Functional characterization of a potassium-selective prokaryotic glutamate receptor

Guo Qiang Chen, Changhal Cul, Mark L. Mayer, Eric Gouaux

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

260 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Ion channels are molecular pores that facilitate the passage of ions across cell membranes and participate in a range of biological processes, from excitatory signal transmission in the mammalian nervous system to the modulation of swimming behaviour in the protozoan Paramecium. Two particularly important families of ion channels are ionotropic glutamate receptors (GluRs) and potassium channels. GluRs are permeable to Na+, K+ and Ca2+, are gated by glutamate, and have previously been found only in eukaryotes. In contrast, potassium channels are selective for K+, are gated by a range of stimuli, and are found in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Here we report the discovery and functional characterization of GluR0 from Synechocystis PCC 6803, which is the first GluR found in a prokaryote. GluR0 binds glutamate, forms potassium-selective channels and is related in amino- acid sequence to both eukaryotic GluRs and potassium channels. On the basis of amino-acid sequence and functional relationships between GluR0 and eukaryotic GluRs, we propose that a prokaryotic GluR was the precursor to eukaryotic GluRs. GluR0 provides evidence for the missing link between potassium channels and GluRs, and we suggest that their ion channels have a similar architecture, that GluRs are tetramers and that the gating mechanisms of GluRs and potassium channels have some essential-features in common.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)817-821
Number of pages5
JournalNature
Volume402
Issue number6763
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 16 1999
Externally publishedYes

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Glutamate Receptors
Potassium Channels
Potassium
Ion Channels
Glutamic Acid
Eukaryota
Amino Acid Sequence
Paramecium
Synechocystis
Ionotropic Glutamate Receptors
Biological Phenomena
Nervous System
Cell Membrane
Ions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this

Functional characterization of a potassium-selective prokaryotic glutamate receptor. / Chen, Guo Qiang; Cul, Changhal; Mayer, Mark L.; Gouaux, Eric.

In: Nature, Vol. 402, No. 6763, 16.12.1999, p. 817-821.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Chen, Guo Qiang ; Cul, Changhal ; Mayer, Mark L. ; Gouaux, Eric. / Functional characterization of a potassium-selective prokaryotic glutamate receptor. In: Nature. 1999 ; Vol. 402, No. 6763. pp. 817-821.
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