Novel insights into the structural basis of pH-sensitivity in inward rectifier K+ channels Kir2.3.
ABSTRACT The Kir2 channels belong to a family of potassium selective channels with characteristic strong inward rectification. Heteromeric assemblies of Kir2.1, Kir2.2 and Kir2.3 channels underly membrane potential stabilizing currents in ventricular myocytes, neurons and skeletal muscle. Kir2 channels differ substantially in their sensitivity to extracellular pH. The extracellular histidine Kir2.3(H117) contributes to the pH dependence of K-channels containing Kir2.3. Here, we study the possibility of intramolecular interactions of the residue Kir2.3(H117) with conserved cysteines in close proximity to the selectivity filter. We engineered a cobalt coordination site and reduction/oxidation sensitivity in Kir2.3 by introduction of a cysteine into the putatively hydrogen bonding residue (Kir2.3(H117C)) confirming that this residue is in proximity to Kir2.3(C141). Using SCAM we determined the location of the Kir2.3(H117) in the outer pore mouth and incorporated these data into a 3D model. We conclude that formation of a hydrogen bond at low pH may stabilize the outer pore domain to favour the selectivity filter in a slightly distorted conformation thus reducing ion permeation. The data provide molecular insight into the unique pH regulation of inward rectifier channels.
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ABSTRACT: Inhibition of inward rectifier K(+) channels under ischemic conditions may contribute to electrophysiological consequences of ischemia such as cardiac arrhythmia. Ischemia causes metabolic inhibition, and the use of metabolic inhibitors is one experimental method of simulating ischemia. The effects of metabolic inhibitors on the activity of inward rectifier K(+) channels K(ir)2.1, K(ir)2.2, and K(ir)2.3 were studied by heterologous expression in Xenopus oocytes and two-electrode voltage clamp. 10 microm carbonyl cyanide p-trifluoromethoxyphenylhydrazone (FCCP) inhibited K(ir)2.2 and K(ir)2.3 currents but was without effect on K(ir)2.1 currents. The rate of decline of current in FCCP was faster for K(ir)2.3 than for K(ir)2.2. K(ir)2.3 was inhibited by 3 mm sodium azide (NaN(3)), whereas K(ir)2.1 and K(ir)2.2 were not. K(ir)2.2 was inhibited by 10 mm NaN(3). All three of these inward rectifiers were inhibited by lowering the pH of the solution perfusing inside-out membrane patches. K(ir)2.3 was most sensitive to pH (pK = 6.9), whereas K(ir)2.1 was least sensitive (pK = 5.9). For K(ir)2.2 the pK was 6.2. These results demonstrate the differential sensitivity of these inward rectifiers to metabolic inhibition and internal pH. The electrophysiological response of a particular cell type to ischemia may depend on the relative expression levels of different inward rectifier genes.Journal of Biological Chemistry 10/2002; 277(39):35815-8. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Previous studies have suggested an important role for the inward rectifier K+ current (I K1) in stabilizing rotors responsible for ventricular tachycardia (VT) and fibrillation (VF). To test this hypothesis, we used a line of transgenic mice (TG) overexpressing Kir 2.1-green fluorescent protein (GFP) fusion protein in a cardiac-specific manner. Optical mapping of the epicardial surface in ventricles showed that the Langendorff-perfused TG hearts were able to sustain stable VT/VF for 350 +/- 1181 s at a very high dominant frequency (DF) of 44.6 +/- 4.3 Hz. In contrast, tachyarrhythmias in wild-type hearts (WT) were short-lived (3 +/- 9 s), and the DF was 26.3 +/- 5.2 Hz. The stable, high frequency, reentrant activity in TG hearts slowed down, and eventually terminated in the presence of 10 mum Ba2+, suggesting an important role for I K1. Moreover, by increasing I K1 density in a two-dimensional computer model having realistic mouse ionic and action potential properties, a highly stable, fast rotor (approximately 45 Hz) could be induced. Simulations suggested that the TG hearts allowed such a fast and stable rotor because of both greater outward conductance at the core and shortened action potential duration in the core vicinity, as well as increased excitability, in part due to faster recovery of Na+ current. The latter resulted in a larger rate of increase in the local conduction velocity as a function of the distance from the core in TG compared to WT hearts, in both simulations and experiments. Finally, simulations showed that rotor frequencies were more sensitive to changes (doubling) in I K1, compared to other K+ currents. In combination, these results provide the first direct evidence that I K1 up-regulation in the mouse heart is a substrate for stable and very fast rotors.The Journal of Physiology 02/2007; 578(Pt 1):315-26. · 4.38 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Data on pH regulation of the cardiac potassium current I(K1) suggest species-dependent differences in the molecular composition of the underlying Kir2 channel proteins. The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that the presence of the Kir2.3 isoform in heterotetrameric channels modifies channel sensitivity to pH. Voltage clamp was performed on HEK293 cells stably expressing guinea pig Kir2.1 and/or Kir2.3 isoforms and on sheep cardiac ventricular myocytes at varying extracellular pH (pH(o)) and in the presence of CO(2) to determine the sensitivity of macroscopic currents to pH. Single-channel activity was recorded from the HEK293 stables to determine the mechanisms of the changes in whole cell current. Biophysical characteristics of whole-cell and single-channel currents in Kir2.1/Kir2.3 double stables displayed properties attributable to isoform heteromerization. Whole-cell Kir2.1/Kir2.3 currents rectified in a manner reminiscent of Kir2.1 but were significantly inhibited by extracellular acidification in the physiologic range (pK(a) approximately 7.4). Whole-cell currents were more sensitive to a combined extracellular and intracellular acidification produced by CO(2). At pH(o) = 6.0, unitary conductances of heteromeric channels were reduced. Ovine cardiac ventricular cell I(K1) was pH(o) and CO(2) sensitive, consistent with the expression of Kir2.1 and Kir2.3 in this species. Kir2.1 and Kir2.3 isoforms form heteromeric channels in HEK293. The presence of Kir2.3 subunit(s) in heteromeric channels confers pH sensitivity to the channels. The single and double stable cells presented in this study are useful models for studying physiologic regulation of heteromeric Kir2 channels in mammalian cells.Heart Rhythm 04/2007; 4(4):487-96. · 5.05 Impact Factor