PubMed 11809752

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: Kir2.1

Title: Modulation of the inward rectifier potassium channel IRK1 by the Ras signaling pathway.

Authors: Stefano Giovannardi, Greta Forlani, Monica Balestrini, Elena Bossi, Raffaella Tonini, Emmapaola Sturani, Antonio Peres, Renata Zippel

Journal, date & volume: J. Biol. Chem., 2002 Apr 5 , 277, 12158-63

PubMed link:

In this study, we investigated the role of Ras and the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway in the modulation of the inward rectifier potassium channel IRK1. We show that although expression of IRK1 in HEK 293 cells leads to the appearance of a potassium current with strong inward rectifying properties, coexpression of the constitutively active form of Ras (Ras-L61) results in a significant reduction of the mean current density without altering the biophysical properties of the channel. The inhibitory effect of Ras-L61 is not due to a decreased expression of IRK1 since Northern analysis indicates that IRK1 mRNA level is not affected by Ras-L61 co-expression. Moreover, the inhibition can be relieved by treatment with the mitogen-activated protein kinase/ERK kinase (MEK) inhibitor PD98059. Confocal microscopy analysis of cells transfected with the fusion construct green fluorescent protein-IRK1 shows that the channel is mainly localized at the plasma membrane. Coexpression of Ras-L61 delocalizes fluorescence to the cytoplasm, whereas treatment with PD98059 partially restores the membrane localization. In conclusion, our data indicate that the Ras-MAPK pathway modulates IRK1 current by affecting the subcellular localization of the channel. This suggests a role for Ras signaling in regulating the intracellular trafficking of this channel.