PubMed 11380822

Title: Cellular localization of the potassium channel Kir7.1 in guinea pig and human kidney.

Authors: C Derst, J R Hirsch, R Preisig-Müller, E Wischmeyer, A Karschin, F Döring, A Thomzig, R W Veh, E Schlatter, W Kummer, J Daut

Journal, date & volume: Kidney Int., 2001 Jun , 59, 2197-205

PubMed link:

K(+) channels have important functions in the kidney, such as maintenance of the membrane potential, volume regulation, recirculation, and secretion of potassium ions. The aim of this study was to obtain more information on the localization and possible functional role of the inwardly rectifying K(+) channel, Kir7.1.Kir7.1 cDNA (1114 bp) was isolated from guinea pig kidney (gpKir7.1), and its tissue distribution was analyzed by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). In addition, a genomic DNA fragment (6153 bp) was isolated from a genomic library. cRNA was expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes for functional studies. Immunohistochemistry and RT-PCR were used to localize Kir7.1 in guinea pig and human kidney.The expression of gpKir7.1 in Xenopus laevis oocytes revealed inwardly rectifying K(+) currents. The reversal potential was strongly dependent on the extracellular K(+) concentration, shifting from -14 mV at 96 mmol/L K(+) to -90 mV at 1 mmol/L K(+). gpKir7.1 showed a low affinity for Ba(2+). Significant expression of gpKir7.1 was found in brain, kidney, and lung, but not in heart, skeletal muscle, liver, or spleen. Immunocytochemical detection in guinea pig identified the gpKir7.1 protein in the basolateral membrane of epithelial cells of the proximal tubule. RT-PCR analysis identified strong gpKir7.1 expression in the proximal tubule and weak expression in glomeruli and thick ascending limb. In isolated human tubule fragments, RT-PCR showed expression in proximal tubule and thick ascending limb.Our results suggest that Kir7.1 may contribute to basolateral K(+) recycling in the proximal tubule and in the thick ascending limb.