A functional voltage-gated K+ (Kv) channel comprises four pore-forming α-subunits, and only members of the same Kv channel subfamily may co-assemble to form heterotetramers. The ether-à-go-go family of Kv channels (KCNH) encompasses three distinct subfamilies: Eag (Kv10), Erg (Kv11), and Elk (Kv12). Members of different ether-à-go-go subfamilies, such as Eag and Erg, fail to form heterotetramers. Although a short stretch of amino acid sequences in the distal C-terminal section has been implicated in subfamily-specific subunit assembly, it remains unclear whether this region serves as the sole and/or principal subfamily recognition domain for Eag and Erg. Here we aim to ascertain the structural basis underlying the subfamily specificity of ether-à-go-go channels by generating various chimeric constructs between rat Eag1 and human Erg subunits. Biochemical and electrophysiological characterizations of the subunit interaction properties of a series of different chimeric and truncation constructs over the C terminus suggested that the putative C-terminal recognition domain is dispensable for subfamily-specific assembly. Further chimeric analyses over the Nterminus revealed that the N-terminal region may also harbor a subfamily recognition domain. Importantly, exchanging either the N-terminal or the C-terminal domain alone led to a virtual loss of the intersubfamily assembly boundary. By contrast, simultaneously swapping both recognition domains resulted in a reversal of subfamily specificity. Our observations are consistent with the notion that both the N-terminal and the C-terminal recognition domains are required to sustain the subfamily-specific assembly of rat Eag1 and human Erg.
|Number of pages||20|
|Journal||Journal of Biological Chemistry|
|State||Published - 15 Aug 2014|