Pore Size and Negative Charge as Structural Determinants of Permeability in the Torpedo Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Channel
To gain an insight into the molecular basis of ion permeation mechanism through the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (AChR) channel, we have determined permeability ratios of organic cations relative to Na+ of specifically mutated Torpedo californica AChR channels expressed in Xenopus oocytes. The mutations involved mainly the side chains of the amino acid residues in the intermediate ring, where mutations have been found to exert strong effects on single-channel conductance and ion selectivity among alkali metal cations. The results obtained reveal that both the size and the net charge of the side chains of the intermediate ring are involved in determining the permeability, and provide experimental evidence that the pore size at the intermediate ring is a critical determinant of permeability. Our findings further suggest that changes in net charge exert effects on permeability by affecting the pore size of the channel.
Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B
- Pub Date:
- October 1992