PubMed 20519930

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: BK , Slo1

Title: Ca2+-activated K channels in parotid acinar cells: The functional basis for the hyperpolarized activation of BK channels.

Authors: Victor G Romanenko, Jill Thompson, Ted Begenisich

Journal, date & volume: Channels (Austin), 2010 Jul-Aug , 4, 278-88

PubMed link:

Fluid secretion relies on a close interplay between Ca(2+)-activated Cl and K channels. Salivary acinar cells contain both large conductance, BK, and intermediate conductance, IK1, K channels. Physiological fluid secretion occurs with only modest (<500 nM) increases in intracellular Ca(2+) levels but BK channels in many cell types and in heterologous expression systems require very high concentrations for significant activation. We report here our efforts to understand this apparent contradiction. We determined the Ca(2+) dependence of IK1 and BK channels in mouse parotid acinar cells. IK1 channels activated with an apparent Ca(2+) affinity of about 350 nM and a Hill coefficient near 3. Native parotid BK channels activated at similar Ca(2+) levels unlike the BK channels in other cell types. Since the parotid BK channel is encoded by an uncommon splice variant, we examined this clone in a heterologous expression system. In contrast to the native parotid channel, activation of this expressed "parSlo" channel required very high levels of Ca(2+). In order to understand the functional basis for the special properties of the native channels, we analyzed the parotid BK channel in the context of the Horrigan-Aldrich model of BK channel gating. We found that the shifted activation of parotid BK channels resulted from a hyperpolarizing shift of the voltage dependence of voltage sensor activation and channel opening and included a large change in the coupling of these two processes.