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J Neurosci. 2003 Dec 17;23(37):11681-91.

Slick (Slo2.1), a rapidly-gating sodium-activated potassium channel inhibited by ATP.

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Department of Pharmacology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06520, USA.


Neuronal stressors such as hypoxia and firing of action potentials at very high frequencies cause intracellular Na+ to rise and ATP to be consumed faster than it can be regenerated. We report the cloning of a gene encoding a K+ channel, Slick, and demonstrate that functionally it is a hybrid between two classes of K+ channels, Na+-activated (KNa) and ATP-sensitive (KATP) K+ channels. The Slick channel is activated by intracellular Na+ and Cl- and is inhibited by intracellular ATP. Slick is widely expressed in the CNS and is detected in heart. We identify a consensus ATP binding site near the C terminus of the channel that is required for ATP and its nonhydrolyzable analogs to reduce open probability. The convergence of Na+, Cl-, and ATP sensitivity in one channel may endow Slick with the ability to integrate multiple indicators of the metabolic state of a cell and to adjust electrical activity appropriately.

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