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

Expression of the Kv3.1 potassium channel in the avian auditory brainstem.

The Shaw-like potassium channel Kv3.1, a delayed rectifier with a high threshold of activation, is expressed in the time coding nuclei of the bird auditory brainstem. In both barn owls and chickens, Kv3.1 mRNA was expressed in the cochlear nucleus magnocellularis (NM) and the nucleus laminaris (NL). Western blot analysis showed that an antibody raised against the synthetic peptide sequence of rat Kv3.1 (rKv3.1) specifically recognized the same 92 kDa protein bands in both rat and chicken synaptosomal preparations. Immunohistochemical analyses using this anti-rKv3.1 antibody revealed a prominent gradient in Kv3.1 immunoreactivity along the tonotopic axis of the barn owl NM and NL and a less prominent gradient in the chicken. The precise localization of the Kv3.1 immunoproduct was resolved by electron microscopy. In both the owl and the chicken, Kv3.1 was targeted postsynaptically in NM and NL. The major difference in localization of Kv3.1 protein between the two birds was the expression of Kv3.1 in the NM axons and terminals in the region of the barn owl NL. This location of Kv3.1 channels supports its postulated function in reducing the width of action potentials as they invade the presynaptic terminal. The presynaptic localization may be a specialization for enabling neurons in owl NM to transmit high-frequency temporal information with little jitter.[1]


  1. Expression of the Kv3.1 potassium channel in the avian auditory brainstem. Parameshwaran, S., Carr, C.E., Perney, T.M. J. Neurosci. (2001) [Pubmed]
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