ABSTRACT: The current study was undertaken to test the existence and possible role of ether-a-go-go-related gene 1 (ERG1) protein K(+) channels in gallbladder smooth muscle (GBSM). Transcripts encoding ERG1 were detected in human, mouse, and guinea pig GBSM, and ERG1 immunoreactivity was observed in GBSM cells. In intracellular voltage recordings, addition of E-4031 (100 nM-1 microM) or cisapride (100 nM-2 microM) caused concentration-dependent excitation of guinea pig GBSM that was not affected by 500 nM TTX + 5 microM atropine, and E-4031 also depolarized the resting membrane potential. In muscle strip studies, E-4031 either induced phasic contractions or significantly increased the amplitude of phasic contractions in spontaneously active tissues (P = 0.001). E-4031 also potentiated bethanechol-induced contractions. In conclusion, ERG1 channels are expressed in the GBSM, where they play a role in excitation-contraction coupling probably by contributing to repolarization of the plateau phase of the action potential and to the resting membrane potential.
AJP Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology 04/2003; 284(3):G392-8. · 3.43 Impact Factor