Evidence for direct physical association between a K+ channel (Kir6.2) and an ATP-binding cassette protein (SUR1) which affects cellular distribution and kinetic behavior of an ATP-sensitive K+ channel

Eva Lorenz, Alexey E. Alekseev, Grigory B. Krapivinsky, Antonio J. Carrasco, David E. Clapham, Andre Terzic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations

Abstract

Structurally unique among ion channels, ATP-sensitive K+ (K(ATP)) channels are essential in coupling cellular metabolism with membrane excitability, and their activity can be reconstituted by coexpression of an inwardly rectifying K+ channel, Kir6.2, with an ATP-binding cassette protein, SUR1. To determine if constitutive channel subunits form a physical complex, we developed antibodies to specifically label and immunoprecipitate Kir6.2. From a mixture of Kir6.2 and SUR1 in vitro-translated proteins, and from COS cells transfected with both channel subunits, the Kir6.2-specific antibody coimmunoprecipitated 38- and 140-kDa proteins corresponding to Kir6.2 and SUR1, respectively. Since previous reports suggest that the carboxy-truncated Kir6.2 can form a channel independent of SUR, we deleted 114 nucleotides from the carboxy terminus of the Kir6.2 open reading frame (Kir6.2ΔC37). Kir6.2ΔC37 still coimmunoprecipitated with SUR1, suggesting that the distal carboxy terminus of Kir6.2 is unnecessary for subunit association. Confocal microscopic images of COS cells transfected with Kir6.2 or Kir6.2ΔC37 and labeled with fluorescent antibodies revealed unique honeycomb patterns unlike the diffuse immunostaining observed when cells were cotransfected with Kir6.2-SUR1 or Kir6.2ΔC37-SUR1. Membrane patches excised from COS cells cotransfected with Kir6.2-SUR1 or Kir6.2ΔC37-SUR1 exhibited single-channel activity characteristic of pancreatic K(ATP) channels. Kir6.2ΔC37 alone formed functional channels with single-channel conductance and intraburst kinetic properties similar to those of Kir6.2-SUR1 or Kir6.2ΔC37-SUR1 but with reduced burst duration. This study provides direct evidence that an inwardly rectifying K+ channel and an ATP-binding cassette protein physically associate, which affects the cellular distribution and kinetic behavior of a K(ATP) channel.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1652-1659
Number of pages8
JournalMolecular and cellular biology
Volume18
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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