Channelpedia

Presynaptic A-current based on heteromultimeric K+ channels detected in vivo.


Authors: M Sheng, Y J Liao, Y N Jan, L Y Jan

Journal, date & volume: Nature, 1993 Sep 2 , 365, 72-5

PubMed link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8361540

Channelpedia reference in: K , Kv1.4 , Kv8.2 , Kv9.1 , Kv9.2

Abstract
A wide variety of voltage-gated K+ channels are involved in the regulation of neuronal excitability and synaptic transmission. Their heterogeneity arises in part from the large number of genes encoding different K+ channel subunits (reviewed in ref. 1). In addition, heterologous expression studies indicate that assembly of distinct subunits into heteromultimeric channels may contribute further to K+ channel diversity. A question has been whether heteromeric K+ channels actually form in vivo, and if so, whether specific combinations of subunits could account for major K+ currents identified in neurons. We present here biochemical evidence that Kv1.4 and Kv1.2, two K+ channel subunits of the Shaker subfamily, co-assemble in rat brain. The Kv1.4/Kv1.2 heteromultimer combines features of both parent subunits, resulting in an A-type K+ channel. Immunocytochemical evidence suggests that the heteromultimers are localized in axons and nerve terminals. We propose that Kv1.4/Kv1.2 heteromultimers may form the molecular basis of a presynaptic A-type K+ channel involved in the regulation of neurotransmitter release.