Channelpedia

Title : A real-time screening assay for GIRK1/4 channel blockers.

Authors : Kenneth B Walsh

Journal, date & volume : J Biomol Screen, 2010 Dec , 15, 1229-37

The cardiac acetylcholine-activated K(+) channel (I(K,Ach)) represents a novel target for drug therapy in the treatment of atrial fibrillation (AF). This channel is a member of the G-protein-coupled inward rectifier K(+) (GIRK) channel superfamily and is composed of the GIRK1/4 (Kir3.1 and Kir3.4) subunits. The goal of this study was to develop a cell-based screening assay for identifying new blockers of the GIRK1/4 channel. The mouse atrial HL-1 cell line, expressing the GIRK1/4 channel, was plated in 96-well plate format, loaded with the fluorescent membrane potential-sensitive dye bis-(1,3-dibutylbarbituric acid) trimethine oxonol (DiBAC(4)(3)) and measured using a fluorescent imaging plate reader (FLIPR). Application of the muscarinic agonist carbachol to the cells caused a rapid, time-dependent decrease in the fluorescent signal, indicative of K(+) efflux through the GIRK1/4 channel (carbachol vs. control solution, Z' factor = 0.5-0.6). The GIRK1/4 channel fluorescent signal was blocked by BaCl(2) and enhanced by increasing the driving force for K(+) across the cell membrane. To test the utility of the assay for screening GIRK1/4 channel blockers, cells were treated with a small compound library of Na(+) and K(+) channel modulators. Analogues of amiloride and propafenone were identified as channel blockers at concentrations less than 1 µM. Thus, the GIRK1/4 channel assay may be used in the development of new and selective agents for treating AF.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20938046