Membrane Trafficking of Large Conductance Calcium-activated Potassium Channels Is Regulated by Alternative Splicing of a Transplantable, Acidic Trafficking Motif in the RCK1-RCK2 Linker

L. Chen, O. Jeffries, I. C. M. Rowe, Z. Liang, H. G. Knaus, P. Ruth, M. J. Shipston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Trafficking of the pore-forming alpha-subunits of large conductance calcium-and voltage-activated potassium (BK) channels to the cell surface represents an important regulatory step in controlling BK channel function. Here, we identify multiple trafficking signals within the intracellular RCK1-RCK2 linker of the cytosolic C terminus of the channel that are required for efficient cell surface expression of the channel. In particular, an acidic cluster-like motif was essential for channel exit from the endoplasmic reticulum and subsequent cell surface expression. This motif could be transplanted onto a heterologous nonchannel protein to enhance cell surface expression by accelerating endoplasmic reticulum export. Importantly, we identified a human alternatively spliced BK channel variant, hSlo Delta(579-664), in which these trafficking signals are excluded because of in-frame exon skipping. The hSlo Delta(579-664) variant is expressed in multiple human tissues and cannot form functional channels at the cell surface even though it retains the putative RCK domains and down stream trafficking signals. Functionally, the hSlo Delta(579-664) variant acts as a dominant negative subunit to suppress cell surface expression of BK channels. Thus alternative splicing of the intracellular RCK1-RCK2 linker plays a critical role in determining cell surface expression of BK channels by controlling the inclusion/exclusion of multiple trafficking motifs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23263-23273
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Volume285
Issue number30
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010

Keywords

  • Cell Surface Protein
  • Ion Channels
  • Membrane Trafficking
  • Potassium Channels
  • Trafficking

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