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J Biol Chem. 2001 Jun 8;276(23):20499-505. Epub 2001 Apr 3.

Targeting of an A kinase-anchoring protein, AKAP79, to an inwardly rectifying potassium channel, Kir2.1.

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  • 1Department of Cell Physiology & Pharmacology, University of Leicester, Leicester LE1 9HN, United Kingdom.


Protein kinase A (PKA) is targeted to discrete subcellular locations close to its intended substrates through interaction with A kinase-anchoring proteins (AKAPs). Ion channels represent a diverse and important group of kinase substrates, and it has been shown that membrane targeting of PKA through association with AKAPs facilitates PKA-mediated phosphorylation and regulation of several classes of ion channel. Here, we investigate the effect of AKAP79, a membrane-associated multivalent-anchoring protein, upon the function and modulation of the strong inwardly rectifying potassium channel, Kir2.1. Functionally, the presence of AKAP79 enhanced the response of Kir2.1 to elevated intracellular cAMP, suggesting a requirement for a pool of PKA anchored close to the channel. Antibodies directed against a hemagglutinin epitope tag on Kir2.1 coimmunoprecipitated AKAP79, indicating that the two proteins exist together in a complex within intact cells. In support of this, glutathione S-transferase fusion proteins of both the intracellular N and C domains of Kir2.1 isolated AKAP79 from cell lysates, while glutathione S-transferase alone failed to interact with AKAP79. Together, these findings suggest that AKAP79 associates directly with the Kir2.1 ion channel and may serve to anchor kinase enzymes in close proximity to key channel phosphorylation sites.

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