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Alpha-actinin2 cytoskeletal protein is required for the functional membrane localization of a Ca2+-activated K+ channel (SK2 channel).

Lu L., Timofeyev V., Li N., Rafizadeh S., Singapuri A., Harris T.R., Chiamvimonvat N.

The importance of proper ion channel trafficking is underpinned by a number of channel-linked genetic diseases whose defect is associated with failure to reach the cell surface. Conceptually, it is reasonable to suggest that the function of ion channels depends critically on the precise subcellular localization and the number of channel proteins on the cell surface membrane, which is determined jointly by the secretory and endocytic pathways. Yet the precise mechanisms of the entire ion channel trafficking pathway remain unknown. Here, we directly demonstrate that proper membrane localization of a small-conductance Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channel (SK2 or K(Ca)2.2) is dependent on its interacting protein, alpha-actinin2, a major F-actin crosslinking protein. SK2 channel localization on the cell-surface membrane is dynamically regulated, and one of the critical steps includes the process of cytoskeletal anchoring of SK2 channel by its interacting protein, alpha-actinin2, as well as endocytic recycling via early endosome back to the cell membrane. Consequently, alteration of these components of SK2 channel recycling results in profound changes in channel surface expression. The importance of our findings may transcend the area of K(+) channels, given that similar cytoskeletal interaction and anchoring may be critical for the membrane localization of other ion channels in neurons and other excitable cells.

Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 106:18402-18407(2009) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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