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Triple N-glycosylation in the long S5-P loop regulates the activation and trafficking of the Kv12.2 potassium channel.

Kentaro Noma, Kazushi Kimura, Keiichiro Minatohara, Hisako Nakashima, Yasuaki Nagao, Akira Mizoguchi, Yoshinori Fujiyoshi

J. Biol. Chem., 2009 Nov 27 , 284, 33139-50

Mammalian voltage-dependent potassium (Kv) channels regulate the excitability of nerve and muscle cells. Kv12.2 features the longest S5-P loop among all known mammalian Kv channels with the most N-linked glycosylation sites (three sites). Despite its unique structural features, Kv12.2 is not well characterized. Because glycosylation plays important roles in the folding, trafficking, and function of various Kv channels, we focused on the N-glycosylation of Kv12.2. We show that Kv12.2 is N-glycosylated in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells and in cultured neurons as well as in the mouse brain. As an effect of N-glycosylation on the function of Kv12.2, we demonstrate that removal of sugar chains causes a depolarizing shift in the steady-state activation without a significant reduction in current amplitude. Unlike the previously reported shift for Shaker-type Kv channels, this shift does not appear to be due to negatively charged sialic acid residues in the sugar chains. We next examined the trafficking in CHO cells to address whether the unglycosylated Kv12.2 channels are utilized in vivo. Although double mutants, retaining only one glycosylation site, are trafficked to the surface of CHO cells irrespective of the position of the glycosylated site, unglycosylated channels are not trafficked to the cell surface. Furthermore, we could not detect unglycosylated channels in the mouse brain. Our data suggest that only glycosylated Kv12.2 channels show proper voltage dependence and are utilized in vivo.