PubMed 15087421

Title: Unique Kir2.x properties determine regional and species differences in the cardiac inward rectifier K+ current.

Authors: Amit S Dhamoon, Sandeep V Pandit, Farzad Sarmast, Keely R Parisian, Prabal Guha, You Li, Suveer Bagwe, Steven M Taffet, Justus M B Anumonwo

Journal, date & volume: Circ. Res., 2004 May 28 , 94, 1332-9

PubMed link:

The inwardly rectifying potassium (Kir) 2.x channels mediate the cardiac inward rectifier potassium current (I(K1)). In addition to differences in current density, atrial and ventricular I(K1) have differences in outward current profiles and in extracellular potassium ([K+]o) dependence. The whole-cell patch-clamp technique was used to study these properties in heterologously expressed Kir2.x channels and atrial and ventricular I(K1) in guinea pig and sheep hearts. Kir2.x channels showed distinct rectification profiles: Kir2.1 and Kir2.2 rectified completely at potentials more depolarized than -30 mV (I approximately 0 pA). In contrast, rectification was incomplete for Kir2.3 channels. In guinea pig atria, which expressed mainly Kir2.1, I(K1) rectified completely. In sheep atria, which predominantly expressed Kir2.3 channels, I(K1) did not rectify completely. Single-channel analysis of sheep Kir2.3 channels showed a mean unitary conductance of 13.1+/-0.1 pS in 15 cells, which corresponded with I(K1) in sheep atria (9.9+/-0.1 pS in 32 cells). Outward Kir2.1 currents were increased in 10 mmol/L [K+]o, whereas Kir2.3 currents did not increase. Correspondingly, guinea pig (but not sheep) atrial I(K1) showed an increase in outward currents in 10 mmol/L [K+]o. Although the ventricles of both species expressed Kir2.1 and Kir2.3, outward I(K1) currents rectified completely and increased in high [K+]o-displaying Kir2.1-like properties. Likewise, outward current properties of heterologously expressed Kir2.1-Kir2.3 complexes in normal and 10 mmol/L [K+]o were similar to Kir2.1 but not Kir2.3. Thus, unique properties of individual Kir2.x isoforms, as well as heteromeric Kir2.x complexes, determine regional and species differences of I(K1) in the heart.