The effects of a thiazolidinone derivative, 3-[(3-trifluoromethyl)phenyl]- 5-[(4-carboxyphenyl)methylene]-2-thioxo- 4-thiazolidinone (or CFTRinh-172), on cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gating were studied in excised inside-out membrane patches from Chinese hamster ovary cells transiently expressing wild-type and mutant CFTR. We found that the application of CFTRinh-172 results in an increase of the mean closed time and a decrease of the mean open time of the channel. A hyperbolic relationship between the closing rate and [CFTRinh-172] suggests that CFTRinh-172 does not act as a simple pore blocker. Interestingly, the potency of inhibition increases as the open time of the channel is increased with an IC50 in the low nanomolar range for CFTR channels locked in an open state for tens of seconds. Our studies also provide evidence that CFTRinh-172 can bind to both the open state and the closed state. However, at least one additional step, presumably reflecting inhibitorinduced conformational changes, is required to shut down the conductance after the binding of the inhibitor to the channel. Using the hydrolysis-deficient mutant E1371S as a tool as the closing rate of this mutant is dramatically decreased, we found that CFTRinh-172-dependent inhibition of CFTR channel gating, in two aspects, mimics the inactivation of voltage-dependent cation channels. First, similar to the recovery from inactivation in voltage-gated channels, once CFTR is inhibited by CFTRinh-172, reopening of the channel can be seen upon removal of the inhibitor in the absence of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Second, ATP induced a biphasic current response on inhibitor-bound closed channels as if the ATP-opened channels "inactivate" despite a continuous presence of ATP. A simplified six-state kinetic scheme can well describe our data, at least qualitatively. Several possible structural mechanisms for the effects of CFTRinh-172 will be discussed.
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