Methods for Characterizing Disease-Associated ATP-Sensitive Potassium Channel Mutations

Methods Mol Biol. 2018:1684:85-104. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7362-0_8.


The ATP-sensitive potassium (KATP) channel formed by the inwardly rectifying potassium channel Kir6.2 and the sulfonylurea receptor 1 (SUR1) plays a key role in regulating insulin secretion. Genetic mutations in KCNJ11 or ABCC8 which encode Kir6.2 and SUR1 respectively are major causes of insulin secretion disorders: those causing loss of channel function lead to congenital hyperinsulinism, whereas those causing gain of channel function result in neonatal diabetes and in some cases developmental delay, epilepsy, and neonatal diabetes, referred to as the DEND syndrome. Understanding how disease mutations disrupt channel expression and function is important for disease diagnosis and for devising effective therapeutic strategies. Here, we describe a workflow including several biochemical and functional assays to assess the effects of mutations on channel expression and function.

Keywords: Channelopathy; Congenital hyperinsulinism; DEND syndrome; Inwardly rectifying potassium channel Kir6.2; KATP channel; Neonatal diabetes; Sulfonylurea receptor 1.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blotting, Western
  • COS Cells
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • Congenital Hyperinsulinism / genetics
  • Diabetes Mellitus / genetics
  • Diazoxide / pharmacology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Glyburide / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Mutation
  • Patch-Clamp Techniques
  • Potassium Channels, Inwardly Rectifying / genetics*
  • Potassium Channels, Inwardly Rectifying / metabolism
  • Sulfonylurea Receptors / genetics*
  • Sulfonylurea Receptors / metabolism
  • Workflow


  • ABCC8 protein, human
  • Kir6.2 channel
  • Potassium Channels, Inwardly Rectifying
  • Sulfonylurea Receptors
  • Diazoxide
  • Glyburide