The elusive activation/deactivation mechanism of hERG is investigated, a voltage-gated potassium channel involved in severe inherited and drug-induced cardiac channelopathies, including the Long QT Syndrome. Firstly, the available structural data are integrated by providing a homology model for the closed state of the channel. Secondly, molecular dynamics combined with a network analysis revealed two distinct pathways coupling the voltage sensor domain with the pore domain. Interestingly, some LQTS-related mutations known to impair the activation/deactivation mechanism are distributed along the identified pathways, which thus suggests a microscopic interpretation of their role. Split channels simulations clarify a surprising feature of this channel, which is still able to gate when a cut is introduced between the voltage sensor domain and the neighboring helix S5. In summary, the presented results suggest possible activation/deactivation mechanisms of non-domain-swapped potassium channels that may aid in biomedical applications.

Molecular dynamics simulations suggest possible activation and deactivation pathways in the hERG channel / Costa, Flavio; Guardiani, Carlo; Giacomello, Alberto. - In: COMMUNICATIONS BIOLOGY. - ISSN 2399-3642. - 5:1(2022), p. 165. [10.1038/s42003-022-03074-9]

Molecular dynamics simulations suggest possible activation and deactivation pathways in the hERG channel

Flavio Costa
Primo
;
Carlo Guardiani
Secondo
;
Alberto Giacomello
Ultimo
2022

Abstract

The elusive activation/deactivation mechanism of hERG is investigated, a voltage-gated potassium channel involved in severe inherited and drug-induced cardiac channelopathies, including the Long QT Syndrome. Firstly, the available structural data are integrated by providing a homology model for the closed state of the channel. Secondly, molecular dynamics combined with a network analysis revealed two distinct pathways coupling the voltage sensor domain with the pore domain. Interestingly, some LQTS-related mutations known to impair the activation/deactivation mechanism are distributed along the identified pathways, which thus suggests a microscopic interpretation of their role. Split channels simulations clarify a surprising feature of this channel, which is still able to gate when a cut is introduced between the voltage sensor domain and the neighboring helix S5. In summary, the presented results suggest possible activation/deactivation mechanisms of non-domain-swapped potassium channels that may aid in biomedical applications.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11573/1614078
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