Structure of the voltage-dependent potassium channel is highly conserved from Drosophila to vertebrate central nervous systems

EMBO J. 1988 Aug;7(8):2457-63.


Voltage-sensitive potassium channels are found in vertebrate and invertebrate central nervous systems. We have isolated a rat brain cDNA by cross-hybridization with a probe of the Drosophila Shaker gene complex. Structural conservation of domains of the deduced protein indicate that the rat brain cDNA encodes a voltage-sensitive potassium channel. Of the deduced amino acid sequence, 82% is homologous to the Drosophila Shaker protein indicating that voltage-sensitive potassium channels have been highly conserved during evolution. Selective pressure was highest on sequences facing the intracellular side and on proposed transmembrane segments S4-S6, suggesting that these domains are crucial for voltage-dependent potassium channel function. The corresponding rat mRNA apparently belongs to a family of mRNA molecules which are preferentially expressed in the central nervous system.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Biological Evolution
  • Blotting, Southern
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Brain Chemistry
  • DNA / genetics*
  • Drosophila
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization
  • Potassium Channels / analysis*
  • Rats


  • Potassium Channels
  • DNA

Associated data

  • GENBANK/X12589