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

Functional expression of an epitope-tagged G protein-coupled K+ channel (GIRK1).

An epitope-tagged form of an inwardly rectifying and G protein-coupled K+ channel (GIRK1-cp) was expressed at high levels in transfected mammalian cells. Immunoblot analysis of transfected human embryonic kidney cells (HEK293) and mouse insulinoma cells (beta TC3) revealed several GIRK1-cp polypeptides, including the major 59-kDa band, corresponding to the predicted mass of the GIRK1 polypeptide plus the epitope tag. Immunohistochemical staining using two anti-tag antibodies showed abundant immunoreactive material, which was predominantly concentrated in the perinuclear area in both transfected cell types. While functional GIRK1-cp message was present in poly(A)+ RNA prepared from HEK293 cells expressing GIRK1-cp protein, appropriate K+ currents could not be detected. In contrast, whole cell recordings made directly from transfected beta TC3 cells expressing GIRK1-cp revealed inwardly rectifying, pertussis toxin-sensitive currents activated by norepinephrine and galanin. Single channel recordings in excised patches of beta TC3 cells expressing GIRK1-cp showed rectifying K+ currents when activated by 50 microM guanosine 5'-O-(thiotriphosphate), with a slope conductance of 39.1 +/- 1.0 picosiemens. This is the first report of stable heterologous expression of a functional G protein-coupled K+ channel in mammalian cells. The activity of an epitope-tagged channel in insulinoma cells demonstrates the utility of this system for further biochemical and biophysical analyses of G protein-K+ channel interactions.[1]


  1. Functional expression of an epitope-tagged G protein-coupled K+ channel (GIRK1). Philipson, L.H., Kuznetsov, A., Toth, P.T., Murphy, J.F., Szabo, G., Ma, G.H., Miller, R.J. J. Biol. Chem. (1995) [Pubmed]
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