Heteromeric K+ channels in plants

Authors

  • Anne Lebaudy,

    1. Biochimie et Physiologie Moléculaire des Plantes, Unité mixte de Recherche 5004, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique/Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (U 386)/Montpellier SupAgro/Université-Montpellier 2, 1 Place Viala, 34060 Montpellier Cedex 1, France
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  • Eric Hosy,

    1. Biochimie et Physiologie Moléculaire des Plantes, Unité mixte de Recherche 5004, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique/Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (U 386)/Montpellier SupAgro/Université-Montpellier 2, 1 Place Viala, 34060 Montpellier Cedex 1, France
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    • Present address: Physiologie cellulaire de la synapse, Unité mixte de Recherche 5091, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Université Bordeaux II, Institut François Magendie, 146 rue Léo Saignat, 33077 Bordeaux cedex, France.

  • Thierry Simonneau,

    1. Laboratoire d’Ecophysiologie des Plantes sous Stress Environnementaux (LEPSE), Unité mixte de Recherche 759, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique/Montpellier SupAgro, 1 Place Viala, 34060 Montpellier Cedex 1, France
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  • Hervé Sentenac,

    1. Biochimie et Physiologie Moléculaire des Plantes, Unité mixte de Recherche 5004, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique/Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (U 386)/Montpellier SupAgro/Université-Montpellier 2, 1 Place Viala, 34060 Montpellier Cedex 1, France
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  • Jean-Baptiste Thibaud,

    1. Biochimie et Physiologie Moléculaire des Plantes, Unité mixte de Recherche 5004, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique/Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (U 386)/Montpellier SupAgro/Université-Montpellier 2, 1 Place Viala, 34060 Montpellier Cedex 1, France
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  • Ingo Dreyer

    Corresponding author
    1. Institut für Biochemie und Biologie, Universität Potsdam, Molekularbiologie/Heisenberg-Gruppe BPMPB, Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 24/25, Haus 20, D-14476 Potsdam-Golm, Germany
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(fax +49 331 9772512; e-mail dreyer@uni-potsdam.de).

Summary

Voltage-gated potassium channels of plants are multimeric proteins built of four α-subunits. In the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, nine genes coding for K+ channel α-subunits have been identified. When co-expressed in heterologous expression systems, most of them display the ability to form heteromeric K+ channels. Till now it was not clear whether plants use this potential of heteromerization to increase the functional diversity of potassium channels. Here, we designed an experimental approach employing different transgenic plant lines that allowed us to prove the existence of heteromeric K+ channels in plants. The chosen strategy might also be useful for investigating the activity and function of other multimeric channel proteins like, for instance, cyclic-nucleotide gated channels, tandem-pore K+ channels and glutamate receptor channels.

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