduces the experimental value when the dielectric constant of the channel is assumed to be 60. The current-voltage relationship obtained with symmetrical solutions is linear when the applied potential is less than approximately 100 mV but deviates from Ohm's law at a higher applied potential. The reversal potentials obtained with asymmetrical solutions are in agreement with those predicted by the Nernst equation. The conductance exhibits the saturation property observed experimentally. We discuss the implications of these findings for the transport of ions across the potassium channels and membrane channels in general.

  17. Channelopathies: ion channel defects linked to heritable clinical disorders

    PubMed Central

    Felix, R.

    2000-01-01

    Electrical signals are critical for the function of neurones, muscle cells, and cardiac myocytes. Proteins that regulate electrical signalling in these cells, including voltage gated ion channels, are logical sites where abnormality might lead to disease. Genetic and biophysical approaches are being used to show that several disorders result from mutations in voltage gated ion channels. Understanding gained from early studies on the pathogenesis of a group of muscle diseases that are similar in their episodic nature (periodic paralysis) showed that these disorders result from mutations in a gene encoding a voltage gated Na+ channel. Their characterisation as channelopathies has served as a paradigm for other episodic disorders. For example, migraine headache and some forms of epilepsy have been shown to result from mutations in voltage gated Ca2+ channel genes, while long QT syndrome is known to result from mutations in either K+ or Na+ channel genes. This article reviews progress made in the complementary fields of molecular genetics and cellular electrophysiology which has led to a better understanding of voltage gated ion channelopathies in humans and mice.


Keywords: ion channel genetics; ion channel physiopathology; channelopathies; hereditary diseases PMID:11015449

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. The 13th Annual Aurora Biomed Ion Channel Retreat: Three Days of Research, Technology, and Networking.

    PubMed

    Magee, Kaylee E A; Stanwood, Shawna R

    2016-03-01

    The 13th Annual Ion Channel Retreat was held by Aurora Biomed in Vancouver, Canada from July 7 to 9, 2015. The meeting showcased prominent current research including cardiac safety and pharmacology; ion channel structure, function and engineering; transporters and ion pumps; screening technologies; ion channels as disease targets; alcohol, tobacco, and ion channels; and ion channels as pain targets. This report summarizes the work presented at the retreat.

  1. A role for ion channels in perivascular glioma invasion

    PubMed Central

    Thompson, Emily G.

    2017-01-01

    Malignant gliomas are devastating tumors, frequently killing those diagnosed in little over a year. The profuse infiltration of glioma cells into healthy tissue surrounding the main tumor mass is one of the major obstacles limiting the improvement of patient survival. Migration along the abluminal side of blood vessels is one of the salient features of glioma cell invasion. Invading glioma cells are attracted to the vascular network, in part by the neuro-peptide bradykinin, where glioma cells actively modify the gliovascular interface and undergo volumetric alterations to navigate the confined space. Critical to these volume modifications is a proposed hydrodynamic model that involves the flux of ions in and out of the cell, followed by osmotically obligated water. Ion and water channels expressed by the glioma cell are essential in this model of invasion and make opportune therapeutic targets. Lastly, there is growing evidence that vascular-associated glioma cells are able to control the vascular tone, presumably to free up space for invasion and growth. The unique mechanisms that enable perivascular glioma invasion may offer critical targets for therapeutic intervention in this devastating disease. Indeed, a chloride channel-blocking peptide has already been successfully tested in human clinical trials. PMID:27424110

  2. Emerging models of glutamate receptor ion channel structure and function.

    PubMed

    Mayer, Mark L

    2011-10-12

    Excitatory synaptic transmission in the brain is mediated by ligand-gated ion channels (iGluRs) activated by glutamate. Distinct from other neurotransmitter receptors, the extracellular domains of iGluRs are loosely packed assemblies with two clearly distinct layers, each of which has both local and global 2-fold axes of symmetry. By contrast, the iGluR transmembrane segments have 4-fold symmetry and share a conserved pore loop architecture found in tetrameric voltage-gated ion channels. The striking layered architecture of iGluRs revealed by the 3.6 Å resolution structure of an AMPA receptor homotetramer likely arose from gene fusion events that occurred early in evolution. Although this modular design has greatly facilitated biophysical and structural studies on individual iGluR domains, and suggested conserved mechanisms for iGluR gating, recent work is beginning to reveal unanticipated diversity in the structure, allosteric regulation, and assembly of iGluR subtypes.

  3. A role for ion channels in perivascular glioma invasion.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Emily G; Sontheimer, Harald

    2016-10-01

    Malignant gliomas are devastating tumors, frequently killing those diagnosed in little over a year. The profuse infiltration of glioma cells into healthy tissue surrounding the main tumor mass is one of the major obstacles limiting the improvement of patient survival. Migration along the abluminal side of blood vessels is one of the salient features of glioma cell invasion. Invading glioma cells are attracted to the vascular network, in part by the neuropeptide bradykinin, where glioma cells actively modify the gliovascular interface and undergo volumetric alterations to navigate the confined space. Critical to these volume modifications is a proposed hydrodynamic model that involves the flux of ions in and out of the cell, followed by osmotically obligated water. Ion and water channels expressed by the glioma cell are essential in this model of invasion and make opportune therapeutic targets. Lastly, there is growing evidence that vascular-associated glioma cells are able to control the vascular tone, presumably to free up space for invasion and growth. The unique mechanisms that enable perivascular glioma invasion may offer critical targets for therapeutic intervention in this devastating disease. Indeed, a chloride channel-blocking peptide has already been successfully tested in human clinical trials.

  4. How ion channels sense mechanical force: insights from mechanosensitive K2P channels TRAAK, TREK1, and TREK2.

    PubMed

    Brohawn, Stephen G

    2015-09-01

    The ability to sense and respond to mechanical forces is essential for life and cells have evolved a variety of systems to convert physical forces into cellular signals. Within this repertoire are the mechanosensitive ion channels, proteins that play critical roles in mechanosensation by transducing forces into ionic currents across cellular membranes. Understanding how these channels work, particularly in animals, remains a major focus of study. Here, I review the current understanding of force gating for a family of metazoan mechanosensitive ion channels, the two-pore domain K(+) channels (K2Ps) TRAAK, TREK1, and TREK2. Structural and functional insights have led to a physical model for mechanical activation of these channels. This model of force sensation by K2Ps is compared to force sensation by bacterial mechanosensitive ion channels MscL and MscS to highlight principles shared among these evolutionarily unrelated channels, as well as differences of potential functional relevance. Recent advances address fundamental questions and stimulate new ideas about these unique mechanosensors.

  5. Alternative paradigms for ion channelopathies: disorders of ion channel membrane trafficking and posttranslational modification.

    PubMed

    Curran, Jerry; Mohler, Peter J

    2015-01-01

    Channelopathies are a diverse set of disorders associated with defects in ion channel (and transporter) function. Although the vast majority of channelopathies are linked with inherited mutations that alter ion channel biophysical properties, another group of similar disorders has emerged that alter ion channel synthesis, membrane trafficking, and/or posttranslational modifications. In fact, some electrical and episodic disorders have now been identified that are not defects in the ion channel but instead reflect dysfunction in an ion channel (or transporter) regulatory protein. This review focuses on alternative paradigms for physiological disorders associated with protein biosynthesis, folding, trafficking, and membrane retention. Furthermore, the review highlights the role of aberrant posttranslational modifications in acquired channelopathies.

  6. Discrete Ba2+ block as a probe of ion occupancy and pore structure in the high-conductance Ca2+ -activated K+ channel

    PubMed Central

    1988-01-01

    In this study, high-conductance Ca2+-activated K+ channels from rat skeletal muscle were incorporated into planar phospholipid bilayers, and discrete blockade of single channels by Ba2+ was studied. With 150 mM K+ held constant in the internal solution, increasing external K+ over the range 100-1,000 mM raises the rate of Ba2+ dissociation. This "enhancement effect," which operates at K+ concentrations 3-4 orders of magnitude higher than those required for the "lockin" effect described previously, depends on applied voltage, saturates with K+ concentration, and is not observed with Na+. The voltage dependence of the Ba2+ off-rate varies with external K+ in a way suggesting that K+, entering the channel from the external side, forces Ba2+ dissociation to the internal solution. With K+ held fixed in the external solution, the Ba2+ off-rate decreases as internal K+ is raised over the range 0- 50 mM. This "lock-in" effect is similar to that seen on the external side (Neyton and Miller, 1988), except that the internal lock-in site is of lower affinity and shows only a fivefold preference for K+ over Na+. All the results taken together argue strongly that this channel's conduction pathway contains four sites of very high affinity for K+, all of which may be simultaneously occupied under normal conducting conditions. According to this view, the mutual destabilization resulting from this high ionic occupancy leads to the unusually high conductance of this K+-specific channel. PMID:3235974

  7. 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(+).

  8. Cytoskeletal Basis of Ion Channel Function in Cardiac Muscle

    PubMed Central

    Vatta, Matteo; Faulkner, Georgine

    2009-01-01

    Summary The heart is a force-generating organ that responds to self-generated electrical stimuli from specialized cardiomyocytes. This function is modulated by sympathetic and parasympathetic activity. In order to contract and accommodate the repetitive morphological changes induced by the cardiac cycle, cardiomyocytes depend on their highly evolved and specialized cytoskeletal apparatus. Defects in components of the cytoskeleton, in the long term, affect the ability of the cell to compensate at both functional and structural levels. In addition to the structural remodeling, the myocardium becomes increasingly susceptible to altered electrical activity leading to arrhythmogenesis. The development of arrhythmias secondary to structural remodeling defects has been noted, although the detailed molecular mechanisms are still elusive. Here I will review the current knowledge of the molecular and functional relationships between the cytoskeleton and ion channels and, I will discuss the future impact of new data on molecular cardiology research and clinical practice. PMID:19774097

  9. 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.

  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

    2015-10-08

    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.

  13. Cell-based potassium ion channel screening using the FluxOR assay.

    PubMed

    Beacham, Daniel W; Blackmer, Trillium; O' Grady, Michael; Hanson, George T

    2010-04-01

    FluxOR technology is a cell-based assay used for high-throughput screening measurements of potassium channel activity. Using thallium influx as a surrogate indicator of potassium ion channel activity, the FluxOR Potassium Ion Channel Assay is based on the activation of a novel fluorescent dye. This indicator reports channel activity with a large fluorogenic response and is proportional to the number of open potassium channels on the cell, making it extremely useful for studying K(+) channel targets. In contrast to BTC-AM ester, FluxOR dye is roughly 10-fold more thallium sensitive, requiring much lower thallium for a larger signal window. This also means that the assay is carried out in a physiological, normal-chloride saline. In this article, the authors describe how they used BacMam gene delivery to express Kv7.2 and 7.3 (KCNQ), Kir2.1, or Kv11.1 (hERG) potassium ion channels in U2-OS cells. Using these cells, they ran the FluxOR assay to identify and characterize channel-specific inhibitory compounds discovered within the library (Tocriscreen Mini 1200 and Sigma Sodium/Potassium Modulators Ligand set). The FluxOR assay was able to identify several known specific inhibitors of Kv7.2/7.3 or hERG, highlighting its potential to identify novel and more efficacious small-molecule modulators.

  14. Ion channels generating complex spikes in cartwheel cells of the dorsal cochlear nucleus.

    PubMed

    Kim, Yuil; Trussell, Laurence O

    2007-02-01

    Cartwheel cells are glycinergic interneurons that modify somatosensory input to the dorsal cochlear nucleus. They are characterized by firing of mixtures of both simple and complex action potentials. To understand what ion channels determine the generation of these two types of spike waveforms, we recorded from cartwheel cells using the gramicidin perforated-patch technique in brain slices of mouse dorsal cochlear nucleus and applied channel-selective blockers. Complex spikes were distinguished by whether they arose directly from a negative membrane potential or later during a long depolarization. Ca(2+) channels and Ca(2+)-dependent K(+) channels were major determinants of complex spikes. Onset complex spikes required T-type and possibly R-type Ca(2+) channels and were shaped by BK and SK K(+) channels. Complex spikes arising later in a depolarization were dependent on P/Q- and L-type Ca(2+) channels as well as BK and SK channels. BK channels also contributed to fast repolarization of simple spikes. Simple spikes featured an afterdepolarization that is probably the trigger for complex spiking and is shaped by T/R-type Ca(2+) and SK channels. Fast spikes were dependent on Na(+) channels; a large persistent Na(+) current may provide a depolarizing drive for spontaneous activity in cartwheel cells. Thus the diverse electrical behavior of cartwheel cells is determined by the interaction of a wide variety of ion channels with a prominent role played by Ca(2+).

  15. Turning a Poor Ion Channel into a Good Pump

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Astumian, Dean

    2003-05-01

    We consider a membrane protein that can exist in two configurations, either one of which acts as a poor ion channel, allowing ions to slowly leak across the membrane from high to low elctrochemical potential. We show that random external fluctuations can provide the energy to turn this poor channel into a good pump that drives ion transport from low to high electrochemical potential. We discuss this result in terms of a gambling analogy, and point to possible implications for fields as far ranging as population biology, economics, and actuarial science.

  16. 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

  17. Ion transport through a T-intersection of nanofluidic channels.

    PubMed

    Daiguji, Hirofumi; Adachi, Takuma; Tatsumi, Naoya

    2008-08-01

    Ion transport through a T-intersection of two silica nanochannels (a main channel, 5-mum long and 30-nm wide, and a subchannel, 5-microm long and 15-nm wide) with a surface charge distribution was investigated based on continuum dynamics calculations. The surface charge within 250 nm 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.

  18. Mechanosensitive ion channels in interstitial cells of Cajal and smooth muscle of the gastrointestinal tract.

    PubMed

    Kraichely, R E; Farrugia, G

    2007-04-01

    Normal gastrointestinal (GI) motility is required to mix digestive enzymes and food and to move content along the GI tract. Underlying the complex motor patterns of the gut are electrical events that reflect ion flux across cell membranes. Smooth muscle electrical activity is directly influenced by GI interstitial cells of Cajal, whose rhythmic oscillations in membrane potential in part determine the excitability of GI smooth muscle and its response to neuronal input. Coordinated activity of the ion channels responsible for the conductances that underlie ion flux in both smooth muscle and interstitial cells is a requisite for normal motility. These conductances are regulated by many factors, including mechanical stress. Recent studies have revealed mechanosensitivity at the level of the ion channels, and the mechanosensor within the channel has been identified in many cases. This has led to better comprehension of the role of mechanosensitive conductances in normal physiology and will undoubtedly lead to understanding of the consequences of disturbances in these conductances.

  19. Calcium Activation of Mougeotia Potassium Channels 1

    PubMed Central

    Lew, Roger R.; Serlin, Bruce S.; Schauf, Charles L.; Stockton, Marsha E.

    1990-01-01

    Phytochrome mediates chloroplast movement in the alga Mougeotia, possibly via changes in cytosolic calcium. It is known to regulate a calcium-activated potassium channel in the algal plasma membrane. As part of a characterization of the potassium channel, we examined the properties of calcium activation. The calcium ionophore A23187 activates the channel at external [Ca2+] as low as 20 micromolar. However, external [Ca2+] is not required for activation of the channel by photoactivated phytochrome. Furthermore, when an inhibitor of calcium release from internal stores, 8-(diethylamino)-octyl-3,4,5-trimethoxybenzoate, hydrochloride (TMB-8), is present, red light no longer stimulates channel activity. We conclude that phytochrome activates the plasma membrane potassium channel by releasing calcium from intracellular calcium vesicles; the elevated cytosolic calcium then stimulates channel activity by an unknown mechanism. In the presence of TMB-8, red light does induce chloroplast rotation; thus, potassium channel activation may not be coupled to chloroplast rotation. PMID:16667356

  20. Ion Concentration- and Voltage-Dependent Push and Pull Mechanisms of Potassium Channel Ion Conduction.

    PubMed

    Kasahara, Kota; Shirota, Matsuyuki; Kinoshita, Kengo

    2016-01-01

    The mechanism of ion conduction by potassium channels is one of the central issues in physiology. In particular, it is still unclear how the ion concentration and the membrane voltage drive ion conduction. We have investigated the dynamics of the ion conduction processes in the Kv1.2 pore domain, by molecular dynamics (MD) simulations with several different voltages and ion concentrations. By focusing on the detailed ion movements through the pore including selectivity filter (SF) and cavity, we found two major conduction mechanisms, called the III-IV-III and III-II-III mechanisms, and the balance between the ion concentration and the voltage determines the mechanism preference. In the III-IV-III mechanism, the outermost ion in the pore is pushed out by a new ion coming from the intracellular fluid, and four-ion states were transiently observed. In the III-II-III mechanism, the outermost ion is pulled out first, without pushing by incoming ions. Increases in the ion concentration and voltage accelerated ion conductions, but their mechanisms were different. The increase in the ion concentrations facilitated the III-IV-III conductions, while the higher voltages increased the III-II-III conductions, indicating that the pore domain of potassium channels permeates ions by using two different driving forces: a push by intracellular ions and a pull by voltage.

  1. A molecular framework for temperature-dependent gating of ion channels

    PubMed Central

    Chowdhury, Sandipan; Jarecki, Brian W.; Chanda, Baron

    2014-01-01

    Summary Perception of heat or cold in higher organisms is mediated by specialized ion channels whose gating is exquisitely sensitive to temperature. The physicochemical underpinnings of this temperature-sensitive gating have proven difficult to parse. Here, we took a bottom-up protein design approach, and rationally engineered ion channels to activate in response to thermal stimuli. By varying amino acid polarities at sites undergoing state-dependent changes in solvation, we were able to systematically confer temperature-sensitivity to a canonical voltage-gated ion channel. Our results imply that the specific heat capacity change during channel gating is a major determinant of thermo-sensitive gating. We also show that reduction of gating charges amplifies temperature-sensitivity of designer channels which accounts for low voltage-sensitivity in all known temperature-gated ion channels. These emerging principles suggest a plausible molecular mechanism for temperature-dependent gating that reconcile how ion channels with an overall conserved transmembrane architecture may exhibit a wide range of temperature-sensing phenotypes. PMID:25156949

  2. Involvement of ion channels and transporters in carcinoma angiogenesis and metastasis.

    PubMed

    Martial, Sonia

    2016-05-01

    Angiogenesis is a finely tuned process, which is the result of the equilibrium between pro- and antiangiogenic factors. In solid tumor angiogenesis, the balance is highly in favor of the production of new, but poorly functional blood vessels, initially intended to provide growing tumors with nutrients and oxygen. Among the numerous proteins involved in tumor development, several types of ion channels are overexpressed in tumor cells, as well as in stromal and endothelial cells. Ion channels thus actively participate in the different hallmarks of cancer, especially in tumor angiogenesis and metastasis. Indeed, from their strategic localization in the plasma membrane, ion channels are key operators of cell signaling, as they sense and respond to environmental changes. This review aims to decipher how ion channels of different families are intricately involved in the fundamental angiogenesis and metastasis hallmarks, which lead from a nascent tumor to systemic dissemination. An overview of the possible use of ion channels as therapeutic targets will also be given, showing that ion channel inhibitors or specific antibodies may provide effective tools, in the near future, in the treatment of carcinomas.

  3. 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.

  4. A golden approach to ion channel inhibition☆

    PubMed Central

    Jarvis, Gavin E.; Thompson, Andrew J.

    2013-01-01

    Drugs are often used in combination and, for pharmacologists, the manner of their interactions can cast light on drug mechanisms and biological processes. Here we provide simplified descriptions of commonly used analytical methods for analysing drug combinations and describe a new and practical experimental solution to address the mechanistic question: ‘Do two channel-blocking drugs bind at the same site?’ We define two simple mathematical models that describe the effects of two channel blockers acting simultaneously at either the same (Syntopic Model) or different (Allotopic Model) binding sites within a channel pore. We find that the optimum concentrations of two drugs for distinguishing between the two models are related to the mathematical Golden Ratio. PMID:23972927

  5. 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.

  6. Axonal voltage-gated ion channels as pharmacological targets for pain.

    PubMed

    Moldovan, Mihai; Alvarez, Susana; Romer Rosberg, Mette; Krarup, Christian

    2013-05-15

    Upon peripheral nerve injury (caused by trauma or disease process) axons of the dorsal root ganglion (DRG) somatosensory neurons have the ability to sprout and regrow/remyelinate to reinnervate distant target tissue or form a tangled scar mass called a neuroma. This regenerative response can become maladaptive leading to a persistent and debilitating pain state referred to as chronic pain corresponding to the clinical description of neuropathic/chronic inflammatory pain. There is little agreement to what causes peripheral chronic pain other than hyperactivity of the nociceptive DRG neurons which ultimately depends on the function of voltage-gated ion channels. This review focuses on the pharmacological modulators of voltage-gated ion channels known to be present on axonal membrane which represents by far the largest surface of DRG neurons. Blockers of voltage-gated Na(+) channels, openers of voltage-gated K(+) channels and blockers of hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated channels that were found to reduce neuronal activity were also found to be effective in neuropathic and inflammatory pain states. The isoforms of these channels present on nociceptive axons have limited specificity. The rationale for considering axonal voltage-gated ion channels as targets for pain treatment comes from the accumulating evidence that chronic pain states are associated with a dysregulation of these channels that could alter their specificity and make them more susceptible to pharmacological modulation. This drives the need for further development of subtype-specific voltage-gated ion channels modulators, as well as clinically available neurophysiological techniques for monitoring axonal ion channel function in peripheral nerves.

  7. Physiological and Pathological Functions of Mechanosensitive Ion Channels

    PubMed Central

    Gu, Yuanzheng; Gu, Chen

    2014-01-01

    Rapid sensation of mechanical stimuli is often mediated by mechanosensitve ion channels. Their opening results from conformational changes induced by mechanical forces. It leads to membrane permeation of selected ions and thereby to electrical signaling. Newly identified mechanosensitive ion channels are emerging at an astonishing rate, including some that are traditionally assigned for completely different functions. In this review, we first provide a brief overview of ion channels that are known to play a role in mechanosensation. Next, we focus on three representative ones, including the transient receptor potential channel V4 (TRPV4), Kv1.1 voltage-gated potassium (Kv) channel, and Piezo channels. Their structures, biophysical properties, expression and targeting patterns, and physiological functions are highlighted. The potential role of their mechanosensation in related diseases is further discussed. In sum, mechanosensation appears to be achieved in a variety of ways by different proteins and plays a fundamental role in the function of various organs under normal and abnormal conditions. PMID:24532247

  8. Local calcium signalling is mediated by mechanosensitive ion channels in mesenchymal stem cells.

    PubMed

    Chubinskiy-Nadezhdin, Vladislav I; Vasileva, Valeria Y; Pugovkina, Natalia A; Vassilieva, Irina O; Morachevskaya, Elena A; Nikolsky, Nikolay N; Negulyaev, Yuri A

    2017-01-22

    Mechanical forces are implicated in key physiological processes in stem cells, including proliferation, differentiation and lineage switching. To date, there is an evident lack of understanding of how external mechanical cues are coupled with calcium signalling in stem cells. Mechanical reactions are of particular interest in adult mesenchymal stem cells because of their promising potential for use in tissue remodelling and clinical therapy. Here, single channel patch-clamp technique was employed to search for cation channels involved in mechanosensitivity in mesenchymal endometrial-derived stem cells (hMESCs). Functional expression of native mechanosensitive stretch-activated channels (SACs) and calcium-sensitive potassium channels of different conductances in hMESCs was shown. Single current analysis of stretch-induced channel activity revealed functional coupling of SACs and BK channels in plasma membrane. The combination of cell-attached and inside-out experiments have indicated that highly localized Ca(2+) entry via SACs triggers BK channel activity. At the same time, SK channels are not coupled with SACs despite of high calcium sensitivity as compared to BK. Our data demonstrate novel mechanism controlling BK channel activity in native cells. We conclude that SACs and BK channels are clusterized in functional mechanosensitive domains in the plasma membrane of hMESCs. Co-clustering of ion channels may significantly contribute to mechano-dependent calcium signalling in stem cells.

  9. Ion channel gates: comparative analysis of energy barriers.

    PubMed

    Tai, Kaihsu; Haider, Shozeb; Grottesi, Alessandro; Sansom, Mark S P

    2009-04-01

    The energetic profile of an ion translated along the axis of an ion channel should reveal whether the structure corresponds to a functionally open or closed state of the channel. In this study, we explore the combined use of Poisson-Boltzmann electrostatic calculations and evaluation of van der Waals interactions between ion and pore to provide an initial appraisal of the gating state of a channel. This approach is exemplified by its application to the bacterial inward rectifier potassium channel KirBac3.1, where it reveals the closed gate to be formed by a ring of leucine (L124) side chains. We have extended this analysis to a comparative survey of gating profiles, including model hydrophobic nanopores, the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor, and a number of potassium channel structures and models. This enables us to identify three gating regimes, and to show the limitation of this computationally inexpensive method. For a (closed) gate radius of 0.4 nm < R < 0.8 nm, a hydrophobic gate may be present. For a gate radius of 0.2 nm < R < 0.4 nm, both electrostatic and van der Waals interactions will contribute to the barrier height. Below R = 0.2 nm, repulsive van der Waals interactions are likely to dominate, resulting in a sterically occluded gate. In general, the method is more useful when the channel is wider; for narrower channels, the flexibility of the protein may allow otherwise-unsurmountable energetic barriers to be overcome.

  10. Single Na+ channels activated by veratridine and batrachotoxin

    PubMed Central

    1987-01-01

    Voltage-sensitive Na+ channels from rat skeletal muscle plasma membrane vesicles were inserted into planar lipid bilayers in the presence of either of the alkaloid toxins veratridine (VT) or batrachotoxin (BTX). Both of these toxins are known to cause persistent activation of Na+ channels. With BTX as the channel activator, single channels remain open nearly all the time. Channels activated with VT open and close on a time scale of 1-10 s. Increasing the VT concentration enhances the probability of channel opening, primarily by increasing the rate constant of opening. The kinetics and voltage dependence of channel block by 21-sulfo-11-alpha-hydroxysaxitoxin are identical for VT and BTX, as is the ionic selectivity sequence determined by bi-ionic reversal potential (Na+ approximately Li+ greater than K+ greater than Rb+ greater than Cs+). However, there are striking quantitative differences in open channel conduction for channels in the presence of the two activators. Under symmetrical solution conditions, the single channel conductance for Na+ is about twice as high with BTX as with VT. Furthermore, the symmetrical solution single channel conductances show a different selectivity for BTX (Na+ greater than Li+ greater than K+) than for VT (Na+ greater than K+ greater than Li+). Open channel current-voltage curves in symmetrical Na+ and Li+ are roughly linear, while those in symmetrical K+ are inwardly rectifying. Na+ currents are blocked asymmetrically by K+ with both BTX and VT, but the voltage dependence of K+ block is stronger with BTX than with VT. The results show that the alkaloid neurotoxins not only alter the gating process of the Na+ channel, but also affect the structure of the open channel. We further conclude that the rate-determining step for conduction by Na+ does not occur at the channel's "selectivity filter," where poorly permeating ions like K+ are excluded. PMID:2435846

  11. Dependence of the beam-channel interaction force on the radial profiles of a relativistic electron beam and an ion channel in the ion-focusing regime

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kolesnikov, E. K.; Manuilov, A. S.

    2017-02-01

    We have derived the formulas for calculating the force of the interaction of a relativistic electron beam with an ion plasma channel in the case of the beam transportation during ion focusing. The dependence of the difference in radial profiles of the beam and the ion channel on this force for different amplitudes of beam deviations from the channel symmetry axis has been studied.

  12. Structure of a CLC chloride ion channel by cryo-electron microscopy.

    PubMed

    Park, Eunyong; Campbell, Ernest B; MacKinnon, Roderick

    2017-01-26

    CLC proteins transport chloride (Cl(-)) ions across cellular membranes to regulate muscle excitability, electrolyte movement across epithelia, and acidification of intracellular organelles. Some CLC proteins are channels that conduct Cl(-) ions passively, whereas others are secondary active transporters that exchange two Cl(-) ions for one H(+). The structural basis underlying these distinctive transport mechanisms is puzzling because CLC channels and transporters are expected to share the same architecture on the basis of sequence homology. Here we determined the structure of a bovine CLC channel (CLC-K) using cryo-electron microscopy. A conserved loop in the Cl(-) transport pathway shows a structure markedly different from that of CLC transporters. Consequently, the cytosolic constriction for Cl(-) passage is widened in CLC-K such that the kinetic barrier previously postulated for Cl(-)/H(+) transporter function would be reduced. Thus, reduction of a kinetic barrier in CLC channels enables fast flow of Cl(-) down its electrochemical gradient.

  13. 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

  14. Regulation of Sodium Channel Activity by Capping of Actin Filaments

    PubMed Central

    Shumilina, Ekaterina V.; Negulyaev, Yuri A.; Morachevskaya, Elena A.; Hinssen, Horst; Khaitlina, Sofia Yu

    2003-01-01

    Ion transport in various tissues can be regulated by the cortical actin cytoskeleton. Specifically, involvement of actin dynamics in the regulation of nonvoltage-gated sodium channels has been shown. Herein, inside-out patch clamp experiments were performed to study the effect of the heterodimeric actin capping protein CapZ on sodium channel regulation in leukemia K562 cells. The channels were activated by cytochalasin-induced disruption of actin filaments and inactivated by G-actin under ionic conditions promoting rapid actin polymerization. CapZ had no direct effect on channel activity. However, being added together with G-actin, CapZ prevented actin-induced channel inactivation, and this effect occurred at CapZ/actin molar ratios from 1:5 to 1:100. When actin was allowed to polymerize at the plasma membrane to induce partial channel inactivation, subsequent addition of CapZ restored the channel activity. These results can be explained by CapZ-induced inhibition of further assembly of actin filaments at the plasma membrane due to the modification of actin dynamics by CapZ. No effect on the channel activity was observed in response to F-actin, confirming that the mechanism of channel inactivation does not involve interaction of the channel with preformed filaments. Our data show that actin-capping protein can participate in the cytoskeleton-associated regulation of sodium transport in nonexcitable cells. PMID:12686620

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Bilayer lipid membranes supported on Teflon filters: a functional environment for ion channels.

    PubMed

    Phung, Thai; Zhang, Yanli; Dunlop, James; Dalziel, Julie

    2011-03-15

    Many ion channel proteins have binding sites for toxins and pharmaceutical drugs and therefore have much promise as the sensing entity in high throughput technologies and biosensor devices. Measurement of ionic conductance changes through ion channels requires a robust biological membrane with sufficient longevity for practical applications. The conventional planar BLM is 100-300 μm in diameter and typically contains fewer than a dozen channels whereas pharmaceutical screening methods in cells use current recordings for many ion channels. We present a new, simple method for the fabrication of a disposable porous-supported bilayer lipid membrane (BLM) ion channel biosensor using hydrated Teflon (polytetrafluoroethylene, PTFE) filter material (pore size 5 μm, filter diameter=1 mm). The lipid layer was monitored for its thickness and mechanical stability by electrical impedance spectroscopy. The results showed membrane capacitances of 1.8±0.2 nF and membrane resistances of 25.9±4.1 GΩ, indicating the formation of lipid bilayers. The current level increased upon addition of the pore-forming peptide gramicidin. Following addition of liposomes containing voltage-gated sodium channels, small macroscopic sodium currents (1-80 pA) could be recorded. By preloading the porous Teflon with sodium channel proteoliposomes, prior to BLM formation, currents of 1-10 nA could be recorded in the presence of the activator veratridine that increased with time, and were inhibited by tetrodotoxin. A lack of rectification suggests that the channels incorporated in both orientations. This work demonstrates that PTFE filters can support BLMs that provide an environment in which ion channels can maintain their functional activity relevant for applications in drug discovery, toxin detection, and odour sensing.

  18. 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

  19. Molecular dynamics - potential of mean force calculations as a tool for understanding ion permeation and selectivity in narrow channels.

    PubMed

    Allen, Toby W; Andersen, Olaf S; Roux, Benoit

    2006-12-01

    Ion channels catalyze the permeation of charged molecules across cell membranes and are essential for many vital physiological functions, including nerve and muscle activity. To understand better the mechanisms underlying ion conduction and valence selectivity of narrow ion channels, we have employed free energy techniques to calculate the potential of mean force (PMF) for ion movement through the prototypical gramicidin A channel. Employing modern all-atom molecular dynamics (MD) force fields with umbrella sampling methods that incorporate one hundred 1-2 ns trajectories, we find that it is possible to achieve semi-quantitative agreement with experimental binding and conductance measurements. We also examine the sensitivity of the MD-PMF results to the choice of MD force field and compare PMFs for potassium, calcium and chloride ions to explore the basis for the valence selectivity of this narrow and uncharged ion channel. A large central barrier is observed for both anions and divalent ions, consistent with lack of experimental conductance. Neither anion or divalent cation is seen to be stabilized inside the channel relative to the bulk electrolyte and each leads to large disruptions to the protein and membrane structure when held deep inside the channel. Weak binding of calcium ions outside the channel corresponds to a free energy well that is too shallow to demonstrate channel blocking. Our findings emphasize the success of the MD-PMF approach and the sensitivity of ion energetics to the choice of biomolecular force field.

  20. Calcium-permeable ion channels in the kidney.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Yiming; Greka, Anna

    2016-06-01

    Calcium ions (Ca(2+)) are crucial for a variety of cellular functions. The extracellular and intracellular Ca(2+) concentrations are thus tightly regulated to maintain Ca(2+) homeostasis. The kidney, one of the major organs of the excretory system, regulates Ca(2+) homeostasis by filtration and reabsorption. Approximately 60% of the Ca(2+) in plasma is filtered, and 99% of that is reabsorbed by the kidney tubules. Ca(2+) is also a critical signaling molecule in kidney development, in all kidney cellular functions, and in the emergence of kidney diseases. Recently, studies using genetic and molecular biological approaches have identified several Ca(2+)-permeable ion channel families as important regulators of Ca(2+) homeostasis in kidney. These ion channel families include transient receptor potential channels (TRP), voltage-gated calcium channels, and others. In this review, we provide a brief and systematic summary of the expression, function, and pathological contribution for each of these Ca(2+)-permeable ion channels. Moreover, we discuss their potential as future therapeutic targets.

  1. Ion channels and osteoarthritic pain: potential for novel analgesics.

    PubMed

    Staunton, C A; Lewis, R; Barrett-Jolley, R

    2013-12-01

    Osteoarthritis (OA) is a debilitating chronic condition widely prevalent in ageing populations. Because the pathology of the disease includes cartilage erosion and joint remodelling, OA patients experience a great deal of pain. Despite numerous studies, details of OA are frequently inseparable from other types of chronic pain, and its causes are unknown. In most circumstances in OA, the cartilage lacks afferent innervation, although other joint tissues contain nociceptive neurones. In addition to physical joint damage, there is a strong element of joint inflammation. Genetic studies have identified several associations between ion channels and OA pain, including NaV1.7, P2X7, and TRPV1, but several other channels have also been implicated. Many ion channels involved with OA pain are common to those seen in inflammatory pain. This review considers causes of OA pain and discusses three possible pain-reducing strategies involving ion channel modulation: chondroprotection, innate afferent nerve inhibition, and inhibition of inflammatory hyperalgesia. Future targets for OA pain analgesia could involve a number of ion channels.

  2. Modeling ion channel dynamics through reflected stochastic differential equations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  3. 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.

  4. Mechanistic and therapeutic perspectives for cardiac arrhythmias: beyond ion channels.

    PubMed

    Wu, Yufei; Li, Jun; Xu, Liang; Lin, Li; Chen, Yi-Han

    2017-03-24

    Cardiac arrhythmias are among the most common causes of death in the world. Foundational studies established the critical role of ion channel disorders in arrhythmias, yet defects in ion channels themselves, such as mutations, may not account for all arrhythmias. Despite the progress made in recent decades, the antiarrhythmic drugs currently available have limited effectiveness, and the majority of these drugs can have proarrhythmic effects. This review describes novel knowledge on cellular mechanisms that cause cardiac arrhythmias, focuses on the dysfunction of subcellular organelles and intracellular logistics, and discusses potential strategies and challenges for developing novel, safe and effective treatments for arrhythmias.

  5. 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.

  6. Molecular mechanism of pharmacological activation of BK channels

    PubMed Central

    Gessner, Guido; Cui, Yong-Mei; Otani, Yuko; Ohwada, Tomohiko; Soom, Malle; Hoshi, Toshinori; Heinemann, Stefan H.

    2012-01-01

    Large-conductance voltage- and Ca2+-activated K+ (Slo1 BK) channels serve numerous cellular functions, and their dysregulation is implicated in various diseases. Drugs activating BK channels therefore bear substantial therapeutic potential, but their deployment has been hindered in part because the mode of action remains obscure. Here we provide mechanistic insight into how the dehydroabietic acid derivative Cym04 activates BK channels. As a representative of NS1619-like BK openers, Cym04 reversibly left-shifts the half-activation voltage of Slo1 BK channels. Using an established allosteric BK gating model, the Cym04 effect can be simulated by a shift of the voltage sensor and the ion conduction gate equilibria toward the activated and open state, respectively. BK activation by Cym04 occurs in a splice variant-specific manner; it does not occur in such Slo1 BK channels using an alternative neuronal exon 9, which codes for the linker connecting the transmembrane segment S6 and the cytosolic RCK1 domain—the S6/RCK linker. In addition, Cym04 does not affect Slo1 BK channels with a two-residue deletion within this linker. Mutagenesis and model-based gating analysis revealed that BK openers, such as Cym04 and NS1619 but not mallotoxin, activate BK channels by functionally interacting with the S6/RCK linker, mimicking site-specific shortening of this purported passive spring, which transmits force from the cytosolic gating ring structure to open the channel's gate. PMID:22331907

  7. Ion channels at the nucleus: electrophysiology meets the genome.

    PubMed

    Matzke, Antonius J M; Weiger, Thomas M; Matzke, Marjori

    2010-07-01

    The nuclear envelope is increasingly viewed from an electrophysiological perspective by researchers interested in signal transduction pathways that influence gene transcription and other processes in the nucleus. Here, we describe evidence for ion channels and transporters in the nuclear membranes and for possible ion gating by the nuclear pores. We argue that a systems-level understanding of cellular regulation is likely to require the assimilation of nuclear electrophysiology into molecular and biochemical signaling pathways.

  8. 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.

  9. Ion channels in human red blood cell membrane: actors or relics?

    PubMed

    Thomas, Serge L Y; Bouyer, Guillaume; Cueff, Anne; Egée, Stéphane; Glogowska, Edyta; Ollivaux, Céline

    2011-04-15

    During the past three decades, electrophysiological studies revealed that human red blood cell membrane is endowed with a large variety of ion channels. The physiological role of these channels, if any, remains unclear; they do not participate in red cell homeostasis which is rather based on the almost total absence of cationic permeability and minute anionic conductance. They seem to be inactive in the "resting cell." However, when activated experimentally, ion channels can lead to a very high single cell conductance and potentially induce disorders, with the major risks of fast dehydration and dissipation of gradients. Could there be physiological conditions under which the red cell needs to activate these high conductances, or are ion channels relics of a function lost in anucleated cells? It has been demonstrated that they play a key role in diseases such as sickle cell anemia or malaria. This short overview of ion channels identified to-date in the human red cell membrane is an attempt to propose a dynamic role for these channels in circulating cells in health and disease.

  10. Properties of cytotoxic peptide-formed ion channels.

    PubMed

    Kourie, J I; Shorthouse, A A

    2000-06-01

    Cytotoxic peptides are relatively small cationic molecules such as those found 1) in venoms, e.g., melittin in bee, scorpion toxins in scorpion, pilosulin 1 in jumper ant, and lycotoxin I and II in wolf spider; 2) in skin secretions (e.g., magainin I and II from Xenopus laevis, dermaseptin from frog, antimicrobials from carp) and cells of the immune system (e.g., insect, scorpion, and mammalian defensins and cryptdins); 3) as autocytotoxicity peptides, e.g., amylin cytotoxic to pancreatic beta-cells, prion peptide fragment 106-126 [PrP-(106-126)], and amyloid beta-protein (AbetaP) cytotoxic to neurons; and 4) as designed synthetic peptides based on the sequences and properties of naturally occurring cytotoxic peptides. The small cytotoxic peptides are composed of beta-sheets, e.g., mammalian defensins, AbetaP, amylin, and PrP-(106-126), whereas the larger cytotoxic peptides have several domains composed of both alpha-helices and beta-sheets stabilized by cysteine bonds, e.g., scorpion toxins, scorpion, and insect defensins. Electrophysiological and molecular biology techniques indicate that these structures modify cell membranes via 1) interaction with intrinsic ion transport proteins and/or 2) formation of ion channels. These two nonexclusive mechanisms of action lead to changes in second messenger systems that further augment the abnormal electrical activity and distortion of the signal transduction causing cell death.

  11. Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes: Mimics of Biological Ion Channels

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    Here we report on the ion conductance through individual, small diameter single-walled carbon nanotubes. We find that they are mimics of ion channels found in natural systems. We explore the factors governing the ion selectivity and permeation through single-walled carbon nanotubes by considering an electrostatic mechanism built around a simplified version of the Gouy–Chapman theory. We find that the single-walled carbon nanotubes preferentially transported cations and that the cation permeability is size-dependent. The ionic conductance increases as the absolute hydration enthalpy decreases for monovalent cations with similar solid-state radii, hydrated radii, and bulk mobility. Charge screening experiments using either the addition of cationic or anionic polymers, divalent metal cations, or changes in pH reveal the enormous impact of the negatively charged carboxylates at the entrance of the single-walled carbon nanotubes. These observations were modeled in the low-to-medium concentration range (0.1–2.0 M) by an electrostatic mechanism that mimics the behavior observed in many biological ion channel-forming proteins. Moreover, multi-ion conduction in the high concentration range (>2.0 M) further reinforces the similarity between single-walled carbon nanotubes and protein ion channels. PMID:28103039

  12. Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes: Mimics of Biological Ion Channels.

    PubMed

    Amiri, Hasti; Shepard, Kenneth L; Nuckolls, Colin; Hernández Sánchez, Raúl

    2017-02-08

    Here we report on the ion conductance through individual, small diameter single-walled carbon nanotubes. We find that they are mimics of ion channels found in natural systems. We explore the factors governing the ion selectivity and permeation through single-walled carbon nanotubes by considering an electrostatic mechanism built around a simplified version of the Gouy-Chapman theory. We find that the single-walled carbon nanotubes preferentially transported cations and that the cation permeability is size-dependent. The ionic conductance increases as the absolute hydration enthalpy decreases for monovalent cations with similar solid-state radii, hydrated radii, and bulk mobility. Charge screening experiments using either the addition of cationic or anionic polymers, divalent metal cations, or changes in pH reveal the enormous impact of the negatively charged carboxylates at the entrance of the single-walled carbon nanotubes. These observations were modeled in the low-to-medium concentration range (0.1-2.0 M) by an electrostatic mechanism that mimics the behavior observed in many biological ion channel-forming proteins. Moreover, multi-ion conduction in the high concentration range (>2.0 M) further reinforces the similarity between single-walled carbon nanotubes and protein ion channels.

  13. 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

  14. Scorpion venom components that affect ion-channels function

    PubMed Central

    Quintero-Hernández, V.; Jiménez-Vargas, J.M.; Gurrola, G.B.; Valdivia, H.H.F.; Possani, L.D.

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY The number and types of venom components that affect ion-channel function are reviewed. These are the most important venom components responsible for human intoxication, deserving medical attention, often requiring the use of specific anti-venoms. Special emphasis is given to peptides that recognize Na+-, K+- and Ca++-channels of excitable cells. Knowledge generated by direct isolation of peptides from venom and components deduced from cloned genes, whose amino acid sequences are deposited into databanks are now adays in the order of 1.5 thousands, out of an estimate biodiversity closed to 300,000. Here the diversity of components is briefly reviewed with mention to specific references. Structural characteristic are discussed with examples taken from published work. The principal mechanisms of action of the three different types of peptides are also reviewed. Na+-channel specific venom components usually are modifier of the open and closing kinetic mechanisms of the ion-channels, whereas peptides affecting K+-channels are normally pore blocking agents. The Ryanodine Ca++-channel specific peptides are known for causing sub-conducting stages of the channels conductance and some were shown to be able to internalize penetrating inside the muscle cells. PMID:23891887

  15. Toward a unifying model of malaria-induced channel activity

    PubMed Central

    Bouyer, Guillaume; Egée, Stéphane; Thomas, Serge L. Y.

    2007-01-01

    Infection of RBC by the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum activates, at the trophozoite stage, a membrane current 100- to 150-fold larger than in uninfected RBC. This current is carried by small anion channels initially described in supraphysiological ion concentrations (1.115 M Cl−) and named plasmodial surface anion channels (PSAC), suggesting their plasmodial origin. Our results obtained with physiological ion concentrations (0.145 M Cl−) support the notion that the parasite-induced channels represent enhanced activity versions of anion channels already present in uninfected RBCs. Among them, an 18-pS inwardly rectifying anion channel (IRC) and a 4- to 5-pS small conductance anion channel (SCC) were present in most single-channel recordings of infected membranes. The aim of this study was to clarify disparities in the reported electrophysiological data and to investigate possible technical reasons why these discrepancies have arisen. We demonstrate that PSAC is the supraphysiological correlate of the SCC and is inhibited by Zn2+, suggesting that it is a ClC-2 channel. We show that in physiological solutions 80% of the membrane conductance in infected cells can be accounted for by IRC and 20% can be accounted for by SCC whereas in supraphysiological conditions the membrane conductance is almost exclusively carried by SCC (PSAC) because the IRC is functionally turned off. PMID:17576926

  16. Physical basis of apparent pore-dilation of ATP-activated P2X receptor channels

    PubMed Central

    Li, Mufeng; Toombes, Gilman E S; Silberberg, Shai D; Swartz, Kenton J

    2016-01-01

    The selectivity of ion channels is fundamental for their roles in electrical and chemical signaling, and ion homeostasis. Although most ion channels exhibit stable ion selectivity, the prevailing view for purinergic P2X receptor channels, transient receptor potential V1 (TRPV1) channels and acid sensing ion channels (ASICs) is that their ion conduction pores dilate upon prolonged activation. We investigated this mechanism in P2X receptors and found that the hallmark shift in equilibrium potential observed with prolonged channel activation does not result from pore dilation, but from time-dependent alterations in the concentration of intracellular ions. We derived a physical model to calculate ion concentration changes during patch-clamp recordings, which validates our experimental findings and provides a quantitative guideline for effectively controlling ion concentration. Our results have fundamental implications for understanding ion permeation and gating in P2X receptor channels, and more broadly for using patch-clamp techniques to study ion channels and neuronal excitability. PMID:26389841

  17. Dual Regulation of Voltage-Sensitive Ion Channels by PIP(2).

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Menchaca, Aldo A; Adney, Scott K; Zhou, Lei; Logothetis, Diomedes E

    2012-01-01

    Over the past 16 years, there has been an impressive number of ion channels shown to be sensitive to the major phosphoinositide in the plasma membrane, phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP(2)). Among them are voltage-gated channels, which are crucial for both neuronal and cardiac excitability. Voltage-gated calcium (Cav) channels were shown to be regulated bidirectionally by PIP(2). On one hand, PIP(2) stabilized their activity by reducing current rundown but on the other hand it produced a voltage-dependent inhibition by shifting the activation curve to more positive voltages. For voltage-gated potassium (Kv) channels PIP(2) was first shown to prevent N-type inactivation regardless of whether the fast inactivation gate was part of the pore-forming α subunit or of an accessory β subunit. Careful examination of the effects of PIP(2) on the activation mechanism of Kv1.2 has shown a similar bidirectional regulation as in the Cav channels. The two effects could be distinguished kinetically, in terms of their sensitivities to PIP(2) and by distinct molecular determinants. The rightward shift of the Kv1.2 voltage dependence implicated basic residues in the S4-S5 linker and was consistent with stabilization of the inactive state of the voltage sensor. A third type of a voltage-gated ion channel modulated by PIP(2) is the hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN) channel. PIP(2) has been shown to enhance the opening of HCN channels by shifting their voltage-dependent activation toward depolarized potentials. The sea urchin HCN channel, SpIH, showed again a PIP(2)-mediated bidirectional effect but in reverse order than the depolarization-activated Cav and Kv channels: a voltage-dependent potentiation, like the mammalian HCN channels, but also an inhibition of the cGMP-induced current activation. Just like the Kv1.2 channels, distinct molecular determinants underlied the PIP(2) dual effects on SpIH, with the proximal C-terminus implicated in the

  18. Normal axonal ion channel function in large peripheral nerve fibers following chronic ciguatera sensitization.

    PubMed

    Vucic, Steve; Kiernan, Matthew C

    2008-03-01

    Although the acute clinical effects of ciguatera poisoning, due to ingestion of ciguatoxin, are mediated by activation of transient Na+ channels, the mechanisms underlying ciguatera sensitization remain undefined. Axonal excitability studies were performed by stimulating the median motor and sensory nerves in two patients with ciguatera sensitization. Excitability parameters were all within normal limits, thereby arguing against dysfunction of axonal membrane ion channels in large-diameter fibers in ciguatera sensitization.

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25733897

  1. Role of Ca++ Influx via Epidermal TRP Ion Channels

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-10-01

    moisturization parameters in response to modulation of TRPV1 , 3 and 4 and TRPA1 in normal human skin as it is subjected to mechanical stress. (2) to assess...subjected it to reverse transcriptase, followed by quantitative PCR. We detected all TRP ion channels under study ( TRPV1 , TRPV3, TRPV4, TRPA1) as well as

  2. The Rotavirus NSP4 Viroporin Domain is a Calcium-conducting Ion Channel

    PubMed Central

    Pham, Thieng; Perry, Jacob L.; Dosey, Timothy L.; Delcour, Anne H.; Hyser, Joseph M.

    2017-01-01

    Viroporins are small virus-encoded ion channel proteins. Most viroporins are monovalent selective cation channels, with few showing the ability to conduct divalent cations, like calcium (Ca2+). Nevertheless, some viroporins are known to disrupt host cell Ca2+ homeostasis, which is critical for virus replication and pathogenesis. Rotavirus nonstructural protein 4 (NSP4) is an endoplasmic reticulum transmembrane glycoprotein that has a viroporin domain (VPD), and NSP4 viroporin activity elevates cytosolic Ca2+ in mammalian cells. The goal of this study was to demonstrate that the NSP4 VPD forms an ion channel and determine whether the channel can conduct Ca2+. Using planar lipid bilayer and liposome patch clamp electrophysiology, we show that a synthetic peptide of the NSP4 VPD has ion channel activity. The NSP4 VPD was selective for cations over anions and channel activity was observed to have both well-defined “square top” openings as well as fast current fluctuations, similar to other viroporins. Importantly, the NSP4 VPD showed similar conductance of divalent cations (Ca2+ and Ba2+) as monovalent cations (K+), but a viroporin defective mutant lacked Ca2+ conductivity. These data demonstrate that the NSP4 VPD is a Ca2+-conducting viroporin and establish the mechanism by which NSP4 disturbs host cell Ca2+ homeostasis. PMID:28256607

  3. Selectivity filter gating in large-conductance Ca(2+)-activated K+ channels.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Jill; Begenisich, Ted

    2012-03-01

    Membrane voltage controls the passage of ions through voltage-gated K (K(v)) channels, and many studies have demonstrated that this is accomplished by a physical gate located at the cytoplasmic end of the pore. Critical to this determination were the findings that quaternary ammonium ions and certain peptides have access to their internal pore-blocking sites only when the channel gates are open, and that large blocking ions interfere with channel closing. Although an intracellular location for the physical gate of K(v) channels is well established, it is not clear if such a cytoplasmic gate exists in all K(+) channels. Some studies on large-conductance, voltage- and Ca(2+)-activated K(+) (BK) channels suggest a cytoplasmic location for the gate, but other findings question this conclusion and, instead, support the concept that BK channels are gated by the pore selectivity filter. If the BK channel is gated by the selectivity filter, the interactions between the blocking ions and channel gating should be influenced by the permeant ion. Thus, we tested tetrabutyl ammonium (TBA) and the Shaker "ball" peptide (BP) on BK channels with either K(+) or Rb(+) as the permeant ion. When tested in K(+) solutions, both TBA and the BP acted as open-channel blockers of BK channels, and the BP interfered with channel closing. In contrast, when Rb(+) replaced K(+) as the permeant ion, TBA and the BP blocked both closed and open BK channels, and the BP no longer interfered with channel closing. We also tested the cytoplasmically gated Shaker K channels and found the opposite behavior: the interactions of TBA and the BP with these K(v) channels were independent of the permeant ion. Our results add significantly to the evidence against a cytoplasmic gate in BK channels and represent a positive test for selectivity filter gating.

  4. Selectivity filter gating in large-conductance Ca2+-activated K+ channels

    PubMed Central

    Thompson, Jill

    2012-01-01

    Membrane voltage controls the passage of ions through voltage-gated K (Kv) channels, and many studies have demonstrated that this is accomplished by a physical gate located at the cytoplasmic end of the pore. Critical to this determination were the findings that quaternary ammonium ions and certain peptides have access to their internal pore-blocking sites only when the channel gates are open, and that large blocking ions interfere with channel closing. Although an intracellular location for the physical gate of Kv channels is well established, it is not clear if such a cytoplasmic gate exists in all K+ channels. Some studies on large-conductance, voltage- and Ca2+-activated K+ (BK) channels suggest a cytoplasmic location for the gate, but other findings question this conclusion and, instead, support the concept that BK channels are gated by the pore selectivity filter. If the BK channel is gated by the selectivity filter, the interactions between the blocking ions and channel gating should be influenced by the permeant ion. Thus, we tested tetrabutyl ammonium (TBA) and the Shaker “ball” peptide (BP) on BK channels with either K+ or Rb+ as the permeant ion. When tested in K+ solutions, both TBA and the BP acted as open-channel blockers of BK channels, and the BP interfered with channel closing. In contrast, when Rb+ replaced K+ as the permeant ion, TBA and the BP blocked both closed and open BK channels, and the BP no longer interfered with channel closing. We also tested the cytoplasmically gated Shaker K channels and found the opposite behavior: the interactions of TBA and the BP with these Kv channels were independent of the permeant ion. Our results add significantly to the evidence against a cytoplasmic gate in BK channels and represent a positive test for selectivity filter gating. PMID:22371364

  5. 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.

  6. The Tenth Annual Ion Channel Retreat, Vancouver, Canada, June 25–27, 2012

    PubMed Central

    Kimlicka, Lynn; Liang, Sophia; Brugger, Saranna; Liang, Dong

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Ten years after Aurora Biomed (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada) hosted the inaugural Ion Channel Retreat, this event is recognized as a leading conference for ion channel researchers. Held annually in Vancouver, this meeting consistently provides an outlet for researchers to share their findings while learning about new concepts, methods, and technologies. Researchers use this forum to discuss and debate a spectrum of topics from ion channel research and technology to drug discovery and safety. The Retreat covered key subjects in the ion channel industry, including ion channels as disease targets, transient receptor protein channels as pain and disease targets, ion channels as pain targets, ion channel structure and function, ion channel screening technologies, cardiac safety and toxicology, and cardiac function and pharmacology. PMID:23679851

  7. The tenth annual Ion Channel Retreat, Vancouver, Canada, June 25-27, 2012.

    PubMed

    Kimlicka, Lynn; Jamieson, Ashley Lauren; Liang, Sophia; Brugger, Saranna; Liang, Dong

    2013-05-01

    Ten years after Aurora Biomed (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada) hosted the inaugural Ion Channel Retreat, this event is recognized as a leading conference for ion channel researchers. Held annually in Vancouver, this meeting consistently provides an outlet for researchers to share their findings while learning about new concepts, methods, and technologies. Researchers use this forum to discuss and debate a spectrum of topics from ion channel research and technology to drug discovery and safety. The Retreat covered key subjects in the ion channel industry, including ion channels as disease targets, transient receptor protein channels as pain and disease targets, ion channels as pain targets, ion channel structure and function, ion channel screening technologies, cardiac safety and toxicology, and cardiac function and pharmacology.

  8. The ninth annual Ion Channel Retreat, Vancouver, Canada, June 27-29, 2011.

    PubMed

    Brugger, Saranna; Garate, Marco; Papaianni, Gina; Volnoukhin, Maria; Zhan, Chris; Gill, Sikander; Liang, Sophia; Liang, Dong

    2011-12-01

    Nine years ago Aurora Biomed Inc. (Vancouver, Canada) committed to gathering the brightest minds and the most innovative research companies at one conference. The Ion Channel Retreat provides a podium for scientific discourse spanning a wide range of ion channel disciplines. This conference has consistently provided a venue for people to share knowledge, exchange ideas, and establish partnerships. This conference continues to expand and grow each year, demonstrating the value of such a conference. Attendees at the 2011 Ion Channel retreat presented ion channel research from 12 different countries, representing research groups located on 5 of the 7 continents. Aurora Biomed's 2011 Retreat covered a variety of topics including Ion Channels as Disease Targets, Ion Channels as Pain Targets, TRP-channels, Ion Channel Screening Technologies, Cardiac Function and Pharmacology, Cardiac Safety and Toxicology, and Structure and Function of Ion Channels.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Influence of planar oscillations on scattered ion energy distributions in transmission ion channeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bailes, A. A.; Seiberling, L. E.

    1999-06-01

    Utilizing the transmission ion channeling technique and a Monte Carlo simulation of the channeling of He ions in Si, we have been able to determine surface structure by comparing experimental to simulated scattered ion energy distributions. In analyzing data for {110} beam incidence, we have found that planar oscillations persist well past 2000 Å in our Monte Carlo simulations. These oscillations yield no benefit to this method of data analysis but can make analysis more difficult by the requirement for more accurate Si thickness determination.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Nicotine effect on cardiovascular system and ion channels.

    PubMed

    Hanna, Salma Toma

    2006-03-01

    Smoking is a leading cause of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, myocardial infarction, and stroke. Nicotine is one of the components of cigarette smoke. Nicotine effects on the cardiovascular system reflect the activity of the nicotine receptors centrally and on peripheral autonomic ganglia. It has been found that cigarette smoke extract-induced contraction of porcine coronary arteries is related to superoxide anion-mediated degradation of nitric oxide. Treatment of rabbit aortas with an oxygen free radicals scavenger attenuated cigarette smoke impairment of arterial relaxation. Treatment of smokers with vitamin C, an antioxidant, improved impaired endothelium-dependent reactivity of large peripheral arteries. Thus it appears that chronic smoking and acute exposure to cigarette smoke extract may alter endothelium-dependent reactivity via the production of oxygen derived free radicals. This review discusses the effects of nicotine on resistance arterioles, compliance arteries, smooth muscle cells, and ion channels in the cardiovascular system. We discuss studies performed on humans, nicotine-exposed animals, and cell cultures yielding varying and inconsistent results that may be due to differences in experimental design, species, and the dose of exposure. Nicotine exposure appears to induce a combination of free radical production, vascular wall adhesion, and a reduction of fibrinolytic activity in the plasma.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Equilibrium selectivity alone does not create K+-selective ion conduction in K+ channels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Shian; Lockless, Steve W.

    2013-11-01

    Potassium (K+) channels are selective for K+ over Na+ ions during their transport across membranes. We and others have previously shown that tetrameric K+ channels are primarily occupied by K+ ions in their selectivity filters under physiological conditions, demonstrating the channel’s intrinsic equilibrium preference for K+ ions. Based on this observation, we hypothesize that the preference for K+ ions over Na+ ions in the filter determines its selectivity during ion conduction. Here, we ask whether non-selective cation channels, which share an overall structure and similar individual ion-binding sites with K+ channels, have an ion preference at equilibrium. The variants of the non-selective Bacillus cereus NaK cation channel we examine are all selective for K+ over Na+ ions at equilibrium. Thus, the detailed architecture of the K+ channel selectivity filter, and not only its equilibrium ion preference, is fundamental to the generation of selectivity during ion conduction.

  19. Actions and Mechanisms of Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids on Voltage-Gated Ion Channels

    PubMed Central

    Elinder, Fredrik; Liin, Sara I.

    2017-01-01

    Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) act on most ion channels, thereby having significant physiological and pharmacological effects. In this review we summarize data from numerous PUFAs on voltage-gated ion channels containing one or several voltage-sensor domains, such as voltage-gated sodium (NaV), potassium (KV), calcium (CaV), and proton (HV) channels, as well as calcium-activated potassium (KCa), and transient receptor potential (TRP) channels. Some effects of fatty acids appear to be channel specific, whereas others seem to be more general. Common features for the fatty acids to act on the ion channels are at least two double bonds in cis geometry and a charged carboxyl group. In total we identify and label five different sites for the PUFAs. PUFA site 1: The intracellular cavity. Binding of PUFA reduces the current, sometimes as a time-dependent block, inducing an apparent inactivation. PUFA site 2: The extracellular entrance to the pore. Binding leads to a block of the channel. PUFA site 3: The intracellular gate. Binding to this site can bend the gate open and increase the current. PUFA site 4: The interface between the extracellular leaflet of the lipid bilayer and the voltage-sensor domain. Binding to this site leads to an opening of the channel via an electrostatic attraction between the negatively charged PUFA and the positively charged voltage sensor. PUFA site 5: The interface between the extracellular leaflet of the lipid bilayer and the pore domain. Binding to this site affects slow inactivation. This mapping of functional PUFA sites can form the basis for physiological and pharmacological modifications of voltage-gated ion channels. PMID:28220076

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Flow-induced activation of TRPV5 and TRPV6 channels stimulates Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channel causing membrane hyperpolarization.

    PubMed

    Cha, Seung-Kuy; Kim, Ji-Hee; Huang, Chou-Long

    2013-12-01

    TRPV5 and TRPV6 channels are expressed in distal renal tubules and play important roles in the transcellular Ca(2+) reabsorption in kidney. They are regulated by multiple intracellular factors including protein kinases A and C, membrane phospholipid PIP2, protons, and divalent ions Ca(2+) and Mg(2+). Here, we report that fluid flow that generates shear force within the physiological range of distal tubular fluid flow activated TRPV5 and TRPV6 channels expressed in HEK cells. Flow-induced activation of channel activity was reversible and did not desensitize over 2min. Fluid flow stimulated TRPV5 and 6-mediated Ca(2+) entry and increased intracellular Ca(2+) concentration. N-glycosylation-deficient TRPV5 channel was relatively insensitive to fluid flow. In cells coexpressing TRPV5 (or TRPV6) and Slo1-encoded maxi-K channels, fluid flow induced membrane hyperpolarization, which could be prevented by the maxi-K blocker iberiotoxin or TRPV5 and 6 blocker La(3+). In contrast, fluid flow did not cause membrane hyperpolarization in cells coexpressing ROMK1 and TRPV5 or 6 channel. These results reveal a new mechanism for the regulation of TRPV5 and TRPV6 channels. Activation of TRPV5 and TRPV6 by fluid flow may play a role in the regulation of flow-stimulated K(+) secretion via maxi-K channels in distal renal tubules and in the mechanism of pathogenesis of thiazide-induced hypocalciuria.

  5. Flow-Induced Activation of TRPV5 and TRPV6 Channel Stimulates Ca2+-Activated K+ Channel Causing Membrane Hyperpolarization

    PubMed Central

    Cha, Seung-Kuy; Kim, Ji-Hee; Huang, Chou-Long

    2014-01-01

    TRPV5 and TRPV6 channels are expressed in distal renal tubules and play important roles in the transcellular Ca2+ reabsorption in kidney. They are regulated by multiple intracellular factors including protein kinase A and C, membrane phospholipid PIP2, protons, and divalent ions Ca2+ and Mg2+. Here, we report that fluid flow that generates shear force within the physiological range of distal tubular fluid flow activated TRPV5 and TRPV6 channels expressed in HEK cells. Flow-induced activation of channel activity was reversible and did not desensitize over 2 minutes. Fluid flow stimulated TRPV5 and 6-mediated Ca2+ entry and increased intracellular Ca2+ concentration. N-glycosylation-deficient TRPV5 channel was relatively insensitive to fluid flow. In cells coexpressing TRPV5 (or TRPV6) and Slo1-encoded maxi-K channels, fluid flow induced membrane hyperpolarization, which could be prevented by the maxi-K blocker iberiotoxin or TRPV5 and 6 blocker La3+. In contrast, fluid flow did not cause membrane hyperpolarization in cells coexpressing ROMK1 and TRPV5 or 6 channels. These results reveal a new mechanism for regulation of TRPV5 and TRPV6 channels. Activation of TRPV5 and TRPV6 by fluid flow may play a role in the regulation of flow-stimulated K+ secretion via maxi-K channels in distal renal tubules and in the mechanism of pathogenesis of thiazide-induced hypocalciuria. PMID:24001793

  6. 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

  7. Transsynaptic channelosomes: non-conducting roles of ion channels in synapse formation.

    PubMed

    Nishimune, Hiroshi

    2011-01-01

    Recent findings demonstrate that synaptic channels are directly involved in the formation and maintenance of synapses by interacting with synapse organizers. The synaptic channels on the pre- and postsynaptic membranes possess non-conducting roles in addition to their functional roles as ion-conducting channels required for synaptic transmission. For example, presynaptic voltage-dependent calcium channels link the target-derived synapse organizer laminin β2 to cytomatrix of the active zone and function as scaffolding proteins to organize the presynaptic active zones. Furthermore, postsynaptic δ2-type glutamate receptors organize the synapses by forming transsynaptic protein complexes with presynaptic neurexins through synapse organizer cerebellin 1 precursor proteins. Interestingly, the synaptic clustering of AMPA receptors is regulated by neuronal activity-regulated pentraxins, while postsynaptic differentiation is induced by the interaction of postsynaptic calcium channels and thrombospondins. This review will focus on the non-conducting functions of ion-channels that contribute to the synapse formation in concert with synapse organizers and active-zone-specific proteins.

  8. 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

  9. Ion-channeling analysis of boron clusters in silicon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Selen, L. J. M.; Janssen, F. J. J.; van IJzendoorn, L. J.; de Voigt, M. J. A.; Theunissen, M. J. J.; Smulders, P. J. M.; Eijkemans, T. J.

    2001-11-01

    We have measured axially channeled Rutherford backscattering spectra of Si1-xGex nanofilms in silicon(001). A step in the yield of the host crystal was found for off-normal axes at the depth of the nanofilm. The step was measured as a function of the angle between the incoming beam and the [011] axis and shows two maxima. It is found that Monte Carlo simulations assuming tetragonal distortion reproduce the experimental results. A universal curve was derived which enables determination of the tetragonal distortion from ion-channeling experiments, for a given film thickness. The results are compared with XRD measurements.

  10. Acid-sensing ion channels in pain and disease.

    PubMed

    Wemmie, John A; Taugher, Rebecca J; Kreple, Collin J

    2013-07-01

    Why do neurons sense extracellular acid? In large part, this question has driven increasing investigation on acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs) in the CNS and the peripheral nervous system for the past two decades. Significant progress has been made in understanding the structure and function of ASICs at the molecular level. Studies aimed at clarifying their physiological importance have suggested roles for ASICs in pain, neurological and psychiatric disease. This Review highlights recent findings linking these channels to physiology and disease. In addition, it discusses some of the implications for therapy and points out questions that remain unanswered.

  11. Vacuolar ion channels: Roles in plant nutrition and signalling.

    PubMed

    Isayenkov, Stanislav; Isner, Jean Charles; Maathuis, Frans J M

    2010-05-17

    Vacuoles play various roles in many physiologically relevant processes in plants. Some of the more prominent are turgor provision, the storage of minerals and nutrients, and cellular signalling. To fulfil these functions a complement of membrane transporters is present at the tonoplast. Prolific patch clamp studies have shown that amongst these, both selective and non-selective ion channels participate in turgor regulation, nutrient storage and signalling. This article reviews the physiological roles, expression patterns and structure function properties of plant vacuolar anion and cation channels that are gated by voltage and ligands.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  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. Trafficking of TRPP2 by PACS proteins represents a novel mechanism of ion channel regulation

    PubMed Central

    Köttgen, Michael; Benzing, Thomas; Simmen, Thomas; Tauber, Robert; Buchholz, Björn; Feliciangeli, Sylvain; Huber, Tobias B; Schermer, Bernhard; Kramer-Zucker, Albrecht; Höpker, Katja; Simmen, Katia Carmine; Tschucke, Christoph Carl; Sandford, Richard; Kim, Emily; Thomas, Gary; Walz, Gerd

    2005-01-01

    The trafficking of ion channels to the plasma membrane is tightly controlled to ensure the proper regulation of intracellular ion homeostasis and signal transduction. Mutations of polycystin-2, a member of the TRP family of cation channels, cause autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease, a disorder characterized by renal cysts and progressive renal failure. Polycystin-2 functions as a calcium-permeable nonselective cation channel; however, it is disputed whether polycystin-2 resides and acts at the plasma membrane or endoplasmic reticulum (ER). We show that the subcellular localization and function of polycystin-2 are directed by phosphofurin acidic cluster sorting protein (PACS)-1 and PACS-2, two adaptor proteins that recognize an acidic cluster in the carboxy-terminal domain of polycystin-2. Binding to these adaptor proteins is regulated by the phosphorylation of polycystin-2 by the protein kinase casein kinase 2, required for the routing of polycystin-2 between ER, Golgi and plasma membrane compartments. Our paradigm that polycystin-2 is sorted to and active at both ER and plasma membrane reconciles the previously incongruent views of its localization and function. Furthermore, PACS proteins may represent a novel molecular mechanism for ion channel trafficking, directing acidic cluster-containing ion channels to distinct subcellular compartments. PMID:15692563

  16. Partial opening and subconductance gating of mechanosensitive ion channels in dystrophic skeletal muscle.

    PubMed

    Vasquez, Ivan; Tan, Nhi; Boonyasampant, Mark; Koppitch, Kari A; Lansman, Jeffry B

    2012-12-01

    We recorded the activity of single mechanosensitive (MS) ion channels in skeletal muscle from the mdx mouse, a deletion mutant that lacks the cytoskeletal protein, dystrophin. Experiments were designed to examine the influence of dystrophin, a major component of skeletal muscle costameres, on the behaviour of single MS channels. In the majority of recordings from cell-attached patches, MS channels have a conductance of ∼23 pS. Recordings from some patches, however, showed a smaller conductance channel of ∼7-14 pS. Large and small conductance channels were detected in a single patch and showed serial, non-random gating, suggesting different opening levels of a single channel. Analysis of the distribution of current amplitudes within the open channel showed MS channels fluctuate between subconductance levels. MS channels in dystrophic muscle spend ∼60% of the time at smaller subconductance levels, often failing to reach the fully open level. Applying pressure to the membrane of mdx fibres increases in a graded manner occupancy of the fully open state, while reducing occupancy of subconductance levels. Recordings also show partial openings of MS channels in both wild-type and mdx muscle that fail to reach the fully open state. Partial openings occur at a higher frequency in mdx muscle and reflect occupancy of subconductance levels seen during complete activations. In muscle from mdx/utrn(-/-) double knockout mice, MS channels also spend more time at subconductance levels than the fully open state. Conductance variability of MS channels may represent gating of a heteromeric protein composed of different channel subunits. The results also show that partial opening and prolonged burst duration are distinct mechanisms that contribute to excess Ca(2+) entry in dystrophic muscle.

  17. Formation of Ion-Permeable Channels by Tumor Necrosis Factor-α

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kagan, Bruce L.; Baldwin, Rae Lynn; Munoz, David; Wisnieski, Bernadine J.

    1992-03-01

    Tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF, cachectin), a protein secreted by activated macrophages, participates in inflammatory responses and in infectious and neoplastic disease states. The mechanisms by which TNF exerts cytotoxic, hormonal, and other specific effects are obscure. Structural studies of the TNF trimer have revealed a central pore-like region. Although several amino acid side chains appear to preclude an open channel, the ability of TNF to insert into lipid vesicles raised the possibility that opening might occur in a bilayer milieu. Acidification of TNF promoted conformational changes concordant with increased surface hydrophobicity and membrane insertion. Furthermore, TNF formed pH-dependent, voltage-dependent, ion-permeable channels in planar lipid bilayer membranes and increased the sodium permeability of human U937 histiocytic lymphoma cells. Thus, some of the physiological effects of TNF may be elicited through its intrinsic ion channel-forming activity.

  18. An acid-sensing ion channel that detects ischemic pain.

    PubMed

    Naves, L A; McCleskey, E W

    2005-11-01

    Ischemic pain occurs when there is insufficient blood flow for the metabolic needs of an organ. The pain of a heart attack is the prototypical example. Multiple compounds released from ischemic muscle likely contribute to this pain by acting on sensory neurons that innervate muscle. One such compound is lactic acid. Here, we show that ASIC3 (acid-sensing ion channel #3) has the appropriate expression pattern and physical properties to be the detector of this lactic acid. In rats, it is expressed only in sensory neurons and then only on a minority (approximately 40%) of these. Nevertheless, it is expressed at extremely high levels on virtually all dorsal root ganglion sensory neurons that innervate the heart. It is extraordinarily sensitive to protons (Hill slope 4, half-activating pH 6.7), allowing it to readily respond to the small changes in extracellular pH (from 7.4 to 7.0) that occur during muscle ischemia. Moreover, both extracellular lactate and extracellular ATP increase the sensitivity of ASIC3 to protons. This final property makes ASIC3 a "coincidence detector" of three molecules that appear during ischemia, thereby allowing it to better detect acidosis caused by ischemia than other forms of systemic acidosis such as hypercapnia.

  19. 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

  20. Ion channels/transporters as epigenetic regulators? -a microRNA perspective.

    PubMed

    Jiang, XiaoHua; Zhang, Jie Ting; Chan, Hsiao Chang

    2012-09-01

    MicroRNA (miRNA) alterations in response to changes in an extracellular microenvironment have been observed and considered as one of the major mechanisms for epigenetic modifications of the cell. While enormous efforts have been made in the understanding of the role of miRNAs in regulating cellular responses to the microenvironment, the mechanistic insight into how extracellular signals can be transduced into miRNA alterations in cells is still lacking. Interestingly, recent studies have shown that ion channels/transporters, which are known to conduct or transport ions across the cell membrane, also exhibit changes in levels of expression and activities in response to changes of extracellular microenvironment. More importantly, alterations in expression and function of ion channels/transporters have been shown to result in changes in miRNAs that are known to change in response to alteration of the microenvironment. In this review, we aim to summarize the recent data demonstrating the ability of ion channels/transporters to transduce extracellular signals into miRNA changes and propose a potential link between cells and their microenvironment through ion channels/transporters. At the same time, we hope to provide new insights into epigenetic regulatory mechanisms underlying a number of physiological and pathological processes, including embryo development and cancer metastasis.

  1. 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.

  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. 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

  4. 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.

  5. The importance of being profiled: improving drug candidate safety and efficacy using ion channel profiling.

    PubMed

    Kaczorowski, Gregory J; Garcia, Maria L; Bode, Jacob; Hess, Stephen D; Patel, Umesh A

    2011-01-01

    Profiling of putative lead compounds against a representative panel of relevant enzymes, receptors, ion channels, and transporters is a pragmatic approach to establish a preliminary view of potential issues that might later hamper development. An early idea of which off-target activities must be minimized can save valuable time and money during the preclinical lead optimization phase if pivotal questions are asked beyond the usual profiling at hERG. The best data for critical evaluation of activity at ion channels is obtained using functional assays, since binding assays cannot detect all interactions and do not provide information on whether the interaction is that of an agonist, antagonist, or allosteric modulator. For ion channels present in human cardiac muscle, depending on the required throughput, manual-, or automated-patch-clamp methodologies can be easily used to evaluate compounds individually to accurately reveal any potential liabilities. The issue of expanding screening capacity against a cardiac panel has recently been addressed by developing a series of robust, high-throughput, cell-based counter-screening assays employing fluorescence-based readouts. Similar assay development approaches can be used to configure panels of efficacy assays that can be used to assess selectivity within a family of related ion channels, such as Nav1.X channels. This overview discusses the benefits of in vitro assays, specific decision points where profiling can be of immediate benefit, and highlights the development and validation of patch-clamp and fluorescence-based profiling assays for ion channels (for examples of fluorescence-based assays, see Bhave et al., 2010; and for high-throughput patch-clamp assays see Mathes, 2006; Schrøder et al., 2008).

  6. The Importance of Being Profiled: Improving Drug Candidate Safety and Efficacy Using Ion Channel Profiling

    PubMed Central

    Kaczorowski, Gregory J.; Garcia, Maria L.; Bode, Jacob; Hess, Stephen D.; Patel, Umesh A.

    2011-01-01

    Profiling of putative lead compounds against a representative panel of relevant enzymes, receptors, ion channels, and transporters is a pragmatic approach to establish a preliminary view of potential issues that might later hamper development. An early idea of which off-target activities must be minimized can save valuable time and money during the preclinical lead optimization phase if pivotal questions are asked beyond the usual profiling at hERG. The best data for critical evaluation of activity at ion channels is obtained using functional assays, since binding assays cannot detect all interactions and do not provide information on whether the interaction is that of an agonist, antagonist, or allosteric modulator. For ion channels present in human cardiac muscle, depending on the required throughput, manual-, or automated-patch-clamp methodologies can be easily used to evaluate compounds individually to accurately reveal any potential liabilities. The issue of expanding screening capacity against a cardiac panel has recently been addressed by developing a series of robust, high-throughput, cell-based counter-screening assays employing fluorescence-based readouts. Similar assay development approaches can be used to configure panels of efficacy assays that can be used to assess selectivity within a family of related ion channels, such as Nav1.X channels. This overview discusses the benefits of in vitro assays, specific decision points where profiling can be of immediate benefit, and highlights the development and validation of patch-clamp and fluorescence-based profiling assays for ion channels (for examples of fluorescence-based assays, see Bhave et al., 2010; and for high-throughput patch-clamp assays see Mathes, 2006; Schrøder et al., 2008). PMID:22171219

  7. 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.

  8. The structure and regulation of magnesium selective ion channels.

    PubMed

    Payandeh, Jian; Pfoh, Roland; Pai, Emil F

    2013-11-01

    The magnesium ion (Mg(2+)) is the most abundant divalent cation within cells. In man, Mg(2+)-deficiency is associated with diseases affecting the heart, muscle, bone, immune, and nervous systems. Despite its impact on human health, little is known about the molecular mechanisms that regulate magnesium transport and storage. Complete structural information on eukaryotic Mg(2+)-transport proteins is currently lacking due to associated technical challenges. The prokaryotic MgtE and CorA magnesium transport systems have recently succumbed to structure determination by X-ray crystallography, providing first views of these ubiquitous and essential Mg(2+)-channels. MgtE and CorA are unique among known membrane protein structures, each revealing a novel protein fold containing distinct arrangements of ten transmembrane-spanning α-helices. Structural and functional analyses have established that Mg(2+)-selectivity in MgtE and CorA occurs through distinct mechanisms. Conserved acidic side-chains appear to form the selectivity filter in MgtE, whereas conserved asparagines coordinate hydrated Mg(2+)-ions within the selectivity filter of CorA. Common structural themes have also emerged whereby MgtE and CorA sense and respond to physiologically relevant, intracellular Mg(2+)-levels through dedicated regulatory domains. Within these domains, multiple primary and secondary Mg(2+)-binding sites serve to staple these ion channels into their respective closed conformations, implying that Mg(2+)-transport is well guarded and very tightly regulated. The MgtE and CorA proteins represent valuable structural templates to better understand the related eukaryotic SLC41 and Mrs2-Alr1 magnesium channels. Herein, we review the structure, function and regulation of MgtE and CorA and consider these unique proteins within the expanding universe of ion channel and transporter structural biology.

  9. Membranes with the Same Ion Channel Populations but Different Excitabilities

    PubMed Central

    Herrera-Valdez, Marco Arieli

    2012-01-01

    Electrical signaling allows communication within and between different tissues and is necessary for the survival of multicellular organisms. The ionic transport that underlies transmembrane currents in cells is mediated by transporters and channels. Fast ionic transport through channels is typically modeled with a conductance-based formulation that describes current in terms of electrical drift without diffusion. In contrast, currents written in terms of drift and diffusion are not as widely used in the literature in spite of being more realistic and capable of displaying experimentally observable phenomena that conductance-based models cannot reproduce (e.g. rectification). The two formulations are mathematically related: conductance-based currents are linear approximations of drift-diffusion currents. However, conductance-based models of membrane potential are not first-order approximations of drift-diffusion models. Bifurcation analysis and numerical simulations show that the two approaches predict qualitatively and quantitatively different behaviors in the dynamics of membrane potential. For instance, two neuronal membrane models with identical populations of ion channels, one written with conductance-based currents, the other with drift-diffusion currents, undergo transitions into and out of repetitive oscillations through different mechanisms and for different levels of stimulation. These differences in excitability are observed in response to excitatory synaptic input, and across different levels of ion channel expression. In general, the electrophysiological profiles of membranes modeled with drift-diffusion and conductance-based models having identical ion channel populations are different, potentially causing the input-output and computational properties of networks constructed with these models to be different as well. The drift-diffusion formulation is thus proposed as a theoretical improvement over conductance-based models that may lead to more

  10. Forward trafficking of ion channels: what the clinician needs to know.

    PubMed

    Smyth, James W; Shaw, Robin M

    2010-08-01

    Each heartbeat requires precisely orchestrated action potential propagation through the myocardium, achieved by coordination of about a million ion channels on the surface of each cardiomyocyte. Specific ion channels must occur within discrete subdomains of the sarcolemma to exert their electrophysiological effects with highest efficiency (e.g., voltage-gated Ca(2+) channels at T-tubules and gap junctions at intercalated discs). Regulation of ion channel movement to their appropriate membrane subdomain is an exciting research frontier with opportunity for novel therapeutic manipulation of ion channels in the treatment of heart disease. Although much research has generally focused on internalization and subsequent degradation of ion channels, the field of forward trafficking of de novo ion channels from the cell interior to the sarcolemma has now emerged as a key regulatory step in cardiac electrophysiological function. In this brief review, we provide an overview of the current understanding of the cellular biology governing the forward trafficking of ion channels.

  11. A highly polarized excitable cell separates sodium channels from sodium-activated potassium channels by more than a millimeter

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Benjamin E.; Markham, Michael R.

    2015-01-01

    The bioelectrical properties and resulting metabolic demands of electrogenic cells are determined by their morphology and the subcellular localization of ion channels. The electric organ cells (electrocytes) of the electric fish Eigenmannia virescens generate action potentials (APs) with Na+ currents >10 μA and repolarize the AP with Na+-activated K+ (KNa) channels. To better understand the role of morphology and ion channel localization in determining the metabolic cost of electrocyte APs, we used two-photon three-dimensional imaging to determine the fine cellular morphology and immunohistochemistry to localize the electrocytes' ion channels, ionotropic receptors, and Na+-K+-ATPases. We found that electrocytes are highly polarized cells ∼1.5 mm in anterior-posterior length and ∼0.6 mm in diameter, containing ∼30,000 nuclei along the cell periphery. The cell's innervated posterior region is deeply invaginated and vascularized with complex ultrastructural features, whereas the anterior region is relatively smooth. Cholinergic receptors and Na+ channels are restricted to the innervated posterior region, whereas inward rectifier K+ channels and the KNa channels that terminate the electrocyte AP are localized to the anterior region, separated by >1 mm from the only sources of Na+ influx. In other systems, submicrometer spatial coupling of Na+ and KNa channels is necessary for KNa channel activation. However, our computational simulations showed that KNa channels at a great distance from Na+ influx can still terminate the AP, suggesting that KNa channels can be activated by distant sources of Na+ influx and overturning a long-standing assumption that AP-generating ion channels are restricted to the electrocyte's posterior face. PMID:25925327

  12. 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

  13. BK channel activation: structural and functional insights

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Urvi S.; Cui, Jianmin

    2010-01-01

    The voltage and Ca2+ activated K+ (BK) channels are involved in the regulation of neurotransmitter release and neuronal excitability. Structurally, BK channels are homologous to voltage- and ligand-gated K+ channels, having a voltage sensor and pore as the membrane-spanning domain and a cytosolic domain containing metal binding sites. Recently published electron cryomicroscopy (cryo-EM) and X-ray crystallographic structures of the BK channel provided the first look into the assembly of these domains, corroborating the close interactions among these domains during channel gating that have been suggested by functional studies. This review discusses these latest findings and an emerging new understanding about BK channel gating and implications for diseases such as epilepsy, in which mutations in BK channel genes have been associated. PMID:20663573

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Regulation of lysosomal ion homeostasis by channels and transporters

    PubMed Central

    Xiong, Jian; Zhu, Michael X.

    2016-01-01

    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+, Ca2+, 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. A nonproton ligand sensor in the acid-sensing ion channel.

    PubMed

    Yu, Ye; Chen, Zhi; Li, Wei-Guang; Cao, Hui; Feng, En-Guang; Yu, Fang; Liu, Hong; Jiang, Hualiang; Xu, Tian-Le

    2010-10-06

    Acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs) have long been considered as extracellular proton (H(+))-gated cation channels, and peripheral ASIC3 channels seem to be a natural sensor of acidic pain. Here, we report the identification of a nonproton sensor on ASIC3. We show first that 2-guanidine-4-methylquinazoline (GMQ) causes persistent ASIC3 channel activation at the normal pH. Using GMQ as a probe and combining mutagenesis and covalent modification analysis, we then uncovered a ligand sensor lined by residues around E423 and E79 of the extracellular "palm" domain of the ASIC3 channel that is crucial for activation by nonproton activators. Furthermore, we show that GMQ activates sensory neurons and causes pain-related behaviors in an ASIC3-dependent manner, indicating the functional significance of ASIC activation by nonproton ligands. Thus, natural ligands beyond protons may activate ASICs under physiological and pathological conditions through the nonproton ligand sensor, serving for channel activation independent of abrupt and marked acidosis.

  20. BK channel activators and their therapeutic perspectives

    PubMed Central

    Bentzen, Bo H.; Olesen, Søren-Peter; Rønn, Lars C. B.; Grunnet, Morten

    2014-01-01

    The large conductance calcium- and voltage-activated K+ channel (KCa1.1, BK, MaxiK) is ubiquitously expressed in the body, and holds the ability to integrate changes in intracellular calcium and membrane potential. This makes the BK channel an important negative feedback system linking increases in intracellular calcium to outward hyperpolarizing potassium currents. Consequently, the channel has many important physiological roles including regulation of smooth muscle tone, neurotransmitter release and neuronal excitability. Additionally, cardioprotective roles have been revealed in recent years. After a short introduction to the structure, function and regulation of BK channels, we review the small organic molecules activating BK channels and how these tool compounds have helped delineate the roles of BK channels in health and disease. PMID:25346695

  1. Progress in Development of Improved Ion-Channel Biosensors

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nadeau, Jay L.; White, Victor E.; Maurer, Joshua A.; Dougherty, Dennis A.

    2008-01-01

    Further improvements have recently been made in the development of the devices described in Improved Ion-Channel Biosensors (NPO-30710), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 28, No. 10 (October 2004), page 30. As discussed in more detail in that article, these sensors offer advantages of greater stability, greater lifetime, and individual electrical addressability, relative to prior ion-channel biosensors. In order to give meaning to a brief description of the recent improvements, it is necessary to recapitulate a substantial portion of the text of the cited previous article. The figure depicts one sensor that incorporates the recent improvements, and can be helpful in understanding the recapitulated text, which follows: These sensors are microfabricated from silicon and other materials compatible with silicon. Typically, the sensors are fabricated in arrays in silicon wafers on glass plates. Each sensor in the array can be individually electrically addressed, without interference with its neighbors. Each sensor includes a well covered by a thin layer of silicon nitride, in which is made a pinhole for the formation of a lipid bilayer membrane. In one stage of fabrication, the lower half of the well is filled with agarose, which is allowed to harden. Then the upper half of the well is filled with a liquid electrolyte (which thereafter remains liquid) and a lipid bilayer is painted over the pinhole. The liquid contains a protein that forms an ion channel on top of the hardened agarose. The combination of enclosure in the well and support by the hardened agarose provides the stability needed to keep the membrane functional for times as long as days or even weeks. An electrode above the well, another electrode below the well, and all the materials between the electrodes together constitute a capacitor. What is measured is the capacitive transient current in response to an applied voltage pulse. One notable feature of this sensor, in comparison with prior such sensors, is a

  2. International Union of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology. LXXVI. Current Progress in the Mammalian TRP Ion Channel Family

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Long-Jun; Sweet, Tara-Beth

    2010-01-01

    Transient receptor potential (TRP) channels are a large family of ion channel proteins, surpassed in number in mammals only by voltage-gated potassium channels. TRP channels are activated and regulated through strikingly diverse mechanisms, making them suitable candidates for cellular sensors. They respond to environmental stimuli such as temperature, pH, osmolarity, pheromones, taste, and plant compounds, and intracellular stimuli such as Ca2+ and phosphatidylinositol signal transduction pathways. However, it is still largely unknown how TRP channels are activated in vivo. Despite the uncertainties, emerging evidence using TRP channel knockout mice indicates that these channels have broad function in physiology. Here we review the recent progress on the physiology, pharmacology and pathophysiological function of mammalian TRP channels. PMID:20716668

  3. Hysteresis of ligand binding in CNGA2 ion channels

    PubMed Central

    Nache, Vasilica; Eick, Thomas; Schulz, Eckhard; Schmauder, Ralf; Benndorf, Klaus

    2013-01-01

    Tetrameric cyclic nucleotide-gated (CNG) channels mediate receptor potentials in olfaction and vision. The channels are activated by the binding of cyclic nucleotides to a binding domain embedded in the C terminus of each subunit. Here using a fluorescent cGMP derivative (fcGMP), we show for homotetrameric CNGA2 channels that ligand unbinding is ~50 times faster at saturating than at subsaturating fcGMP. Analysis with complex Markovian models reveals two pathways for ligand unbinding; the partially liganded open channel unbinds its ligands from closed states only, whereas the fully liganded channel reaches a different open state from which it unbinds all four ligands rapidly. Consequently, the transition pathways for ligand binding and activation of a fully liganded CNGA2 channel differ from that of ligand unbinding and deactivation, resulting in pronounced hysteresis of the gating mechanism. This concentration-dependent gating mechanism allows the channels to respond to changes in the cyclic nucleotide concentration with different kinetics. PMID:24287615

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Presenilin-like GxGD membrane proteases have dual roles as proteolytic enzymes and ion channels.

    PubMed

    Kuo, Ivana Y; Hu, Jian; Ha, Ya; Ehrlich, Barbara E

    2015-03-06

    The GxGD proteases function to cleave protein substrates within the membrane. As these proteases contain multiple transmembrane domains typical of ion channels, we examined if GxGD proteases also function as ion channels. We tested the putative dual function by examining two archeobacterial GxGD proteases (PSH and FlaK), with known three-dimensional structures. Both are in the same GxGD family as presenilin, a protein mutated in Alzheimer Disease. Here, we demonstrate that PSH and FlaK form cation channels in lipid bilayers. A mutation that affected the enzymatic activity of FlaK rendered the channel catalytically inactive and altered the ion selectivity, indicating that the ion channel and the catalytic activities are linked. We report that the GxGD proteases, PSH and FlaK, are true "chanzymes" with interdependent ion channel and protease activity conferred by a single structural domain embedded in the membrane, supporting the proposal that higher-order proteases, including presenilin, have channel function.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. The role of cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator phenylalanine 508 side chain in ion channel gating.

    PubMed

    Cui, Liying; Aleksandrov, Luba; Hou, Yue-Xian; Gentzsch, Martina; Chen, Jey-Hsin; Riordan, John R; Aleksandrov, Andrei A

    2006-04-15

    Cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) is an ion channel employing the ABC transporter structural motif. Deletion of a single residue (Phe508) in the first nucleotide-binding domain (NBD1), which occurs in most patients with cystic fibrosis, impairs both maturation and function of the protein. However, substitution of the Phe508 with small uncharged amino acids, including cysteine, is permissive for maturation. To explore the possible role of the phenylalanine aromatic side chain in channel gating we introduced a cysteine at this position in cysless CFTR, enabling its selective chemical modification by sulfhydryl reagents. Both cysless and wild-type CFTR ion channels have identical mean open times when activated by different nucleotide ligands. Moreover, both channels could be locked in an open state by introducing an ATPase inhibiting mutation (E1371S). However, the introduction of a single cysteine (F508C) prevented the cysless E1371S channel from maintaining the permanently open state, allowing closing to occur. Chemical modification of cysless E1371S/F508C by sulfhydryl reagents was used to probe the role of the side chain in ion channel function. Specifically, benzyl-methanethiosulphonate modification of this variant restored the gating behaviour to that of cysless E1371S containing the wild-type phenylalanine at position 508. This provides the first direct evidence that a specific interaction of the Phe508 aromatic side chain plays a role in determining the residency time in the closed state. Thus, despite the fact that this aromatic side chain is not essential for CFTR folding, it is important in the ion channel function.

  10. Molecular dynamics simulations of water within models of ion channels.

    PubMed

    Breed, J; Sankararamakrishnan, R; Kerr, I D; Sansom, M S

    1996-04-01

    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.

  11. Identification and characterization of a bacterial hydrosulfide ion channel

    PubMed Central

    Czyzewski, Bryan K.; Wang, Da-Neng

    2013-01-01

    Believed to have been critical to the origin of life on Earth 1, the hydrosulfide ion (HS−) and its undissociated form, hydrogen sulfide (H2S), continue to play a prominent role in physiology and cellular signaling 2. As a major metabolite in anaerobic bacterial growth, hydrogen sulfide is a product of both assimilatory and dissimilatory sulfate reduction 2–4. These pathways can reduce various oxidized sulfur compounds including sulfate, sulfite and thiosulfate. The dissimilatory sulfate reduction pathway uses this molecule as the terminal electron acceptor for anaerobic respiration, where it produces excess amounts of H2S4. The reduction of sulfite is a key intermediate step in all sulfate reduction pathways. In Clostridium and Salmonella, an inducible sulfite reductase is directly linked to the regeneration of NAD+, which has been suggested to play a role in energy production and growth, as well as in the detoxification of sulfite 3. Above a certain concentration threshold, both H2S and HS− nhibit cell growth by binding the metal centers of enzymes and cytochrome oxidase5, necessitating a release mechanism for the export of this toxic metabolite from the cell 5–9. Through a combination of genetic, biochemical and functional approaches, we have identified a hydrosulfide ion channel (HSC) in the pathogen Clostridium difficile. The HS− channel is a member of the formate-nitrite-transport (FNT) family, in which ~50 HSC genes form a third subfamily alongside those for formate (FocA) 10,11 and for nitrite (NirC) 12. In addition to HS− ions, HSC is also permeable to formate and nitrite. Such polyspecificity can be explained by the conserved ion selectivity filter observed in the HSC crystal structure. The channel has a low open probability and is tightly regulated, to avoid decoupling of the membrane proton gradient. PMID:22407320

  12. 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.

  13. Structural plasticity and dynamic selectivity of acid-sensing ion channel-spider toxin complexes.

    PubMed

    Baconguis, Isabelle; Gouaux, Eric

    2012-09-20

    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 pH 7.25 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 pH 7.25 the pore is approximately 10 Å in diameter, whereas at pH 5.5 the pore is largely hydrophobic and elliptical in cross-section with dimensions of approximately 5 by 7 Å, 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.

  14. Regulation of Intestinal Glucose Absorption by Ion Channels and Transporters

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Lihong; Tuo, Biguang; Dong, Hui

    2016-01-01

    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 ([Ca2+]cyt) can regulate the absorption of glucose by adjusting GLUT2 and SGLT1. Moreover, the absorption of glucose and homeostasis of Ca2+ in IEC are regulated by cation channels and transporters, such as Ca2+ channels, K+ channels, Na+/Ca2+ 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. PMID:26784222

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Direct activation of cardiac pacemaker channels by intracellular cyclic AMP.

    PubMed

    DiFrancesco, D; Tortora, P

    1991-05-09

    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. Regulation of food intake by mechanosensory ion channels in enteric neurons

    PubMed Central

    Olds, William H; Xu, Tian

    2014-01-01

    Regulation of food intake is fundamental to energy homeostasis in animals. The contribution of non-nutritive and metabolic signals in regulating feeding is unclear. Here we show that enteric neurons play a major role in regulating feeding through specialized mechanosensory ion channels in Drosophila. Modulating activities of a specific subset of enteric neurons, the posterior enteric neurons (PENs), results in sixfold changes in food intake. Deficiency of the mechanosensory ion channel PPK1 gene or RNAi knockdown of its expression in the PENS result in a similar increase in food intake, which can be rescued by expression of wild-type PPK1 in the same neurons. Finally, pharmacological inhibition of the mechanosensory ion channel phenocopies the result of genetic interrogation. Together, our study provides the first molecular genetic evidence that mechanosensory ion channels in the enteric neurons are involved in regulating feeding, offering an enticing alternative to current therapeutic strategy for weight control. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.04402.001 PMID:25285450

  19. 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

  20. Charging the quantum capacitance of graphene with a single biological ion channel.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yung Yu; Pham, Ted D; Zand, Katayoun; Li, Jinfeng; Burke, Peter J

    2014-05-27

    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.

  1. 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.

  2. A permanent ion binding site located between two gates of the Shaker K+ channel.

    PubMed

    Harris, R E; Larsson, H P; Isacoff, E Y

    1998-04-01

    K+ channels can be occupied by multiple permeant ions that appear to bind at discrete locations in the conduction pathway. Neither the molecular nature of the binding sites nor their relation to the activation or inactivation gates that control ion flow