Some of the fascinating features of voltage-sensing domains (VSDs) in voltage-gated cation channels (VGCCs) are their modular nature and adaptability. Here we examined the VSD sensitivity of different VGCCs to 2 structurally related nontoxin gating modifiers, NH17 and NH29, which stabilize K v7.2 potassium channels in the closed and open states, respectively. The effects of NH17 and NH29 were examined in Chinese hamster ovary cells transfected with transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) or K v7.2 channels, as well as in dorsal root ganglia neurons, using the whole-cell patch-clamp technique. NH17 and NH29 exert opposite effects on TRPV1 channels, operating, respectively, as an activator and a blocker of TRPV1 currents (EC50 and IC50 values ranging from 4 to 40 μM). Combined mutagenesis, electrophysiology, structural homology modeling, molecular docking, and molecular dynamics simulation indicate that both compounds target the VSDs of TRPV1 channels, which, like vanilloids, are involved in π-π stacking, H-bonding, and hydrophobic interactions. Reflecting their promiscuity, the drugs also affect the lone VSD proton channel mV-SOP. Thus, the same gating modifier can promiscuously interact with different VGCCs, and subtle differences at the VSD-ligand interface will dictate whether the gating modifier stabilizes channels in either the closed or the open state.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology