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

Potent activation of the human tandem pore domain K channel TRESK with clinical concentrations of volatile anesthetics.

The tandem pore domain K channel family mediates background K currents present in excitable cells. Currents passed by certain members of the family are enhanced by volatile anesthetics, thus suggesting a novel mechanism of anesthesia. The newest member of the family, termed TRESK (TWIK [tandem pore domain weak inward rectifying channel]-related spinal cord K channel), has not been studied for anesthetic sensitivity. We isolated the coding sequence for TRESK from human spinal cord RNA and functionally expressed it in Xenopus oocytes and transfected COS-7 cells. With both whole-cell voltage-clamp and patch-clamp recording, TRESK currents increased up to three-fold by clinical concentrations of isoflurane, halothane, sevoflurane, and desflurane. Nonanesthetics (nonimmobilizers) had no effect on TRESK. Various IV anesthetics, including etomidate, thiopental, and propofol, have a minimal effect on TRESK currents. Amide and ester local anesthetics inhibit TRESK in a concentration-dependent manner but at concentrations generally larger than those that inhibit other tandem pore domain K channels. We also determined that TRESK is found not only in spinal cord, but also in human brain RNA. These results identify TRESK as a target of volatile anesthetics and suggest a role for this background K channel in mediating the effects of inhaled anesthetics in the central nervous system.[1]


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