American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Journal of Biological Chemistry vol:282 issue:17 pages:12796-12803
TRPV4, a Ca2+-permeable member of the vanilloid subgroup of the transient receptor potential (TRP) channels, is activated by cell swelling and moderate heat (> 27 degrees C) as well as by diverse chemical compounds including synthetic 4 alpha-phorbol esters, the plant extract bisandrographolide A, and endogenous epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs; 5,6-EET and 8,9-EET). Previous work identified a tyrosine residue located in the first half of putative transmembrane segment 3 (TM3) as a crucial determinant for the activation of TRPV4 by its most specific agonist 4 alpha-phorbol 12,13-didecanoate (4 alpha-PDD), suggesting that 4 alpha-PDD interacts with the channel through its transmembrane segments. To obtain insight in the 4 alpha-PDD-binding site and in the mechanism of ligand-dependent TRPV4 activation, we investigated the consequences of specific point mutations in TM4 on the sensitivity of the channel to different chemical and physical stimuli. Mutations of two hydrophobic residues in the central part of TM4(Leu(584) and Trp(586)) caused a severe reduction of the sensitivity of the channel to 4 alpha-PDD, bisandrographolide A, and heat, whereas responses to cell swelling, arachidonic acid, and 5,6-EET remained unaffected. In contrast, mutations of two residues in the C-terminal part of TM4 (Tyr(591) and Arg(594)) affected channel activation of TRPV4 by all stimuli, suggesting an involvement in channel gating rather than in interaction with agonists. Based on a comparison of the responses of WT and mutant TRPV4 to 4 alpha-PDD and different 4 alpha-phorbol esters, we conclude that the length of the fatty acid moiety determines the ligand binding affinity and propose a model for the interaction between 4 alpha-phorbol esters and the TM3/4 region of TRPV4.