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J Biol Chem. 1995 Mar 17;270(11):5691-4.

Cloning and functional characterization of a novel ATP-sensitive potassium channel ubiquitously expressed in rat tissues, including pancreatic islets, pituitary, skeletal muscle, and heart.

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Division of Molecular Medicine, Chiba University School of Medicine, Japan.


ATP-sensitive K+ (KATP) channels play a crucial role in coupling metabolic energy to the membrane potential of cells. We have isolated a cDNA encoding a novel member (uKATP-1) of the inward rectifier K+ channel family from a rat pancreatic islet cDNA library. Rat uKATP-1 is a 424-amino acid residue protein (M(r) = 47,960). Electrophysiological studies of uKATP-1 expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes show that uKATP-1 is a weak rectifier and is blocked with Ba2+ ions. Single-channel patch clamp study of clonal human kidney epithelial cells (HEK293) transfected with uKATP-1 cDNA reveals that uKATP-1 closes in response to 1 mM ATP and has a single channel conductance of 70 +/- 2 picosiemens (n = 6), indicating that uKATP-1 is an ATP-sensitive inward rectifier K+ channel. In addition, uKATP-1 is activated by the KATP channel opener, diazoxide. RNA blot analysis shows that uKATP-1 mRNA is expressed ubiquitously in rat tissues, including pancreatic islets, pituitary, skeletal muscle, and heart, suggesting that uKATP-1 may play a physiological role as a link between the metabolic state and membrane K+ permeability of cells in almost every normal tissue. Since uKATP-1 shares only 43-46% amino acid identity with members of previously reported inward rectifier K+ channel subfamilies, including ROMK1, IRK1, GIRK1, and cKATP-1, uKATP-1 is not an isoform of these subfamilies and, therefore, represents a new subfamily of the inward rectifier K+ channel family having two transmembrane segments.

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