Heteromeric assembly of inward rectifier channel subunit Kir2.1 with Kir3.1 and with Kir3.4

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2009 Mar 20;380(4):832-7. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2009.01.179. Epub 2009 Feb 4.


Heteromultimerization of different pore-forming subunits is known to contribute to the diversity of inward rectifier K(+) channels. We examined if the subunits belonging to different subfamilies Kir2 and Kir3 can co-assemble to form heteromultimers in heterologous expression systems. We observed co-immunoprecipitation of Kir2.1 and Kir3.1 as well as Kir2.1 and Kir3.4 in HEK293T cells. Furthermore, analyses of subcellular localization using confocal microscopy revealed that co-expression of Kir2.1 promoted the cell surface localization of Kir3.1 and Kir3.4 in HEK293T cells. In electrophysiological experiments, co-expression of Kir2.1 with Kir3.1 and/or Kir3.4 in Xenopus oocytes and HEK293T cells did not yield currents with distinguishable features. However, co-expression of a dominant-negative Kir2.1 with the wild-type Kir3.1/3.4 decreased the Kir3.1/3.4 current amplitude in Xenopus oocytes. The results indicate that Kir2.1 is capable of forming heteromultimeric channels with Kir3.1 and with Kir3.4.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • G Protein-Coupled Inwardly-Rectifying Potassium Channels / genetics
  • G Protein-Coupled Inwardly-Rectifying Potassium Channels / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Immunoprecipitation
  • Mice
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • Mutation
  • Potassium Channels, Inwardly Rectifying / genetics
  • Potassium Channels, Inwardly Rectifying / metabolism*
  • Protein Isoforms
  • Protein Multimerization
  • Rats
  • Xenopus


  • G Protein-Coupled Inwardly-Rectifying Potassium Channels
  • Kir2.1 channel
  • Potassium Channels, Inwardly Rectifying
  • Protein Isoforms