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Original Article

Korean J Physiol Pharmacol 2020; 24(1): 101-110

Published online January 1, 2020 https://doi.org/10.4196/kjpp.2020.24.1.101

Copyright © The Korean Journal of Physiology & Pharmacology.

Analysis of interaction between intracellular spermine and transient receptor potential canonical 4 channel: multiple candidate sites of negatively charged amino acids for the inward rectification of transient receptor potential canonical 4

Jinsung Kim1,#, Sang Hui Moon2,3,#, Taewook Kim1,#, Juyeon Ko1, Young Keul Jeon1, Young-Cheul Shin4, Ju-Hong Jeon1, and Insuk So1,*

1Department of Physiology, 2Office of Medical Education, 3Department of Surgery, College of Medicine, Seoul National University, Seoul 03080, Korea, 4Department of Cell Biology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA

Correspondence to:*Insuk So
E-mail: insuk@snu.ac.kr

#These authors contributed equally to this work.

Received: September 28, 2019; Revised: October 16, 2019; Accepted: October 16, 2019

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License, which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Transient receptor potential canonical 4 (TRPC4) channel is a nonselective calcium-permeable cation channels. In intestinal smooth muscle cells, TRPC4 currents contribute more than 80% to muscarinic cationic current (mIcat). With its inward-rectifying current-voltage relationship and high calcium permeability, TRPC4 channels permit calcium influx once the channel is opened by muscarinic receptor stimulation. Polyamines are known to inhibit nonselective cation channels that mediate the generation of mIcat. Moreover, it is reported that TRPC4 channels are blocked by the intracellular spermine through electrostatic interaction with glutamate residues (E728, E729). Here, we investigated the correlation between the magnitude of channel inactivation by spermine and the magnitude of channel conductance. We also found additional spermine binding sites in TRPC4. We evaluated channel activity with electrophysiological recordings and revalidated structural significance based on Cryo-EM structure, which was resolved recently. We found that there is no correlation between magnitude of inhibitory action of spermine and magnitude of maximum current of the channel. In intracellular region, TRPC4 attracts spermine at channel periphery by reducing access resistance, and acidic residues contribute to blocking action of intracellular spermine; channel periphery, E649; cytosolic space, D629, D649, and E687.

Keywords: Polyamines, Spermine, Transient receptor potential channels