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FEBS J. 2009 Mar;276(6):1680-97. doi: 10.1111/j.1742-4658.2009.06900.x. Epub 2008 Feb 12.

Inducible knockout mutagenesis reveals compensatory mechanisms elicited by constitutive BK channel deficiency in overactive murine bladder.

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Pharmakologie und Toxikologie, Institut für Pharmazie, Universität Tübingen, Germany.


The large-conductance, voltage-dependent and Ca(2+)-dependent K(+) (BK) channel links membrane depolarization and local increases in cytosolic free Ca(2+) to hyperpolarizing K(+) outward currents, thereby controlling smooth muscle contractility. Constitutive deletion of the BK channel in mice (BK(-/-)) leads to an overactive bladder associated with increased intravesical pressure and frequent micturition, which has been revealed to be a result of detrusor muscle hyperexcitability. Interestingly, time-dependent and smooth muscle-specific deletion of the BK channel (SM-BK(-/-)) caused a more severe phenotype than displayed by constitutive BK(-/-) mice, suggesting that compensatory pathways are active in the latter. In detrusor muscle of BK(-/-) but not SM-BK(-/-) mice, we found reduced L-type Ca(2+) current density and increased expression of cAMP kinase (protein kinase A; PKA), as compared with control mice. Increased expression of PKA in BK(-/-) mice was accompanied by enhanced beta-adrenoceptor/cAMP-mediated suppression of contractions by isoproterenol. This effect was attenuated by about 60-70% in SM-BK(-/-) mice. However, the Rp isomer of adenosine-3',5'-cyclic monophosphorothioate, a blocker of PKA, only partially inhibited enhanced cAMP signaling in BK(-/-) detrusor muscle, suggesting the existence of additional compensatory pathways. To this end, proteome analysis of BK(-/-) urinary bladder tissue was performed, and revealed additional compensatory regulated proteins. Thus, constitutive and inducible deletion of BK channel activity unmasks compensatory mechanisms that are relevant for urinary bladder relaxation.

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