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Functional Roles of Nonconserved Structural Segments in CFTR's NH2-terminal Nucleotide Binding Domain

By László Csanády, Kim W. Chan, Angus C. Nairn and David C. Gadsby


The cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR), encoded by the gene mutated in cystic fibrosis patients, belongs to the family of ATP-binding cassette (ABC) proteins, but, unlike other members, functions as a chloride channel. CFTR is activated by protein kinase A (PKA)-mediated phosphorylation of multiple sites in its regulatory domain, and gated by binding and hydrolysis of ATP at its two nucleotide binding domains (NBD1, NBD2). The recent crystal structure of NBD1 from mouse CFTR (Lewis, H.A., S.G. Buchanan, S.K. Burley, K. Conners, M. Dickey, M. Dorwart, R. Fowler, X. Gao, W.B. Guggino, W.A. Hendrickson, et al. 2004. EMBO J. 23:282–293) identified two regions absent from structures of all other NBDs determined so far, a “regulatory insertion” (residues 404–435) and a “regulatory extension” (residues 639–670), both positioned to impede formation of the putative NBD1–NBD2 dimer anticipated to occur during channel gating; as both segments appeared highly mobile and both contained consensus PKA sites (serine 422, and serines 660 and 670, respectively), it was suggested that their phosphorylation-linked conformational changes might underlie CFTR channel regulation. To test that suggestion, we coexpressed in Xenopus oocytes CFTR residues 1–414 with residues 433–1480, or residues 1–633 with 668–1480, to yield split CFTR channels (called 414+433 and 633+668) that lack most of the insertion, or extension, respectively. In excised patches, regulation of the resulting CFTR channels by PKA and by ATP was largely normal. Both 414+433 channels and 633+668 channels, as well as 633(S422A)+668 channels (lacking both the extension and the sole PKA consensus site in the insertion), were all shut during exposure to MgATP before addition of PKA, but activated like wild type (WT) upon phosphorylation; this indicates that inhibitory regulation of nonphosphorylated WT channels depends upon neither segment. Detailed kinetic analysis of 414+433 channels revealed intact ATP dependence of single-channel gating kinetics, but slightly shortened open bursts and faster closing from the locked-open state (elicited by ATP plus pyrophosphate or ATP plus AMPPNP). In contrast, 633+668 channel function was indistinguishable from WT at both macroscopic and microscopic levels. We conclude that neither nonconserved segment is an essential element of PKA- or nucleotide-dependent regulation

Topics: Article
Publisher: The Rockefeller University Press
OAI identifier: oai:pubmedcentral.nih.gov:2217481
Provided by: PubMed Central
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