PubMed 26140335

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: KCNK3 , KCNK5 , SK2

Title: The two-pore domain K2 P channel TASK2 drives human NK-cell proliferation and cytolytic function.

Authors: Andreas Schulte-Mecklenbeck, Stefan Bittner, Petra Ehling, Frank Döring, Erhard Wischmeyer, Johanna Breuer, Alexander M Herrmann, Heinz Wiendl, Sven G Meuth, Catharina C Gross

Journal, date & volume: Eur. J. Immunol., 2015 Sep , 45, 2602-14

PubMed link:

Natural killer (NK) cells are a subset of cytotoxic lymphocytes that recognize and kill tumor- and virus-infected cells without prior stimulation. Killing of target cells is a multistep process including adhesion to target cells, formation of an immunological synapse, and polarization and release of cytolytic granules. The role of distinct potassium channels in this orchestrated process is still poorly understood. The current study reveals that in addition to the voltage-gated KV 1.3 and the calcium-activated KCa 3.1 channels, human NK cells also express the two-pore domain K2 P channel TASK2 (TWIK-related acid-sensitive potassium channel). Expression of Task2 varies among NK-cell subsets and depends on their differentiation and activation state. Despite its different expression in TASK2(high) CD56(bright) CD16(-) and TASK2(low) CD56(dim) CD16(+) NK cells, TASK2 is involved in cytokine-induced proliferation and cytolytic function of both subsets. TASK2 is crucial for leukocyte functional antigen (LFA-1) mediated adhesion of both resting and cytokine-activated NK cells to target cells, an early step in killing of target cells. With regard to the following mechanism, TASK2 plays a role in release of cytotoxic granules by resting, but not IL-15-induced NK cells. Taken together, our data exhibit two-pore potassium channels as important players in NK-cell activation and effector function.