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Papers of the Week

Papers: 22 Oct 2022 - 28 Oct 2022

2022 Oct 25

J Neurosci

Identification of the Acid-Sensitive Site Critical for Chloral Hydrate (CH) Activation of the Proton-Activated Chloride Channel.


Xu X-Y, Zhang F-F, Gan J, Shen Z-S, Guo Q, Teng Y, Ji J-W, Cao J-L, Tang Q-Y, Zhang Z
J Neurosci. 2022 Oct 25.
PMID: 36283831.


The transmembrane protein TMEM206 was recently identified as the molecular basis of the extracellular proton-activated Cl channel (PAC), which plays an essential role in neuronal death in ischemia-reperfusion. The PAC channel is activated by extracellular acid, but the proton-sensitive mechanism remains unclear, although different acid-sensitive pockets have been suggested based on the cryo-EM structure of the human PAC (hPAC) channel. In the present study, we firstly identified two acidic amino acid residues that removed the pH-dependent activation of the hPAC channel by neutralization all the conservative negative charged residues located in the extracellular domain of the hPAC channel and some positively charged residues at the hotspot combined with two-electrode voltage-clamp (TEVC) recording in the oocytes system. Double-mutant cycle analysis and double cysteine mutant of these two residues proved that these two residues cooperatively form a proton-sensitive site. In addition, we found that chloral hydrate activates the hPAC channel depending on the normal pH sensitivity of the hPAC channel. Furthermore, the PAC channel knock-out (KO) male mice (C57BL/6J) resist chloral hydrate-induced sedation and hypnosis. Our study provides a molecular basis for understanding the proton-dependent activation mechanism of the hPAC channel and a novel drug target of chloral hydrate.Proton-activated Cl channel (PAC) channels are widely distributed in the nervous system and play a vital pathophysiological role in ischemia and endosomal acidification. The main discovery of this paper is that we identified the proton activation mechanism of the human proton-activated chloride channel (hPAC). Intriguingly, we also found that anesthetic chloral hydrate can activate the hPAC channel in a pH-dependent manner. We found that the chloral hydrate activates the hPAC channel and needs the integrity of the pH-sensitive site. In addition, the PAC channel knock-out (KO) mice are resistant to chloral hydrate-induced anesthesia. The study on PAC channels' pH activation mechanism enables us to better understand PAC's biophysical mechanism and provides a novel target of chloral hydrate.