Characterization of the outer pore region of the apamin-sensitive Ca2+-activated K+ channelrSK2

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We have studied the interaction between the SK2 channel and different scorpion toxins in order to find similarity and differences to other K+ channels. Beside apamin, ScTX is a high affinity blocker of the SK2 channel, whereas CTX is unable to block current through SK2. In order to prove that the ScTX affinity can be explained by the character of the different residues in the outer pore of the SK channels we introduced point mutations that render SK2 K+ channel SK1 and SK3 like. Directed by the results of the toxin receptor on the ShakerK+ channel, we changed single amino acids of the SK2 K+ channel that should render it sensitive to other peptide toxins like CTX a blocker of the IK channel, or KTX a blocker of the voltage-dependent channel Kv1.1 and Kv1.3. Amino acids V342G, S344E, and G384D of SK2 were changed to amino acids known from ShakerK+ channel to improve Shaker K+ channel CTX sensitivity. Interestingly SK2 V342G became CTX sensitive with a Kd of 19 nM and was also KTX sensitive Symbol SK2 S344E Symbol) and G348D (Symbol) became also CTX and KTX sensitive with a lower affinity. The mutant channels SK V342G, SK2 S344E and SK2 G348D showed reduced ScTX sensitivity (Symbol and Symbol). Because the exchange of a single residue could create a new high affinity binding site for CTX and KTX we concluded that the outer vestibule around position V342, S344, and G348 of the SK2 K+ channel pore is very similar to those of voltage-gated K+ channels such as the Shaker K+ channel, Kv1.1 and Kv1.3 channels and also to the prokaryotic KcsA channel. From mutant cycle analysis of KTX position H34 and SK2 position V342G, S344E, and G348D we could deduce that KTX binds in a similar way to SK2 channel mutant pore than to the Kv1.1 pore.

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