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Functional expression and characterization of G-protein-gated inwardly rectifying K+ channels containing GIRK3.

T M Jelacic, S M Sims, D E Clapham

J. Membr. Biol., 1999 May 15 , 169, 123-9

The G-protein-gated inwardly rectifying K+(GIRK) family of ion channels form functional Gbetagamma-sensitive channels as heteromultimers of GIRK1 and either the GIRK2 or GIRK4 subunits. However, the homologous mouse brain GIRK3 clone failed to express in the earliest reported functional experiments in Xenopus oocytes. We recloned the GIRK3 subunit from mouse brain and found that the new clone differed significantly from that originally reported. The functional aspects of GIRK3 were reinvestigated by expression in CHO cells. The single channel properties of GIRK1/GIRK3 were characterized and compared to those of the GIRK1/GIRK2 and GIRK1/GIRK4 channels. All three GIRK1/GIRKx combinations produced channels with nearly indistinguishable conductances and kinetics. The response of GIRK1/GIRK3 to Gbetagamma in the 1-47 nm range was examined and found to be indistinguishable from that of GIRK1/GIRK4 channels. We conclude that GIRK1, with either GIRK2, 3, or 4, gives rise to heteromultimeric channels with virtually identical conductances, kinetics, and Gbetagamma sensitivities.