The principle of gating charge movement in a voltage-dependent K+ channel

Youxing Jiang, Vanessa Ruta, Jiayun Chen, Alice Lee, Roderick MacKinnon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

670 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The steep dependence of channel opening on membrane voltage allows voltage-dependent K+ channels to turn on almost like a switch. Opening is driven by the movement of gating charges that originate from arginine residues on helical S4 segments of the protein. Each S4 segment forms half of a 'voltage-sensor paddle' on the channel's outer perimeter. Here we show that the voltage- sensor paddles are positioned inside the membrane, near the intracellular surface, when the channel is closed, and that the paddles move a large distance across the membrane from inside to outside when the channel opens. KvAP channels were reconstituted into planar lipid membranes and studied using monoclonal Fab fragments, a voltage-sensor toxin, and avidin binding to tethered biotin. Our findings lead us to conclude that the voltage-sensor paddles operate somewhat like hydrophobic cations attached to levers, enabling the membrane electric field to open and close the pore.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)42-48
Number of pages7
JournalNature
Volume423
Issue number6935
DOIs
StatePublished - 2003

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Membranes
Intracellular Membranes
Immunoglobulin Fab Fragments
Avidin
Membrane Lipids
Biotin
Arginine
Cations
Proteins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this

The principle of gating charge movement in a voltage-dependent K+ channel. / Jiang, Youxing; Ruta, Vanessa; Chen, Jiayun; Lee, Alice; MacKinnon, Roderick.

In: Nature, Vol. 423, No. 6935, 2003, p. 42-48.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Jiang, Y, Ruta, V, Chen, J, Lee, A & MacKinnon, R 2003, 'The principle of gating charge movement in a voltage-dependent K+ channel', Nature, vol. 423, no. 6935, pp. 42-48. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature01581
Jiang, Youxing ; Ruta, Vanessa ; Chen, Jiayun ; Lee, Alice ; MacKinnon, Roderick. / The principle of gating charge movement in a voltage-dependent K+ channel. In: Nature. 2003 ; Vol. 423, No. 6935. pp. 42-48.
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