The molecular and biophysical mechanisms by which voltage-sensitive K(+) (Kv)4 channels inactivate and recover from inactivation are presently unresolved. There is a general consensus, however, that Shaker-like N- and P/C-type mechanisms are likely not involved. Kv4 channels also display prominent inactivation from preactivated closed states [closed-state inactivation (CSI)], a process that appears to be absent in Shaker channels. As in Shaker channels, voltage sensitivity in Kv4 channels is thought to be conferred by positively charged residues localized to the fourth transmembrane segment (S4) of the voltage-sensing domain. To investigate the role of S4 positive charge in Kv4.3 gating transitions, we analyzed the effects of charge elimination at each positively charged arginine (R) residue by mutation to the uncharged residue alanine (A). We first demonstrated that R290A, R293A, R296A, and R302A mutants each alter basic activation characteristics consistent with positive charge removal. We then found strong evidence that recovery from inactivation is coupled to deactivation, showed that the precise location of the arginine residues within S4 plays an important role in the degree of development of CSI and recovery from CSI, and demonstrated that the development of CSI can be sequentially uncoupled from activation by R296A, specifically. Taken together, these results extend our current understanding of Kv4.3 gating transitions.