Sensing and responding to temperature is crucial in biology. The TRPV1 ion channel is a well-studied heat-sensing receptor that is also activated by vanilloid compounds, including capsaicin. Despite significant interest, the molecular underpinnings of thermosensing have remained elusive. The TRPV1 S1-S4 membrane domain couples chemical ligand binding to the pore domain during channel gating. Here we show that the S1-S4 domain also significantly contributes to thermosensing and couples to heat-activated gating. Evaluation of the isolated human TRPV1 S1-S4 domain by solution NMR, far-UV CD, and intrinsic fluorescence shows that this domain undergoes a non-denaturing temperature-dependent transition with a high thermosensitivity. Further NMR characterization of the temperature-dependent conformational changes suggests the contribution of the S1-S4 domain to thermosensing shares features with known coupling mechanisms between this domain with ligand and pH activation. Taken together, this study shows that the TRPV1 S1-S4 domain contributes to TRPV1 temperature-dependent activation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Chemistry
- General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
- General Physics and Astronomy