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      Structure of the TRPV1 ion channel determined by electron cryo-microscopy

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          Abstract

          Transient receptor potential (TRP) channels are sensors for a wide range of cellular and environmental signals, but elucidating how these channels respond to physical and chemical stimuli has been hampered by a lack of detailed structural information. Here, we exploit advances in electron cryo-microscopy to determine the structure of a mammalian TRP channel, TRPV1, at 3.4Å resolution, breaking the side-chain resolution barrier for membrane proteins without crystallization. Like voltage-gated channels, TRPV1 exhibits four-fold symmetry around a central ion pathway formed by transmembrane helices S5–S6 and the intervening pore loop, which is flanked by S1–S4 voltage sensor-like domains. TRPV1 has a wide extracellular ‘mouth’ with short selectivity filter. The conserved ‘TRP domain’ interacts with the S4–S5 linker, consistent with its contribution to allosteric modulation. Subunit organization is facilitated by interactions among cytoplasmic domains, including N-terminal ankyrin repeats. These observations provide a structural blueprint for understanding unique aspects of TRP channel function.

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          Most cited references 45

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          TRP channels.

          The TRP (Transient Receptor Potential) superfamily of cation channels is remarkable in that it displays greater diversity in activation mechanisms and selectivities than any other group of ion channels. The domain organizations of some TRP proteins are also unusual, as they consist of linked channel and enzyme domains. A unifying theme in this group is that TRP proteins play critical roles in sensory physiology, which include contributions to vision, taste, olfaction, hearing, touch, and thermo- and osmosensation. In addition, TRP channels enable individual cells to sense changes in their local environment. Many TRP channels are activated by a variety of different stimuli and function as signal integrators. The TRP superfamily is divided into seven subfamilies: the five group 1 TRPs (TRPC, TRPV, TRPM, TRPN, and TRPA) and two group 2 subfamilies (TRPP and TRPML). TRP channels are important for human health as mutations in at least four TRP channels underlie disease.
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            An introduction to TRP channels.

            The aim of this review is to provide a basic framework for understanding the function of mammalian transient receptor potential (TRP) channels, particularly as they have been elucidated in heterologous expression systems. Mammalian TRP channel proteins form six-transmembrane (6-TM) cation-permeable channels that may be grouped into six subfamilies on the basis of amino acid sequence homology (TRPC, TRPV, TRPM, TRPA, TRPP, and TRPML). Selected functional properties of TRP channels from each subfamily are summarized in this review. Although a single defining characteristic of TRP channel function has not yet emerged, TRP channels may be generally described as calcium-permeable cation channels with polymodal activation properties. By integrating multiple concomitant stimuli and coupling their activity to downstream cellular signal amplification via calcium permeation and membrane depolarization, TRP channels appear well adapted to function in cellular sensation. Our review of recent literature implicating TRP channels in neuronal growth cone steering suggests that TRPs may function more widely in cellular guidance and chemotaxis. The TRP channel gene family and its nomenclature, the encoded proteins and alternatively spliced variants, and the rapidly expanding pharmacology of TRP channels are summarized in online supplemental material.
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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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                Author and article information

                Journal
                0410462
                6011
                Nature
                Nature
                Nature
                0028-0836
                1476-4687
                16 June 2014
                5 December 2013
                02 July 2014
                : 504
                : 7478
                : 107-112
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Keck Advanced Microscopy Laboratory, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of California, San Francisco, California 94158-2517, USA
                [2 ]Department of Physiology, University of California, San Francisco, California 94158-2517, USA
                Author notes
                [*]

                These authors contributed equally to this work.

                Article
                NIHMS536565
                10.1038/nature12822
                4078027
                24305160

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