Molecular mechanism of voltage sensing in voltage-gated proton channels

Carlos Gonzalez, Santiago Rebolledo, Marta E. Perez, Peter P. Larsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Voltage-gated proton (Hv) channels play an essential role in phagocytic cells by generating a hyperpolarizing proton current that electrically compensates for the depolarizing current generated by the NADPH oxidase during the respiratory burst, thereby ensuring a sustained production of reactive oxygen species by the NADPH oxidase in phagocytes to neutralize engulfed bacteria. Despite the importance of the voltage-dependent Hv current, it is at present unclear which residues in Hv channels are responsible for the voltage activation. Here we show that individual neutralizations of three charged residues in the fourth transmembrane domain, S4, all reduce the voltage dependence of activation. In addition, we show that the middle S4 charged residue moves from a position accessible from the cytosolic solution to a position accessible from the extracellular solution, suggesting that this residue moves across most of the membrane electric field during voltage activation of Hv channels. Our results show for the first time that the charge movement of these three S4 charges accounts for almost all of the measured gating charge in Hv channels

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)275-285
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of General Physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology


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