Phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2) activates K(ATP) and other inward rectifier (Kir) channels. To determine residues important for PIP2 regulation, we have systematically mutated each positive charge in the COOH terminus of Kir6.2 to alanine. The effects of these mutations on channel function were examined using 86Rb efflux assays on intact cells and inside-out patch-clamp methods. Both methods identify essentially the same basic residues in two narrow regions (176-222 and 301-314) in the COOH terminus that are important for the maintenance of channel function and interaction with PIP2. Only one residue (R201A) simultaneously affected ATP and PIP2 sensitivity, which is consistent with the notion that these ligands, while functionally competitive, are unlikely to bind to identical sites. Strikingly, none of 13 basic residues in the terminal portion (residues 315-390) of the COOH terminus affected channel function when neutralized. The data help to define the structural requirements for PIP2 sensitivity of K(ATP) channels. Moreover, the regions and residues defined in this study parallel those uncovered in recent studies of PIP2 sensitivity in other inward rectifier channels, indicating a common structural basis for PIP2 regulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)599-607
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of General Physiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2000


  • ATP
  • Kir6.2
  • PH domain
  • Phospholipid
  • Potassium channel


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