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Molecular physiology and modulation of somatodendritic A-type potassium channels.

Henry H Jerng, Paul J Pfaffinger, Manuel Covarrubias

Mol. Cell. Neurosci., 2004 Dec , 27, 343-69

The somatodendritic subthreshold A-type K+ current (ISA) in nerve cells is a critical component of the ensemble of voltage-gated ionic currents that determine somatodendritic signal integration. The underlying K+ channel belongs to the Shal subfamily of voltage-gated K+ channels. Most Shal channels across the animal kingdom share a high degree of structural conservation, operate in the subthreshold range of membrane potentials, and exhibit relatively fast inactivation and recovery from inactivation. Mammalian Shal K+ channels (Kv4) undergo preferential closed-state inactivation with features that are generally inconsistent with the classical mechanisms of inactivation typical of Shaker K+ channels. Here, we review (1) the physiological and genetic properties of ISA, 2 the molecular mechanisms of Kv4 inactivation and its remodeling by a family of soluble calcium-binding proteins (KChIPs) and a membrane-bound dipeptidase-like protein (DPPX), and (3) the modulation of Kv4 channels by protein phosphorylation.