K(ATP) channels are comprised of a pore-forming protein, Kir6.x, and the sulfonylurea receptor, SURx. Interaction of adenine nucleotides with Kir6.2 positively charged amino acids such as K185 and R201 on the C-terminus causes channel closure. Substitution of these amino acids with other positively charged residues had small effects on inhibition by adenine nucleotide, while substitution with neutral or negative residues had major effects, suggesting electrostatic interactions between Kir6.2 positive charges and adenine nucleotide negative phosphate groups. Furthermore, R201 mutation decreased channel sensitivity to ATP, ADP, and AMP to a similar extent, but K185 mutation decreased primarily ATP and ADP sensitivity, leaving the AMP sensitivity relatively unaffected. Thus, channel inhibition by ATP may involve interaction of the alpha-phosphate with R201 and interaction of the beta-phosphate with K185. In addition, decreased open probability due to rundown or sulfonylureas caused an increase in ATP sensitivity in the K185 mutant, but not in the R201 mutant. Thus, the beta-phosphate may bind in a state-independent fashion to K185 to destabilize channel openings, while R201 interacts with the alpha-phosphate to stabilize a channel closed configuration. Substitution of R192 on the C-terminus and R50 on the N-terminus with different charged residues also affected ATP sensitivity. Based on these results a structural scheme is proposed, which includes features of other recently published models.