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J Neurosci. 2002 Dec 1;22(23):10123-33.

PKA modulation of Kv4.2-encoded A-type potassium channels requires formation of a supramolecular complex.

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  • 1Division of Neuroscience, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.


A-type channels, encoded by the pore-forming alpha-subunits of the Kv4.x family, are particularly important in regulating membrane excitability in the CNS and the heart. Given the key role of modulation of A currents by kinases, we sought to investigate the protein structure-function relationships underlying the regulation of these currents by PKA. We have previously shown the existence of two PKA phosphorylation sites in the Kv4.2 sequence; therefore, we focused this study on the Kv4.2 primary subunit. In the present studies we made the surprising finding that PKA phosphorylation of the Kv4.2 alpha-subunit is necessary but not sufficient for channel modulation; channel modulation by PKA required the presence of an ancillary subunit, the K+ channel interacting protein (KChIP3). Therefore, these findings indicate a surprising complexity to kinase regulation of A currents, in that an interaction of two separate molecular events, alpha-subunit phosphorylation and the association of an ancillary subunit (KChIP3), are necessary for phosphorylation-dependent regulation of Kv4.2-encoded A channels by PKA. Overall, our studies indicate that PKA must of necessity act on a supramolecular complex of pore-forming alpha-subunits plus ancillary subunits to alter channel properties.

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