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Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1016/J.STR.2020.12.007

Cryo-EM Structure of K+-Bound hERG Channel Complexed with the Blocker Astemizole.

04 Mar 2021-Structure (Cell Press)-Vol. 29, Iss: 3
Abstract: The hERG channel is a voltage-gated potassium channel involved in cardiac repolarization. Off-target hERG inhibition by drugs has become a critical issue in the pharmaceutical industry. The three-dimensional structure of the hERG channel was recently reported at 3.8-A resolution using cryogenic electron microscopy (cryo-EM). However, the drug inhibition mechanism remains unclear because of the scarce structural information regarding the drug- and potassium-bound hERG channels. In this study, we obtained the cryo-EM density map of potassium-bound hERG channel complexed with astemizole, a well-known hERG inhibitor that increases risk of potentially fatal arrhythmia, at 3.5-A resolution. The structure suggested that astemizole inhibits potassium conduction by binding directly below the selectivity filter. Furthermore, we propose a possible binding model of astemizole to the hERG channel and provide insights into the unusual sensitivity of hERG to several drugs.

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Topics: hERG (73%), Astemizole (54%), Potassium channel (53%)

8 results found

Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1016/J.JMB.2021.166995
Abstract: Leak currents, defined as voltage and time independent flows of ions across cell membranes, are central to cellular electrical excitability control. The K2P (KCNK) potassium channel class comprises an ion channel family that produces potassium leak currents that oppose excitation and stabilize the resting membrane potential in cells in the brain, cardiovascular system, immune system, and sensory organs. Due to their widespread tissue distribution, K2Ps contribute to many physiological and pathophysiological processes including anesthesia, pain, arrythmias, ischemia, hypertension, migraine, intraocular pressure regulation, and lung injury responses. Structural studies of six homomeric K2Ps have established the basic architecture of this channel family, revealed key moving parts involved in K2P function, uncovered the importance of asymmetric pinching and dilation motions in the K2P selectivity filter (SF) C-type gate, and defined two K2P structural classes based on the absence or presence of an intracellular gate. Further, a series of structures characterizing K2P:modulator interactions have revealed a striking polysite pharmacology housed within a relatively modestly sized (~70 kDa) channel. Binding sites for small molecules or lipids that control channel function are found at every layer of the channel structure, starting from its extracellular side through the portion that interacts with the membrane bilayer inner leaflet. This framework provides the basis for understanding how gating cues sensed by different channel parts control function and how small molecules and lipids modulate K2P activity. Such knowledge should catalyze development of new K2P modulators to probe function and treat a wide range of disorders.

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Topics: Ion channel (56%), Potassium channel (56%), Lung injury (54%) ... read more

5 Citations

Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1016/J.YJMCC.2021.05.015
Kevin R. DeMarco1, Pei Chi Yang1, Vikrant Singh1, Kazuharu Furutani1  +13 moreInstitutions (4)
Abstract: Drug isomers may differ in their proarrhythmia risk. An interesting example is the drug sotalol, an antiarrhythmic drug comprising d- and l- enantiomers that both block the hERG cardiac potassium channel and confer differing degrees of proarrhythmic risk. We developed a multi-scale in silico pipeline focusing on hERG channel - drug interactions and used it to probe and predict the mechanisms of pro-arrhythmia risks of the two enantiomers of sotalol. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations predicted comparable hERG channel binding affinities for d- and l-sotalol, which were validated with electrophysiology experiments. MD derived thermodynamic and kinetic parameters were used to build multi-scale functional computational models of cardiac electrophysiology at the cell and tissue scales. Functional models were used to predict inactivated state binding affinities to recapitulate electrocardiogram (ECG) QT interval prolongation observed in clinical data. Our study demonstrates how modeling and simulation can be applied to predict drug effects from the atom to the rhythm for dl-sotalol and also increased proarrhythmia proclivity of d- vs. l-sotalol when accounting for stereospecific beta-adrenergic receptor blocking.

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Topics: hERG (59%), Sotalol (56%), Proarrhythmia (51%)

1 Citations

Open accessPosted ContentDOI: 10.1101/2021.10.07.463585
09 Oct 2021-bioRxiv
Abstract: We proposed previously that aqueous non-covalent barriers arise from solute-induced perturbation of the H-bond network of solvating water ("the solvation field") relative to bulk solvent, where the association barrier equates to enthalpic losses incurred from incomplete replacement of the H- bonds of expelled H-bond enriched solvation by inter-partner H-bonds, and the dissociation barrier equates to enthalpic + entropic losses incurred during dissociation-induced resolvation of H-bond depleted positions of the free partners (where dynamic occupancy is powered largely by the expulsion of such solvation to bulk solvent during association). We analyzed blockade of the ether-a-go-go-related gene potassium channel (hERG) based on these principles, the results of which suggest that blockers: 1) project a single rod-shaped R-group (denoted as "BP") into the pore at a rate proportional to the desolvation cost of BP, with the largely solvated remainder (denoted as "BC") occupying the cytoplasmic "antechamber" of hERG; and 2) undergo second-order entry to the antechamber, followed by first-order association of BP to the pore. In this work, we used WATMD to qualitatively survey the solvation fields of the pore and a representative set of 16 blockers sampled from the Redfern dataset of marketed drugs spanning a range of pro-arrhythmicity. We show that the highly non-polar pore is solvated principally by H-bond depleted and bulk-like water (incurring zero desolvation cost), whereas blocker BP moieties are solvated by variable combinations of H-bond enriched and depleted water. With a few explainable exceptions, the blocker solvation fields (and implied desolvation/resolvation costs) are qualitatively well-correlated with blocker potency and Redfern safety classification.

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Topics: Solvation (53%)

1 Citations

Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.3390/MOLECULES26227049
Maytha Alshammari1, Jing He1Institutions (1)
22 Nov 2021-Molecules
Abstract: Although atomic structures have been determined directly from cryo-EM density maps with high resolutions, current structure determination methods for medium resolution (5 to 10 A) cryo-EM maps are limited by the availability of structure templates. Secondary structure traces are lines detected from a cryo-EM density map for α-helices and β-strands of a protein. A topology of secondary structures defines the mapping between a set of sequence segments and a set of traces of secondary structures in three-dimensional space. In order to enhance accuracy in ranking secondary structure topologies, we explored a method that combines three sources of information: a set of sequence segments in 1D, a set of amino acid contact pairs in 2D, and a set of traces in 3D at the secondary structure level. A test of fourteen cases shows that the accuracy of predicted secondary structures is critical for deriving topologies. The use of significant long-range contact pairs is most effective at enriching the rank of the maximum-match topology for proteins with a large number of secondary structures, if the secondary structure prediction is fairly accurate. It was observed that the enrichment depends on the quality of initial topology candidates in this approach. We provide detailed analysis in various cases to show the potential and challenge when combining three sources of information.

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Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1007/S00018-021-03967-8
Ehab Al-Moubarak1, Holly A. Shiels2, Yihong Zhang1, Chunyun Du1  +4 moreInstitutions (2)
Abstract: The lipophilic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) phenanthrene is relatively abundant in polluted air and water and can access and accumulate in human tissue. Phenanthrene has been reported to interact with cardiac ion channels in several fish species. This study was undertaken to investigate the ability of phenanthrene to interact with hERG (human Ether-a-go-go-Related Gene) encoded Kv11.1 K+ channels, which play a central role in human ventricular repolarization. Pharmacological inhibition of hERG can be proarrhythmic. Whole-cell patch clamp recordings of hERG current (IhERG) were made from HEK293 cells expressing wild-type (WT) and mutant hERG channels. WT IhERG1a was inhibited by phenanthrene with an IC50 of 17.6 ± 1.7 µM, whilst IhERG1a/1b exhibited an IC50 of 1.8 ± 0.3 µM. WT IhERG block showed marked voltage and time dependence, indicative of dependence of inhibition on channel gating. The inhibitory effect of phenanthrene was markedly impaired by the attenuated inactivation N588K mutation. Remarkably, mutations of S6 domain aromatic amino acids (Y652, F656) in the canonical drug binding site did not impair the inhibitory action of phenanthrene; the Y652A mutation augmented IhERG block. In contrast, the F557L (S5) and M651A (S6) mutations impaired the ability of phenanthrene to inhibit IhERG, as did the S624A mutation below the selectivity filter region. Computational docking using a cryo-EM derived hERG structure supported the mutagenesis data. Thus, phenanthrene acts as an inhibitor of the hERG K+ channel by directly interacting with the channel, binding to a distinct site in the channel pore domain.

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Topics: hERG (63%), Phenanthrene (56%), Potassium channel (53%)


46 results found

Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1002/JCC.20084
Abstract: The design, implementation, and capabilities of an extensible visualization system, UCSF Chimera, are discussed. Chimera is segmented into a core that provides basic services and visualization, and extensions that provide most higher level functionality. This architecture ensures that the extension mechanism satisfies the demands of outside developers who wish to incorporate new features. Two unusual extensions are presented: Multiscale, which adds the ability to visualize large-scale molecular assemblies such as viral coats, and Collaboratory, which allows researchers to share a Chimera session interactively despite being at separate locales. Other extensions include Multalign Viewer, for showing multiple sequence alignments and associated structures; ViewDock, for screening docked ligand orientations; Movie, for replaying molecular dynamics trajectories; and Volume Viewer, for display and analysis of volumetric data. A discussion of the usage of Chimera in real-world situations is given, along with anticipated future directions. Chimera includes full user documentation, is free to academic and nonprofit users, and is available for Microsoft Windows, Linux, Apple Mac OS X, SGI IRIX, and HP Tru64 Unix from

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Topics: Unix (50%), OS X (50%)

28,452 Citations

Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1107/S0907444904019158
Paul Emsley1, Kevin Cowtan1Institutions (1)
Abstract: CCP4mg is a project that aims to provide a general-purpose tool for structural biologists, providing tools for X-ray structure solution, structure comparison and analysis, and publication-quality graphics. The map-fitting tools are available as a stand-alone package, distributed as `Coot'.

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Topics: Computer graphics (56%), Molecular graphics (56%), Enzyme structure (55%) ... read more

24,547 Citations

Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1107/S0907444909052925
Paul D. Adams1, Paul D. Adams2, Pavel V. Afonine2, Gábor Bunkóczi3  +15 moreInstitutions (5)
Abstract: Macromolecular X-ray crystallography is routinely applied to understand biological processes at a molecular level. How­ever, significant time and effort are still required to solve and complete many of these structures because of the need for manual interpretation of complex numerical data using many software packages and the repeated use of interactive three-dimensional graphics. PHENIX has been developed to provide a comprehensive system for macromolecular crystallo­graphic structure solution with an emphasis on the automation of all procedures. This has relied on the development of algorithms that minimize or eliminate subjective input, the development of algorithms that automate procedures that are traditionally performed by hand and, finally, the development of a framework that allows a tight integration between the algorithms.

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15,827 Citations

Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1002/PROT.10286
15 Feb 2003-Proteins
Abstract: Geometrical validation around the Calpha is described, with a new Cbeta measure and updated Ramachandran plot. Deviation of the observed Cbeta atom from ideal position provides a single measure encapsulating the major structure-validation information contained in bond angle distortions. Cbeta deviation is sensitive to incompatibilities between sidechain and backbone caused by misfit conformations or inappropriate refinement restraints. A new phi,psi plot using density-dependent smoothing for 81,234 non-Gly, non-Pro, and non-prePro residues with B < 30 from 500 high-resolution proteins shows sharp boundaries at critical edges and clear delineation between large empty areas and regions that are allowed but disfavored. One such region is the gamma-turn conformation near +75 degrees,-60 degrees, counted as forbidden by common structure-validation programs; however, it occurs in well-ordered parts of good structures, it is overrepresented near functional sites, and strain is partly compensated by the gamma-turn H-bond. Favored and allowed phi,psi regions are also defined for Pro, pre-Pro, and Gly (important because Gly phi,psi angles are more permissive but less accurately determined). Details of these accurate empirical distributions are poorly predicted by previous theoretical calculations, including a region left of alpha-helix, which rates as favorable in energy yet rarely occurs. A proposed factor explaining this discrepancy is that crowding of the two-peptide NHs permits donating only a single H-bond. New calculations by Hu et al. [Proteins 2002 (this issue)] for Ala and Gly dipeptides, using mixed quantum mechanics and molecular mechanics, fit our nonrepetitive data in excellent detail. To run our geometrical evaluations on a user-uploaded file, see MOLPROBITY ( or RAMPAGE (

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Topics: Ramachandran plot (52%)

3,666 Citations

Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1038/NMETH.4193
01 Apr 2017-Nature Methods
Abstract: MotionCor2 software corrects for beam-induced sample motion, improving the resolution of cryo-EM reconstructions.

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3,454 Citations

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