AimsCardiac function depends on the highly regulated and co-ordinate activity of a large ensemble of potassium channels that control myocyte repolarization. While voltage-gated K+ channels have been well characterized in the heart, much less is known about regulation and/or targeting of two-pore K+ channel (K2P) family members, despite their potential importance in modulation of heart function.Methods and resultsHere, we report a novel molecular pathway for membrane targeting of TREK-1, a mechano-sensitive K2P channel regulated by environmental and physical factors including membrane stretch, pH, and polyunsaturated fatty acids (e.g. arachidonic acid). We demonstrate that βIV-spectrin, an actin-associated protein, is co-localized with TREK-1 at the myocyte intercalated disc, associates with TREK-1 in the heart, and is required for TREK-1 membrane targeting. Mice expressing βIV-spectrin lacking TREK-1 binding (qv4J) display aberrant TREK-1 membrane localization, decreased TREK-1 activity, delayed action potential repolarization, and arrhythmia without apparent defects in localization/function of other cardiac potassium channel subunits. Finally, we report abnormal βIV- spectrin levels in human heart failure.ConclusionsThese data provide new insight into membrane targeting of TREK-1 in the heart and establish a broader role for βIV-spectrin in organizing functional membrane domains critical for normal heart function.
- Two-pore potassium channel
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)