Voltage-gated KCNQ1 channels contain four separate voltage-sensing domains (VSDs) and a pore domain (PD). KCNQ1 expressed alone opens when the VSDs are in an intermediate state. In cardiomyocytes, KCNQ1 co-expressed with KCNE1 opens mainly when the VSDs are in a fully activated state. KCNE1 also drastically slows the opening of KCNQ1 channels and shifts the voltage dependence of opening by >40 mV. We here show that mutations of conserved residues at the VSD–PD interface alter the VSD–PD coupling so that the mutant KCNQ1/KCNE1 channels open in the intermediate VSD state. Using recent structures of KCNQ1 and KCNE beta subunits in different states, we present a mechanism by which KCNE1 rotates the VSD relative to the PD and affects the VSD–PD coupling of KCNQ1 channels in a non-canonical way, forcing KCNQ1/KCNE1 channels to open in the fully-activated VSD state. This would explain many of the KCNE1-induced effects on KCNQ1 channels.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)