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Genomic organization and chromosomal localization of the murine 2 P domain potassium channel gene Kcnk8: conservation of gene structure in 2 P domain potassium channels


A 2 P domain potassium channel expressed in eye, lung, and stomach, Kcnk8, has recently been identified. To initiate further biochemical and genetic studies of this channel, we assembled the murine Kcnk8 cDNA sequence, characterized the genomic structure of the Kcnk8 gene, determined its chromosomal localization, and analyzed its activity in a Xenopus laevis oocyte expression system. The composite cDNA has an open reading frame of 1029 bp and encodes a protein of 343 amino acids with a predicted molecular mass of 36 kDa. Structure analyses predict 2 P domains and four potential transmembrane helices with a potential single EF-hand motif and four potential SH3-binding motifs in the COOH-terminus. Cloning of the Kcnk8 chromosomal gene revealed that it is composed of three exons distributed over 4 kb of genomic DNA. Genome database searching revealed that one of the intron/exon boundaries identified in Kcnk8 is present in other mammalian 2 P domain potassium channels genes and many C. elegans 2P domain potassium channel genes, revealing evolutionary conservation of gene structure. Using fluorescence in situ hybridization, the murine Kcnk8 gene was mapped to chromosome 19, 2B, the locus of the murine dancer phenotype, and syntenic to 11q11-11q13, the location of the human homologue. No significant currents were generated in a Xenopus laevis oocyte expression system using the composite Kcnk8 cDNA sequence, suggesting, like many potassium channels, additional channel subunits, modulator substances, or cellular chaperones are required for channel function.

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