Voltage-gated sodium channels are targets for a range of pharmaceutical drugs developed for treatment of neurological diseases. Cannabidiol (CBD), the non-psychoactive compound isolated from cannabis plants, was recently approved for treatment of two types of epilepsy associated with sodium channel mutations. This study used high resolution X-ray crystallography to demonstrate the detailed nature of the interactions between CBD and the NavMs voltage-gated sodium channel, and electrophysiology to show the functional effects of binding CBD to these channels. CBD binds at a novel site at the interface of the fenestrations and the central hydrophobic cavity of the channel. Binding at this site blocks the transmembrane-spanning sodium ion translocation pathway, providing a molecular mechanism for channel inhibition. Modelling studies suggest why the closely-related psychoactive compound tetrahydrocannabinol may not have the same effects on these channels. Finally, comparisons are made with the TRPV2 channel, also recently proposed as a target site for CBD. In summary, this study provides novel insight into a possible mechanism for CBD interactions with sodium channels.
Coordinates and Diffraction data have been deposited in the PDB under PDB6YZ2, and PDB6YZ0.All data generated or analysed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files.
- Bonnie A Wallace
- Bonnie A Wallace
- Lily Goodyer Sait
- Peter C Ruben
- Peter C Ruben
- Mohammad-Reza Ghovanloo
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
© 2020, Sait 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.
Clamp loaders place circular sliding clamp proteins onto DNA so that clamp-binding partner proteins can synthesize, scan, and repair the genome. DNA with nicks or small single-stranded gaps are common clamp-loading targets in DNA repair, yet these substrates would be sterically blocked given the known mechanism for binding of primer-template DNA. Here, we report the discovery of a second DNA binding site in the yeast clamp loader Replication Factor C (RFC) that aids in binding to nicked or gapped DNA. This DNA binding site is on the external surface and is only accessible in the open conformation of RFC. Initial DNA binding at this site thus provides access to the primary DNA binding site in the central chamber. Furthermore, we identify that this site can partially unwind DNA to create an extended single-stranded gap for DNA binding in RFC's central chamber and subsequent ATPase activation. Finally, we show that deletion of the BRCT domain, a major component of the external DNA binding site, results in defective yeast growth in the presence of DNA damage where nicked or gapped DNA intermediates occur. We propose that RFC’s external DNA binding site acts to enhance DNA binding and clamp loading, particularly at DNA architectures typically found in DNA repair.
Protein folding homeostasis in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is regulated by a signaling network, termed the unfolded protein response (UPR). Inositol-requiring enzyme 1 (IRE1) is an ER membrane-resident kinase/RNase that mediates signal transmission in the most evolutionarily conserved branch of the UPR. Dimerization and/or higher-order oligomerization of IRE1 are thought to be important for its activation mechanism, yet the actual oligomeric states of inactive, active, and attenuated mammalian IRE1 complexes remain unknown. We developed an automated two-color single-molecule tracking approach to dissect the oligomerization of tagged endogenous human IRE1 in live cells. In contrast to previous models, our data indicate that IRE1 exists as a constitutive homodimer at baseline and assembles into small oligomers upon ER stress. We demonstrate that the formation of inactive dimers and stress-dependent oligomers is fully governed by IRE1’s lumenal domain. Phosphorylation of IRE1’s kinase domain occurs more slowly than oligomerization and is retained after oligomers disassemble back into dimers. Our findings suggest that assembly of IRE1 dimers into larger oligomers specifically enables trans-autophosphorylation, which in turn drives IRE1’s RNase activity.