Two novel cardiac atrial K+ channels, IK.AA and IK.PC

Mark A. Wallert, Michael J. Ackerman, Donghee Kim, David E. Clapham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Two K+-selective channels in neonatal rat atrial cells activated by lipophilic compounds have been characterized in detail. The arachidonic acid-stimulated channel (IK.AA) had a slope conductance of 124 ± 17 pS at +30 mV in symmetrical 140 mM potassium and a mean open time of ∼1 ms, and was relatively voltage independent. IK.AA activity was reversibly increased by lowering pH to 6.0. Arachidonic acid was most effective in activating this channel, although a number of lipophilic compounds resulted in activation. Surprisingly, choline, a polar molecule, also activated the channel. A second K+ channel was activated by 10 μM phosphatidylcholine applied to the intracellular surface of inside-out atrial patches. This channel (IK.PC) had a slope conductance of 60 ± 6 pS at +40 mV and a mean open time of ∼0.6 ms, and was also relatively voltage independent. Fatty acids are probably monomeric in the membrane under the conditions of our recording; thus detergent effects are unlikely. Since a number of compounds including fatty acids and prostaglandins activated these two channels, an indirect, channel-specific mechanism may account for activation of these two cardiac K+ channels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)921-939
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of General Physiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology


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