LEC17: Voltage-Dependent Channels Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in LEC17: Voltage-Dependent Channels Deck (19)
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what are the classes of ion channels whose ability to coduct charges varies w/ membrane potential?

1) inward rectifiers, aka Kir, or inward-rectifying K+ channels

2) voltage-gated channels


what is the structure of inward rectifiers? 

tetrameter of homologous subunits; each subunit has 2 TM helical regions (M1, M2) 

4 subunits arrange in assembled channel so that M2 helices (inner helices) face each other in an inverted tepee structure, tapering intracellular end 

M1 helices are more lateral 

center of protein is water-contianing pore lined by M2 helices, extending thru the membrane 

p-loop at extracellular mouth of channel projects into pore from each subunit 



what is the p-loop of the inward rectifier? 

where is it, what is its function?

loop structure projecting into pore from each of the M1/M2 subunits

creates a narrowing, allowing only K+ ions to pass

where the selectivity filter is 



what is the selectivity filter of the inward rectifier? 

its structure, its function?

signature sequence of 5-6 residues w/in the p-loop 

carbonyl groups from protein backbone project into pore here 

form rings of dipoles, w/ electronegative oxygen oriented toward center 

is so narrow, only single-file dehydrated K+ ions can pass through: dehydrated K+ ion interacts w/ all 4 carbonyls within a ring, thereby compensating for cost of dehydration (b/c its energetically expensive) 


why does the inward rectifier's selectivity filter discriminate against Na+ ions?

because dehydrated Na+ ions are too small to be stabilized by simultaneous interactions w/ all four carbonyl groups

whereas dehydrated K+ ions are optimally sized to interact w/ all 4 carbonyl groups protruding into selectivity filter 


what does the high density of protein structure around the selectivity filter indicate? 


indicates the importance of precise dimensions for the proper function of the selectivity filter 

creates a rigid frame, tight structure 

therefore carbonyl ions making up filter must be consistently spaced

highly selective for K+ 


how does an inward recitifer change its conductance according to a change in membrane potential? 

inward rectifier's pore has acidic residues that're accessible from intracellular side of channel 

cations in the cytoplasm - Mg2+, spermine (a polyamine) - cannot get past selectivity filter, but can enter pore from cytoplasmic side, & interact w/ negative residues 

when cations enter pore, pore is blocked, conductance is low

normal conditions: K+ currents are net outward; some inward movement occurs, though; 

if membrane is well polarized (hyperpolarized), K+ ions move inward, & displace the blocking cation from the pore 


what gives inward rectifying channels their name? 

"rectifiers" = conductorsthat carry current better in 1 direction than the other

under experimental conditions, when Vm is set negative to VK, observe these channels carry large inward currents better than large outward currents  

the inward movement of K+ is what unblocks the blocked channel, when it's blocked w/ a cation like spermine or Mg2+ 



when do inward rectifiers have high/low conductance? re: membrane being polarized/depolarized

when membrane depolarizes, inward rectifiers are blocked and so they have low conductance

when membrane is hyperpolarized, get inward K+ movement, and inward rectifier has high average conductance



how do different Kir channels differ from each other? 

w/ respect to the extent that they rectify: 

strong rectifiers decrease in conductance upon depolarization

weak rectifiers may not show any change in conductance upon membrane depolarization 


what is the structure of voltage-gated K+ channels?


each subunit has 6 TM helices (named S1-6) 

S1-4 are mostly embedded in lipid bylayer later to channel pore; S5&6 have interted tepee structure, P-loop, K+ channel sequence w/ selectivirt filter; S6 lines pore 

S4 has multiple positive charged residues



which helices are the voltage sensor of voltage gated K+ channels?

how do they respond to polarization to open/close channel? explain how voltage dependence occurs

S4 = voltage sensor b/c of its positively charged residues; on intracellular side of membrane b/c attracted to uncompensated (-) charges in cytoplasm of a polarized membrane

S5/S6 create activation gate that pinches off channel to ion flow 

when membrane depolarizesS4 helices move toward outer leaflet of bilayer b/c tehre are fewer uncompensated (-) charges near inner face of membrane to attract S4 helices 

when all 4 S4 helices move to outer position, activation gate is pulled open, K+ ions flow through the pore 



what does it mean if a voltage-gated K+ chanel deactivates?

a voltage-gated K+ channel that stays open for as long as membrane remains depolarized, and deactivates when the membrane potential returns to its resting value & voltage sensors return toward the inner leaflet of the membrane 

they're prepared to activate again in response to next depolarization



what does it mean if a voltage-gated K+ channel inactivates?

how does this work? 

if K+ channel exhibits a decrease in conductance (g), aka stops conducting soon after activation, despite sustained membrane depolarization

"ball and chain": 

voltage-gated K+ channels carry own intracellular blocking cations, in form of basic amino acids at N-terminus of each subunit

when activate gate opens, binding sties w/in pore for positively charged ball are exposed, enable ball to lodge in pore, block ion flow 

activation gate cannot close until ball and chain vacates pore; when it does, sometimes see flicker of current before activation gate closes



what is the process of de-inactivation for a voltage-gated K+ channel?? describe how/when/where it occurs, how fast it happens

when membrane potential returns to resting value following inactivation of a channel, inactivating "particle" - ball and chain - exits channel, returns to cytoplasm 

this = de-inactivation

not instantaneous; so even after membrane repolarizes, there's a delay (milliseconds) before channel activates again 


what inactivates a voltage-gated Na+ or Ca2+ channel?


positive charges on intarcellular loop between III and IV

upon depolarization, loop enters pore, clogs/blocks it the voltage-gated Na+/Ca2+ channels so inactivation occurs, even though channel's still open



what is the structure of a Na+/Ca2+ channel?

a single polypeptide w/ 24 transmembrane helices arranged in 4 domains (I-IV), each w/ 6 helices 



are Na+/Ca2+ channels very selective? 

how do they activate?

have selectivity filters on their p-loops, but details of ion selection not well understood 

activate similarly to K+ channels 


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