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Differential modulation of Kv1 channel-mediated currents by co-expression of Kvbeta3 subunit in a mammalian cell-line.

Robert Bähring, Vitya Vardanyan, Olaf Pongs

Mol. Membr. Biol., 2004 Jan-Feb , 21, 19-25

The effect of Kvbeta3 subunit co-expression on currents mediated by the Shaker-related channels Kv1.1 to Kv1.6 in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells was studied with patch-clamp techniques. In the presence of Kvbeta3, differences in the voltage dependence of activation for Kv1.1, Kv1.3 and Kv1.6 were detected, but not for Kv1.2- and Kv1.4-mediated currents. Co-expression of Kvbeta3 did not cause a significant increase in current density for any of the tested channels. In contrast to previous studies in Xenopus oocyte expression system, Kvbeta3 confered a rapid inactivation to all except Kv1.3 channels. Also, Kv1.6 channels that possess an N-type inactivation prevention (NIP) domain for Kvbeta1.1, inactivated rapidly when co-expressed with Kvbeta3. Onset and recovery kinetics of channel inactivation distinctly differed for the various Kv1alpha/Kvbeta3 subunit combinations investigated in this study. The results indicate that the choice of expression system may critically determine Kvbeta3 inactivating activity. This suggests that the presence of an inactivating domain and a receptor in a channel pore, although necessary, may not be sufficient for an effective rapid N-type inactivation of Kv1 channels in heterologous expression systems.