Expression of ATP-sensitive K+ channel subunits during perinatal maturation in the mouse heart

Pediatr Res. 2005 Aug;58(2):185-92. doi: 10.1203/01.PDR.0000169967.83576.CB.


Prevailing data suggest that sarcolemmal ATP-sensitive (K(ATP)) channels in the adult heart consist of Kir6.2 and SUR2A subunits, but the expression of other K(ATP) channel subunits (including SUR1, SUR2B, and Kir6.1) is poorly defined. The situation is even less clear for the immature heart, which shows a remarkable resistance to hypoxia and metabolic stress. The hypoxia-induced action potential shortening and opening of sarcolemmal K(ATP) channels that occurs in adults is less prominent in the immature heart. This might be due in part to the different biophysical and pharmacological properties of K(ATP) channels of immature and adult K(ATP) channels. Because these properties are largely conferred by subunit composition, it is important to examine the relative expression levels of the various K(ATP) channel subunits during maturation. We therefore used RNAse protection assays, reverse transcription-PCR approaches, and Western blotting to characterize the mRNA and protein expression profiles of K(ATP) channel subunits in fetal, neonatal, and adult mouse heart. Our data indicate that each of the K(ATP) channel subunits (Kir6.1, Kir6.2, SUR1, SUR2A, and SUR2B) is expressed in the mouse heart at all of the developmental time points studied. However, the expression level of each of the subunits is low in the fetal heart and progressively increases with maturation. Each of the subunits seems to be expressed in ventricular myocytes with a subcellular expression pattern matching that found in the adult. Our data suggest that the K(ATP) channel composition may change during maturation, which has important implications for K(ATP) channel function in the developing heart.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters / biosynthesis*
  • Adenosine Triphosphate / metabolism
  • Alternative Splicing
  • Animals
  • Blotting, Western
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • DNA Primers / chemistry
  • DNA, Complementary / metabolism
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental*
  • Heart / embryology*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • KATP Channels
  • Mice
  • Multidrug Resistance-Associated Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Muscle Cells / metabolism
  • Myocardium / metabolism*
  • Potassium Channels, Inwardly Rectifying / biosynthesis*
  • Protein Isoforms
  • RNA / metabolism
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Receptors, Drug
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Ribonucleases / metabolism
  • Sulfonylurea Receptors
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Transfection
  • Up-Regulation


  • ABCC8 protein, human
  • ABCC9 protein, human
  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters
  • Abcc8 protein, mouse
  • Abcc9 protein, mouse
  • DNA Primers
  • DNA, Complementary
  • KATP Channels
  • Kir6.2 channel
  • Multidrug Resistance-Associated Proteins
  • Potassium Channels, Inwardly Rectifying
  • Protein Isoforms
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, Drug
  • Sulfonylurea Receptors
  • uK-ATP-1 potassium channel
  • RNA
  • Adenosine Triphosphate
  • Ribonucleases