Distinct domains within the SNARE (soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive fusion protein attachment protein receptor) proteins, STX1A (syntaxin 1A) and SNAP-25 (synaptosome-associated protein-25 kDa), regulate hormone secretion by their actions on the cell's exocytotic machinery, as well as voltage-gated Ca2+ and K+ channels. We examined the action of distinct domains within SNAP-25 on Kv2.1 (voltage gated K+ 2.1) channel gating. Dialysis of N-terminal SNAP-25 domains, S197 (SNAP-251–197) and S180 (SNAP-251–180), but not S206 (full-length SNAP-251–206) increased the rate of Kv2.1 channel activation and slowed channel inactivation. Remarkably, these N-terminal SNAP-25 domains, acting on the Kv2.1 cytoplasmic N-terminus, potentiated the external TEA (tetraethylammonium)-mediated block of Kv2.1. To further examine whether these are effects of the channel pore domain, internal K+ was replaced with Na+ and external K+ was decreased from 4 to 1 mM, which decreased the IC50 of the TEA block from 6.8±0.9 mM to >100 mM. Under these conditions S180 completely restored TEA sensitivity (7.9±1.5 mM). SNAP-25 C-terminal domains, SNAP-25198–206 and SNAP-25181–197, had no effect on Kv2.1 gating kinetics. We conclude that different domains within SNAP-25 can form distinct complexes with Kv2.1 to execute a fine allosteric regulation of channel gating and the architecture of the outer pore structure in order to modulate cell excitability.

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