Sci. Signal., 21 February 2012
Biochemistry Adapting to the Cold
Science, AAAS, Washington, DC 20005, USA
The gating of potassium channels is temperature sensitive, suggesting that these channels must adapt to function efficiently in the extreme cold. Garrett and Rosenthal (see the Perspective by Öhman) show that the coding sequences for delayed rectifier potassium channels from an Antarctic and a tropical octopus differed at only four positions and gave functionally identical channels when expressed in Xenopus oocytes. A variation in temperature responses instead came from extensive mRNA editing. In particular, an edit that recoded an isoleucine to a valine in the pore of the Antarctic octopus channel greatly accelerated gating kinetics.
Citation: V. Vinson, Adapting to the Cold. Sci. Signal. 5, ec56 (2012).
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