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SUMOylation Silences Heterodimeric TASK Potassium Channels Containing K2P1 Subunits in Cerebellar Granule Neurons

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Science Signaling  20 Nov 2012:
Vol. 5, Issue 251, pp. ra84
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2003431

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The standing outward K+ current (IKso) governs the response of cerebellar granule neurons to natural and medicinal stimuli including volatile anesthetics. We showed that SUMOylation silenced half of IKso at the surface of cerebellar granule neurons because the underlying channels were heterodimeric assemblies of K2P1, a subunit subject to SUMOylation, and the TASK (two–P domain, acid-sensitive K+) channel subunits K2P3 or K2P9. The heterodimeric channels comprised the acid-sensitive portion of IKso and mediated its response to halothane. We anticipate that SUMOylation also influences sensation and homeostatic mechanisms in mammals through TASK channels formed with K2P1.

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