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The role of KCNQ1/KCNE1 K(+) channels in intestine and pancreas: lessons from the KCNE1 knockout mouse.

R Warth, M Garcia Alzamora, J K Kim, A Zdebik, R Nitschke, M Bleich, U Gerlach, J Barhanin, S J Kim

Pflugers Arch., 2002 Mar , 443, 822-8

KCNE1 (IsK, minK) co-assembles with KCNQ1 (KvLQT1) to form voltage-dependent K(+) channels. Both KCNQ1 and KCNE1 are expressed in epithelial cells of gut and exocrine pancreas. We examined the role of KCNQ1/KCNE1 in Cl(-) secretion in small and large intestine and exocrine pancreas using the KCNE1 knockout mouse. Immunofluorescence revealed a similar basolateral localization of KCNQ1 in jejunum and colon of KCNE1 wild-type and knockout mice. Electrogenic Cl(-) secretion in the colon was not affected by gene disruption of KCNE1; in jejunum forskolin-induced short-circuit current was some 40% smaller but without being significantly different. Inhibition of KCNQ1 channels by 293B (IC(50) 1 micromol l(-1)) and by IKS224 (IC(50) 14 nmol l(-1)) strongly diminished intestinal Cl(-) secretion. In exocrine pancreas of wild-type mice, KCNQ1 was predominantly located at the basolateral membrane. In KCNE1 knockout mice, however, the basolateral staining was less pronounced and the distribution of secretory granules was irregular. A slowly activating and 293B-sensitive K(+) current was activated via cholinergic stimulation in pancreatic acinar cells of wild-type mice. In KCNE1 knockout mice this K(+) current was strongly reduced. In conclusion intestinal Cl(-) secretion is independent from KCNE1 but requires KCNQ1. In mouse pancreatic acini KCNQ1 probably co-assembled with KCNE1 leads to a voltage-dependent K(+) current that might be of importance for electrolyte and enzyme secretion.