Voltage-dependent K+ (Kv) channels underlie action potentials through gating conformational changes that are driven by membrane voltage. In this study of the paddle chimera Kv channel, we demonstrate that the rate of channel opening, the voltage dependence of the open probability, and the maximum achievable open probability depend on the lipid membrane environment. The activity of the voltage sensor toxin VsTx1, which interferes with voltage-dependent gating by partitioning into the membrane and binding to the channel, also depends on the membrane. Membrane environmental factors that influence channel function are divisible into two general categories: lipid compositional and mechanical state. The mechanical state can have a surprisingly large effect on the function of a voltage-dependent K+ channel, including its pharmacological interaction with voltage sensor toxins. The dependence of VSTx1 activity on the mechanical state of the membrane leads us to hypothesize that voltage sensor toxins exert their effect by perturbing the interaction forces that exist between the channel and the membrane.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - Dec 9 2008|
- Kv channel