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Induction of stable ER-plasma-membrane junctions by Kv2.1 potassium channels.

Philip D Fox, Christopher J Haberkorn, Elizabeth J Akin, Peter J Seel, Diego Krapf, Michael M Tamkun

J. Cell. Sci., 2015 Jun 1 , 128, 2096-105

Junctions between cortical endoplasmic reticulum (cER) and the plasma membrane are a subtle but ubiquitous feature in mammalian cells; however, very little is known about the functions and molecular interactions that are associated with neuronal ER-plasma-membrane junctions. Here, we report that Kv2.1 (also known as KCNB1), the primary delayed-rectifier K(+) channel in the mammalian brain, induces the formation of ER-plasma-membrane junctions. Kv2.1 localizes to dense, cell-surface clusters that contain non-conducting channels, indicating that they have a function that is unrelated to membrane-potential regulation. Accordingly, Kv2.1 clusters function as membrane-trafficking hubs, providing platforms for delivery and retrieval of multiple membrane proteins. Using both total internal reflection fluorescence and electron microscopy we demonstrate that the clustered Kv2.1 plays a direct structural role in the induction of stable ER-plasma-membrane junctions in both transfected HEK 293 cells and cultured hippocampal neurons. Glutamate exposure results in a loss of Kv2.1 clusters in neurons and subsequent retraction of the cER from the plasma membrane. We propose Kv2.1-induced ER-plasma-membrane junctions represent a new macromolecular plasma-membrane complex that is sensitive to excitotoxic insult and functions as a scaffolding site for both membrane trafficking and Ca(2+) signaling.