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

Requirement of subunit expression for cAMP-mediated regulation of a heart potassium channel.

Beta-adrenergic receptor stimulation increases heart rate and shortens ventricular action-potential duration, the latter effect due in part to a cAMP-dependent increase in the slow outward potassium current (I(Ks)). Mutations in either KCNQ1 or KCNE1, the I(Ks) subunits, are associated with variants (LQT-1 and LQT-5) of the congenital long QT syndrome. We now show that cAMP-mediated functional regulation of KCNQ1/KCNE1 channels, a consequence of cAMP-dependent protein kinase A phosphorylation of the KCNQ1 N terminus, requires coexpression of KCNQ1 with KCNE1, its auxiliary subunit. Further, at least two KCNE1 mutations linked to LQT-5 (D76N and W87R) cause functional disruption of cAMP- mediated KCNQ1/KCNE1-channel regulation despite the response of the substrate protein (KCNQ1) to protein kinase A phosphorylation. Transduction of protein phosphorylation into physiologically necessary channel function represents a previously uncharacterized role for the KCNE1 auxiliary subunit, which can be disrupted in LQT-5.[1]


  1. Requirement of subunit expression for cAMP-mediated regulation of a heart potassium channel. Kurokawa, J., Chen, L., Kass, R.S. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (2003) [Pubmed]
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