A new polymodal gating model of the proton-activated chloride channel

Piao Zhao, Cheng Tang, Yuqin Yang, Zhen Xiao, Samantha Perez-Miller, Heng Zhang, Guoqing Luo, Hao Liu, Yaqi Li, Qingyi Liao, Fan Yang, Hao Dong, Rajesh Khanna, Zhonghua Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


AU The:proton–activated Pleaseconfirmthatallheadinglevelsarerepresentedcorrectly chloride (PAC) channel plays critical roles : in ischemic neuron death, but its activation mechanisms remain elusive. Here, we investigated the gating of PAC channels using its novel bifunctional modulator C77304. C77304 acted as a weak activator of the PAC channel, causing moderate activation by acting on its proton gating. However, at higher concentrations, C77304 acted as a weak inhibitor, suppressing channel activity. This dual function was achieved by interacting with 2 modulatory sites of the channel, each with different affinities and dependencies on the channel’s state. Moreover, we discovered a protonation–independent voltage activation of the PAC channel that appears to operate through an ion–flux gating mechanism. Through scanning–mutagenesis and molecular dynamics simulation, we confirmed that E181, E257, and E261 in the human PAC channel serve as primary proton sensors, as their alanine mutations eliminated the channel’s proton gating while sparing the voltage–dependent gating. This proton–sensing mechanism was conserved among orthologous PAC channels from different species. Collectively, our data unveils the polymodal gating and proton–sensing mechanisms in the PAC channel that may inspire potential drug development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere3002309
JournalPLoS biology
Issue number9 September
StatePublished - Sep 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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