Summary: Inward rectifier potassium channel
This is the Wikipedia entry entitled "Inward-rectifier potassium ion channel". More...
The Wikipedia text that you see displayed here is a download from Wikipedia. This means that the information we display is a copy of the information from the Wikipedia database. The button next to the article title ("Edit Wikipedia article") takes you to the edit page for the article directly within Wikipedia. You should be aware you are not editing our local copy of this information. Any changes that you make to the Wikipedia article will not be displayed here until we next download the article from Wikipedia. We currently download new content on a nightly basis.
Does Pfam agree with the content of the Wikipedia entry ?
Pfam has chosen to link families to Wikipedia articles. In some case we have created or edited these articles but in many other cases we have not made any direct contribution to the content of the article. The Wikipedia community does monitor edits to try to ensure that (a) the quality of article annotation increases, and (b) vandalism is very quickly dealt with. However, we would like to emphasise that Pfam does not curate the Wikipedia entries and we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information on the Wikipedia page.
Editing Wikipedia articles
Before you edit for the first time
Wikipedia is a free, online encyclopedia. Although anyone can edit or contribute to an article, Wikipedia has some strong editing guidelines and policies, which promote the Wikipedia standard of style and etiquette. Your edits and contributions are more likely to be accepted (and remain) if they are in accordance with this policy.
You should take a few minutes to view the following pages:
How your contribution will be recorded
Anyone can edit a Wikipedia entry. You can do this either as a new user or you can register with Wikipedia and log on. When you click on the "Edit Wikipedia article" button, your browser will direct you to the edit page for this entry in Wikipedia. If you are a registered user and currently logged in, your changes will be recorded under your Wikipedia user name. However, if you are not a registered user or are not logged on, your changes will be logged under your computer's IP address. This has two main implications. Firstly, as a registered Wikipedia user your edits are more likely seen as valuable contribution (although all edits are open to community scrutiny regardless). Secondly, if you edit under an IP address you may be sharing this IP address with other users. If your IP address has previously been blocked (due to being flagged as a source of 'vandalism') your edits will also be blocked. You can find more information on this and creating a user account at Wikipedia.
If you have problems editing a particular page, contact us at email@example.com and we will try to help.
The community annotation is a new facility of the Pfam web site. If you have problems editing or experience problems with these pages please contact us.
Inward-rectifier potassium ion channel Edit Wikipedia article
|Inward rectifier potassium channel|
crystal structure of an inward rectifier potassium channel
|Inward rectifier potassium channel N-terminal|
Inwardly rectifying potassium channels (Kir, IRK) are a specific subset of potassium selective ion channels. To date, seven subfamilies have been identified in various mammalian cell types and they are also found in plants. They are the targets of multiple toxins, and malfunction of the channels has been implicated in several diseases.
Overview of inward rectification
A channel that is "inwardly-rectifying" is one that passes current (positive charge) more easily in the inward direction (into the cell) than in the outward direction (out of the cell). It is thought that this current may play an important role in regulating neuronal activity, by helping to establish the resting membrane potential of the cell.
By convention, inward current is displayed in voltage clamp as a downward deflection, while an outward current (positive charge moving out of the cell) is shown as an upward deflection. At membrane potentials negative to potassium's reversal potential, inwardly rectifying K+ channels support the flow of positively charged K+ ions into the cell, pushing the membrane potential back to the resting potential. This can be seen in figure 1: when the membrane potential is clamped negative to the channel's resting potential (e.g. -60 mV), inward current flows (i.e. positive charge flows into the cell). However, when the membrane potential is set positive to the channel's resting potential (e.g. +60 mV), these channels pass very little charge out of the cell. Simply put, this channel passes much more current in the inward direction than the outward one. Note that these channels are not perfect rectifiers, as they can pass some outward current in the voltage range up to about 30 mV above resting potential.
These channels differ from the potassium channels that are typically responsible for repolarizing a cell following an action potential, such as the delayed rectifier and A-type potassium channels. Those more "typical" potassium channels preferentially carry outward (rather than inward) potassium currents at depolarized membrane potentials, and may be thought of as "outwardly rectifying." When first discovered, inward rectification was named "anomalous rectification" to distinguish it from outward potassium currents.
Inward rectifiers also differ from tandem pore domain potassium channels, which are largely responsible for "leak" K+ currents. Some inward rectifiers, termed "weak inward rectifiers," carry measurable outward K+ currents at voltages positive to the K+ reversal potential (corresponding to, but larger than, the small currents above the 0 nA line in figure 1). They, along with the "leak" channels, establish the resting membrane potential of the cell. Other inwardly rectifying channels, termed "strong inward rectifiers," carry very little outward current at all, and are mainly active at voltages negative to the reversal potential, where they carry inward current (the much larger currents below the 0 nA line in figure 1).
Mechanism of inward rectification
The phenomenon of inward rectification of Kir channels is the result of high-affinity block by endogenous polyamines, namely spermine, as well as magnesium ions, that plug the channel pore at positive potentials, resulting in a decrease in outward currents. This voltage-dependent block by polyamines causes currents to be conducted well only in the inward direction. While the principal idea of polyamine block is understood, the specific mechanisms are still controversial.
Activation by PIP2
Kir channels require phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2) for activation. PIP2 binds to and directly activates Kir 2.2 with agonist-like properties. In this regard Kir channels are PIP2 ligand-gated ion channels.
Role of Kir channels
Kir channels are found in multiple cell types, including macrophages, cardiac and kidney cells, leukocytes, neurons, and endothelial cells. By mediating a small depolarizing K+ current at negative membrane potentials, they help establish resting membrane potential, and in the case of the Kir3 group, they help mediate inhibitory neurotransmitter responses, but their roles in cellular physiology vary across cell types:
|cardiac myocytes||Kir channels close upon depolarization, slowing membrane repolarization and helping maintain a more prolonged cardiac action potential. This type of inward-rectifier channel is distinct from delayed rectifier K+ channels, which help repolarize nerve and muscle cells after action potentials; and potassium leak channels, which provide much of the basis for the resting membrane potential.|
|endothelial cells||Kir channels are involved in regulation of nitric oxide synthase.|
|kidneys||Kir export surplus potassium into collecting tubules for removal in the urine, or alternatively may be involved in the reuptake of potassium back into the body.|
|neurons and in heart cells||G-protein activated IRKs (Kir3) are important regulators, modulated by neurotransmitters. A mutation in the GIRK2 channel leads to the weaver mouse mutation. "Weaver" mutant mice are ataxic and display a neuroinflammation-mediated degeneration of their dopaminergic neurons. Relative to non-ataxic controls, Weaver mutants have deficits in motor coordination and changes in regional brain metabolism. Weaver mice have been examined in labs interested in neural development and disease for over 30 years.|
|pancreatic beta cells||KATP channels (composed of Kir6.2 and SUR1 subunits) control insulin release.|
Classification of Kir channels
There are seven subfamilies of Kir channels, denoted as Kir1 - Kir7. Each subfamily has multiple members (i.e. Kir2.1, Kir2.2, Kir2.3, etc.) that have nearly identical amino acid sequences across known mammalian species.
Kir channels are formed from as homotetrameric membrane proteins. Each of the four identical protein subunits is composed of two membrane-spanning alpha helices (M1 and M2). Heterotetramers can form between members of the same subfamily (i.e. Kir2.1 and Kir2.3) when the channels are overexpressed.
|KCNJ2||Kir2.1||IRK1||Kir2.2, Kir4.1, PSD-95, SAP97, AKAP79|
|KCNJ12||Kir2.2||IRK2||Kir2.1 and Kir2.3 to form heteromeric channel, auxiliary subunit: SAP97, Veli-1, Veli-3, PSD-95|
|KCNJ4||Kir2.3||IRK3||Kir2.1 and Kir2.3 to form heteromeric channel, PSD-95, Chapsyn-110/PSD-93|
|KCNJ14||Kir2.4||IRK4||Kir2.1 to form heteromeric channel|
|KCNJ3||Kir3.1||GIRK1, KGA||Kir3.2, Kir3.4, Kir3.5, Kir3.1 is not functional by itself|
|KCNJ6||Kir3.2||GIRK2||Kir3.1, Kir3.3, Kir3.4 to form heteromeric channel|
|KCNJ9||Kir3.3||GIRK3||Kir3.1, Kir3.2 to form heteromeric channel|
|KCNJ5||Kir3.4||GIRK4||Kir3.1, Kir3.2, Kir3.3|
|KCNJ10||Kir4.1||Kir1.2||Kir4.2, Kir5.1, and Kir2.1 to form heteromeric channels|
|KCNJ11||Kir6.2||KATP||SUR1, SUR2A, and SUR2B|
- Persistent hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia of infancy is related to autosomal recessive mutations in Kir6.2. Certain mutations of this gene diminish the channel's ability to regulate insulin secretion, leading to hypoglycemia.
- Bartter's syndrome can be caused by mutations in Kir channels. This condition is characterized by the inability of kidneys to recycle potassium, causing low levels of potassium in the body.
- Andersen's syndrome is a rare condition caused by multiple mutations of Kir2.1. Depending on the mutation, it can be dominant or recessive. It is characterized by periodic paralysis, cardiac arrhythmias and dysmorphic features. (See also KCNJ2)
- Barium poisoning is likely due to its ability to block Kir channels.
- Atherosclerosis (heart disease) may be related to Kir channels. The loss of Kir currents in endothelial cells is one of the first known indicators of atherogenesis (the beginning of heart disease).
- Thyrotoxic hypokalaemic periodic paralysis has been linked to altered Kir2.6 function.
- EAST/SeSAME syndrome may be caused by mutations of KCNJ10.
- Kubo Y, Adelman JP, Clapham DE, Jan LY, Karschin A, Kurachi Y, Lazdunski M, Nichols CG, Seino S, Vandenberg CA (2005). "International Union of Pharmacology. LIV. Nomenclature and molecular relationships of inwardly rectifying potassium channels". Pharmacol Rev 57 (4): 509–26. doi:10.1124/pr.57.4.11. PMID 16382105.
- Hedrich, R.; Moran, O.; Conti, F.; Busch, H.; Becker, D.; Gambale, F.; Dreyer, I.; k�Ch, A.; Neuwinger, K.; Palme, K. (1995). "Inward rectifier potassium channels in plants differ from their animal counterparts in response to voltage and channel modulators". European Biophysics Journal 24 (2). doi:10.1007/BF00211406.
- Abraham MR, Jahangir A, Alekseev AE, Terzic A (November 1, 1999). "Channelopathies of inwardly rectifying potassium channels". FASEB J 13 (14): 1901–10. PMID 10544173.
- Bertil Hille (2001). Ion Channels of Excitable Membranes 3rd ed. (Sinauer: Sunderland, MA), p. 151. ISBN 0-87893-321-2.
- Hille, p. 155.
- Hille, p. 153.
- Hansen, S. (2011). "Structural basis of PIP2 activation of the classical inward rectifier K+ channel Kir2.2.". Nature 477 (7365): 495–498. PMID 21874019.
- Peng J, Xie L, Stevenson FF et al. (2006). "Nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurodegeneration in the weaver mouse is mediated via neuroinflammation and alleviated by minocycline administration". J. Neurosci. 26 (45): 11644–51. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3447-06.2006. PMID 17093086.
- Strazielle C, Deiss V, Naudon L, Raisman-Vozari R, Lalonde R. (2006). "Regional brain variations of cytochrome oxidase activity and motor coordination in Girk2(Wv) (Weaver) mutant mice.". Neuroscience 142 (2): 437–49. doi:10.1016/j.neuroscience.2006.06.011. PMID 16844307.
- Inward Rectifier Potassium Channels at the US National Library of Medicine Medical Subject Headings (MeSH).
- "Inwardly Recifying Potassium Channels". IUPHAR Database of Receptors and Ion Channels. International Union of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology.
- UMich Orientation of Proteins in Membranes families/family-85 - Spatial positions of inward rectifier potassium channels in membranes.
This tab holds the annotation information that is stored in the Pfam database. As we move to using Wikipedia as our main source of annotation, the contents of this tab will be gradually replaced by the Wikipedia tab.
Inward rectifier potassium channel Provide feedback
No Pfam abstract.
External database links
This tab holds annotation information from the InterPro database.
InterPro entry IPR013521
Potassium channels are the most diverse group of the ion channel family [PUBMED:1772658, PUBMED:1879548]. They are important in shaping the action potential, and in neuronal excitability and plasticity [PUBMED:2451788]. The potassium channel family is composed of several functionally distinct isoforms, which can be broadly separated into 2 groups [PUBMED:2555158]: the practically non-inactivating 'delayed' group and the rapidly inactivating 'transient' group.
These are all highly similar proteins, with only small amino acid changes causing the diversity of the voltage-dependent gating mechanism, channel conductance and toxin binding properties. Each type of K+ channel is activated by different signals and conditions depending on their type of regulation: some open in response to depolarisation of the plasma membrane; others in response to hyperpolarisation or an increase in intracellular calcium concentration; some can be regulated by binding of a transmitter, together with intracellular kinases; while others are regulated by GTP-binding proteins or other second messengers [PUBMED:2448635]. In eukaryotic cells, K+ channels are involved in neural signalling and generation of the cardiac rhythm, act as effectors in signal transduction pathways involving G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) and may have a role in target cell lysis by cytotoxic T-lymphocytes [PUBMED:1373731]. In prokaryotic cells, they play a role in the maintenance of ionic homeostasis [PUBMED:11178249].
All K+ channels discovered so far possess a core of alpha subunits, each comprising either one or two copies of a highly conserved pore loop domain (P-domain). The P-domain contains the sequence (T/SxxTxGxG), which has been termed the K+ selectivity sequence. In families that contain one P-domain, four subunits assemble to form a selective pathway for K+ across the membrane. However, it remains unclear how the 2 P-domain subunits assemble to form a selective pore. The functional diversity of these families can arise through homo- or hetero-associations of alpha subunits or association with auxiliary cytoplasmic beta subunits. K+ channel subunits containing one pore domain can be assigned into one of two superfamilies: those that possess six transmembrane (TM) domains and those that possess only two TM domains. The six TM domain superfamily can be further subdivided into conserved gene families: the voltage-gated (Kv) channels; the KCNQ channels (originally known as KvLQT channels); the EAG-like K+ channels; and three types of calcium (Ca)-activated K+ channels (BK, IK and SK) [PUBMED:11178249]. The 2TM domain family comprises inward-rectifying K+ channels. In addition, there are K+ channel alpha-subunits that possess two P-domains. These are usually highly regulated K+ selective leak channels.
Inwardly-rectifying potassium channels (Kir) are the principal class of two-TM domain potassium channels. They are characterised by the property of inward-rectification, which is described as the ability to allow large inward currents and smaller outward currents. Inwardly rectifying potassium channels (Kir) are responsible for regulating diverse processes including: cellular excitability, vascular tone, heart rate, renal salt flow, and insulin release [PUBMED:10102275]. To date, around twenty members of this superfamily have been cloned, which can be grouped into six families by sequence similarity, and these are designated Kir1.x-6.x [PUBMED:7580148, PUBMED:10449331].
Cloned Kir channel cDNAs encode proteins of between ~370-500 residues, both N- and C-termini are thought to be cytoplasmic, and the N terminus lacks a signal sequence. Kir channel alpha subunits possess only 2TM domains linked with a P-domain. Thus, Kir channels share similarity with the fifth and sixth domains, and P-domain of the other families. It is thought that four Kir subunits assemble to form a tetrameric channel complex, which may be hetero- or homomeric [PUBMED:10102275].
- the number of sequences which exhibit this architecture
a textual description of the architecture, e.g. Gla, EGF x 2, Trypsin.
This example describes an architecture with one
Gladomain, followed by two consecutive
EGFdomains, and finally a single
- the UniProt description of the protein sequence
- the number of residues in the sequence
- the Pfam graphic itself.
Loading domain graphics...
This superfamily contains a diverse range of ion channels that share a pair of transmembrane helices in common. This clan is classified as the VIC (Voltage-gated Ion Channel) superfamily in TCDB.
The clan contains the following 8 members:GLTSCR1 Ion_trans Ion_trans_2 IRK KdpA Lig_chan PKD_channel TrkH
We make a range of alignments for each Pfam-A family:
- the curated alignment from which the HMM for the family is built
- the alignment generated by searching the sequence database using the HMM
- Representative Proteomes (RPs) at 15%, 35%, 55% and 75% co-membership thresholds
- alignment generated by searching the NCBI sequence database using the family HMM
- alignment generated by searching the metagenomics sequence database using the family HMM
You can see the alignments as HTML or in three different sequence viewers:
- Pfam viewer
- an HTML-based viewer that uses DAS to retrieve alignment fragments on request
1Cannot generate PP/Heatmap alignments for seeds; no PP data available
Key: available, not generated, — not available.
Format an alignment
If you find these logos useful in your own work, please consider citing the following article:
Note: You can also download the data file for the tree.
Curation and family details
|Seed source:||Pfam-B_18 (release 3.0)|
|Author:||Finn RD, Bateman A|
|Number in seed:||13|
|Number in full:||1452|
|Average length of the domain:||284.90 aa|
|Average identity of full alignment:||37 %|
|Average coverage of the sequence by the domain:||78.63 %|
|HMM build commands:||
build method: hmmbuild -o /dev/null HMM SEED
search method: hmmsearch -Z 23193494 -E 1000 --cpu 4 HMM pfamseq
|Family (HMM) version:||15|
|Download:||download the raw HMM for this family|
Weight segments by...
Change the size of the sunburst
selected sequences to HMM
a FASTA-format file
- 0 sequences
- 0 species
How the sunburst is generated
Colouring and labels
Anomalies in the taxonomy tree
Missing taxonomic levels
Unmapped species names
Too many species/sequences
The tree shows the occurrence of this domain across different species. More...
You can use the tree controls to manipulate how the interactive tree is displayed:
- show/hide the summary boxes
- highlight species that are represented in the seed alignment
- expand/collapse the tree or expand it to a given depth
- select a sub-tree or a set of species within the tree and view them graphically or as an alignment
- save a plain text representation of the tree
There is 1 interaction for this family. More...
We determine these interactions using iPfam, which considers the interactions between residues in three-dimensional protein structures and maps those interactions back to Pfam families. You can find more information about the iPfam algorithm in the journal article that accompanies the website.
For those sequences which have a structure in the Protein DataBank, we use the mapping between UniProt, PDB and Pfam coordinate systems from the PDBe group, to allow us to map Pfam domains onto UniProt sequences and three-dimensional protein structures. The table below shows the structures on which the IRK domain has been found. There are 52 instances of this domain found in the PDB. Note that there may be multiple copies of the domain in a single PDB structure, since many structures contain multiple copies of the same protein seqence.
Loading structure mapping...