K+ current diversity is produced by an extended gene family conserved in Drosophila and mouse

Wei Aguan, Manuel Covarrubias, Alice Butler, Keith Baker, Michael Pak, Lawrence Salkoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

252 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Drosophila Shaker gene on the X chromosome has three sister genes, Shal, Shab, and Shaw, which map to the second and third chromosomes. This extended gene family encodes voltage-gated potassium channels with widely varying kinetics (rate of macroscopic current activation and inactivation) and voltage sensitivity of steady-state inactivation. The differences in the currents of the various gene products are greater than the differences produced by alternative splicing of the Shaker gene. In Drosophila, the transient (A current) subtype of the potassium channel (Shaker and Shal) and the delayed-rectifier subtype (Shab and Shaw) are encoded by homologous genes, and there is more than one gene for each subtype of channel. Homologs of Shaker, Shal, Shab, and Shaw are present in mammals; each Drosophila potassium-channel gene may be represented as a multigene subfamily in mammals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)599-603
Number of pages5
JournalScience
Volume248
Issue number4955
DOIs
StatePublished - 1990

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