PubMed 11696614

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: Slo1 , Slo3

Title: Intracellular Mg(2+) enhances the function of BK-type Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channels.

Authors: J Shi, J Cui

Journal, date & volume: J. Gen. Physiol., 2001 Nov , 118, 589-606

PubMed link:

BK channels modulate neurotransmitter release due to their activation by voltage and Ca(2+). Intracellular Mg(2+) also modulates BK channels in multiple ways with opposite effects on channel function. Previous single-channel studies have shown that Mg(2+) blocks the pore of BK channels in a voltage-dependent manner. We have confirmed this result by studying macroscopic currents of the mslo1 channel. We find that Mg(2+) activates mslo1 BK channels independently of Ca(2+) and voltage by preferentially binding to their open conformation. The mslo3 channel, which lacks Ca(2+) binding sites in the tail, is not activated by Mg(2+). However, coexpression of the mslo1 core and mslo3 tail produces channels with Mg(2+) sensitivity similar to mslo1 channels, indicating that Mg(2+) sites differ from Ca(2+) sites. We discovered that Mg(2+) also binds to Ca(2+) sites and competitively inhibits Ca(2+)-dependent activation. Quantitative computation of these effects reveals that the overall effect of Mg(2+) under physiological conditions is to enhance BK channel function.