The human ether-à-go-go related gene (hERG) channel is crucial for the cardiac action potential by contributing to the fast delayed-rectifier potassium current. Mutations in the hERG channel result in type 2 long QT syndrome (LQT2). The hERG channel contains a cyclic nucleotide-binding homology domain (CNBHD) and this domain is required for the channel gating though molecular interactions with the eag domain. Here we present solution structure of the CNBHD of the hERG channel. The structural study reveals that the CNBHD adopts a similar fold to other KCNH channels. It is self-liganded and it contains a short β-strand that blocks the nucleotide-binding pocket in the β-roll. Folding of LQT2-related mutations in this domain was shown to be affected. Mutations in this domain can cause protein aggregation in E. coli cells or induce conformational changes. One mutant-R752W showed chemical shift perturbation compared with the wild-type, but it still binds to the eag domain. The helix region from the N-terminal cap domain of the hERG channel showed unspecific interactions with the CNBHD.
A*STAR JCO grant (1331A028) and Biospecialties project (1526004161)