Extracellular K+ is a prerequisite for the function and plasma membrane stability of HERG channels

Hamid Massaeli, Jun Guo, Jianmin Xu, Shetuan Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

RATIONALE: The human ether-a-go-go-related gene (HERG) encodes the pore-forming subunits of the rapidly activating delayed rectifier potassium channel (IKr) that is important for cardiac repolarization. Dysfunction of HERG causes long QT syndrome (LQTS) which can lead to sudden cardiac death. We previously showed that a reduction in extracellular K concentration ([K]o) prolongs QT intervals in intact rabbits, and decreases the cell surface density of IKr in rabbit ventricular myocytes and of the HERG channel expressed in human embryonic kidney (HEK) cells. OBJECTIVE: The goal of the present study was to gain insights into the mechanisms for low[K]o induced reduction in HERG expression levels. METHODS AND RESULTS: Using patch clamp, Western blot and confocal imaging methods, we demonstrated that at low[K]o, the HERG channel entered a novel nonconducting state. Furthermore, this novel functional state triggered rapid internalization and degradation of the cell surface HERG channels. Thus, our data demonstrated for the first time a direct link between a gating state and the plasma membrane stability of an ion channel, HERG. Using HERG-permeant cations and site-directed mutagenesis, we identified the sites in the channel which are involved in the Ko dependence of HERG channels. CONCLUSIONS: Extracellular K is a prerequisite for HERG function and membrane stability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1072-1082
Number of pages11
JournalCirculation Research
Volume106
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2010
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Ether
Cell Membrane
Genes
Delayed Rectifier Potassium Channels
Rabbits
Long QT Syndrome
Sudden Cardiac Death
Site-Directed Mutagenesis
Ion Channels
Muscle Cells
Cations
Cell Count
Western Blotting
Kidney
Gene Expression
Membranes

Keywords

  • Arrhythmia
  • Cardiac electrophysiology
  • Ion channels
  • Potassium channels
  • Voltage-gated potassium channels

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

Cite this

Extracellular K+ is a prerequisite for the function and plasma membrane stability of HERG channels. / Massaeli, Hamid; Guo, Jun; Xu, Jianmin; Zhang, Shetuan.

In: Circulation Research, Vol. 106, No. 6, 01.04.2010, p. 1072-1082.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Massaeli, Hamid ; Guo, Jun ; Xu, Jianmin ; Zhang, Shetuan. / Extracellular K+ is a prerequisite for the function and plasma membrane stability of HERG channels. In: Circulation Research. 2010 ; Vol. 106, No. 6. pp. 1072-1082.
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