Serine-401 as a batrachotoxin- and local anesthetic-sensing residue in the human cardiac Na+ channel
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Sequence alignment of four S6 segments in the human cardiac Na+ channel suggests that serine-401 (hNav1.5-S401) at D1S6 along with asparagine-927 (N927) at D2S6, serine-1458 (S1458) at D3S6, and phenylalanine-1760 (F1760) at D4S6 may jointly form a pore-facing S(401)N(927)S(1458)F(1760) ring. Importantly, this pore-facing structure is adjacent to the putative gating-hinge (G(400)G(926)G(1457)S(1759)) and close to the selectivity filter. Within this SNSF ring, only S401 has not yet been identified as a batrachotoxin (BTX) sensing residue. We therefore created S401 mutants with 12 substitutions (S401C,W,P,A,K,F,R,E,L,N,D,G) and assayed their BTX sensitivity. All S401 mutants expressed Na+ currents but often with altered gating characteristics. Ten mutants were found sensitive to 5 muM BTX, which eliminated Na+ channel fast inactivation after repetitive pulses. However, S401K and S401R became BTX resistant. In addition, the block of open and inactivated hNav1.5-S401K Na+ channels by local anesthetic bupivacaine was reduced by approximately 8-10-fold, but not the block of resting Na+ channels. Qualitatively, these ligand-sensing phenotypes of hNav1.5-S401K channels resemble those of S1458K and F1760K channels reported earlier. Together, our results support that residue hNav1.5-S401 at D1S6 is facing the inner cavity and is in close proximity to the receptor sites for BTX and for local anesthetics.
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