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Gene Review

KT1  -  potassium channel AKT1

Arabidopsis thaliana

Synonyms: AKT1, ATAKT1, F18A8.2, F18A8_2, K+ transporter 1, ...
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Disease relevance of AKT1

  • AKT1 polypeptides expressed in the baculovirus/Sf9 cells system were found to assemble into tetramers as observed with animal Shaker-like potassium channel subunits [1].

High impact information on AKT1

  • A protein kinase, interacting with two calcineurin B-like proteins, regulates K+ transporter AKT1 in Arabidopsis [2].
  • These results and membrane potential measurements suggest that the AKT1 channel mediates potassium uptake from solutions that contain as little as 10 micromolar potassium [3].
  • In this study, we show that the protein kinase CIPK23 interacted with, and phosphorylated, a voltage-gated inward K(+) channel (AKT1) required for K(+) acquisition in Arabidopsis [4].
  • Homo- and heteromeric interactions between Arabidopsis K(+) channels KAT1, AKT1, and AKT2 were identified [5].
  • Tests with deletion mutants demonstrate that the C terminus of KAT1 and AKT1 is necessary for physical assembly of complexes [5].

Biological context of AKT1


Anatomical context of AKT1


Associations of AKT1 with chemical compounds

  • Membrane potential measurements in root cells demonstrated that the AKT1 component of the wild-type K+ permeability was between 55 and 63% when external [K+] was between 10 and 1,000 microM, and NH4+ was absent [12].
  • The influx of Cs(+) to roots of intact wild-type and akt1 plants was inhibited by 1 mM Ba(2+), Ca(2+) and La(3+), but not by 10 microM Br-cAMP [13].

Other interactions of AKT1

  • Using the GUS reporter strategy, we have found that another Shaker channel gene, AtKC1, is expressed in epidermal and cortical cells in roots (supporting the hypothesis of a role in K+ uptake from the soil, together with AKT1), and in trichomes and hydathodes in leaves [14].
  • TRH1 is a member of the AtKT/AtKUP/AtHAK family of potassium carriers that is required for root hair elongation and AKT1 is an inward rectifying potassium channel expressed in the root epidermis, endodermis and cortex of Arabidopsis thaliana [9].
  • KAT1 was known, from earlier electrophysiological characterization in Xenopus oocytes, to be an inwardly rectifying voltage-gated channel highly selective for K+, while similar experiments had failed to characterize AKT1 [10].
  • The two inward rectifiers AKT1 and ATKC1 as well as the outward rectifier GORK dominated the root hair K(+) channel pool [15].
  • The physiological interactions between these two ions was investigated by examining aspects of K(+) nutrition in the Arabidopsis salt overly sensitive (sos) mutants, and salt sensitivity in the K(+) transport mutants akt1 (Arabidopsis K(+) transporter) and skor (shaker-like K(+) outward-rectifying channel) [16].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of AKT1

  • Northern blots indicate that AKT1 transcripts are preferentially accumulated in Arabidopsis roots [7].
  • A transferred-DNA insertion mutant of Arabidopsis that lacks AKT1 inward-rectifying K+ channel activity in root cells was obtained previously by a reverse-genetic strategy, enabling a dissection of the K+-uptake apparatus of the root into AKT1 and non-AKT1 components [12].


  1. Tetramerization of the AKT1 plant potassium channel involves its C-terminal cytoplasmic domain. Daram, P., Urbach, S., Gaymard, F., Sentenac, H., Chérel, I. EMBO J. (1997) [Pubmed]
  2. A protein kinase, interacting with two calcineurin B-like proteins, regulates K+ transporter AKT1 in Arabidopsis. Xu, J., Li, H.D., Chen, L.Q., Wang, Y., Liu, L.L., He, L., Wu, W.H. Cell (2006) [Pubmed]
  3. A role for the AKT1 potassium channel in plant nutrition. Hirsch, R.E., Lewis, B.D., Spalding, E.P., Sussman, M.R. Science (1998) [Pubmed]
  4. A Ca(2)+ signaling pathway regulates a K(+) channel for low-K response in Arabidopsis. Li, L., Kim, B.G., Cheong, Y.H., Pandey, G.K., Luan, S. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (2006) [Pubmed]
  5. K+ channel interactions detected by a genetic system optimized for systematic studies of membrane protein interactions. Obrdlik, P., El-Bakkoury, M., Hamacher, T., Cappellaro, C., Vilarino, C., Fleischer, C., Ellerbrok, H., Kamuzinzi, R., Ledent, V., Blaudez, D., Sanders, D., Revuelta, J.L., Boles, E., André, B., Frommer, W.B. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (2004) [Pubmed]
  6. The potassium transporter AtHAK5 functions in K(+) deprivation-induced high-affinity K(+) uptake and AKT1 K(+) channel contribution to K(+) uptake kinetics in Arabidopsis roots. Gierth, M., Mäser, P., Schroeder, J.I. Plant Physiol. (2005) [Pubmed]
  7. Tissue-specific expression of Arabidopsis AKT1 gene is consistent with a role in K+ nutrition. Lagarde, D., Basset, M., Lepetit, M., Conejero, G., Gaymard, F., Astruc, S., Grignon, C. Plant J. (1996) [Pubmed]
  8. Multiple genes, tissue specificity, and expression-dependent modulationcontribute to the functional diversity of potassium channels in Arabidopsis thaliana. Cao, Y., Ward, J.M., Kelly, W.B., Ichida, A.M., Gaber, R.F., Anderson, J.A., Uozumi, N., Schroeder, J.I., Crawford, N.M. Plant Physiol. (1995) [Pubmed]
  9. AKT1 and TRH1 are required during root hair elongation in Arabidopsis. Desbrosses, G., Josefsson, C., Rigas, S., Hatzopoulos, P., Dolan, L. J. Exp. Bot. (2003) [Pubmed]
  10. The baculovirus/insect cell system as an alternative to Xenopus oocytes. First characterization of the AKT1 K+ channel from Arabidopsis thaliana. Gaymard, F., Cerutti, M., Horeau, C., Lemaillet, G., Urbach, S., Ravallec, M., Devauchelle, G., Sentenac, H., Thibaud, J.B. J. Biol. Chem. (1996) [Pubmed]
  11. Tumour development in Arabidopsis thaliana involves the Shaker-like K+ channels AKT1 and AKT2/3. Deeken, R., Ivashikina, N., Czirjak, T., Philippar, K., Becker, D., Ache, P., Hedrich, R. Plant J. (2003) [Pubmed]
  12. Potassium uptake supporting plant growth in the absence of AKT1 channel activity: Inhibition by ammonium and stimulation by sodium. Spalding, E.P., Hirsch, R.E., Lewis, D.R., Qi, Z., Sussman, M.R., Lewis, B.D. J. Gen. Physiol. (1999) [Pubmed]
  13. Influx and accumulation of Cs(+) by the akt1 mutant of Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh. lacking a dominant K(+) transport system. Broadley, M.R., Escobar-Gutiérrez, A.J., Bowen, H.C., Willey, N.J., White, P.J. J. Exp. Bot. (2001) [Pubmed]
  14. Regulated expression of Arabidopsis shaker K+ channel genes involved in K+ uptake and distribution in the plant. Pilot, G., Gaymard, F., Mouline, K., Chérel, I., Sentenac, H. Plant Mol. Biol. (2003) [Pubmed]
  15. K(+) channel profile and electrical properties of Arabidopsis root hairs. Ivashikina, N., Becker, D., Ache, P., Meyerhoff, O., Felle, H.H., Hedrich, R. FEBS Lett. (2001) [Pubmed]
  16. Protection of plasma membrane K+ transport by the salt overly sensitive1 Na+-H+ antiporter during salinity stress. Qi, Z., Spalding, E.P. Plant Physiol. (2004) [Pubmed]
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