Online ISSN : 1347-5231
Print ISSN : 0031-6903
ISSN-L : 0031-6903
入江 克雅
ジャーナル フリー HTML

2024 年 144 巻 5 号 p. 521-526


Neural activity generates essential responses, such as thinking, memory formation, and muscle contraction. It is controlled by the well-coordinated activity of various cation-selective channels of the cell membrane. The divalent cation block plays an essential role in various tetrameric ion channels. For example, N-methyl-D-aspartic acid receptors, which are tetrameric ion channels involved in memory formation, are inhibited by magnesium ions. Divalent cations are thought to bind in the ion pathway of the ion channel and as a consequence block the channel current, however, direct observation of such a block has not been reported yet. As a consequence, the behavior of these blocking divalent cations remains poorly understood. NavAb, a similar tetrameric sodium channel cloned from Arcobacter butzleri, is one of the most structurally analyzed tetrameric channels that is not inhibited by divalent cations. In this study, we elucidated the molecular mechanism of the divalent cation block by reproducing the divalent cation block in NavAb. The X-ray crystal structure of divalent-cation-block mutants show electron density in the ion transmission pathway of the divalent cation blocked mutants, indicating that the mutations increasing the hydrophilicity of the inner vestibule of the pore domain enable a divalent cation to stack into the ion pathway. In molecular dynamics simulations, the stacked calcium ion repels the sodium ions near the channel lumen’s entrance at the selective filter’s bottom. These results suggest the primary process of the divalent cation block mechanism in tetrameric cation channels and suggest a process of functional acquisition in ion channel evolution.

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