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Nature. 1988 Apr 28;332(6167):837-9.

Cloning of a probable potassium channel gene from mouse brain.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, San Francisco, California.


Potassium channels comprise a diverse class of ion channels important for neuronal excitability and plasticity. The recent cloning of the Shaker locus from Drosophila melanogaster has provided a starting point for molecular studies of potassium channels. Predicted Shaker proteins appear to be integral membrane proteins and have a sequence similar to the sequence of the S4 segment of the vertebrate sodium channel, where the S4 segment has been proposed to be the voltage sensor. Expression studies in frog oocytes confirm that Shaker encodes a component of a potassium channel (the A channel) that conducts a fast transient potassium current. Here we report the isolation of complementary DNA clones from the mouse brain, the nucleotide sequences of which predict a protein remarkably similar to the Shaker protein. The strong conservation of the predicted protein sequence in flies and mammals suggests that these mouse clones encode a potassium channel component and that the conserved amino acids may be essential to some aspect of potassium channel function.

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