Positively-charged amino acids respond to membrane potential changes to drive voltage sensor movement in voltage-gated ion channels, but determining the displacements of voltage sensor gating charges has proven difficult. We optically tracked the movement of the two most extracellular charged residues (R1, R2) in the Shaker potassium channel voltage sensor using a fluorescent positively-charged bimane derivative (qBBr) that is strongly quenched by tryptophan. By individually mutating residues to tryptophan within the putative pathway of gating charges, we observed that the charge motion during activation is a rotation and a tilted translation that differs between R1 and R2. Tryptophan-induced quenching of qBBr also indicates that a crucial residue of the hydrophobic plug is linked to the Cole-Moore shift through its interaction with R1. Finally, we show that this approach extends to additional voltage-sensing membrane proteins using the Ciona intestinalis voltage sensitive phosphatase (CiVSP) (Murata et al., 2005a).
All data generated or analysed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files. Actual records have been provided for Figures 2,3,4,5,7,8
- Francisco Bezanilla
- Michael F Priest
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: This study was performed in strict accordance with the recommendations in the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals of the National Institutes of Health. All of the animals were handled according to approved institutional animal care and use committee (IACUC) protocols of the University of Chicago. The protocol was approved by the Committee on the Ethics of Animal Experiments of the University of Chicago (Permit Number: 71475).
- Richard W Aldrich, The University of Texas at Austin, United States
© 2021, Priest 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.
Cyclic GMP-dependent protein kinases (PKGs) are key mediators of the nitric oxide/cGMP signaling pathway that regulates biological functions as diverse as smooth muscle contraction, cardiac function, and axon guidance. Understanding how cGMP differentially triggers mammalian PKG isoforms could lead to new therapeutics that inhibit or activate PKGs, complementing drugs that target nitric oxide synthases and cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterases in this signaling axis. Alternate splicing of PRKG1 transcripts confers distinct leucine zippers, linkers, and auto-inhibitory pseudo-substrate sequences to PKG Iα and Iβ that result in isoform-specific activation properties, but the mechanism of enzyme auto-inhibition and its alleviation by cGMP is not well understood. Here we present a crystal structure of PKG Iβ in which the auto-inhibitory sequence and the cyclic nucleotide binding domains are bound to the catalytic domain, providing a snapshot of the auto-inhibited state. Specific contacts between the PKG Iβ auto-inhibitory sequence and the enzyme active site help explain isoform-specific activation constants and the effects of phosphorylation in the linker. We also present a crystal structure of a PKG I cyclic nucleotide binding domain with an activating mutation linked to Thoracic Aortic Aneurysms and Dissections. Similarity of this structure to wild type cGMP-bound domains and differences with the auto-inhibited enzyme provide a mechanistic basis for constitutive activation. We show that PKG Iβ auto-inhibition is mediated by contacts within each monomer of the native full-length dimeric protein, and using the available structural and biochemical data we develop a model for the regulation and cooperative activation of PKGs.
We report the real-time response of Escherichia coli to lactoferricin-derived antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) on length scales bridging microscopic cell sizes to nanoscopic lipid packing using millisecond time-resolved synchrotron small-angle X-ray scattering. Coupling a multiscale scattering data analysis to biophysical assays for peptide partitioning revealed that the AMPs rapidly permeabilize the cytosolic membrane within less than 3 s—much faster than previously considered. Final intracellular AMP concentrations of ∼80–100 mM suggest an efficient obstruction of physiologically important processes as the primary cause of bacterial killing. On the other hand, damage of the cell envelope and leakage occurred also at sublethal peptide concentrations, thus emerging as a collateral effect of AMP activity that does not kill the bacteria. This implies that the impairment of the membrane barrier is a necessary but not sufficient condition for microbial killing by lactoferricins. The most efficient AMP studied exceeds others in both speed of permeabilizing membranes and lowest intracellular peptide concentration needed to inhibit bacterial growth.