Interaction of the Ca2+-sensing receptor with the inwardly rectifying potassium channels Kir4.1 and Kir4.2 results in inhibition of channel function

Chunfa Huang, Aleksandra Sindic, Ceredwyn E. Hill, Kristine M. Hujer, Kim W. Chan, Martin Sassen, Zhenzhen Wu, Yoshihisa Kurachi, Soren Nielsen, Michael F. Romero, R. Tyler Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


The Ca2+-sensing receptor (CaR), a G protein-coupled receptor, is expressed in many epithelial tissues including the parathyroid glands, kidney, and GI tract. Although its role in regulating PTH levels and Ca 2+ metabolism are best characterized, it may also regulate salt and water transport in the kidney as demonstrated by recent reports showing association of potent gain-of-function mutations in the CaR with a Bartter-like, salt-wasting phenotype. To determine whether this receptor interacts with novel proteins that control ion transport, we screened a human adult kidney cDNA library with the COOH-terminal 219 amino acid cytoplasmic tail of the CaR as bait using the yeast two-hybrid system. We identified two independent clones coding for ∼125 aa from the COOH terminus of the inwardly rectifying K + channel, Kir4.2. The CaR and Kir4.2 as well as Kir4.1 (another member of Kir4 subfamily) were reciprocally coimmunoprecipitated from HEK-293 cells in which they were expressed, but the receptor did not coimmunoprecipitate with Kir5.1 or Kir1.1. Both Kir4.1 and Kir4.2 were immunoprecipitated from rat kidney extracts with the CaR. In Xenopus laevis oocytes, expression of the CaR with either Kir4.1 or Kir4.2 channels resulted in inactivation of whole cell current as measured by two-electrode voltage clamp, but the nonfunctional CaR mutant CaRR796W, and that does not coimmunoprecipitate with the channels, had no effect. Kir4.1 and the CaR were colocalized in the basolateral membrane of the distal nephron. The CaR interacts directly with Kir4.1 and Kir4.2 and can decrease their currents, which in turn could reduce recycling of K+ for the basolateral Na+-K+-ATPase and thereby contribute to inhibition of Na+ reabsorption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)F1073-F1081
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Renal Physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2007


  • HEK 293 cells
  • Inwardly rectifying K channel
  • Yeast two hybrid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Urology


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