Organization and regulation of small conductance Ca2+-activated K+ channel multiprotein complexes

Duane Allen, Bernd Fakler, James Maylie, John P. Adelman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

130 Scopus citations


Small conductance Ca2+-activated K+ channels (SK channels) are complexes of four α pore-forming subunits each bound by calmodulin (CaM) that mediate Ca2+ gating. Proteomic analysis indicated that SK2 channels also bind protein kinase CK2 (CK2) and protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A). Coexpression of SK2 with the CaM phosphorylation surrogate CaM(T80D) suggested that the apparent Ca2+ sensitivity of SK2 channels is reduced by CK2 phosphorylation of SK2-bound CaM. By using 4,5,6,7-tetrabromo-2-azabenzimidazole, a CK2-specific inhibitor, we confirmed that SK2 channels coassemble with CK2. PP2A also binds to SK2 channels and counterbalances the effects of CK2, as shown by coexpression of a dominant-negative mutant PP2A as well as a mutant SK2 channel no longer able to bind PP2A. In vitro binding studies have revealed interactions between the N and C termini of the channel subunits as well as interactions among CK2 α and β subunits, PP2A, and distinct domains of the channel. In the channel complex, lysine residue 121 within the N-terminal domain of the channel activates SK2-bound CK2, and phosphorylation of CaM is state dependent, occurring only when the channels are closed. The effects of CK2 and PP2A indicate that native SK2 channels are multiprotein complexes that contain constitutively associated CaM, both subunits of CK2, and at least two different subunits of PP2A. The results also show that the Ca2+ sensitivity of SK2 channels is regulated in a dynamic manner, directly through CK2 and PP2A, and indirectly by Ca2+ itself via the state dependence ofCaM phosphorylation by CK2.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2369-2376
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number9
StatePublished - Feb 28 2007


  • Kinase
  • Microdomain
  • Phosphatase
  • Regulation
  • SK channels
  • State dependence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Organization and regulation of small conductance Ca2+-activated K+ channel multiprotein complexes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this