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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Differential targeting of Shaker-like potassium channels to lipid rafts.

Ion channel targeting within neuronal and muscle membranes is an important determinant of electrical excitability. Recent evidence suggests that there exists within the membrane specialized microdomains commonly referred to as lipid rafts. These domains are enriched in cholesterol and sphingolipids and concentrate a number of signal transduction proteins such as nitric-oxide synthase, ligand-gated receptors, and multiple protein kinases. Here, we demonstrate that the voltage-gated K(+) channel Kv2.1, but not Kv4.2, targets to lipid rafts in both heterologous expression systems and rat brain. The Kv2.1 association with lipid rafts does not appear to involve caveolin. Depletion of cellular cholesterol alters the buoyancy of the Kv2.1 associated rafts and shifts the midpoint of Kv2.1 inactivation by nearly 40 mV without affecting peak current density or channel activation. The differential targeting of Kv channels to lipid rafts represents a novel mechanism both for the subcellular sorting of K(+) channels to regions of the membrane rich in signaling complexes and for modulating channel properties via alterations in lipid content.[1]


  1. Differential targeting of Shaker-like potassium channels to lipid rafts. Martens, J.R., Navarro-Polanco, R., Coppock, E.A., Nishiyama, A., Parshley, L., Grobaski, T.D., Tamkun, M.M. J. Biol. Chem. (2000) [Pubmed]
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