TRPV1 activation relies on hydration/dehydration of nonpolar cavities [article]

Marina A Kasimova, Aysenur Yazici, Yevgen Yudin, Daniele Granata, Michael L. Klein, Tibor Rohacs, Vincenzo Carnevale
2017 bioRxiv   pre-print
TRPV1 promotes cationic currents across cellular membranes in response to multiple stimuli such as increased temperature, binding of chemicals, low pH and voltage. The molecular underpinnings of TRPV1 gating, in particular the mechanism of temperature sensitivity, are still largely unknown. Here, we used molecular simulations and electrophysiology to shed light on the closed to open transition. Specifically, we found that gating of TRPV1 relies on the motion of an evolutionarily conserved amino
more » ... acid (N676) in the middle of the S6 helix. On rotation, the side chain of this asparagine faces either the central pore or the S4-S5 linker. Only in the former case is the central pore hydrated and thus conductive. Interestingly, when N676 rotates toward the linker, we observe hydration of four so far unreported small nonpolar cavities. Based on these findings, we propose a model for TRPV1 gating involving the dynamic hydration of these four cavities. Free energy calculations indicate that this gating mechanisms is markedly temperature dependent favoring the open state at high temperature. On the basis of this model, which is able to rationalize a wealth of seemingly conflicting and/or unrelated experimental observations, we predicted the behavior of two single residue mutants, M572A and F580Y, the consequences of which we confirmed experimentally.
doi:10.1101/114546 fatcat:phgcwb4l5bbtrc2456bkfjjupa