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Most known small-molecule inhibitors of voltage-gated ion channels have poor subtype specificity because they interact with a highly conserved binding site in the central cavity. Using alanine-scanning mutagenesis, electrophysiological recordings and molecular modeling, we have identified a new drug-binding site in Kv1.x channels. We report that Psora-4 can discriminate between related Kv channel subtypes because, in addition to binding the central pore cavity, it binds a second, less conserved site located in side pockets formed by the backsides of S5 and S6, the S4-S5 linker, part of the voltage sensor and the pore helix. Simultaneous drug occupation of both binding sites results in an extremely stable nonconducting state that confers high affinity, cooperativity, use-dependence and selectivity to Psora-4 inhibition of Kv1.x channels. This new mechanism of inhibition represents a molecular basis for the development of a new class of allosteric and selective voltage-gated channel inhibitors.

Original publication

DOI

10.1038/nchembio.1271

Type

Journal article

Journal

Nat Chem Biol

Publication Date

08/2013

Volume

9

Pages

507 - 513

Keywords

Ficusin, Kv1.5 Potassium Channel, Models, Molecular, Molecular Structure, Structure-Activity Relationship, Substrate Specificity