Among the different transport systems present in plant cells, Shaker channels constitute the major pathway for K(+) in the plasma membrane. Plant Shaker channels are members of the 6 transmembrane-1 pore (6TM-1P) cation channel superfamily as the animal Shaker (Kv) and HCN channels. All these channels are voltage-gated K(+) channels: Kv channels are outward-rectifiers, opened at depolarized voltages and HCN channels are inward-rectifiers, opened by membrane hyperpolarization. Among plant Shaker channels, we can find outward-rectifiers, inward-rectifiers and also weak-rectifiers, with weak voltage dependence. Despite the absence of crystal structures of plant Shaker channels, functional analyses coupled to homology modeling, mostly based on Kv and HCN crystals, have permitted the identification of several regions contributing to plant Shaker channel gating. In the present mini-review, we make an update on the voltage-gating mechanism of plant Shaker channels which seem to be comparable to that proposed for HCN channels.
Keywords: C-linker; Shaker; channel; potassium; voltage-gating.