The role of the GX9GX3G motif in the gating of high voltage-activated Ca2+ channels

J Biol Chem. 2006 Dec 22;281(51):39424-36. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M607405200. Epub 2006 Oct 11.


The putative hinge point revealed by the crystal structure of the MthK potassium channel is a glycine residue that is conserved in many ion channels. In high voltage-activated (HVA) Ca(V) channels, the mid-S6 glycine residue is only present in IS6 and IIS6, corresponding to G422 and G770 in Ca(V)1.2. Two additional glycine residues are found in the distal portion of IS6 (Gly(432) and Gly(436) in Ca(V)1.2) to form a triglycine motif unique to HVA Ca(V) channels. Lethal arrhythmias are associated with mutations of glycine residues in the human L-type Ca(2+) channel. Hence, we undertook a mutational analysis to investigate the role of S6 glycine residues in channel gating. In Ca(V)1.2, alpha-helix-breaking proline mutants (G422P and G432P) as well as the double G422A/G432A channel did not produce functional channels. The macroscopic inactivation kinetics were significantly decreased with Ca(V)1.2 wild type > G770A > G422A congruent with G436A >> G432A (from the fastest to the slowest). Mutations at position Gly(432) produced mostly nonfunctional mutants. Macroscopic inactivation kinetics were markedly reduced by mutations of Gly(436) to Ala, Pro, Tyr, Glu, Arg, His, Lys, or Asp residues with stronger effects obtained with charged and polar residues. Mutations within the distal GX(3)G residues blunted Ca(2+)-dependent inactivation kinetics and prevented the increased voltage-dependent inactivation kinetics brought by positively charged residues in the I-II linker. In Ca(V)2.3, mutation of the distal glycine Gly(352) impacted significantly on the inactivation gating. Altogether, these data highlight the role of the GX(3)G motif in the voltage-dependent activation and inactivation gating of HVA Ca(V) channels with the distal glycine residue being mostly involved in the inactivation gating.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Motifs
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Calcium Channels / chemistry*
  • Calcium Channels, L-Type / chemistry
  • Calmodulin / chemistry
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • Glycine / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Oocytes / metabolism
  • Potassium Channels / chemistry
  • Proline / chemistry
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Xenopus laevis / metabolism


  • Calcium Channels
  • Calcium Channels, L-Type
  • Calmodulin
  • L-type calcium channel alpha(1C)
  • Potassium Channels
  • Proline
  • Glycine