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Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2000 May;278(5):C931-41.

KChAP as a chaperone for specific K(+) channels.

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  • 1Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio 44109-1998, USA.


The concept of chaperones for K(+) channels is new. Recently, we discovered a novel molecular chaperone, KChAP, which increased total Kv2.1 protein and functional channels in Xenopus oocytes through a transient interaction with the Kv2.1 amino terminus. Here we report that KChAP is a chaperone for Kv1.3 and Kv4.3. KChAP increased the amplitude of Kv1.3 and Kv4.3 currents without affecting kinetics or voltage dependence, but had no such effect on Kv1.1, 1.2, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6, and 3.1 or Kir2.2, HERG, or KvLQT1. Although KChAP belongs to a family of proteins that interact with transcription factors, upregulation of channel currents was not blocked by the transcription inhibitor actinomycin D. A 98-amino acid fragment of KChAP binds to the channel and is indistinguishable from KChAP in its enhancement of Kv4.3 current and protein levels. Using a KChAP antibody, we have coimmunoprecipitated KChAP with Kv2.1 and Kv4.3 from heart. We propose that KChAP is a chaperone for specific Kv channels and may have this function in cardiomyocytes where Kv4.3 produces the transient outward current, I(to).

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