The effects of nitric oxide (NO) and other cysteine modifying agents were examined on cyclic nucleotide-gated (CNG) cation channels from rat olfactory receptor neurons. The NO compounds, S-nitroso-cysteine (SNC) and 3-morpholino-sydnonomine (SIN-1), did not activate the channels when applied for up to 10 min. The cysteine alkylating agent, N-ethylmaleimide (NEM), and the oxidising agent, dithionitrobensoate (DTNB), were also without agonist efficacy. Neither SNC nor DTNB altered the cAMP sensitivity of the channels. However, 2-min applications of SIN-1, SNC and DTNB inhibited the cAMP-gated current to approximately 50% of the control current level. This inhibition showed no spontaneous reversal for 5 min but was completely reversed by a 2-min exposure to DTT. The presence of cAMP protected the channels against NO-induced inhibition. These results indicate that inhibition is caused by S-nitrosylation of neighboring sulfhydryl groups leading to sulfhydryl bond formation. This reaction is favored in the closed channel state. Since recombinantly expressed rat olfactory α and β CNG channel homomers and α/β heteromers are activated and not inhibited by cysteine modification, the results of this study imply the existence of a novel subunit or tightly bound factor which dominates the effect of cysteine modification in the native channels. As CNG channels provide a pathway for calcum influx, the results may also have important implications for the physiological role of NO in mammalian olfactory receptor neurons.
The Journal of Membrane Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 1, 1998
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