Home > Publications > 2021 > Structural mechanisms of TRPV6 inhibition by ruthenium red and econazole

Structural mechanisms of TRPV6 inhibition by ruthenium red and econazole

Published on 11.01.2021 in Nature Communications


Arthur Neuberger, Kirill D. Nadezhdin and Alexander I. Sobolevsky

TRPV6 is a calcium-selective ion channel implicated in epithelial Ca2+ uptake. TRPV6 inhibitors are needed for the treatment of a broad range of diseases associated with disturbed calcium homeostasis, including cancers. Here we combine cryo-EM, calcium imaging, and mutagenesis to explore molecular bases of human TRPV6 inhibition by the antifungal drug econazole and the universal ion channel blocker ruthenium red (RR). Econazole binds to an allosteric site at the channel’s periphery, where it replaces a lipid. In contrast, RR inhibits TRPV6 by binding in the middle of the ion channel’s selectivity filter and plugging its pore like a bottle cork. Despite different binding site locations, both inhibitors induce similar conformational changes in the channel resulting in closure of the gate formed by S6 helices bundle crossing. The uncovered molecular mechanisms of TRPV6 inhibition can guide the design of a new generation of clinically useful inhibitors.

The editors at Nature Communications have put together an Editors’ Highlights webpage of recent research called “Structural biology, biochemistry and biophysics” and Karin Kuehnel chose to feature this article, entitled “Structural mechanisms of TRPV6 inhibition by ruthenium red and econazole”.

The webpage can be accessed at www.nature.com/collections/hhfigaahch and is linked prominently on journal homepage (https://www.nature.com/ncomms/) and a dedicated Editors’ Highlights page (https://www.nature.com/ncomms/editorshighlights).