Piezo1 and Piezo2 belong to a family of mechanically-activated ion channels implicated in a wide range of physiological processes. Mechanical stimulation triggers Piezo channels to open, but their characteristic fast inactivation process results in rapid closure. Several disease-causing mutations in Piezo1 alter the rate of inactivation, highlighting the importance of inactivation to the normal function of this channel. However, despite the structural identification of two physical constrictions within the closed pore, the mechanism of inactivation remains unknown. Here we identify a functionally conserved inactivation gate in the pore-lining inner helix of mouse Piezo1 and Piezo2 that is distinct from the two constrictions. We show that this gate controls the majority of Piezo1 inactivation via a hydrophobic mechanism and that one of the physical constrictions acts as a secondary gate. Our results suggest that, unlike other rapidly inactivating ion channels, a hydrophobic barrier gives rise to fast inactivation in Piezo channels.
All data generated or analysed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files.
- Sviatoslav N Bagriantsev
- Sviatoslav N Bagriantsev
- Elena O Gracheva
- Wang Zheng
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Leon D Islas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico
© 2019, Zheng et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
Previously we showed that 2D template matching (2DTM) can be used to localize macromolecular complexes in images recorded by cryogenic electron microscopy (cryo-EM) with high precision, even in the presence of noise and cellular background (Lucas et al., 2021; Lucas et al., 2022). Here, we show that once localized, these particles may be averaged together to generate high-resolution 3D reconstructions. However, regions included in the template may suffer from template bias, leading to inflated resolution estimates and making the interpretation of high-resolution features unreliable. We evaluate conditions that minimize template bias while retaining the benefits of high-precision localization, and we show that molecular features not present in the template can be reconstructed at high resolution from targets found by 2DTM, extending prior work at low-resolution. Moreover, we present a quantitative metric for template bias to aid the interpretation of 3D reconstructions calculated with particles localized using high-resolution templates and fine angular sampling.
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