Involvement of the n-terminus of Kir6.2 in coupling to the sulphonylurea receptor.
Reimann F., Tucker SJ., Proks P., Ashcroft FM.
1. ATP-sensitive potassium (KATP) channels are composed of pore-forming Kir6.2 and regulatory SUR subunits. ATP inhibits the channel by interacting with Kir6.2, while sulphonylureas block channel activity by interaction with a high-affinity site on SUR1 and a low-affinity site on Kir6.2. MgADP and diazoxide interact with SUR1 to promote channel activity. 2. We examined the effect of N-terminal deletions of Kir6.2 on the channel open probability, ATP sensitivity and sulphonylurea sensitivity by recording macroscopic currents in membrane patches excised from Xenopus oocytes expressing wild-type or mutant Kir6.2/SUR1. 3. A 14 amino acid N-terminal deletion (DeltaN14) did not affect the gating, ATP sensitivity or tolbutamide block of a truncated isoform of Kir6.2, Kir6.2DeltaC26, expressed in the absence of SUR1. Thus, the N-terminal deletion does not alter the intrinsic properties of Kir6.2. 4. When Kir6.2DeltaN14 was coexpressed with SUR1, the resulting KATP channels had a higher open probability (Po = 0.7) and a lower ATP sensitivity (Ki = 196 microM) than wild-type (Kir6.2/SUR1) channels (Po = 0.32, Ki = 28 microM). High-affinity tolbutamide block was also abolished. 5. Truncation of five or nine amino acids from the N-terminus of Kir6.2 also enhanced the open probability, and reduced both the ATP sensitivity and the fraction of high-affinity tolbutamide block, although to a lesser extent than for the DeltaN14 deletion. Site-directed mutagenesis suggests that hydrophobic residues in Kir6. 2 may be involved in this effect. 6. The reduced ATP sensitivity of Kir6.2DeltaN14 may be explained by the increased Po. However, when the Po was decreased (by ATP), tolbutamide was unable to block Kir6. 2DeltaN14/SUR1-K719A,K1385M currents, despite the fact that the drug inhibited Kir6.2-C166S/SUR1-K719A,K1385M currents (which in the absence of ATP have a Po of > 0.8 and are not blocked by tolbutamide). Thus the N-terminus of Kir6.2 may be involved in coupling sulphonylurea binding to SUR1 to closure of the Kir6.2 pore.