TRK1 and TRK2 encode structurally related K+ transporters in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Christopher H. Ko, Richard F. Gaber*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

229 Scopus citations


We describe the cloning and molecular analysis of TRK2, the gene likely to encode the low-affinity K+ transporter in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. TRK2 encodes a protein of 889 amino acids containing 12 putative membrane-spanning domains (M1 through M12), with a large hydrophilic region between M3 and M4. These structural features closely resemble those contained in TRK1, the high-affinity K+ transporter. TRK2 shares 55% amino acid sequence identity with TRK1. The putative membrane-spanning domains of TRK1 and TRK2 share the highest sequence conservation, while the large hydrophilic regions between M3 and M4 exhibit the greatest divergence. The different affinities of TRK1 trk2Δ cells and trk1Δ TRK2 cells for K+ underscore the functional independence of the high- and low-affinity transporters. TRK2 is nonessential in TRK1 or trk1Δ haploid cells. The viability of cells containing null mutations in both TRK1 and TRK2 reveals the existence of an additional, functionally independent potassium transporter(s). Cells deleted for both TRK1 and TRK2 are hypersensitive to low pH; they are severely limited in their ability to take up K+, particularly when faced with a large inward-facing H+ gradient, indicating that the K+ transporter(s) that remains in trk1Δ trk2Δ cells functions differently than those of the TRK class.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4266-4273
Number of pages8
JournalMolecular and cellular biology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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