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Formation of heteromeric Kv2 channels in mammalian brain neurons.

Yoshitaka Kihira, Tracey O Hermanstyne, Hiroaki Misonou

J. Biol. Chem., 2010 May 14 , 285, 15048-55

The formation of heteromeric tetramers is a common feature of voltage-gated potassium (Kv) channels. This results in the generation of a variety of tetrameric Kv channels that exhibit distinct biophysical and biochemical characteristics. Kv2 delayed rectifier channels are, however, unique exceptions. It has been previously shown that mammalian Kv2.1 and Kv2.2 are localized in distinct domains of neuronal membranes and are not capable of forming heteromeric channels with each other (Hwang, P. M., Glatt, C. E., Bredt, D. S., Yellen, G., and Snyder, S. H. (1992) Neuron 8, 473-481). In this study, we report a novel form of rat Kv2.2, Kv2.2(long), which has not been previously recognized. Our data indicate that Kv2.2(long) is the predominant form of Kv2.2 expressed in cortical pyramidal neurons. In contrast to the previous findings, we also found that rat Kv2.1 and Kv2.2(long) are colocalized in the somata and proximal dendrites of cortical pyramidal neurons and are capable of forming functional heteromeric delayed rectifier channels. Our results suggest that the delayed rectifier currents, which regulate action potential firing, are encoded by heteromeric Kv2 channels in cortical neurons.