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RERG is a molecular correlate of the inward-rectifying K current in clonal rat pituitary cells.

C K Bauer, B Engeland, I Wulfsen, J Ludwig, O Pongs, J R Schwarz

Recept. Channels, 1998 , 6, 19-29

The rat homologue of the human ether-ä-go-go-related gene (r-erg) was cloned from rat brain using homology screening. RERG has a 96% amino acid identify to HERG. Membrane currents recorded in CHO cells after previous injection of r-erg showed that the voltage- and time-dependent properties are indistinguishable from h-erg-induced currents expressed in the same system. RT-PCR revealed the presence of r-erg mRNA in clonal rat pituitary cells (GH3/B6 cells). These cells exhibit a voltage-dependent inward-rectifying K current (IK, IR) which is highly sensitive to the class III antiarrhythmic E-4031. IK, IR recorded in GH3/B6 cells and ERG currents in CHO cells were compared using similar experimental conditions (same pulse protocols and isotonic KCl as extracellular solution). The voltage- and time-dependent properties of both currents were found to be almost identical. These results strongly suggest that RERG channels mediate IK, IR in GH3/B6 cells.