The ATP-sensitive potassium channel (KATP) regulates insulin secretion in pancreatic β cells. Loss of functional KATP channels because of mutations in either the SUR1 or Kir6.2 channel subunit causes persistent hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia of infancy (PHHI). We investigated the molecular mechanism by which a single phenylalanine deletion in SUR1 (ΔF1388) causes PHHI. Previous studies have shown that coexpression of ΔF1388 SUR1 with Kir6.2 results in no channel activity. We demonstrate here that the lack of functional expression is due to failure of the mutant channel to traffic to the cell surface. Trafficking of KATP channels requires that the endoplasmic reticulum-retention signal, RKR, present in both SUR1 and Kir6.2, be shielded during channel assembly. To ask whether ΔF1388 SUR1 forms functional channels with Kir6.2, we inactivated the RKR signal in ΔF1388 SUR1 by mutation to AAA (ΔF1388 SUR1AAA). Inactivation of similar endoplasmic reticulum-retention signals in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator has been shown to partially overcome the trafficking defect of a cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator mutation, ΔF508. We found that coexpression of ΔF1388 SUR1AAA with Kir6.2 led to partial surface expression of the mutant channel. Moreover, mutant channels were active. Compared with wild-type channels, the mutant channels have reduced ATP sensitivity and do not respond to stimulation by MgADP or diazoxide. The RKR → AAA mutation alone has no effect on channel properties. Our results establish defective trafficking of KATP channels as a molecular basis of PHHI and show that F1388 in SUR1 is critical for normal trafficking and function of KATP channels.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - Feb 27 2001|
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