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Voltage-gated K+ channels are important determinants of neuronal membrane excitability. Moreover, differences in K+ channel expression patterns and densities contribute to the variations in action potential waveforms and repetitive firing patterns evident in different neuronal cell types (Maletic-Savatic et al., 1995; Pongs, 1999; Blaine and Ribera, 1998; Burger and Ribera, 1996). The Kv3.1 potassium channel is expressed at high levels in neurons that characteristically fire rapid trains of action potentials (Gan et al., 1999).
Image: CHO cells expressing recombinant Voltage Gated Potassium Channel Kv3.1. The images show immunohistochemical staining of medial nucleus of the trapezoid body (MNTB) cells with the antibody specific for phospho Ser503 in Kv3.1, the voltage gated potassium channel. The image in the left panel shows control cells. The image at the right shows cells that had been exposed to the protein kinase C activator PMA.
Particularly high levels of this channel are found in neurons of the auditory brainstem. These neurons appear to participate in neural circuits that determine the intensity and timing of auditory stimuli and use this information to determine the location of sounds in space (von Hehn et al., 2004).
1. Blaine JT, Ribera AB (1998) Heteromultimeric potassium channels formed by members of the Kv2 subfamily. J. Neurosci 18:9585-9593.
2. Burger C, Ribera AB (1996) Xenopus spinal neurons express Kv2 potassium channel transcripts during embryonic development. J Neurosci 16:1412-1421.
3. Gan L, Hahn SJ, Kaczmarek LK (1999) Cell type-specific expression of the Kv3.1 gene is mediated by a negative element in the 5' untranslated region of the Kv3.1 promoter. J Neurochem 73:1350-1362.
4. Maletic-Savatic M, Lenn NJ, Trimmer JS (1995) Differential spatiotemporal expression of K+ channel polypeptides in rat hippocampal neurons developing in situ and in vitro. J Neurosci 15:3840-3851.
5. Pongs O (1999) Voltage-gated potassium channels: from hyperexcitability to excitement. FEBS Lett 452:31-35.
6. von Hehn CA, Bhattacharjee A, Kaczmarek LK (2004) Loss of Kv3.1 tonotopicity and alterations in cAMP response
element-binding protein signaling in central auditory neurons of hearing impaired mice. J Neurosci 24:1936-1940.