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EMBO J. 1999 Feb 15;18(4):847-53.

Inward rectification in KATP channels: a pH switch in the pore.

Author information

1
Department of Physiology II, Ob dem Himmelreich 7, 72074 Tübingen. thomas.baukrowitz@uni-tuebingen.de

Abstract

Inward-rectifier potassium channels (Kir channels) stabilize the resting membrane potential and set a threshold for excitation in many types of cell. This function arises from voltage-dependent rectification of these channels due to blockage by intracellular polyamines. In all Kir channels studied to date, the voltage-dependence of rectification is either strong or weak. Here we show that in cardiac as well as in cloned KATP channels (Kir6.2 + sulfonylurea receptor) polyamine-mediated rectification is not fixed but changes with intracellular pH in the physiological range: inward-rectification is prominent at basic pH, while at acidic pH rectification is very weak. The pH-dependence of polyamine block is specific for KATP as shown in experiments with other Kir channels. Systematic mutagenesis revealed a titratable C-terminal histidine residue (H216) in Kir6.2 to be the structural determinant, and electrostatic interaction between this residue and polyamines was shown to be the molecular mechanism underlying pH-dependent rectification. This pH-dependent block of KATP channels may represent a novel and direct link between excitation and intracellular pH.

PMID:
10022827
PMCID:
PMC1171177
DOI:
10.1093/emboj/18.4.847
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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