PubMed 9635749

Title: The N-terminus of the K channel KAT1 controls its voltage-dependent gating by altering the membrane electric field.

Authors: I Marten, T Hoshi

Journal, date & volume: Biophys. J., 1998 Jun , 74, 2953-62

PubMed link:

Functional roles of different domains (pore region, S4 segment, N-terminus) of the KAT1 potassium channel in its voltage-dependent gating were electrophysiologically studied in Xenopus oocytes. The KAT1 properties did not depend on the extracellular K+ concentration or on residue H267, equivalent to one of the residues known to be important in C-type inactivation in Shaker channels, indicating that the hyperpolarization-induced KAT1 inward currents are related to the channel activation rather than to recovery from inactivation. Neutralization of a positively charged amino acid in the S4 domain (R176S) reduced the gating charge movement, suggesting that it acts as a voltage-sensing residue in KAT1. N-terminal deletions alone (e.g., delta20-34) did not affect the gating charge movement. However, the deletions paradoxically increased the voltage sensitivity of the R176S mutant channel, but not that of the wild-type channel. We propose a simple model in which the N-terminus determines the KAT1 voltage sensitivity by contributing to the electric field sensed by the voltage sensor.