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A heteromeric potassium channel involved in the modulation of the plasma membrane potential is essential for the survival of African trypanosomes

Steinmann, Michael E. and González-Salgado, Amaia and Bütikofer, Peter and Mäser, Pascal and Sigel, Erwin. (2015) A heteromeric potassium channel involved in the modulation of the plasma membrane potential is essential for the survival of African trypanosomes. The FASEB journal, Vol. 29, H. 8. pp. 3228-3237.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A6420017

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Abstract

Discovery of novel drug targets may lead to improved treatment of trypanosomiasis. We characterize here 2 gene products of Trypanosoma brucei that are essential for the growth of bloodstream form (BSF) parasites, as shown by RNA interference (RNAi)-mediated down-regulation of the individual mRNAs. The primary sequences of the 2 proteins-protein encoded by gene Tb927.1.4450 (TbK1) and protein encoded by gene Tb927.9.4820 (TbK2)-indicate that both belong to the family of putative, Ca(2+)-activated potassium channels. The proteins were expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes and their functions investigated by use of electrophysiological techniques. Only combined expression of TbK1 and TbK2 results in the formation of sizeable currents, indicating that these proteins probably assemble into a heteromeric ion channel. The current mediated by this channel shows little time and voltage dependence and displays a permeability ratio of K(+)/Na(+) of <20. The known potassium channel blocker barium inhibits this channel with a half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) of 98 ± 15 μM. The membrane potential of trypanosomes was measured with a fluorescent dye. Individual RNAi-mediated down-regulation of TbK1 or TbK2 eliminates a potassium conductance in the plasma membrane of BSF. Thus, this heteromeric potassium channel is involved in the modulation of the plasma membrane potential and represents a novel drug target in T. brucei.-Steinmann, M. E., González-Salgado, A., Bütikofer, P., Mäser, P., Sigel, E. A heteromeric potassium channel involved in the modulation of the plasma membrane potential is essential for the survival of African trypanosomes.
Faculties and Departments:09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH)
09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) > Department of Medical Parasitology and Infection Biology > Parasite Chemotherapy (Mäser)
UniBasel Contributors:Mäser, Pascal
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Bibsysno:Link to catalogue
Publisher:FASEB]
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:02 Oct 2015 10:00
Deposited On:02 Oct 2015 10:00

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