RNA Editing in the Central Cavity as a Mechanism to Regulate Surface Expression of the Voltage-Gated Potassium Channel Kv1.1 [Neurobiology]

August 6th, 2014 by Streit, A. K., Matschke, L. A., Dolga, A. M., Rinne, S., Decher, N.

Kv1.1 channels undergo a specific enzymatic RNA deamination, generating a channel with a single amino acid exchange located in the inner pore cavity (Kv1.1I400V). We studied I400V edited Kv1.1 channels in more detail and found that Kv1.1I400V gave rise to much smaller whole-cell currents than Kv1.1. In order to elucidate the mechanism behind this current reduction, we conducted electrophysiological recordings on whole-cell and single-channel level and did not find any differences. Next, we examined channel surface expression in Xenopus oocytes and HeLa cells using a chemiluminescence assay and found the edited channels to be less readily expressed at the surface membrane. This reduction in surface expression was verified by fluorescence imaging experiments. Western blot analysis - for comparison of protein abundances and glycosylation pattern - did not show any difference between Kv1.1 and Kv1.1I400V, further indicating that a changed trafficking of Kv1.1I400V is causing the current reduction. Block of endocytosis by dynasore or AP180C did not abolish the differences in current amplitudes between Kv1.1 and Kv1.1I400V, suggesting that backward trafficking is not affected. Thus, our data suggest that I400V RNA editing of Kv1.1 leads to a reduced current size by a decreased forward trafficking of the channel to the surface membrane. This effect is specific for Kv1.1 since co-expression of Kv1.4 channel subunits with Kv1.1I400V abolishes these trafficking effects. Taken together, we identified RNA editing as a novel mechanism to regulate homomeric Kv1.1 channel trafficking. Fine tuning of Kv1.1 surface expression by RNA editing might contribute to the complexity of neuronal Kv channel regulation.