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A complementary DNA encoding an inward rectifier K+ channel (HRK1) was isolated from human hippocampus using a 392-base pair cDNA (HHCMD37) as a probe. HRK1 shows sequence similarity to three recently cloned inwardly rectifying potassium channels (IRK1, GIRK1, and ROMK1, 60, 42, and 37%, respectively) and has a similar proposed topology of two membrane spanning domains that correspond to the inner core structure of voltage gated K+ channels. When HRK1 was expressed in Xenopus oocytes, large inward K+ currents were observed below the K+ reversal potential but very little outward K+ current was observed. In on-cell membrane patches, single channel conductance (g) was estimated to be 10 picosiemens by both direct measurement and noise analysis, in 102 mM external [K+]. HRK1 currents were blocked by external Ba2+ and Cs+ (K(0) = 183 μM, and K(-130) = 30 μM, respectively), and internal tetraethylammonium ion (K(0) = 62 μM), but were insensitive to external tetraethylammonium ion. The functional properties of HRK1 are very similar to those of glial cell inward rectifier K+ channels and HRK1 may represent a glial cell inward rectifier.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20468-20474
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number32
StatePublished - Aug 12 1994


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