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Ca(2+)/calmodulin regulates Kvβ1.1-mediated inactivation of voltage-gated K(+) channels.

Sandip M Swain, Nirakar Sahoo, Sophie Dennhardt, Roland Schönherr, Stefan H Heinemann

Sci Rep, 2015 , 5, 15509

A-type K(+) channels open on membrane depolarization and undergo subsequent rapid inactivation such that they are ideally suited for fine-tuning the electrical signaling in neurons and muscle cells. Channel inactivation mostly follows the so-called ball-and-chain mechanism, in which the N-terminal structures of either the K(+) channel's α or β subunits occlude the channel pore entry facing the cytosol. Inactivation of Kv1.1 and Kv1.4 channels induced by Kvβ1.1 subunits is profoundly decelerated in response to a rise in the intracellular Ca(2+) concentration, thus making the affected channel complexes negative feedback regulators to limit neuronal overexcitation. With electrophysiological and biochemical experiments we show that the Ca(2+) dependence is gained by binding of calmodulin to the "chain" segment of Kvβ1.1 thereby compromising the mobility of the inactivation particle. Furthermore, inactivation regulation via Ca(2+)/calmodulin does not interfere with the β subunit's enzymatic activity as an NADPH-dependent oxidoreductase, thus rendering the Kvβ1.1 subunit a multifunctional receptor that integrates cytosolic signals to be transduced to altered electrical cellular activity.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26487174