PubMed 24260325

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: Cav1.1

Title: Cholesterol down-regulates BK channels stably expressed in HEK 293 cells.

Authors: Wei Wu, Yan Wang, Xiu-Ling Deng, Hai-Ying Sun, Gui-Rong Li

Journal, date & volume: PLoS ONE, 2013 , 8, e79952

PubMed link:

Cholesterol is one of the major lipid components of the plasma membrane in mammalian cells and is involved in the regulation of a number of ion channels. The present study investigates how large conductance Ca(2+)-activated K(+) (BK) channels are regulated by membrane cholesterol in BK-HEK 293 cells expressing both the α-subunit hKCa1.1 and the auxiliary β1-subunit or in hKCa1.1-HEK 293 cells expressing only the α-subunit hKCa1.1 using approaches of electrophysiology, molecular biology, and immunocytochemistry. Membrane cholesterol was depleted in these cells with methyl-β-cyclodextrin (MβCD), and enriched with cholesterol-saturated MβCD (MβCD-cholesterol) or low-density lipoprotein (LDL). We found that BK current density was decreased by cholesterol enrichment in BK-HEK 293 cells, with a reduced expression of KCa1.1 protein, but not the β1-subunit protein. This effect was fully countered by the proteasome inhibitor lactacystin or the lysosome function inhibitor bafilomycin A1. Interestingly, in hKCa1.1-HEK 293 cells, the current density was not affected by cholesterol enrichment, but directly decreased by MβCD, suggesting that the down-regulation of BK channels by cholesterol depends on the auxiliary β1-subunit. The reduced KCa1.1 channel protein expression was also observed in cultured human coronary artery smooth muscle cells with cholesterol enrichment using MβCD-cholesterol or LDL. These results demonstrate the novel information that cholesterol down-regulates BK channels by reducing KCa1.1 protein expression via increasing the channel protein degradation, and the effect is dependent on the auxiliary β1-subunit.