Hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN) channels generate the pacemaker current which plays an important role in the timing of various biological processes like the heart beat. We used umbrella sampling to explore the potential of mean force for the conduction of potassium and sodium through the open HCN4 pore. Our data explain distinct functional features like low unitary conductance and weak selectivity as a result of high energetic barriers inside the selectivity filter of this channel. They exceed the 3-5 kJ/mol threshold which is presumed as maximal barrier for diffusion-limited conductance. Furthermore, simulations provide a thermodynamic explanation for the weak cation selectivity of HCN channels that contain only two ion binding sites in the selectivity filter (SF). We find that sodium ions bind more strongly to the SF than potassium and are easier released by binding of potassium than of another sodium. Hence ion transport and selectivity in HCN channels is not determined by the same mechanism as in potassium-selective channels; it rather relies on sodium as a weak blocker that can only be released by potassium.

Weak Cation Selectivity in HCN Channels Results From K+-Mediated Release of Na+ From Selectivity Filter Binding Sites / D. Bauer, J. Wissmann, A. Moroni, G. Thiel, K. Hamacher. - In: FUNCTION. - ISSN 2633-8823. - 3:3(2022 May 26), pp. zqac019.1-zqac019.10. [10.1093/function/zqac019]

Weak Cation Selectivity in HCN Channels Results From K+-Mediated Release of Na+ From Selectivity Filter Binding Sites

A. Moroni;
2022

Abstract

Hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN) channels generate the pacemaker current which plays an important role in the timing of various biological processes like the heart beat. We used umbrella sampling to explore the potential of mean force for the conduction of potassium and sodium through the open HCN4 pore. Our data explain distinct functional features like low unitary conductance and weak selectivity as a result of high energetic barriers inside the selectivity filter of this channel. They exceed the 3-5 kJ/mol threshold which is presumed as maximal barrier for diffusion-limited conductance. Furthermore, simulations provide a thermodynamic explanation for the weak cation selectivity of HCN channels that contain only two ion binding sites in the selectivity filter (SF). We find that sodium ions bind more strongly to the SF than potassium and are easier released by binding of potassium than of another sodium. Hence ion transport and selectivity in HCN channels is not determined by the same mechanism as in potassium-selective channels; it rather relies on sodium as a weak blocker that can only be released by potassium.
HCN channels; free energy; ion selectivity; molecular dynamics; rate theory
Settore BIO/09 - Fisiologia
26-mag-2022
22-apr-2022
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/1049601
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