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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2005 Dec 9;338(1):648-52. Epub 2005 Aug 24.

Hemeoxygenase-2 as an O2 sensor in K+ channel-dependent chemotransduction.

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School of Biosciences, Cardiff University, Museum Avenue, Cardiff CF10 3US, UK.


The physiological response of the carotid body is critically dependent upon oxygen-sensing by potassium channels expressed in glomus cells. One such channel is the large conductance, voltage- and calcium-dependent potassium channel, BK(Ca). Although it is well known that a decrease in oxygen evokes glomus cell depolarization, voltage-gated calcium entry, and transmitter release, the molecular identity of the upstream oxygen sensor has been the subject of some controversy for decades. Recently, we have demonstrated that hemeoxygenase-2 associates tightly with recombinant BK(Ca) and that activity of this enzyme confers oxygen sensitivity to the BK(Ca) channel complex. Similar observations were also made in native channels recorded from carotid body glomus cells, suggesting that hemoxygenase-2 functions as an oxygen sensor of native and recombinant BK(Ca) channels.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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