PubMed 12356855

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: Kir2.1

Title: IRK1 inward rectifier K(+) channels exhibit no intrinsic rectification.

Authors: Donglin Guo, Zhe Lu

Journal, date & volume: J. Gen. Physiol., 2002 Oct , 120, 539-51

PubMed link:

In intact cells the depolarization-induced outward IRK1 currents undergo profound relaxation so that the steady-state macroscopic I-V curve exhibits strong inward rectification. A modest degree of rectification persists after the membrane patches were perfused with artificial solutions devoid of Mg(2+) and polyamines, which has been interpreted as a reflection of intrinsic channel gating and led to the view that inward rectification results from enhancement of the intrinsic gating by intracellular cations rather than simple pore block. Furthermore, IRK1 exhibits significant extracellular K(+)-sensitive relaxation of its inward current, a feature that has been likened to the C-type inactivation observed in the voltage-activated Shaker K(+) channels. We found that both these current relaxations can be accounted for by impurities in some common constituents of recording solutions, such as residual hydroxyethylpiperazine in HEPES and ethylenediamine in EDTA. Therefore, inherently, IRK1 channels are essentially ohmic at the macroscopic level, and the voltage jump-induced current relaxations do not reflect IRK1 gating but the unusually high affinity of its pore for cations. Furthermore, our study helps define the optimal experimental conditions for studying IRK1.