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Voltage-gated K(+)Channel, Kv4.2, localizes predominantly to the transverse-axial tubular system of the rat myocyte.

S Takeuchi, Y Takagishi, K Yasui, Y Murata, J Toyama, I Kodama

J. Mol. Cell. Cardiol., 2000 Jul , 32, 1361-9

Kv4.2 subunit, a member of K(+)channel gene family, is considered to play a major role in the formation of depolarization-activated transient outward K(+)current channels in the mammalian heart. We investigated the subcellular localization of Kv4.2 subunit in the rat heart by immunofluorescence and immunoelectron microscopy. In atrial cells, Kv4.2 immunofluorescent staining was intensely observed in the peripheral sarcolemma and the intercalated disks, but seldom found in transverse tubules, which are rare or absent in atrial cells. In ventricular cells, the labeling of Kv4.2 immunofluorescent staining was found throughout the entire cell membrane, and the staining was stronger in the transverse-axial tubular system than in the peripheral sarcolemma. Correlative immunoconfocal and immunoelectron microscopy using FluoroNanogold confirmed that Kv4.2 distributed in the transverse-axial tubular system including the longitudinally oriented axial tubules. Immunogold electron microscopy of ultrathin cryosections revealed that Kv4.2 was distributed on the plasma membranes of the T-tubules. The extensive distribution of Kv4.2 on the entire cell membrane of myocytes would provide rat myocardial cells with a large capability for the transport of K(+)ions through the channels in the repolarization phase.