Arcangeletti, 2013

2013 - Physiol Rep. 2013 Nov;1(6):e00148.

Multiple mechanisms underlying rectification in retinal cyclic nucleotide-gated (CNGA1) channels.

Arcangeletti M, Marchesi A, Mazzolini M, Torre V.


In cyclic nucleotide-gated (CNGA1) channels, in the presence of symmetrical ionic conditions, current-voltage (I-V) relationship depends, in a complex way, on the radius of permeating ion. It has been suggested that both the pore and S4 helix contribute to the observed rectification. In the present manuscript, using tail and gating current measurements from homotetrameric CNGA1 channels expressed in Xenopus oocytes, we clarify and quantify the role of the pore and of the S4 helix. We show that in symmetrical Rb(+) and Cs(+) single-channel current rectification dominates macroscopic currents while voltage-dependent gating becomes larger in symmetrical ethylammonium and dimethylammonium, where the open probability strongly depends on voltage. Isochronal tail currents analysis in dimethylammonium shows that at least two voltage-dependent transitions underlie the observed rectification. Only the first voltage-dependent transition is sensible to mutation of charge residues in the S4 helix. Moreover, analysis of tail and gating currents indicates that the number of elementary charges per channel moving across the membrane is less than 2, when they are about 12 in K(+) channels. These results indicate the existence of distinct mechanisms underlying rectification in CNG channels. A restricted motion of the S4 helix together with an inefficient coupling to the channel gate render CNGA1 channels poorly sensitive to voltage in the presence of physiological Na(+) and K(+).


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