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Gene Review

Shab  -  Shaker cognate b

Drosophila melanogaster

Synonyms: CG1066, CG43128, CG9965, Dmel\CG43128, Dmel_CG1066, ...
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High impact information on Shab

  • This organization precludes the generation of multiple forms of the protein by alternative RNA splicing, a mechanism known to characterize the Drosophila potassium channel genes Shaker and Shab [1].
  • Shaker, Shal, Shab, and Shaw K+ channels have similar structures, but appear to be independent channel systems: when co-expressed in Xenopus oocytes, all four function independently [2].
  • Shaker, Shal, Shab, and Shaw express independent K+ current systems [3].
  • Although most of the delayed rectifier current is the product of the Shab gene, the Shaw gene contributes a small "leak" current to most neurons and muscle cells [4].
  • Thus, in contrast to the A-currents which are encoded by different genes in muscle and neuronal cell bodies (Shaker and Shal, respectively), the predominant IK in both muscle and neurons is encoded by the same gene (Shab) [4].

Biological context of Shab

  • Specific blockade of Shab I(K) by quinidine mimicked the Shab phenotypes and converted tonic firing to a damping pattern [5].
  • These observations highlight the crucial control of nerve terminal excitability by Shaker and Shab channels to confer temporal patterns of synaptic transmission and suggest the potential participation of these channels, along with the transmitter release machinery, in activity-dependent synaptic plasticity [6].
  • In addition, we demonstrate that mRNAs for the paralogous D. melanogaster Shab potassium channel are edited at the same position by fly ADAR-a clear example of convergent evolution driven by adenosine deamination [7].

Anatomical context of Shab

  • Single-channel recordings revealed the presence in synaptic membranes of three different potassium channel types (A2, KD, KL), with biophysical properties that could account for the macroscopic currents and resemble those of the Shal, Shab, and Shaw channels described in heterologous expression systems and Drosophila neuronal somata [8].
  • We also show that reduction of the Shab conductance in mutant photoreceptors is accompanied by a proportional drop in their input resistance [9].

Other interactions of Shab

  • Shal, Shab, and Shaw: three genes encoding potassium channels in Drosophila [10].
  • In muscles, a genetic mutation of Shab removes virtually all the whole cell delayed rectifier current (IK), while leaving unaltered the transient A-current encoded by the Shaker gene [4].


  1. A family of three mouse potassium channel genes with intronless coding regions. Chandy, K.G., Williams, C.B., Spencer, R.H., Aguilar, B.A., Ghanshani, S., Tempel, B.L., Gutman, G.A. Science (1990) [Pubmed]
  2. An essential 'set' of K+ channels conserved in flies, mice and humans. Salkoff, L., Baker, K., Butler, A., Covarrubias, M., Pak, M.D., Wei, A. Trends Neurosci. (1992) [Pubmed]
  3. Shaker, Shal, Shab, and Shaw express independent K+ current systems. Covarrubias, M., Wei, A.A., Salkoff, L. Neuron (1991) [Pubmed]
  4. The major delayed rectifier in both Drosophila neurons and muscle is encoded by Shab. Tsunoda, S., Salkoff, L. J. Neurosci. (1995) [Pubmed]
  5. Differential contributions of shaker and shab k+ currents to neuronal firing patterns in Drosophila. Peng, I.F., Wu, C.F. J. Neurophysiol. (2007) [Pubmed]
  6. Distinct frequency-dependent regulation of nerve terminal excitability and synaptic transmission by IA and IK potassium channels revealed by Drosophila Shaker and Shab mutations. Ueda, A., Wu, C.F. J. Neurosci. (2006) [Pubmed]
  7. Control of human potassium channel inactivation by editing of a small mRNA hairpin. Bhalla, T., Rosenthal, J.J., Holmgren, M., Reenan, R. Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol. (2004) [Pubmed]
  8. Presynaptic recordings from Drosophila: correlation of macroscopic and single-channel K+ currents. Martínez-Padrón, M., Ferrús, A. J. Neurosci. (1997) [Pubmed]
  9. Robustness of neural coding in Drosophila photoreceptors in the absence of slow delayed rectifier K+ channels. Vähäsöyrinki, M., Niven, J.E., Hardie, R.C., Weckström, M., Juusola, M. J. Neurosci. (2006) [Pubmed]
  10. Shal, Shab, and Shaw: three genes encoding potassium channels in Drosophila. Butler, A., Wei, A., Salkoff, L. Nucleic Acids Res. (1990) [Pubmed]
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