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Biochem J. 2009 Mar 15;418(3):529-40. doi: 10.1042/BJ20081736.

A VAMP7/Vti1a SNARE complex distinguishes a non-conventional traffic route to the cell surface used by KChIP1 and Kv4 potassium channels.

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The Physiological Laboratory, School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Liverpool, Crown Street, Liverpool, U.K.


The KChIPs (K(+) channel-interacting proteins) are EF hand-containing proteins required for the traffic of channel-forming Kv4 K(+) subunits to the plasma membrane. KChIP1 is targeted, through N-terminal myristoylation, to intracellular vesicles that appear to be trafficking intermediates from the ER (endoplasmic reticulum) to the Golgi but differ from those underlying conventional ER-Golgi traffic. To define KChIP1 vesicles and the traffic pathway followed by Kv4/KChIP1 traffic, we examined their relationship to potential SNARE (soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive fusion protein-attachment protein receptor) proteins mediating the trafficking step. To distinguish Kv4/KChIP1 from conventional constitutive traffic, we compared it to the traffic of the VSVG (vesicular-stomatitis virus G-protein). Expression of KChIP with single or triple EF hand mutations quantitatively inhibited Kv4/KChIP1 traffic to the cell surface but had no effect on VSVG traffic. KChIP1-expressing vesicles co-localized with the SNARE proteins Vti1a and VAMP7 (vesicle-associated membrane protein 7), but not with the components of two other ER-Golgi SNARE complexes. siRNA (small interfering RNA)-mediated knockdown of Vti1a or VAMP7 inhibited Kv4/KChIP1traffic to the plasma membrane in HeLa and Neuro2A cells. Vti1a and VAMP7 siRNA had no effect on VSVG traffic or that of Kv4.2 when stimulated by KChIP2, a KChIP with different intrinsic membrane targeting compared with KChIP1. The present results suggest that a SNARE complex containing VAMP7 and Vti1a defines a novel traffic pathway to the cell surface in both neuronal and non-neuronal cells.

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