The HOOK region of voltage-gated Ca2+ channel beta subunits senses and transmits PIP2 signals to the gate

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Park C., Park Y., Suh B.

JOURNAL OF GENERAL PHYSIOLOGY, vol.149, no.2, pp.261-276, 2017 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 149 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Doi Number: 10.1085/jgp.201611677
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.261-276
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


The beta subunit of voltage-gated Ca2+ (CaV) channels plays an important role in regulating gating of the alpha 1 pore-forming subunit and its regulation by phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2). Subcellular localization of the CaV beta subunit is critical for this effect; N-terminal-dependent membrane targeting of the beta subunit slows inactivation and decreases PIP2 sensitivity. Here, we provide evidence that the HOOK region of the beta subunit plays an important role in the regulation of CaV biophysics. Based on amino acid composition, we broadly divide the HOOK region into three domains: S (polyserine), A (polyacidic), and B (polybasic). We show that a beta subunit containing only its A domain in the HOOK region increases inactivation kinetics and channel inhibition by PIP2 depletion, whereas a beta subunit with only a B domain decreases these responses. When both the A and B domains are deleted, or when the entire HOOK region is deleted, the responses are elevated. Using a peptide-to-liposome binding assay and confocal microscopy, we find that the B domain of the HOOK region directly interacts with anionic phospholipids via polybasic and two hydrophobic Phe residues. The beta 2c-short subunit, which lacks an A domain and contains fewer basic amino acids and no Phe residues in the B domain, neither associates with phospholipids nor affects channel gating dynamically. Together, our data suggest that the flexible HOOK region of the beta subunit acts as an important regulator of CaV channel gating via dynamic electrostatic and hydrophobic interaction with the plasma membrane.