Cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator: a chloride channel gated by ATP binding and hydrolysis

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BOMPADRE Silvia G.()
HWANG Tzyh-Chang()
Journal Title:
Volume 59, Issue 04, 2007
Key Word:
ATP-binding cassette transporter;ion channel gating;cystic fibrosis;electrophysiology

Abstract: The cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) is a chloride channel that belongs to the ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter superfamily. Defective function of CFTR is responsible for cystic fibrosis (CF), the most common lethal autosomal recessive disorder in Caucasian populations. The disease is manifested in defective chloride transport across the epithelial cells in various tissues. To date, more than 1400 different mutations have been identified as CF-associated. CFTR is regulated by phosphorylation in its regulatory (R) domain, and gated by ATP binding and hydrolysis at its two nucleotide-binding domains (NBD1 and NBD2). Recent studies reveal that the NBDs of CFTR may dimerize as observed in other ABC proteins. Upon dimerization of CFTR's two NBDs, in a head-to-tail configuration, the two ATP-binding pockets (ABP1 and ABP2) are formed by the canonical Walker A and B motifs from one NBD and the signature sequence from the partner NBD. Mutations of the amino acids that interact with ATP reveal that the two ABPs play distinct roles in controlling ATP-dependent gating of CFTR. It was proposed that binding of ATP to the ABP2, which is formed by the Walker A and B in NBD2 and the signature sequence in NBD1, is critical for catalyzing channel opening. While binding of ATP to the ABP1 alone may not increase the opening rate, it does contribute to the stabilization of the open channel conformation. Several disease-associated mutations of the CFTR channel are characterized by gating defects. Understanding how CFTR's two NBDs work together to gate the channel could provide considerable mechanistic information for future pharmacological studies, which could pave the way for tailored drug design for therapeutical interventions in CF.

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