PubMed 21508292

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: KCNQ1 , Kv7.1 , Slo1

Title: Thermal adaptation of the crucian carp (Carassius carassius) cardiac delayed rectifier current, IKs, by homomeric assembly of Kv7.1 subunits without MinK.

Authors: Minna Hassinen, Salla Laulaja, Vesa Paajanen, Jaakko Haverinen, Matti Vornanen

Journal, date & volume: Am. J. Physiol. Regul. Integr. Comp. Physiol., 2011 Jul , 301, R255-65

PubMed link:

Ectothermic vertebrates experience acute and chronic temperature changes which affect cardiac excitability and may threaten electrical stability of the heart. Nevertheless, ectothermic hearts function over wide range of temperatures without cardiac arrhythmias, probably due to special molecular adaptations. We examine function and molecular basis of the slow delayed rectifier K(+) current (I(Ks)) in cardiac myocytes of a eurythermic fish (Carassius carassius L.). I(Ks) is an important repolarizing current that prevents excessive prolongation of cardiac action potential, but it is extremely slowly activating when expressed in typical molecular composition of the endothermic animals. Comparison of the I(Ks) of the crucian carp atrial myocytes with the currents produced by homomeric K(v)7.1 and heteromeric K(v)7.1/MinK channels in Chinese hamster ovary cells indicates that activation kinetics and pharmacological properties of the I(Ks) are similar to those of the homomeric K(v)7.1 channels. Consistently with electrophysiological properties and homomeric K(v)7.1 channel composition, atrial transcript expression of the MinK subunit is only 1.6-1.9% of the expression level of the K(v)7.1 subunit. Since activation kinetics of the homomeric K(v)7.1 channels is much faster than activation of the heteromeric K(v)7.1/MinK channels, the homomeric K(v)7.1 composition of the crucian carp cardiac I(Ks) is thermally adaptive: the slow delayed rectifier channels can open despite low body temperatures and curtail the duration of cardiac action potential in ectothermic crucian carp. We suggest that the homomeric K(v)7.1 channel assembly is an evolutionary thermal adaptation of ectothermic hearts and the heteromeric K(v)7.1/MinK channels evolved later to adapt I(Ks) to high body temperature of endotherms.