PubMed 19029372

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: Kv1.1 , Slo1

Title: Slow inactivation in Shaker K channels is delayed by intracellular tetraethylammonium.

Authors: Vivian González-Pérez, Alan Neely, Christian Tapia, Giovanni González-Gutiérrez, Gustavo Contreras, Patricio Orio, Verónica Lagos, Guillermo Rojas, Tania Estévez, Katherine Stack, David Naranjo

Journal, date & volume: J. Gen. Physiol., 2008 Dec , 132, 633-50

PubMed link:

After removal of the fast N-type inactivation gate, voltage-sensitive Shaker (Shaker IR) K channels are still able to inactivate, albeit slowly, upon sustained depolarization. The classical mechanism proposed for the slow inactivation observed in cell-free membrane patches--the so called C inactivation--is a constriction of the external mouth of the channel pore that prevents K(+) ion conduction. This constriction is antagonized by the external application of the pore blocker tetraethylammonium (TEA). In contrast to C inactivation, here we show that, when recorded in whole Xenopus oocytes, slow inactivation kinetics in Shaker IR K channels is poorly dependent on external TEA but severely delayed by internal TEA. Based on the antagonism with internally or externally added TEA, we used a two-pulse protocol to show that half of the channels inactivate by way of a gate sensitive to internal TEA. Such gate had a recovery time course in the tens of milliseconds range when the interpulse voltage was -90 mV, whereas C-inactivated channels took several seconds to recover. Internal TEA also reduced gating charge conversion associated to slow inactivation, suggesting that the closing of the internal TEA-sensitive inactivation gate could be associated with a significant amount of charge exchange of this type. We interpreted our data assuming that binding of internal TEA antagonized with U-type inactivation (Klemic, K.G., G.E. Kirsch, and S.W. Jones. 2001. Biophys. J. 81:814-826). Our results are consistent with a direct steric interference of internal TEA with an internally located slow inactivation gate as a "foot in the door" mechanism, implying a significant functional overlap between the gate of the internal TEA-sensitive slow inactivation and the primary activation gate. But, because U-type inactivation is reduced by channel opening, trapping the channel in the open conformation by TEA would also yield to an allosteric delay of slow inactivation. These results provide a framework to explain why constitutively C-inactivated channels exhibit gating charge conversion, and why mutations at the internal exit of the pore, such as those associated to episodic ataxia type I in hKv1.1, cause severe changes in inactivation kinetics.