Distinct spatial and temporal expression patterns of K+ channel mRNAs from different subfamilies

J Neurosci. 1992 Feb;12(2):538-48. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.12-02-00538.1992.


Different types of K+ channels play important roles in many aspects of excitability. The isolation of cDNA clones from Drosophila, Aplysia, Xenopus, and mammals points to a large multigene family with several distinct members encoding K+ channels with unique electrophysiological and pharmacological properties. Given the pivotal role K+ channels play in the fine tuning of electrical properties of excitable tissues, we studied the spatial and temporal basis of K+ channel diversity. We report the isolation of two putative K+ channels that define two new subfamilies based upon amino acid sequence similarities with other known K+ channels. Northern blot and in situ hybridization studies revealed differences in the spatial and temporal expression patterns for these two new clones along with mRNAs from other K+ channel subfamilies. Two of the K+ channels studied are predominantly expressed in the brain. One of the "brain-specific" K+ channels is first expressed after about 2 weeks of postnatal cerebellar development and remains at levels about 10-fold higher in the cerebellum than in the rest of the brain.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Aplysia / genetics
  • Blotting, Northern
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA / genetics
  • Drosophila / genetics
  • Gene Library
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Organ Specificity
  • Phylogeny*
  • Potassium Channels / genetics*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid
  • Shab Potassium Channels
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Xenopus


  • Kcnb1 protein, rat
  • Potassium Channels
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Shab Potassium Channels
  • DNA

Associated data

  • GENBANK/M81783
  • GENBANK/M81784