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EMBO J. 2010 Sep 15;29(18):3184-95. doi: 10.1038/emboj.2010.194. Epub 2010 Aug 10.

α-Catulin CTN-1 is required for BK channel subcellular localization in C. elegans body-wall muscle cells.

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Department of Neuroscience, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, CT, USA.


The BK channel, a voltage- and Ca(2+)-gated large-conductance potassium channel with many important functions, is often localized at specific subcellular domains. Although proper subcellular localization is likely a prerequisite for the channel to perform its physiological functions, little is known about the molecular basis of localization. Here, we show that CTN-1, a homologue of mammalian α-catulin, is required for subcellular localization of SLO-1, the Caenorhabditis elegans BK channel α-subunit, in body-wall muscle cells. CTN-1 was identified in a genetic screen for mutants that suppressed a lethargic phenotype caused by expressing a gain-of-function (gf) isoform of SLO-1. In body-wall muscle cells, CTN-1 coclusters with SLO-1 at regions of dense bodies, which are Z-disk analogs of mammalian skeletal muscle. In ctn-1 loss-of-function (lf) mutants, SLO-1 was mislocalized in body-wall muscle but its transcription and protein level were unchanged. Targeted rescue of ctn-1(lf) in muscle was sufficient to reinstate the lethargic phenotype in slo-1(gf);ctn-1(lf). These results suggest that CTN-1 plays an important role in BK channel function by mediating channel subcellular localization.

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