Inhibition of human ether à go-go potassium channels by Ca2+/calmodulin binding to the cytosolic N- and C-termini

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Human ether à go-go potassium channels (hEAG1) open in response to membrane depolarization and they are inhibited by Ca2+/calmodulin (CaM), presumably binding to the C-terminal domain of the channel subunits. Deletion of the cytosolic N-terminal domain resulted in complete abolition of Ca2+/CaM sensitivity suggesting the existence of further CaM binding sites. A peptide array-based screen of the entire cytosolic protein of hEAG1 identified three putative CaM-binding domains, two in the C-terminus (BD-C1: 674–683, BD-C2: 711–721) and one in the N-terminus (BD-N: 151–165). Binding of GST-fusion proteins to Ca2+/CaM was assayed with fluorescence correlation spectroscopy, surface plasmon resonance spectroscopy and precipitation assays. In the presence of Ca2+, BD-N and BD-C2 provided dissociation constants in the nanomolar range, BD-C1 bound with lower affinity. Mutations in the binding domains reduced inhibition of the functional channels by Ca2+/CaM. Employment of CaM-EF-hand mutants showed that CaM binding to the N- and C-terminus are primarily dependent on EF-hand motifs 3 and 4. Hence, closure of EAG channels presumably requires the binding of multiple CaM molecules in a manner more complex than previously assumed.

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