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Inactivation gating and 4-AP sensitivity in human brain Kv1.4 potassium channel.

S I Judge, M J Monteiro, J Z Yeh, C T Bever

Brain Res., 1999 Jun 12 , 831, 43-54

Voltage-gated K(+) channels vary in sensitivity to block by 4-aminopyridine (4-AP) over a 1000-fold range. Most K(+) channel phenotypes with leucine at the fourth position (L4) in the leucine heptad repeat region, spanning the S4-S5 linker, exhibit low 4-AP sensitivity, while channels with phenylalanine exhibit high sensitivity. Mutational analysis on delayed rectifier type K(+) channels demonstrate increased 4-AP sensitivity upon mutation of the L4 heptad leucine to phenylalanine. This mutation can also influence inactivation gating, which is known to compete with 4-AP in rapidly inactivating A-type K(+) channels. Here, in a rapidly inactivating human brain Kv1.4 channel, we demonstrate a 400-fold increase in 4-AP sensitivity following substitution of L4 with phenylalanine. Accompanying this mutation is a slowing of inactivation, an acceleration of deactivation, and depolarizing shifts in the voltage dependence of activation and steady-state inactivation. To test the relative role of fast inactivation in modulating 4-AP block, N-terminal deletions of the fast inactivation gate were carried out in both channels. These deletions produced no change in 4-AP sensitivity in the mutant channel and approximately a six-fold increase in the wild type channel. These results support the view that changes at L4 which increase 4-AP sensitivity are largely due to 4-AP binding and may, in part, arise from alterations in channel conformation. Primarily, this study demonstrates that the fast inactivation gate is not a critical determinant of 4-AP sensitivity in Kv1.4 channels.