PubMed 26196595

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: Kir3.1 , Kir3.4

Title: Cholesterol increases the open probability of cardiac KACh currents.

Authors: Anna N Bukiya, Catherine V Osborn, Guruprasad Kuntamallappanavar, Peter T Toth, Lia Baki, Gregory Kowalsky, Myung J Oh, Alex M Dopico, Irena Levitan, Avia Rosenhouse-Dantsker

Journal, date & volume: Biochim. Biophys. Acta, 2015 Oct , 1848, 2406-13

PubMed link:

Cholesterol is one of the major lipid components of membranes in mammalian cells. In recent years, cholesterol has emerged as a major regulator of ion channel function. The most common effect of cholesterol on ion channels in general and on inwardly rectifying potassium (Kir) channels in particular is a decrease in activity. In contrast, we have recently shown that native G-protein gated Kir (GIRK or Kir3) channels that underlie atrial KACh currents are up-regulated by cholesterol. Here we unveil the biophysical basis of cholesterol-induced increase in KACh activity. Using planar lipid bilayers we show that cholesterol significantly enhances the channel open frequency of the Kir3.1/Kir3.4 channels, which underlie KACh currents. In contrast, our data indicate that cholesterol does not affect their unitary conductance. Furthermore, using fluorescent and TIRF microscopy as well as surface protein biotinylation, we also show that cholesterol enrichment in vitro has no effect on surface expression of GFP-tagged channels expressed in Xenopus oocytes or transfected into HEK293 cells. Together, these data demonstrate for the first time that cholesterol enhances Kir3-mediated current by increasing the channel open probability.