Energetic localization of saxitoxin in its channel binding site

Gaurav Choudhary, Lisa Shang, Xiufeng Li, Samuel C. Dudley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Saxitoxin (STX) selectively blocks the voltage-gated sodium channel at the outer vestibule lined by P-loops of the four domains. Neosaxitoxin has an additional -OH group at the N1 position of the 1,2,3 guanidinium (N1-OH) that interacts with domains I and IV of the Na+ channel. Determination of a second toxin interaction with the channel would fix the location of STX. Gonyautoxin 2,3 and Gonyautoxin 1,4 are C-11 sulfated derivatives of saxitoxin and neosaxitoxin, respectively. We used these variants to constrain the STX docking orientation by energetically localizing the C-11 sulfate in the outer vestibule. Interactions between the C-11 sulfate and each of the four domains of the channel were determined by a systematic approach to mutant cycle analysis in which all known carboxyl groups important for site 1 toxin binding were neutralized, allowing energetic triangulation of the toxin sulfate and overcoming some limitations of mutant cycles. Toxin IC50s were measured by two-electrode voltage clamp from Xenopus oocytes injected with the channel mRNA. Three unique types of analysis based on the coupling results localized the C-11 sulfate between domains III and IV. Combined with our previous report, the data establish the orientation of STX in the outer vestibule and confirm the clockwise arrangement of the channel domains.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)912-919
Number of pages8
JournalBiophysical journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Dr. Gregory Lipkind and Dr. Harry Fozzard for providing us the outer vestibule model and for constructive comments on the discussion. Also, we thank Dr. Jennifer L. Penzotti for sharing some of the affinity measurements for the native channel. Dr. Dudley is supported by a Scientist Development Award from the national American Heart Association, a Grant-In-Aid from Southeast Affiliate of American Heart Association, a Procter and Gamble University Research Exploratory Award, and a National Institutes of Health Award (HL64828).

Copyright 2017 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

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