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J Mol Biol. 2006 Apr 28;358(2):387-95. Epub 2006 Feb 28.

The SLO-1 BK channel of Caenorhabditis elegans is critical for muscle function and is involved in dystrophin-dependent muscle dystrophy.

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CGMC, CNRS-UMR 5534, Université C. Bernard Lyon-1, 69622 Villeurbanne, France.


The Caenorhabditis elegans SLO-1 channel belongs to the family of calcium-activated large conductance BK potassium channels. SLO-1 has been shown to be involved in neurotransmitter release and ethanol response. Here, we report that SLO-1 also has a critical role in muscles. Inactivation of the slo-1 gene in muscles leads to phenotypes similar to those caused by mutations of the dystrophin homologue dys-1. Notably, slo-1 mutations result in a progressive muscle degeneration when put into a sensitized genetic background. slo-1 localization was observed by gfp reporter gene in both the M-line and the dense bodies (Z line) of the C.elegans body-wall muscles. Using the inside-out configuration of the patch clamp technique on body-wall muscle cells of acutely dissected wild-type worms, we characterized a Ca2+-activated K+ channel that was identified unambiguously as SLO-1. Since neither the abundance nor the conductance of SLO-1 was changed significantly in dys-1 mutants compared to wild-type animals, it is likely that the inactivation of dys-1 causes a misregulation of SLO-1. All in all, these results indicate that SLO-1 function in C.elegans muscles is related to the dystrophin homologue DYS-1.

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