Voltage-gated K+ channels are important modulators of the cardiac action potential. However, the correlation of endogenoUs myocyte currents with K+ channels cloned from human heart is complicated by the possibility that heterotetrameric α-subunit combinations and function-altering β subunits exist in native tissue. Therefore, a variety of subunit interactions may generate cardiac K+ channel diversity. We report here the cloning of a voltage-gated K+ channel β subunit, hK(v)β3, from adult human left ventricle that shows 84% and 74% amino acid sequence identity with the previously cloned rat K(v)β1 and K(v)β2 subunits, respectively. Together these three K(v)β subunits share >82% identity in the carboxyl-terminal 329 aa and show low identity in the aminoterminal 79 aa. RNA analysis indicated that hK(v)β3 message is 2-fold more abundant in human ventricle than in atrium and is expressed in both healthy and diseased human hearts. Coinjection of hK(v)β3 with a human cardiac delayed rectifier, hK(v)1.5, in Xenopus oocytes increased inactivation, induced an 18-mV hyperpolarizing shift in the activation curve, and slowed deactivation (τ = 8.0 msec vs. 35.4 msec at -50 mV). hK(v)β3 was localized to human chromosome 3 by using a human/rodent cell hybrid mapping panel. These data confirm the presence of functionally important K+ channel β subunits in human heart and indicate that β-subunit composition must be accounted for when comparing cloned channels with endogenous cardiac currents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6309-6313
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 3 1995


  • cDNA
  • cardiovascular system
  • heart muscle


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