KCNE1 alters the voltage sensor movements necessary to open the KCNQ1 channel gate

Jeremiah D. Osteen, Carlos Gonzalez, Kevin J. Sampson, Vivek Iyer, Santiago Rebolledo, H. Peter Larsson, Robert S. Kass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


The delayed rectifier IKs potassium channel, formed by coassembly of α- (KCNQ1) and β- (KCNE1) subunits, is essential for cardiac function. Although KCNE1 is necessary to reproduce the functional properties of the native IKs channel, the mechanism(s) through which KCNE1 modulates KCNQ1 is unknown. Here we report measurements of voltage sensor movements in KCNQ1 and KCNQ1/KCNE1 channels using voltage clamp fluorometry. KCNQ1 channels exhibit indistinguishable voltage dependence of fluorescence and current signals, suggesting a one-to-one relationship between voltage sensor movement and channel opening. KCNE1 coexpression dramatically separates the voltage dependence of KCNQ1/KCNE1 current and fluorescence, suggesting an imposed requirement for movements of multiple voltage sensors before KCNQ1/KCNE1 channel opening. This work provides insight into the mechanism by which KCNE1 modulates the IKs channel and presents a mechanism for distinct β-subunit regulation of ion channel proteins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22710-22715
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number52
StatePublished - Dec 28 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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