126 research outputs found

    Molecular dissection of I(A) in cortical pyramidal neurons reveals three distinct components encoded by Kv4.2, Kv4.3, and Kv1.4 alpha-subunits

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    The rapidly activating and inactivating voltage-gated K(+) (Kv) current, I(A), is broadly expressed in neurons and is a key regulator of action potential repolarization, repetitive firing, backpropagation (into dendrites) of action potentials, and responses to synaptic inputs. Interestingly, results from previous studies on a number of neuronal cell types, including hippocampal, cortical, and spinal neurons, suggest that macroscopic I(A) is composed of multiple components and that each component is likely encoded by distinct Kv channel alpha-subunits. The goals of the experiments presented here were to test this hypothesis and to determine the molecular identities of the Kv channel alpha-subunits that generate I(A) in cortical pyramidal neurons. Combining genetic disruption of individual Kv alpha-subunit genes with pharmacological approaches to block Kv currents selectively, the experiments here revealed that Kv1.4, Kv4.2, and Kv4.3 alpha-subunits encode distinct components of I(A) that together underlie the macroscopic I(A) in mouse (male and female) cortical pyramidal neurons. Recordings from neurons lacking both Kv4.2 and Kv4.3 (Kv4.2(-/-)/Kv4.3(-/-)) revealed that, although Kv1.4 encodes a minor component of I(A), the Kv1.4-encoded current was found in all the Kv4.2(-/-)/Kv4.3(-/-) cortical pyramidal neurons examined. Of the cortical pyramidal neurons lacking both Kv4.2 and Kv1.4, 90% expressed a Kv4.3-encoded I(A) larger in amplitude than the Kv1.4-encoded component. The experimental findings also demonstrate that the targeted deletion of the individual Kv alpha-subunits encoding components of I(A) results in electrical remodeling that is Kv alpha-subunit specific

    Time Course of the Increase in the Myocardial Slow Inward Current after a Photochemically Generated Concentration Jump of Intracellular cAMP

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    Voltage-clamped atrial trabeculae from bullfrog hearts were exposed to membrane-permeant photolyzable o-nitrobenzyl esters of cAMP and cGMP. UV flashes produced intracellular concentration jumps of cAMP or cGMP. With the cAMP derivative, flashes resulted in an increased slow inward current (Isi), producing a broadened action potential. The Isi reached a maximum 10-30 sec after the flash and decreased over the next 60-300 sec. The first increases were observable within 150 msec; this value is an upper limit imposed by the instrumentation. Responses to flashes lasted longer at higher drug concentrations and in the presence of the phosphodiesterase inhibitor papaverine; effects of flashes developed and decreased faster at higher temperature. Although the amplitude of the Isi was increased, its waveform and voltage sensitivity were not affected. Intracellular concentration jumps of cAMP failed to affect the muscarinic K+ conductance. There were no observable effects of cGMP concentration jumps. The data confirm (i) that cAMP regulates the Isi and (ii) that the 5- to 10-sec delay between application of ß-agonists and the onset of positive inotropic effects, observed in previous studies, has been correctly ascribed to events prior to the interaction between cAMP and protein kinase

    Physiological and Pharmacological Manipulations with Light Flashes

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    In the experiments described here, a physiological measurement is made while photochemical procedures are employed to alter (a) the concentration of a ligand near membranes or proteins or (b) the structure of the ligand-receptor complexes. Because photochemical reactions often provide the quickest way to produce such chemical perturbations, we emphasize the kinetic information that such experiments have yielded. This information requires a suitably rapid physiological measurement, usually an electrical or optical one. The results often complement those obtained with other kinds of kinetic investigation (iontophoretic application of drugs, stopped-flow mixing, temperature jump, etc). Pharmacological manipulations with light flashes are especially useful for biological systems that cannot be flowed, for instance membranes under electro-physiological investigation or solutions at very low temperatures

    Interdependent roles for accessory KChIP2, KChIP3, and KChIP4 subunits in the generation of Kv4-encoded IA channels in cortical pyramidal neurons

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    The rapidly activating and inactivating voltage-dependent outward K(+) (Kv) current, I(A), is widely expressed in central and peripheral neurons. I(A) has long been recognized to play important roles in determining neuronal firing properties and regulating neuronal excitability. Previous work demonstrated that Kv4.2 and Kv4.3 α-subunits are the primary determinants of I(A) in mouse cortical pyramidal neurons. Accumulating evidence indicates that native neuronal Kv4 channels function in macromolecular protein complexes that contain accessory subunits and other regulatory molecules. The K(+) Channel Interacting Proteins (KChIPs) are among the identified Kv4 channel accessory subunits and are thought to be important for the formation and functioning of neuronal Kv4 channel complexes. Molecular genetic, biochemical and electrophysiological approaches were exploited in the experiments described here to examine directly the roles of KChIPs in the generation of functional Kv4-encoded I(A) channels. These combined experiments revealed that KChIP2, KChIP3 and KChIP4 are robustly expressed in adult mouse posterior (visual) cortex and that all three proteins co-immunoprecipitate with Kv4.2. In addition, in cortical pyramidal neurons from mice lacking KChIP3 (KChIP3(−/−)), mean I(A) densities were reduced modestly, whereas in mean I(A) densities in KChIP2(−/−) and WT neurons were not significantly different. Interestingly, in both KChIP3(−/−) and KChIP2(−/−) cortices the expression levels of the other KChIPs (KChIP2 and 4 or KChIP3 and 4, respectively) were increased. In neurons expressing constructs to mediate simultaneous RNA interference-induced reductions in the expression of KChIP2, 3 and 4, I(A) densities were markedly reduced and Kv current remodeling was evident

    Acute knockdown of Kv4.1 regulates repetitive firing rates and clock gene expression in the suprachiasmatic nucleus and daily rhythms in locomotor behavior

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    AbstractRapidly activating and inactivating A-type K+currents (IA) encoded by Kv4.2 and Kv4.3 pore-forming (α) subunits of the Kv4 subfamily are key regulators of neuronal excitability. Previous studies have suggested a role for Kv4.1 α-subunits in regulating the firing properties of mouse suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) neurons. To test this, we utilized an RNA-interference strategy to knockdown Kv4.1, acutely and selectively, in the SCN. Current-clamp recordings revealed that thein vivoknockdown of Kv4.1 significantly (p&lt; 0.0001) increased mean ± SEM repetitive firing rates in SCN neurons during the day (6.4 ± 0.5 Hz) and at night (4.3 ± 0.6 Hz), compared with nontargeted shRNA-expressing SCN neurons (day: 3.1 ± 0.5 Hz; night: 1.6 ± 0.3 Hz). IAwas also significantly (p&lt; 0.05) reduced in Kv4.1-targeted shRNA-expressing SCN neurons (day: 80.3 ± 11.8 pA/pF; night: 55.3 ± 7.7 pA/pF), compared with nontargeted shRNA-expressing (day: 121.7 ± 10.2 pA/pF; night: 120.6 ± 16.5 pA/pF) SCN neurons. The magnitude of the effect of Kv4.1-targeted shRNA expression on firing rates and IAwas larger at night. In addition, Kv4.1-targeted shRNA expression significantly (p&lt; 0.001) increased mean ± SEM nighttime input resistance (Rin; 2256 ± 166 MΩ), compared to nontargeted shRNA-expressing SCN neurons (1143 ± 93 MΩ). Additional experiments revealed that acute knockdown of Kv4.1 significantly (p&lt; 0.01) shortened, by ∼0.5 h, the circadian period of spontaneous electrical activity, clock gene expression and locomotor activity demonstrating a physiological role for Kv4.1-encoded IAchannels in regulating circadian rhythms in neuronal excitability and behavior.</jats:p

    Characterization of a novel, dominant negative KCNJ2 mutation associated with Andersen-Tawil syndrome

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    Andersen-Tawil syndrome is characterized by periodic paralysis, ventricular ectopy and dysmorphic features. Approximately 60% of patients exhibit loss-of-function mutations in KCNJ2, which encodes the inwardly rectifying K(+) channel pore forming subunit Kir2.1. Here, we report the identification of a novel KCNJ2 mutation (G211T), resulting in the amino acid substitution D71Y, in a patient presenting with signs and symptoms of Andersen-Tawil syndrome. The functional properties of the mutant subunit were characterized using voltage-clamp experiments on transiently transfected HEK-293 cells and neonatal mouse ventricular myocytes. Whole-cell current recordings of transfected HEK-293 cells demonstrated that the mutant protein Kir2.1-D71Y fails to form functional ion channels when expressed alone, but co-assembles with wild-type Kir2.1 subunits and suppresses wild-type subunit function. Further analysis revealed that current suppression requires at least two mutant subunits per channel. The D71Y mutation does not measurably affect the membrane trafficking of either the mutant or the wild-type subunit or alter the kinetic properties of the currents. Additional experiments revealed that expression of the mutant subunit suppresses native I(K1) in neonatal mouse ventricular myocytes. Simulations predict that the D71Y mutation in human ventricular myocytes will result in a mild prolongation of the action potential and potentially increase cell excitability. These experiments indicate that the Kir2.1-D71Y mutant protein functions as a dominant negative subunit resulting in reduced inwardly rectifying K(+) current amplitudes and altered cellular excitability in patients with Andersen-Tawil syndrome