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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Mol. Neurosci. | doi: 10.3389/fnmol.2019.00144

SUMOylating two distinct sites on the A-type potassium channel, Kv4.2, increases surface expression and decreases current amplitude

  • 1Georgia State University, United States

Post-translational conjugation of Small Ubiquitin-like Modifier (SUMO) peptides to lysine (K) residues on target proteins alters their interactions. SUMOylation of a target protein can either promote its interaction with other proteins that possess SUMO binding domains, or it can prevent target protein interactions that normally occur in the absence of SUMOylation. One subclass of voltage-gated potassium channels that mediates an A-type current, IA, exists as a ternary complex comprising Kv4 pore forming subunits, Kv channel interacting proteins (KChIP) and transmembrane dipeptidyl peptidase like proteins (DPPL). SUMOylation could potentially regulate intra- and/or intermolecular interactions within the complex. This study began to test this hypothesis and showed that Kv4.2 channels were SUMOylated in the rat brain and in human embryonic kidney (HEK) cells expressing a GFP-tagged mouse Kv4.2 channel (Kv4.2g). Prediction software identified two putative SUMOylation sites in the Kv4.2 C-terminus at K437 and K579. These sites were conserved across mouse, rat, and human Kv4.2 channels and across mouse Kv4 isoforms. Increasing Kv4.2g SUMOylation at each site by ~30% produced a significant ~22-50% decrease in IA Gmax, and a ~70-95% increase in channel surface expression. Site-directed mutagenesis of Kv4.2g showed that K437 SUMOylation regulated channel surface expression, while K579 SUMOylation controlled IA Gmax. The K579R mutation mimicked and occluded the SUMOylation-mediated decrease in IA Gmax, suggesting that SUMOylation at K579 blocked an intra- or inter-protein interaction involving K579. The K437R mutation did not obviously alter channel surface expression or biophysical properties, but it did block the SUMOylation-mediated increase in channel surface expression. Interestingly, enhancing K437 SUMOylation in the K579R mutant roughly doubled channel surface expression, but produced no change in IA Gmax, suggesting that the newly inserted channels were electrically silent. This is the first report that Kv4.2 channels are SUMOylated and that SUMOylation can independently regulate Kv4.2 surface expression and IA Gmax in opposing directions. The next step will be to determine if/how SUMOylation affects Kv4 interactions within the ternary complex.

Keywords: SUMOylaition, SUMO, Kv4, ion channel, trafficking, voltage-gated potassium channel, A-type potassium current

Received: 17 Dec 2018; Accepted: 17 May 2019.

Edited by:

Bernard Attali, Tel Aviv University, Israel

Reviewed by:

Leigh D. Plant, Northeastern University, United States
Yu Xu, Northeastern University, United States  

Copyright: © 2019 Welch, Forster, Atlas and Baro. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence:
Ms. Meghyn Welch, Georgia State University, Atlanta, United States,
PhD. Deborah Baro, Georgia State University, Atlanta, United States,