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Nature. 1994 May 26;369(6478):289-94.

Inactivation properties of voltage-gated K+ channels altered by presence of beta-subunit.

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  • 1Zentrum für Molekulare Neurobiologie Hamburg, Institut für Neurale Signalverarbeitung, Germany.


Structural and functional diversity of voltage-gated Kv1-type potassium channels in rat brain is enhanced by the association of two different types of subunits, the membrane-bound, poreforming alpha-subunits and a peripheral beta-subunit. We have cloned a beta-subunit (Kv beta 1) that is specifically expressed in the rat nervous system. Association of Kv beta 1 with alpha-subunits confers rapid A-type inactivation on non-inactivating Kv1 channels (delayed rectifiers) in expression systems in vitro. This effect is mediated by an inactivating ball domain in the Kv beta 1 amino terminus.

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