Role of the outer pore domain in Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid 1 dynamic permeability to large cations [Molecular Biophysics]

January 7th, 2015 by Munns, C. H., Chung, M.-K., Sanchez, Y. E., Amzel, L. M., Caterina, M. J.

TRPV1 has been shown to alter its ionic selectivity profile in a time- and agonist-dependent manner. One hallmark of this dynamic process is an increased permeability to large cations such as N-methyl-D-glucamine (NMDG). In this study, we mutated residues throughout the TRPV1 pore domain to identify loci that contribute to dynamic large cation permeability. Using resiniferatoxin (RTX) as the agonist, we identified multiple gain-of-function substitutions within the TRPV1 pore turret (N628P, S629A), pore helix (F638A), and selectivity filter (M644A) domains. In all of these mutants, maximum NMDG permeability was substantially greater than that recorded in wild type TRPV1, despite similar or even reduced sodium current density. Two additional mutants, located in the pore turret (G618W) and selectivity filter (M644I), resulted in significantly reduced maximum NMDG permeability. M644A and M644I also showed increased and decreased minimum NMDG permeability, respectively. The phenotypes of this panel of mutants were confirmed by imaging the RTX-evoked uptake of the large cationic fluorescent dye YO-PRO1. Whereas none of the mutations selectively altered capsaicin-induced changes in NMDG permeability, the loss of function phenotypes seen with RTX stimulation of G618W and M644I were recapitulated in the capsaicin-evoked YO-PRO1 uptake assay. Curiously, the M644A substitution resulted in a loss, rather than a gain, in capsaicin-evoked YO-PRO1 uptake. Modeling of our mutations onto the recently determined TRPV1 structure revealed several plausible mechanisms for the phenotypes observed. We conclude that side chain interactions at a few specific loci within the TRPV1 pore contribute to the dynamic process of ionic selectivity.