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J Biol Chem. 2003 Jul 25;278(30):27406-12. Epub 2003 May 17.

A novel two-pore domain K+ channel, TRESK, is localized in the spinal cord.

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  • 1Molecular Medicine Laboratories, Institute for Drug Discovery Research, Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., 21 Miyukigaoka, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, 305-8585, Japan.


To find a novel human ion channel gene we have executed an extensive search by using a human genome draft sequencing data base. Here we report a novel two-pore domain K+ channel, TRESK (TWIK-related spinal cord K+ channel). TRESK is coded by 385 amino acids and shows low homology (19%) with previously characterized two-pore domain K+ channels. However, the most similar channel is TREK-2 (two-pore domain K+ channel), and TRESK also has two pore-forming domains and four transmembrane domains that are evolutionarily conserved in the two-pore domain K+ channel family. Moreover, we confirmed that TRESK is expressed in the spinal cord. Electrophysiological analysis demonstrated that TRESK induced outward rectification and functioned as a background K+ channel. Pharmacological analysis showed TRESK to be inhibited by previously reported K+ channel inhibitors Ba2+, propafenone, glyburide, lidocaine, quinine, quinidine, and triethanolamine. Functional analysis demonstrated TRESK to be inhibited by unsaturated free fatty acids such as arachidonic acid and docosahexaenoic acid. TRESK is also sensitive to extreme changes in extracellular and intracellular pH. These results indicate that TRESK is a novel two-pore domain K+ channel that may set the resting membrane potential of cells in the spinal cord.

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