Alternative splicing of sur2 Exon 17 regulates nucleotide sensitivity of the ATP-sensitive potassium channel.

W A Chutkow, J C Makielski, D J Nelson, C F Burant, Z Fan

J. Biol. Chem., 1999 May 7 , 274, 13656-65

ATP-sensitive potassium channels (KATP) are implicated in a diverse array of physiological functions. Previous work has shown that alternative usage of exons 14, 39, and 40 of the muscle-specific KATP channel regulatory subunit, sur2, occurs in tissue-specific patterns. Here, we show that exon 17 of the first nucleotide binding fold of sur2 is also alternatively spliced. RNase protection demonstrates that SUR2(Delta17) predominates in skeletal muscle and gut and is also expressed in bladder, fat, heart, lung, liver, and kidney. Polymerase chain reaction and restriction digest analysis of sur2 cDNA demonstrate the existence of at least five sur2 splice variants as follows: SUR2(39), SUR2(40), SUR2(Delta17/39), SUR2(Delta17/40), and SUR2(Delta14/39). Electrophysiological recordings of excised, inside-out patches from COS cells cotransfected with Kir6.2 and the sur2 variants demonstrated that exon 17 splicing alters KATP sensitivity to ATP block by 2-fold from approximately 40 to approximately 90 microM for exon 17 and Delta17, respectively. Single channel kinetic analysis of SUR2(39) and SUR2(Delta17/39) demonstrated that both exhibited characteristic KATP kinetics but that SUR2(Delta17/39) exhibited longer mean burst durations and shorter mean interburst dwell times. In sum, alternative splicing of sur2 enhances the observed diversity of KATP and may contribute to tissue-specific modulation of ATP sensitivity.