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

Functional coupling between heterologously expressed dopamine D(2) receptors and KCNQ channels.

Activation of KCNQ potassium channels by stimulation of co-expressed dopamine D(2) receptors was studied electrophysiologically in Xenopus laevis oocytes and in mammalian cells. To address the specificity of the interaction between D(2)-like receptors and KCNQ channels, combinations of KCNQ1-5 channels and D(2)-like receptors (D(2L), D(3), and D(4)) were investigated in Xenopus oocytes. Activation of either receptor with the selective D(2)-like receptor agonist quinpirole (100 nM) stimulated all the KCNQ currents, independently of the subunit combination, indicating a common pathway of receptor-channel interaction. The KCNQ4 current was investigated in further detail and was increased by 19.9+/-1.6% ( n=20) by D(2L) receptor stimulation. The effect could be mimicked by injection of GTPgammaS and prevented by injection of Bordetella pertussis toxin, indicating that channel stimulation was mediated via a G protein of the G(alphai/o) subtype. Cells of the human neuroblastoma line SH-SY5Y were co-transfected transiently with KCNQ4 and D(2L) receptors. Stimulation of D(2L) receptors increased the KCNQ4 current ( n=6) as determined in whole-cell patch-clamp recordings. The specificity of the dopaminergic activation of the KCNQ channels was confirmed by co-expression of other neuronal K(+) channels (BK, K(V)1.1, and K(V)4.3) with the D(2L) receptor in Xenopus oocytes. None of these K(+) channels responded to stimulation of the D(2L) receptor. In the mammalian brain, dopamine D(2) receptors and KCNQ channels co-localise postsynaptically in several brain regions, so modulation of neuronal excitability by dopamine release could in part be mediated via an effect on KCNQ channels.[1]


  1. Functional coupling between heterologously expressed dopamine D(2) receptors and KCNQ channels. Ljungstrom, T., Grunnet, M., Jensen, B.S., Olesen, S.P. Pflugers Arch. (2003) [Pubmed]
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