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A C-terminal domain directs Kv3.3 channels to dendrites.

Qingwei Deng, Asim J Rashid, Fernando R Fernandez, Ray W Turner, Leonard Maler, Robert J Dunn

J. Neurosci., 2005 Dec 14 , 25, 11531-41

Pyramidal neurons of the electrosensory lateral line lobe (ELL) of Apteronotus leptorhynchus express Kv3-type voltage-gated potassium channels that give rise to high-threshold currents at the somatic and dendritic levels. Two members of the Kv3 channel family, AptKv3.1 and AptKv3.3, are coexpressed in these neurons. AptKv3.3 channels are expressed at uniformly high levels in each of four ELL segments, whereas AptKv3.1 channels appear to be expressed in a graded manner with higher levels of expression in segments that process high-frequency electrosensory signals. Immunohistochemical and recombinant channel expression studies show a differential distribution of these two channels in the dendrites of ELL pyramidal neurons. AptKv3.1 is concentrated in somas and proximal dendrites, whereas AptKv3.3 is distributed throughout the full extent of the large dendritic tree. Recombinant channel expression of AptKv3 channels through in vivo viral injections allowed directed retargeting of AptKv3 subtypes over the somadendritic axis, revealing that the sequence responsible for targeting channels to distal dendrites lies within the C-terminal domain of the AptKv3.3 protein. The targeting domain includes a consensus sequence predicted to bind to a PDZ (postsynaptic density-95/Discs large/zona occludens-1)-type protein-protein interaction motif. These findings reveal that different functional roles for Kv3 potassium channels at the somatic and dendritic level of a sensory neuron are attained through specific targeting that selectively distributes Kv3.3 channels to the dendritic compartment.