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KCNK2: reversible conversion of a hippocampal potassium leak into a voltage-dependent channel

Nature Neuroscience volume 4, pages 486491 (2001) | Download Citation

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Abstract

Potassium leak channels are essential to neurophysiological function. Leaks suppress excitability through maintenance of resting membrane potential below the threshold for action potential firing. Conversely, voltage-dependent potassium channels permit excitation because they do not interfere with rise to threshold, and they actively promote recovery and rapid re-firing. Previously attributed to distinct transport pathways, we demonstrate here that phosphorylation of single, native hippocampal and cloned KCNK2 potassium channels produces reversible interconversion between leak and voltage-dependent phenotypes. The findings reveal a pathway for dynamic regulation of excitability.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by grants to S.A.N.G. from the National Institutes of Health. D.B. is supported by the Child Health Research Center (Yale University) and an award from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. We thank F. Sesti and R. Goldstein for discussions and advice during the course of this work.

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  1. Departments of Pediatrics and Cellular and Molecular Physiology, Boyer Center for Molecular Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, 295 Congress Avenue, New Haven, Connecticut 06536, USA

    • Detlef Bockenhauer
    • , Noam Zilberberg
    •  & S. A. N. Goldstein

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Correspondence to S. A. N. Goldstein.

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https://doi.org/10.1038/87434

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