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Properties and molecular basis of the mouse urinary bladder voltage-gated K+ current.

Kevin S Thorneloe, Mark T Nelson

J. Physiol. (Lond.), 2003 May 15 , 549, 65-74

Potassium channels play an important role in controlling the excitability of urinary bladder smooth muscle (UBSM). Here we describe the biophysical, pharmacological and molecular properties of the mouse UBSM voltage-gated K+ current (IK(V)). The IK(V) activated, deactivated and inactivated slowly with time constants of 29.9 ms at +30 mV, 131 ms at -40 mV and 3.4 s at +20 mV. The midpoints of steady-state activation and inactivation curves were 1.1 mV and -61.4 mV, respectively. These properties suggest that IK(V) plays a role in regulating the resting membrane potential and contributes to the repolarization and after-hyperpolarization phases of action potentials. The IK(V) was blocked by tetraethylammonium ions with an IC50 of 5.2 mM and was unaffected by 1 mM 4-aminopyridine. RT-PCR for voltage-gated K+ channel (KV) subunits revealed the expression of Kv2.1, Kv5.1, Kv6.1, Kv6.2 and Kv6.3 in isolated UBSM myocytes. A comparison of the biophysical properties of UBSM IK(V) with those reported for Kv2.1 and Kv5.1 and/or Kv6 heteromultimeric channels demonstrated a marked similarity. We propose that heteromultimeric channel complexes composed of Kv2.1 and Kv5.1 and/or Kv6 subunits form the molecular basis of the mouse UBSM IK(V).