Basolateral membrane targeting of a renal-epithelial inwardly rectifying potassium channel from the cortical collecting duct, CCD-IRK3, in MDCK cells

Sophie Le Maout, Manuel Brejon, Olav Olsen, Jean Merot, Paul A. Welling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


We recently cloned an inward-rectifying K channel (Kir) cDNA, CCD-IRK3 (mKir 23), from a cortical collecting duct (CCD) cell line. Although this recombinant channel shares many functional properties with the 'small- conductance' basolateral membrane Kir channel in the CCD, its precise subcellular localization has been difficult to elucidate by conventional immunocytochemistry. To circumvent this problem, we studied the targeting of several different epitope-tagged CCD-IRK3 in a polarized renal epithelial cell line. Either the 11-amino acid span of the vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) G glycoprotein (P5D4 epitope) or a 6-amino acid epitope of the bovine papilloma virus capsid protein (AU1) was genetically engineered on the extreme N terminus of CCD-IRK3. As determined by patch-clamp and two- microelectrode voltage-clamp analyses in Xenopus oocytes, neither tag affected channel function; no differences in cation selectivity, barium block, single channel conductance, or open probability could be distinguished between the wild-type and the tagged constructs. MDCK cells were transfected with tagged CCD-IRK3, and several stable clonal cell lines were generated by neomycin-resistance selection. Immunoprecipitation studies with anti-PSD4 or anti-AU1 antibodies readily detected the predicted-size 50-kDa protein in the transfected cells lines but not in wild-type or vector-only (PcB6) transfected MDCK cells. As visualized by indirect immunofluorescence and confocal microscopy, both the tagged CCD-IRK3 forms were exclusively detected on the basolateral membrane. TO assure that the VSV G tag was not responsible for the targeting, the PSD4 epitope modified by a site-directed mutagenesis (Y2F) to remove a potential basolateral targeting signal contained in this tag. VSV(Y2F) was also detected exclusively on the basolateral membrane, confirming bona fide IRK3 basolateral expression. These observations, with our functional studies, suggest that CCD-IRK3 may encode the small- conductance CCD basolateral K channel.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13329-13334
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number24
StatePublished - Nov 25 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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