To evaluate the roles of the C-termini of K + channels in subcellular targeting and protein-protein interactions, we created fusion constructs of the cell-surface antigen CD8 and the C-termini of Kv4.3, Kv1.4 and KvLQT1. Using a Cre-lox recombination system, we made 3 adenoviruses containing a fusion of the N-terminal-and transmembrane segments of CD8 with the C-termini of each of the 3 K + channels. Expression in polarized Opossum Kidney (OK) epithelial cells led to localization of CD8-Kv4.3 and CD8-Kv1.4 into the apical and basolateral membranes, while CD8-KvLQT1 remained in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), even when co-expressed with MinK. When expressed in rat cardiac myocytes in culture, all the 3 constructs were diffusely targeted to the surface membrane. The ER retention of CD8-KvLQT1 in OK cells but not in cardiomyocytes thus reveals functional differences in trafficking between these two cell types. To probe functional roles of C-termini, we studied K + currents in cardiac myocytes expressing CD8-Kv4.3. Patch-clamp recordings of transient outward current revealed a hyperpolarizing shift of steady-state inactivation, implying that CD8-Kv4.3 may be disrupting the interaction of Kv4.x channels with one or more as-yet-undefined regulatory subunits. Thus, expression of tagged ion-channel fragments represents a novel, generalizable approach that may help to elucidate assembly, localization and function of these important signaling proteins.
The Journal of Membrane Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 1, 2002
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