Identification of acetylcholine receptor channel-lining residues in the entire M2 segment of the α subunit

Myles H. Akabas, Christine Kaufmann, Patrick Archdeacon, Arthur Karlin

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Each residue in and flanking the M2 membrane-spanning segment of the α subunit, from Glu-241 to Glu-262, was mutated to cysteine, and the mutant subunits were expressed together with wild-type β, γ, and δ subunits in Xenopus oocytes. Cysteines substituted for Glu-262, Leu-258, Val-255, Ser-252, Leu-251, Leu-250, Ser-248, Leu-245, Thr-244, and Glu-241 reacted with the positively charged, hydrophilic, sulfhydryl-specific reagent methanethiosulfonate ethylammonium (MTSEA), added extracellularly. These 10 residues, therefore, are exposed in the channel lumen. The pattern of exposure is compatible with an α helix, interrupted by an extended structure from Leu-250 to Ser-252. Acetylcholine caused subtle changes in the accessibilities of some of the engineered cysteines. Since all 10 residues are accessible to MTSEA in the closed state of the channel, the channel gate is at least as cytoplasmic as Glu-241, the most cytoplasmic of the residues tested.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)919-927
Number of pages9
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1994


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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