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Determinants of potassium channel assembly localised within the cytoplasmic C-terminal domain of Kv2.1.

G N Bentley, M A Brooks, C A O'Neill, J B Findlay

Biochim. Biophys. Acta, 1999 Apr 14 , 1418, 176-84

The C-terminal domain of the voltage-gated potassium channel Kv2.1 is shown to have a role in channel assembly using dominant negative experiments in Xenopus oocytes. Kv2.1 channel polypeptides were co-expressed with a number of polypeptide fragments of the cytosolic C-terminus and the assembly of functional channel homotetramers quantified electrophysiologically using the two electrode voltage clamp technique. Co-expression of C-terminal polypeptides corresponding to the final 440, 318, 220 and 150 amino acid residues of Kv2.1 all resulted in a significant reduction in the functional expression of the full-length channel. A truncated version of Kv2.1 lacking the final 318 amino acids of the C-terminal domain (Kv2. 11-535) exhibited similar electrophysiological properties to the full-length channel. Co-expression with either the 440 or 318 residue polypeptides resulted in a reduction in the activity of the truncated channel. In contrast, the 220 and 150 residue C-terminal fragments had no effect on Kv2.11-535 activity. These data demonstrate that C-terminal interactions are important for driving Kv2.1 channel assembly and that distinct regions of the C-terminal domain may have differential effects on the formation of functional tetramers.