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Channels (Austin). 2013 Jul-Aug;7(4):318-21. Epub 2013 Jun 11.

PKA-independent activation of I(f) by cAMP in mouse sinoatrial myocytes.

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  • 1Department of Physiology and Biophysics; University of Colorado Denver-Anschutz Medical Campus; Aurora, CO USA.


Hyperpolarization-activated, cyclic nucleotide-sensitive (HCN4) channels produce the "funny current," I(f), which contributes to spontaneous pacemaking in sinoatrial myocytes (SAMs). The C-terminus of HCN channels inhibits voltage-dependent gating, and cAMP binding relieves this "autoinhibition." We previously showed 1) that autoinhibition in HCN4 can be relieved in the absence of cAMP in some cellular contexts and 2) that PKA is required for β adrenergic receptor (βAR) signaling to HCN4 in SAMs. Together, these results raise the possibility that native HCN channels in SAMs may be insensitive to direct activation by cAMP. Here, we examined PKA-independent activation of If by cAMP in SAMs. We observed similar robust activation of If by exogenous cAMP and Rp-cAMP (an analog than cannot activate PKA). Thus PKA-dependent βAR-to-HCN signaling does not result from cAMP insensitivity of sinoatrial HCN channels and might instead arise via PKA-dependent limitation of cAMP production and/or cAMP access to HCN channels in SAMs.


HCN4; If; cyclic nucleotide-binding domain; hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-sensitive channel; protein kinase A; sinoatrial node

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