Intracellular hemin is a potent inhibitor of the voltage-gated potassium channel Kv10.1
Nirakar Sahoo, Kefan Yang, Ina Coburger, Alisa Bernert, Sandip M. Swain, Guido Gessner, Reinhard Kappl, Toni Kühl, Diana Imhof, Toshinori Hoshi, Roland Schönherr & Stefan H. Heinemann
Heme, an iron-protoporphyrin IX complex, is a cofactor bound to various hemoproteins and supports a broad range of functions, such as electron transfer, oxygen transport, signal transduction, and drug metabolism. In recent years, there has been a growing recognition of heme as a non-genomic modulator of ion channel functions. Here, we show that intracellular free heme and hemin modulate human ether à go-go (hEAG1, Kv10.1) voltage-gated potassium channels. Application of hemin to the intracellular side potently inhibits Kv10.1 channels with an IC50 of about 4 nM under ambient and 63 nM under reducing conditions in a weakly voltage-dependent manner, favoring inhibition at resting potential. Functional studies on channel mutants and biochemical analysis of synthetic and recombinant channel fragments identified a heme-binding motif CxHx8H in the C-linker region of the Kv10.1 C terminus, with cysteine 541 and histidines 543 and 552 being important for hemin binding. Binding of hemin to the C linker may induce a conformational constraint that interferes with channel gating. Our results demonstrate that heme and hemin are endogenous modulators of Kv10.1 channels and could be exploited to modulate Kv10.1-mediated cellular functions.
drug, metabolism, C terminal,