MinK subdomains that mediate modulation of and association with KvLQT1

Andrew R. Tapper, Alfred L. George*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations


KvLQT1 is a voltage-gated potassium channel expressed in cardiac cells that is critical for myocardial repolarization. When expressed alone in heterologous expression systems, KvLQT1 channels exhibit a rapidly activating potassium current that slowly deactivates. MinK, a 129 amino acid protein containing one transmembrane-spanning domain modulates KvLQT1, greatly slowing activation, increasing current amplitude, and removing inactivation. Using deletion and chimeric analysis, we have examined the structural determinants of MinK effects on gating modulation and subunit association. Coexpression of KvLQT1 with a MinK COOH-terminus deletion mutant (MinK ΔCterm) in Xenopus oocytes resulted in a rapidly activated potassium current closely resembling currents recorded from oocytes expressing KvLQT1 alone, indicating that this region is necessary for modulation. To determine whether MinK ΔCterm was associated with KvLQT1, a functional tag (G55C) that confers susceptibility to partial block by external cadmium was engineered into the transmembrane domain of MinK ΔCterm. Currents derived from coexpression of KvLQT1 with MinK ΔCterm were cadmium sensitive, suggesting that MinK ΔCterm does associate with KvLQT1, but does not modulate gating. To determine which MinK regions are sufficient for KvLQT1 association and modulation, chimeras were generated between MinK and the Na+ channel β1 subunit. Chimeras between MinK and β1 could only modulate KvLQT1 if they contained both the MinK transmembrane domain and COOH terminus, suggesting that the MinK COOH terminus alone is not sufficient for KvLQT1 modulation, and requires an additional, possibly associative interaction between the MinK transmembrane domain and KvLQT1. To identify the MinK subdomains necessary for gating modulation, deletion mutants were designed and coexpressed with KvLQT1. A MinK construct with amino acid residues 94-129 deleted retained the ability to modulate KvLQT1 gating, identifying the COOH-terminal region critical for gating modulation. Finally, MinK/MiRP1 (MinK related protein-1) chimeras were generated to investigate the difference between these two closely related subunits in their ability to modulate KvLQT1. The results from this analysis indicate that MiRP1 cannot modulate KvLQT1 due to differences within the transmembrane domain. Our results allow us to identify the MinK subdomains that mediate KvLQT1 association and modulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)379-389
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of General Physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2000


  • Heart
  • KCNE1
  • KCNQ1
  • Long QT syndrome
  • Potassium channel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology


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