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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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Silenced by SUMOylation

K2P channels consist of two subunits that form a K+ selective pore and establish the resting membrane potential. The TASK (two–P domain, acid-sensitive K+) channel subunits K2P3 or K2P9 are activated by decreases in pH (such as those that occur during oxygen deprivation), noxious stimuli, and volatile anesthetics such as halothane. Plant et al. found that the K2P1 subunit coassembled with K2P3 or K2P9 at the surface of cerebellar granule neurons. When ectopically expressed, the responses of these heteromeric channels to halothane or decreases in pH were suppressed by SUMOylation of K2P1, an effect that was reversed by application of a deSUMOylating enzyme. Because K2P1 is found in many of the same tissues as K2P3 and K2P9, SUMOylation could be a widespread mechanism to suppress the activity of heteromeric channels containing K2P1 and the TASK channel subunits.

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