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Mol Cell. 2006 Dec 8;24(5):665-75.

Histidine phosphorylation of the potassium channel KCa3.1 by nucleoside diphosphate kinase B is required for activation of KCa3.1 and CD4 T cells.

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Department of Pharmacology, New York University School of Medicine, New York, New York 10016, USA.


The Ca2+ -activated K+ channel KCa3.1 is required for Ca2+ influx and the subsequent activation of B and T cells. Inhibitors of KCa3.1 are in development to treat autoimmune diseases and transplant rejection, underscoring the importance in understanding how these channels are regulated. We show that nucleoside diphosphate kinase B (NDPK-B), a mammalian histidine kinase, functions downstream of PI(3)P to activate KCa3.1. NDPK-B directly binds and activates KCa3.1 by phosphorylating histidine 358 in the carboxyl terminus of KCa3.1. Endogenous NDPK-B is also critical for KCa3.1 channel activity and the subsequent activation of CD4 T cells. These findings provide one of the best examples whereby histidine phosphorylation regulates a biological process in mammals, and provide an example whereby a channel is regulated by histidine phosphorylation. The critical role for NDPK-B in the reactivation of CD4 T cells indicates that understanding NDPK-B regulation should uncover novel pathways required for T cell activation.

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