Send to

Choose Destination
FEBS Lett. 1996 Mar 11;382(1-2):84-8.

A calcium switch for the functional coupling between alpha (hslo) and beta subunits (KV,Ca beta) of maxi K channels.

Author information

Dept of Anesthesiology, University of California, Los Angeles 90095-1778, USA.


KV,Ca beta subunit dramatically increases the apparent calcium sensitivity of the alpha subunit of MaxiK channels when probed in the micromolar [Ca2+]i range. Analysis in a wide range of [Ca2+]i revealed that this functional coupling is exquisitely modulated by [Ca2+]i. Ca2+ ions switch MaxiK alpha+beta complex into a functionally coupled state at concentrations beyond resting [Ca2+]i. At [Ca2+] < or = 100 nM, MaxiK activity becomes independent of Ca2+, is purely voltage-activated, and its functional coupling with its beta subunit is released. The functional switch develops at [Ca2+]i that occur during cellular excitation, providing the molecular basis of how MaxiK channels regulate smooth muscle excitability and neurotransmitter release.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center