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      TRPV1 structures in distinct conformations reveal mechanisms of activation

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      1 , 2 , 2 , § , 1 , §

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          Abstract

          TRP channels are polymodal signal detectors that respond to a wide range of physical and chemical stimuli. Elucidating how these channels integrate and convert physiological signals into channel opening is essential to understanding how they regulate cell excitability under normal and pathophysiological conditions. Here we exploit pharmacological probes (a peptide toxin and small vanilloid agonists) to determine structures of two activated states of the capsaicin receptor, TRPV1. A domain (S1-S4) that moves during activation of voltage-gated channels remains stationary in TRPV1, highlighting differences in gating mechanisms for these structurally related channel superfamilies. TRPV1 opening is associated with major structural rearrangements in the outer pore, including the pore helix and selectivity filter, as well as pronounced dilation of a hydrophobic constriction at the lower gate, suggesting a dual gating mechanism. Allosteric coupling between upper and lower gates may account for rich physiologic modulation exhibited by TRPV1 and other TRP channels.

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          Most cited references 39

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          Voltage sensor of Kv1.2: structural basis of electromechanical coupling.

          Voltage-dependent ion channels contain voltage sensors that allow them to switch between nonconductive and conductive states over the narrow range of a few hundredths of a volt. We investigated the mechanism by which these channels sense cell membrane voltage by determining the x-ray crystal structure of a mammalian Shaker family potassium ion (K+) channel. The voltage-dependent K+ channel Kv1.2 grew three-dimensional crystals, with an internal arrangement that left the voltage sensors in an apparently native conformation, allowing us to reach three important conclusions. First, the voltage sensors are essentially independent domains inside the membrane. Second, they perform mechanical work on the pore through the S4-S5 linker helices, which are positioned to constrict or dilate the S6 inner helices of the pore. Third, in the open conformation, two of the four conserved Arg residues on S4 are on a lipid-facing surface and two are buried in the voltage sensor. The structure offers a simple picture of how membrane voltage influences the open probability of the channel.
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            Molecular mechanism of ATP binding and ion channel activation in P2X receptors.

            P2X receptors are trimeric ATP-activated ion channels permeable to Na+, K+ and Ca2+. 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 β-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.
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              Acid potentiation of the capsaicin receptor determined by a key extracellular site.

              The capsaicin (vanilloid) receptor, VR1, is a sensory neuron-specific ion channel that serves as a polymodal detector of pain-producing chemical and physical stimuli. The response of VR1 to capsaicin or noxious heat is dynamically potentiated by extracellular protons within a pH range encountered during tissue acidosis, such as that associated with arthritis, infarction, tumor growth, and other forms of injury. A molecular determinant for this important physiological activity was localized to an extracellular Glu residue (E600) in the region linking the fifth transmembrane domain with the putative pore-forming region of the channel. We suggest that this residue serves as a key regulatory site of the receptor by setting sensitivity to other noxious stimuli in response to changes in extracellular proton concentration. We also demonstrate that protons, vanilloids, and heat promote channel opening through distinct pathways, because mutations at a second site (E648) selectively abrogate proton-evoked channel activation without diminishing responses to other noxious stimuli. Our findings provide molecular evidence for stimulus-specific steps in VR1 activation and offer strategies for the development of novel analgesic agents.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                0410462
                6011
                Nature
                Nature
                Nature
                0028-0836
                1476-4687
                15 April 2014
                5 December 2013
                05 June 2014
                : 504
                : 7478
                : 113-118
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Physiology, University of California, San Francisco, California 94158-2517, USA
                [2 ]Keck Advanced Microscopy Laboratory, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of California, San Francisco, California 94158-2517, USA
                Author notes
                [§ ]Correspondence and requests for materials should be addressed to D.J. ( david.julius@ 123456ucsf.edu ) and Y.C. ( ycheng@ 123456ucsf.edu )
                [*]

                These authors contributed equally to this work

                Article
                NIHMS536566
                10.1038/nature12823
                4023639
                24305161

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