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Friday 11 February 2005

Mutations in the pore region modify epithelial sodium channel gating by shear stress.

By: Carattino MD, Sheng S, Kleyman TR.

J Biol Chem 2005 Feb 11;280(6):4393-401

Previous studies have shown that epithelial Na+ channels (ENaCs) are activated by laminar shear stress (LSS). ENaCs with a high intrinsic open probability because of a mutation (betaS518K) or covalent modification of an introduced Cys residue (alphaS580C) in the pre-second transmembrane domain (pre-M2) were not activated by LSS, suggesting that the pre-M2 region participates in conformational rearrangements during channel activation. We examined the role of the pore region of the alpha-subunit in channel gating by studying the kinetics of activation by LSS of wild-type ENaC and channels with Cys mutations in the tract Ser576-Ser592. Whole cell Na+ currents were monitored in oocytes expressing wild-type or mutant ENaCs prior to and following application of LSS. Following a 2.2-s delay, a monoexponential increase in Na+ currents was observed with a time constant (tau) of 8.1 s in oocytes expressing wild-type ENaC. Cys substitutions within the alpha-subunit in the tract Ser580-Ser589 resulted in: (i) a reduction (Ser580-Trp585, Gly587) or increase (Ser589) in delay times preceding channel activation by LSS, (ii) an increase (Gln581, Leu584, Trp585, Phe586, Ser588) or decrease (Ser589) in the rate of channel activation, or (iii) a decrease in the magnitude of the response (Ser583, Gly587, Leu584). Cys substitutions at a putative amiloride-binding site (alphaSer583 or betaGly525) or within the selectivity filter (alphaGly587) resulted in a reduction in the LSS response, and exhibited a multiexponential time course of activation. The corresponding gamma-subunit mutant (alphabetagammaG542C) had a minimal response to LSS and exhibited a high intrinsic open probability. These data suggest that residues in the pore region participate in the sensing and/or transduction of the mechanical stimulus that results in channel activation and are consistent with the hypothesis that the ENaC pore region has a key role in modulating channel gating.

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