Journal of cell science

An unconventional calmodulin-anchoring site within the AB module of Kv7.2 channels.

PMID 26148514


Calmodulin (CaM) binding to the AB module is crucial for multiple mechanisms governing the function of Kv7.2 (also known as KCNQ2) K(+) channel subunits, which mediate one of the main components of the non-inactivating K(+) M-current, a key controller of neuronal excitability. Structural analysis indicates that the CaM N-lobe engages with helix B, whereas the C-lobe anchors to the IQ site within helix A. Here, we report the identification of a new site between helices A and B that assists in CaM binding whose sequence is reminiscent of the TW helix within the CaM C-lobe anchoring site of SK2 K(+) channels (also known as KCNN2). Mutations that disrupt CaM binding within the TW site, helix B or helix A yield functional channels, whereas no function is observed when the TW site and helix A, or the TW site and helix B are mutated simultaneously. Our data indicate that the TW site is dispensable for function, contributes to the stabilization of the CaM-Kv7.2 complex and becomes essential when docking to either helix A or when helix B is perturbed.