Roles of tandem-pore K+ channels in plants – a puzzle still to be solved


  • Editor
    R. Hedrich

  • This article was published online on 18 May 2010. An error was subsequently identified. This notice is included in the online and print versions to indicate that both have been corrected on 22 July 2010.

C. Voelker and I. Dreyer, Institute of Biochemistry and Biology, University of Potsdam, Karl-Liebknecht-Strasse 24-25, Haus 20, D-14476 Potsdam-Golm, Germany.


The group of voltage-independent K+ channels in Arabidopsis thaliana consists of six members, five tandem-pore channels (TPK1–TPK5) and a single Kir-like channel (KCO3). All TPK/KCO channels are located at the vacuolar membrane except for TPK4, which was shown to be a plasma membrane channel in pollen. The vacuolar channels interact with 14-3-3 proteins (also called General Regulating Factors, GRFs), indicating regulation at the level of protein–protein interactions. Here we review current knowledge about these ion channels and their genes, and highlight open questions that need to be urgently addressed in future studies to fully appreciate the physiological functions of these ion channels.