Preferential assembly of heteromeric small conductance calcium-activated potassium channels.

Timothy W. Church, Kate Weatherall, Sonia Correa, David Prole, Jon T Brown, Neil Marrion

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

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Abstract

The activation of small conductance calcium-dependent (SK) channels regulates membrane excitability by causing membrane hyperpolarization. Three subtypes (SK1-3) have been cloned, with each subtype expressed within the nervous system. The locations of channel subunits overlap, with SK1 and SK2 subunits often expressed in the same brain region. We showed that expressed homomeric rat SK1 subunits did not form functional channels, because subunits accumulated in the Golgi. This raised the question of whether heteromeric channels could form with SK1 subunits. The co-expression of SK1 and SK2 subunits in HEK293 cells preferentially co-assembled to produce heteromeric channels with a fixed stoichiometry of alternating subunits. The expression in hippocampal CA1 neurons of mutant rat SK1 subunits [rat SK1(LV213/4YA)] that produced an apamin-sensitive current changed the amplitude and pharmacology of the medium afterhyperpolarization. The overexpression of rat SK1(LV213/4YA) subunits reduced the sensitivity of the medium afterhyperpolarization to apamin, substantiating the preferential co-assembly of SK1 and SK2 subunits to form heteromeric channels. Species-specific channel assembly occurred as the co-expression of human
SK1 with rat SK2 did not form functional heteromeric channels. The replacement of two amino acids within the C-terminus of rat SK2 with those from human SK2 permitted the assembly of heteromeric channels when co-expressed with human SK1. These data showed that species-specific co-assembly was mediated by interaction between the C-termini of SK channel subunits. The finding that SK channels preferentially co-assembled to form heteromeric channels suggested that native heteromeric channels will predominate in cells expressing multiple SK channel subunits.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305-315
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Neuroscience
Volume41
Issue number3
Early online date25 Nov 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2015

Keywords

  • SK
  • apamin
  • species-specific
  • channel
  • assembly

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