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Circ Res. 2014 Mar 14;114(6):982-92. doi: 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.114.302711. Epub 2014 Feb 7.

Role for myosin-V motor proteins in the selective delivery of Kv channel isoforms to the membrane surface of cardiac myocytes.

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  • 1From the Department of Pharmacology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (S.M.S.-B., E.D.V., L.Z., K.E.R., D.P.M., C.R.F., J.C.M., J.R.M.); Cardiovascular Research Institute Robin Shaw, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco (P.J.C.); and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA (R.M.S.).



Kv1.5 (KCNA5) mediates the ultra-rapid delayed rectifier current that controls atrial action potential duration. Given its atrial-specific expression and alterations in human atrial fibrillation, Kv1.5 has emerged as a promising target for the treatment of atrial fibrillation. A necessary step in the development of novel agents that selectively modulate trafficking pathways is the identification of the cellular machinery controlling Kv1.5 surface density, of which little is yet known.


To investigate the role of the unconventional myosin-V (MYO5A and MYO5B) motors in determining the cell surface density of Kv1.5.


Western blot analysis showed MYO5A and MYO5B expression in the heart, whereas disruption of endogenous motors selectively reduced IKur current in adult rat cardiomyocytes. Dominant negative constructs and short hairpin RNA silencing demonstrated a role for MYO5A and MYO5B in the surface trafficking of Kv1.5 and connexin-43 but not potassium voltage-gated channel, subfamily H (eag-related), member 2 (KCNH2). Live-cell imaging of Kv1.5-GFP and retrospective labeling of phalloidin demonstrated motility of Kv1.5 vesicles on actin tracts. MYO5A participated in anterograde trafficking, whereas MYO5B regulated postendocytic recycling. Overexpression of mutant motors revealed a selective role for Rab11 in coupling MYO5B to Kv1.5 recycling.


MYO5A and MYO5B control functionally distinct steps in the surface trafficking of Kv1.5. These isoform-specific trafficking pathways determine Kv1.5-encoded IKur in myocytes to regulate repolarizing current and, consequently, cardiac excitability. Therapeutic strategies that manipulate Kv1.5 selective trafficking pathways may prove useful in the treatment of arrhythmias.


Kv1.5 potassium channel; arrhythmias, cardiac; connexin 43; heart

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