Regulation by spermine of native inward rectifier K+ channels in RBL-1 cells

Laura Bianchi, Mary Louise Roy, Maurizio Taglialatela, David W. Lundgren, Arthur M. Brown, Eckhard Ficker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Polyamines have been shown to participate in the rectification of cloned inwardly rectifying potassium channels, a class of potassium channel proteins that conducts inward current more readily than outward current. Here, basophil leukemia cells were used to determine the effects of polyamines on a native, inwardly rectifying potassium current. Rat basophil leukemia cells were cultured in the presence of two different polyamine biosynthesis inhibitors, and both the electrophysiological properties and the polyamine levels were monitored. Treatment with α-difluoromethylornithine, a specific ornithine decarboxylase inhibitor, resulted in no significant change of electrophysiological properties. In contrast, treatment with 5'-{[(Z)-4- amino-2-butenyl]-methyl-amino}-5'-deoxyadenosine (MDL73811), an inhibitor of S-adenosylmethionine decarboxylase, resulted in increased outward currents through inwardly rectifying potassium channels while intracellular putrescine was markedly increased and spermidine and spermine levels were decreased. Fluctuations of intracellular polyamine concentrations as imposed by MDL73811 were directly translated in an altered cell excitability. Based on these results we conclude that the rectification properties of native inwardly rectifying potassium channels are largely controlled by intracellular spermine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6114-6121
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number11
StatePublished - Mar 15 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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