PubMed 26646078

Title: Determinants of frequency-dependent regulation of Kv1.2-containing potassium channels.

Authors: Victoria A Baronas, Runying Yang, Yury Y Vilin, Harley T Kurata

Journal, date & volume: Channels (Austin), 2015 Dec 8 , , 0

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Voltage-gated potassium channels are important regulators of electrical excitation in many tissues, with Kv1.2 standing out as an essential contributor in the CNS. Genetic deletion of Kv1.2 invariably leads to early lethality in mice. In humans, mutations affecting Kv1.2 function are linked to epileptic encephalopathy and movement disorders. We have demonstrated that Kv1.2 is subject to a unique regulatory mechanism in which repetitive stimulation leads to dramatic potentiation of current. In this study, we explore the properties and molecular determinants of this use-dependent potentiation/activation. First, we examine how alterations in duty cycle (depolarization and repolarization/recovery times) affect the onset and extent of use-dependent activation. Also, we use trains of repetitive depolarizations to test the effects of a variety of Thr252 (S2-S3 linker) mutations on use-dependent activation. Substitutions of Thr with some sterically similar amino acids (Ser, Val, and Met, but not Cys) retain use-dependent activation, while bulky or charged amino acid substitutions eliminate use-dependence. Introduction of Thr at the equivalent position in other Kv1 channels (1.1, 1.3, 1.4), was not sufficient to transfer the phenotype. We hypothesize that use-dependent activation of Kv1.2 channels is mediated by an extrinsic regulator that binds preferentially to the channel closed state, with Thr252 being necessary but not sufficient for this interaction to alter channel function. These findings extend the conclusions of our recent demonstration of use-dependent activation of Kv1.2-containing channels in hippocampal neurons, by adding new details about the molecular mechanism underlying this effect.