Mechanism of G551D-CFTR (cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator) potentiation by a high affinity ATP analog

Silvia G Bompadre, Min Li, Tzyh-Chang Hwang
Journal of Biological Chemistry 2008 February 29, 283 (9): 5364-9
Cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) is a chloride channel gated by ATP binding and hydrolysis at its nucleotide binding domains (NBD). The NBDs dimerize in a head-to-tail configuration, forming two ATP binding pockets (ABP) with the ATP molecules buried at the dimer interface. Previous studies have indicated that ABP2, formed by the Walker A and B motifs of NBD2 and the signature sequence of NBD1, is the site critical for the ATP-dependent opening of CFTR. The G551D mutation in ABP2, the third most common cystic fibrosis-associated mutation, abolishes ATP-dependent gating, resulting in an open probability that is approximately 100-fold lower than that of wild-type channels. Interestingly, we found that the ATP analog N6-(2-phenylethyl)-ATP (P-ATP) increases G551D currents mainly by increasing the open time of the channel. This effect is reduced when P-ATP is applied together with ATP, suggesting a competition between ATP and P-ATP for a common binding site. Introducing mutations that lower the nucleotide binding affinity at ABP2 did not alter significantly the effects of P-ATP on G551D-CFTR, whereas an equivalent mutation at ABP1 (consisting of the Walker A and B motifs of NBD1 and the signature sequence of NBD2) dramatically decreased the potency of P-ATP, indicating that ABP1 is the site where P-ATP binds to increase the activity of G551D-CFTR. These results substantiate the idea that nucleotide binding at ABP1 stabilizes the open channel conformation. Our observation that P-ATP enhances the G551D activity by binding at ABP1 implicates that ABP1 can potentially be a target for drugs to bind and increase the channel activity.

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