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Organizing neuronal ER-PM junctions is a conserved nonconducting function of Kv2 plasma membrane ion channels

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Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and plasma membrane (PM) form junctions crucial to ion and lipid signaling and homeostasis. The Kv2.1 ion channel is unique among PM proteins in organizing ER-PM junctions. Here, we show that this organizing function is conserved between Kv2 family members that differ in their biophysical properties, modulation and cellular expression. Manipulation of actin cytoskeleton surrounding Kv2 ER-PM junctions affects their spatial organization. Kv2-containing ER-PM junctions overlap with those formed by canonical ER-PM tethers. ER-PM junction organization by Kv2 channels is unchanged by point mutations that eliminate ion conduction, but abolished by those that eliminate PM clustering without impacting ion channel function. Kv2.2 is distinct in lacking the reversible modulation of junction organization present in Kv2.1. Brain neurons in Kv2 double knockout mice have altered ER-PM junctions, demonstrating a conserved in vivo function for Kv2 family members distinct from their canonical role as ion-conducting channels shaping neuronal excitability.

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