Alternative sulfonylurea receptor expression defines metabolic sensitivity of K-ATP channels in dopaminergic midbrain neurons.
ATP-sensitive potassium (K-ATP) channels couple the metabolic state to cellular excitability in various tissues. Several isoforms of the K-ATP channel subunits, the sulfonylurea receptor (SUR) and inwardly rectifying K channel (Kir6.X), have been cloned, but the molecular composition and functional diversity of native neuronal K-ATP channels remain unresolved. We combined functional analysis of K-ATP channels with expression profiling of K-ATP subunits at the level of single substantia nigra (SN) neurons in mouse brain slices using an RT-multiplex PCR protocol. In contrast to GABAergic neurons, single dopaminergic SN neurons displayed alternative co-expression of either SUR1, SUR2B or both SUR isoforms with Kir6.2. Dopaminergic SN neurons expressed alternative K-ATP channel species distinguished by significant differences in sulfonylurea affinity and metabolic sensitivity. In single dopaminergic SN neurons, co-expression of SUR1 + Kir6.2, but not of SUR2B + Kir6.2, correlated with functional K-ATP channels highly sensitive to metabolic inhibition. In contrast to wild-type, surviving dopaminergic SN neurons of homozygous weaver mouse exclusively expressed SUR1 + Kir6.2 during the active period of dopaminergic neurodegeneration. Therefore, alternative expression of K-ATP channel subunits defines the differential response to metabolic stress and constitutes a novel candidate mechanism for the differential vulnerability of dopaminergic neurons in response to respiratory chain dysfunction in Parkinson's disease. (+info)
Inward rectification in KATP channels: a pH switch in the pore.
Inward-rectifier potassium channels (Kir channels) stabilize the resting membrane potential and set a threshold for excitation in many types of cell. This function arises from voltage-dependent rectification of these channels due to blockage by intracellular polyamines. In all Kir channels studied to date, the voltage-dependence of rectification is either strong or weak. Here we show that in cardiac as well as in cloned KATP channels (Kir6.2 + sulfonylurea receptor) polyamine-mediated rectification is not fixed but changes with intracellular pH in the physiological range: inward-rectification is prominent at basic pH, while at acidic pH rectification is very weak. The pH-dependence of polyamine block is specific for KATP as shown in experiments with other Kir channels. Systematic mutagenesis revealed a titratable C-terminal histidine residue (H216) in Kir6.2 to be the structural determinant, and electrostatic interaction between this residue and polyamines was shown to be the molecular mechanism underlying pH-dependent rectification. This pH-dependent block of KATP channels may represent a novel and direct link between excitation and intracellular pH. (+info)
Inducible genetic suppression of neuronal excitability.
Graded, reversible suppression of neuronal excitability represents a logical goal of therapy for epilepsy and intractable pain. To achieve such suppression, we have developed the means to transfer "electrical silencing" genes into neurons with sensitive control of transgene expression. An ecdysone-inducible promoter drives the expression of inwardly rectifying potassium channels in polycistronic adenoviral vectors. Infection of superior cervical ganglion neurons did not affect normal electrical activity but suppressed excitability after the induction of gene expression. These experiments demonstrate the feasibility of controlled ion channel expression after somatic gene transfer into neurons and serve as the prototype for a novel generalizable approach to modulate excitability. (+info)
Glucose-receptive neurones in the rat ventromedial hypothalamus express KATP channels composed of Kir6.1 and SUR1 subunits.
1. Patch-clamp recordings were made from rat ventromedial hypothalamic neurones in slices of brain tissue in vitro. In cell-attached recordings, removal of extracellular glucose or metabolic inhibition with sodium azide reduced the firing rate of a subpopulation of cells through the activation of a 65 pS channel that was blocked by the sulphonylureas tolbutamide and glibenclamide. 2. In whole-cell patch-clamp recordings, in the absence of ATP in the electrode solution, glucose-receptive neurones gradually hyperpolarized due to the induction of an outward current at -60 mV. This outward current and the resultant hyperpolarization were blocked by the sulphonylureas tolbutamide and glibenclamide. 3. In recordings where the electrode solution contained 4 mM ATP, this outward current was not observed. Under these conditions, 500 microM diazoxide was found to induce an outward current that was blocked by tolbutamide. 4. In cell-attached recordings diazoxide and the active fragment of leptin (leptin 22-56) reduced the firing rate of glucose-receptive neurones by the activation of a channel with similar properties to that induced by removal of extracellular glucose. 5. Reverse transcription followed by the polymerase chain reaction using cytoplasm from single glucose-receptive neurones demonstrated the expression of the ATP-sensitive potassium (KATP) channel subunits Kir6.1 and SUR1 but not Kir6.2 or SUR2. 6. It is concluded that glucose-receptive neurones within the rat ventromedial hypothalamus exhibit a KATP channel current with pharmacological and molecular properties similar to those reported in other tissues. (+info)
Somatostatin induces hyperpolarization in pancreatic islet alpha cells by activating a G protein-gated K+ channel.
Somatostatin inhibits glucagon-secretion from pancreatic alpha cells but its underlying mechanism is unknown. In mouse alpha cells, we found that somatostatin induced prominent hyperpolarization by activating a K+ channel, which was unaffected by tolbutamide but prevented by pre-treating the cells with pertussis toxin. The K+ channel was activated by intracellular GTP (with somatostatin), GTPgammaS or Gbetagamma subunits. It was thus identified as a G protein-gated K+ (K(G)) channel. RT-PCR and immunohistochemical analyses suggested the K(G) channel to be composed of Kir3.2c and Kir3.4. This study identified a novel ionic mechanism involved in somatostatin-inhibition of glucagon-secretion from pancreatic alpha cells. (+info)
Proadrenomedullin N-terminal 20 peptide hyperpolarizes the membrane by activating an inwardly rectifying K+ current in differentiated PC12 cells.
The mechanism of proadrenomedullin N-terminal 20 peptide (PAMP)-induced inhibition of catecholamine release from adrenergic nerve was investigated in nerve growth factor-treated PC12 cells that have differentiated characteristics somewhat similar to noradrenergic neurons. The effect of PAMP on the excitability of these cells was investigated with the use of perforated whole-cell clamp. PAMP hyperpolarized the membrane by increasing a K+ conductance in a dose-dependent manner. The current-voltage relationship (I-V) relationship of the PAMP-induced K+ conductance exhibited inward-going rectification. The activation was abolished by microinjecting GDPbetaS into the cells or pretreating the cells with pertussis toxin. These results indicate that a pertussis toxin-sensitive G protein is involved in the signal transduction. The PAMP-induced activation of the K+ conductance was attenuated by microinjecting antibody against the carboxyl terminus of Galphai3, but it was not influenced by microinjecting antibody against the common carboxyl termini of Galphai1 and Galphai2, which indicated that the G protein coupling the PAMP receptor to the inwardly rectifying K+ current is Galphai3. The PAMP-induced hyperpolarization may inhibit the catecholamine release from the neurons by attenuating the action potential frequency. (+info)
Selective activation of heterologously expressed G protein-gated K+ channels by M2 muscarinic receptors in rat sympathetic neurones.
1. G protein-regulated inward rectifier K+ (GIRK) channels were over-expressed in dissociated rat superior cervical sympathetic (SCG) neurones by co-transfecting green fluorescent protein (GFP)-, GIRK1- and GIRK2-expressing plasmids using the biolistic technique. Membrane currents were subsequently recorded with whole-cell patch electrodes. 2. Co-transfected cells had larger Ba2+-sensitive inwardly rectifying currents and 13 mV more negative resting potentials (in 3 mM [K+]o) than non-transfected cells, or cells transfected with GIRK1 or GIRK2 alone. 3. Carbachol (CCh, 1-30 microM) increased the inwardly rectifying current in 70 % of GIRK1+ GIRK2-transfected cells by 261 +/- 53 % (n = 6, CCh 30 microM) at -120 mV, but had no effect in non-transfected cells or in cells transfected with GIRK1 or GIRK2 alone. Pertussis toxin prevented the effect of carbachol but had no effect on basal currents. 4. The effect of CCh was antagonized by 6 nM tripitramine but not by 100 nM pirenzepine, consistent with activation of endogenous M2 muscarinic acetylcholine receptors. 5. In contrast, inhibition of the voltage-activated Ca2+ current by CCh was antagonized by 100 nM pirenzepine but not by 6 nM tripitramine, indicating that it was mediated by M4 muscarinic acetylcholine receptors. 6. We conclude that endogenous M2 and M4 muscarinic receptors selectively couple to GIRK currents and Ca2+ currents respectively, with negligible cross-talk. (+info)
Kir2.1 encodes the inward rectifier potassium channel in rat arterial smooth muscle cells.
1. The molecular nature of the strong inward rectifier K+ channel in vascular smooth muscle was explored by using isolated cell RT-PCR, cDNA cloning and expression techniques. 2. RT-PCR of RNA from single smooth muscle cells of rat cerebral (basilar), coronary and mesenteric arteries revealed transcripts for Kir2.1. Transcripts for Kir2.2 and Kir2.3 were not found. 3. Quantitative PCR analysis revealed significant differences in transcript levels of Kir2.1 between the different vascular preparations (n = 3; P < 0.05). A two-fold difference was detected between Kir2.1 mRNA and beta-actin mRNA in coronary arteries when compared with relative levels measured in mesenteric and basilar preparations. 4. Kir2.1 was cloned from rat mesenteric vascular smooth muscle cells and expressed in Xenopus oocytes. Currents were strongly inwardly rectifying and selective for K+. 5. The effect of extracellular Ba2+, Ca2+, Mg2+ and Cs2+ ions on cloned Kir2.1 channels expressed in Xenopus oocytes was examined. Ba2+ and Cs+ block were steeply voltage dependent, whereas block by external Ca2+ and Mg2+ exhibited little voltage dependence. The apparent half-block constants and voltage dependences for Ba2+, Cs+, Ca2+ and Mg2+ were very similar for inward rectifier K+ currents from native cells and cloned Kir2.1 channels expressed in oocytes. 6. Molecular studies demonstrate that Kir2.1 is the only member of the Kir2 channel subfamily present in vascular arterial smooth muscle cells. Expression of cloned Kir2.1 in Xenopus oocytes resulted in inward rectifier K+ currents that strongly resemble those that are observed in native vascular arterial smooth muscle cells. We conclude that Kir2.1 encodes for inward rectifier K+ channels in arterial smooth muscle. (+info)