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J Gen Physiol. 1997 Jun;109(6):779-89.

How does the W434F mutation block current in Shaker potassium channels?

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Department of Cellular and Molecular Physiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.


The mutation W434F produces an apparently complete block of potassium current in Shaker channels expressed in Xenopus oocytes. Tandem tetrameric constructs containing one or two subunits with this mutation showed rapid inactivation, although the NH2-terminal inactivation domain was absent from these constructs. The inactivation showed a selective dependence on external cations and was slowed by external TEA; these properties are characteristic of C-type inactivation. Inactivation was, however, incompletely relieved by hyperpolarization, suggesting the presence of a voltage-independent component. The hybrid channels had near-normal conductance and ion selectivity. Single-channel recordings from patches containing many W434F channels showed occasional channel openings, consistent with open probabilities of 10(-5) or less. We conclude that the W434F mutation produces a channel that is predominantly found in an inactivated state.

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