Functional rescue of Kv4.3 channel tetramerization mutants by KChIP4a.
KChIP4a shows a high homology with other members of the family of Kv channel-interacting proteins (KChIPs) in the conserved C-terminal core region, but exhibits a unique modulation of Kv4 channel gating and surface expression. Unlike KChIP1, the KChIP4 splice variant KChIP4a has been shown to inhibit surface expression and function as a suppressor of channel inactivation of Kv4. In this study, we sought to determine whether the multitasking KChIP4a modulates Kv4 function in a clamping fashion similar to that shown by KChIP1. Injection of Kv4.3 T1 zinc mutants into Xenopus oocytes resulted in the nonfunctional expression of Kv4.3 channels. Coexpression of Kv4.3 zinc mutants with WT KChIP4a gave rise to the functional expression of Kv4.3 current. Oocyte surface labeling results confirm the correlation between functional rescue and enhanced surface expression of zinc mutant proteins. Chimeric mutations that replace the Kv4.3 N-terminus with N-terminal KChIP4a or N-terminal deletion of KChIP4a further demonstrate that the functional rescue of Kv4.3 channel tetramerization mutants depends on the KChIP4a core region, but not its N-terminus. Structure-guided mutation of two critical residues of core KChIP4a attenuated functional rescue and tetrameric assembly. Moreover, size exclusion chromatography combined with fast protein liquid chromatography showed that KChIP4a can drive zinc mutant monomers to assemble as tetramers. Taken together, our results show that KChIP4a can rescue the function of tetramerization-defective Kv4 monomers. Therefore, we propose that core KChIP4a functions to promote tetrameric assembly and enhance surface expression of Kv4 channels by a clamping action, whereas its N-terminus inhibits surface expression of Kv4 by a mechanism that remains elusive.
PubMed ID: 20550899
PMC ID: PMC2884241
Article link: Biophys J.
Genes referenced: kcnd3 kcnip1 kcnip4