A novel inward-rectifying K+ current with a cell-cycle dependence governs the resting potential of mammalian neuroblastoma cells

J Physiol. 1995 Dec 1;489 ( Pt 2)(Pt 2):455-71. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.1995.sp021065.


1. Human and murine neuroblastoma cell lines were used to investigate, by the whole-cell patch-clamp technique, the properties of a novel inward-rectifying K+ current (IIR) in the adjustment of cell resting potential (Vrest), which was in the range -40 to -20 mV. 2. When elicited from a holding potential of 0 mV, IIR was completely inactivated with time constants ranging from 13 ms at -140 mV to 4.5 s at -50 mV. The steady-state inactivation curve (h(V)) was found to be independent of [Na+]o and [K+]o (2-80 mM) and could be fitted to a Boltzmann curve with a steep slope factor of 5-6, and a V1/2 around Vrest. Divalent ion-free extracellular solutions shifted h(V) to the left by about 28 mV. 3. Peak chord conductance, whose maximal value was approximately proportional to the square root of [K+]o, could be fitted to a Boltzmann curve independently of [K+]o, with a V1/2 value around -48 mV and a slope factor of 18. Extracellular Cs+ and Ba2+ blocked the IIR in a concentration- and voltage-dependent manner, but Ba2+ was less effective than it is on classical inward-rectifier channels. 4. Under control culture conditions the values of Vrest and V1/2 of h(V) varied widely among cells. The knowledge of V1/2 proved crucial or the theoretical prediction of Vrest. After cell synchronization in the G0-G1 phase of the cell cycle, or at the G1-S boundaries, the cells reduced their variability of h(V). The same occurred after cell synchronization in G1 by treatment with retinoic acid. 5. The experimental data could be fitted to a classical model of an inward rectifier, after removing the dependence of conductance activation on (V-EK), and incorporating an inactivation with an intrinsic voltage dependence. Moreover, the model predicts, for this novel inward rectifier and in contrast with the classical inward rectifier, the incapacity of maintaining, in physiological media, a Vrest more negative than -35 to -40 mV, which is an important feature of cancer cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cells, Cultured
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • Membrane Potentials / physiology*
  • Neuroblastoma / physiopathology*
  • Patch-Clamp Techniques
  • Potassium Channels / physiology*
  • Time Factors


  • Potassium Channels