An intermediate-conductance K+ channel (I.K.), the activity of which is increased by hyperpolarization, was previously identified in the lateral membrane of the cortical collecting duct (CCD) of the rat kidney (Wang, W. H., C. M. McNicholas, A. S. Segal, and G. Giebisch. 1994. American Journal of Physiology. 266:F813-F822). The biophysical properties and regulatory mechanisms of this K+ channel have been further investigated with patch clamp techniques in the present study. The slope conductance of the channel in inside-out patches was 50 pS with 140 mM KCl in the pipette and 5 mM KCl, 140 mM NaCl (NaCl Ringer's solution) in the bath. Replacement of the bath solution with symmetrical 140 mM KCl solution changed the slope conductance of the channel to 85 pS and shifted the reversal potential by 55 mV, indicating that the selectivity ratio of K+/Na+ was at least 10:1. Channel open probability (Po) in inside-out patches was 0.12 at 0 mV and was increased by hyperpolarization. The voltage-dependent Po was fitted with the Boltzmann's equation: Po = 1/[1 + exp(V-V1/2)zF/RT], with z = 1.2 and V1/2 = -40 mV. Addition of 2 mM tetraethylammonium or 500 mM quinidine to the bath blocked the activity of the K+ channel in inside-out patches. In addition, decrease in the bath pH from 7.40 to 6.70 reduced Po by 30%. Addition of the catalytic subunit of protein kinase A (PKAc; 20 U/ml) and 100 microM [corrected] MgATP to the bath increased Po from 0.12 to 0.49 at 0 mV and shifted the voltage dependence curve of channel activity toward more positive potentials by 40 mV. Two exponentials were required to fit both the open-time and the closed-time histograms. Addition of PKAc increased the long open-time constant and shortened the long closed-time constant. In conclusion, PKA-mediated phosphorylation plays an important role in the regulation of the voltage dependence of the hyperpolarization-activated K+ channel in the basolateral membrane of CCD.

This content is only available as a PDF.