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Mutation of histidine 105 in the T1 domain of the potassium channel Kv2.1 disrupts heteromerization with Kv6.3 and Kv6.4.

Michael Mederos Y Schnitzler, Susanne Rinné, Lennart Skrobek, Vijay Renigunta, Günter Schlichthörl, Christian Derst, Thomas Gudermann, Jürgen Daut, Regina Preisig-Müller

J. Biol. Chem., 2009 Feb 13 , 284, 4695-704

The voltage-activated K(+) channel subunit Kv2.1 can form heterotetramers with members of the Kv6 subfamily, generating channels with biophysical properties different from homomeric Kv2.1 channels. The N-terminal tetramerization domain (T1) has been shown previously to play a role in Kv channel assembly, but the mechanisms controlling specific heteromeric assembly are still unclear. In Kv6.x channels the histidine residue of the zinc ion-coordinating C3H1 motif of Kv2.1 is replaced by arginine or valine. Using a yeast two-hybrid assay, we found that substitution of the corresponding histidine 105 in Kv2.1 by valine (H105V) or arginine (H105R) disrupted the interaction of the T1 domain of Kv2.1 with the T1 domains of both Kv6.3 and Kv6.4, whereas interaction of the T1 domain of Kv2.1 with itself was unaffected by this mutation. Using fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET), interaction could be detected between the subunits Kv2.1/Kv2.1, Kv2.1/Kv6.3, and Kv2.1/Kv6.4. Reduced FRET signals were obtained after co-expression of Kv2.1(H105V) or Kv2.1(H105R) with Kv6.3 or Kv6.4. Wild-type Kv2.1 but not Kv2.1(H105V) could be co-immunoprecipitated with Kv6.4. Co-expression of dominant-negative mutants of Kv6.3 reduced the current produced Kv2.1, but not of Kv2.1(H105R) mutants. Co-expression of Kv6.3 or Kv6.4 with wt Kv2.1 but not with Kv2.1(H105V) or Kv2.1(H105R) changed the voltage dependence of activation of the channels. Our results suggest that His-105 in the T1 domain of Kv2.1 is required for functional heteromerization with members of the Kv6 subfamily. We conclude from our findings that Kv2.1 and Kv6.x subunits have complementary T1 domains that control selective heteromerization.