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Transporter Information:
Name: potassium inwardly-rectifying channel, subfamily J, member 15
Symbol: KCNJ15
TC: 1.A.2.1.1
Locations: 21q22.2
Aliases: Kir4.2, Kir1.3
GenBank: Y10745
Swiss-Prot: Q99712
Accession Number: NM_002243
PubMed (9299242): Gosset P, Ghezala GA, Korn B, Yaspo ML, Poutska A, Lehrach H, Sinet PM,Creau N. A new inward rectifier potassium channel gene (KCNJ15) localized on chromosome21 in the Down syndrome chromosome region 1 (DCR1).Genomics. 1997 Sep 1;44(2):237-41. PMID: 9299242 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

The Down syndrome chromosome region-1 (DCR1) on subband q22.2 of chromosome 21 is thought to contain genes contributing to many features of the trisomy 21 phenotype, including dysmorphic features, hypotonia, and psychomotor delay. Isolation, mapping, and sequencing of trapped exons and captured cDNAs from cosmids of this region have revealed the presence of a gene (KCNJ15) encoding a potassium (K+) channel belonging to the family of inward rectifier K+ (Kir) channels. The amino acid sequence deduced from the 1125-bp open reading frame indicates that this gene is a member of the Kir4 subfamily; it has been named Kir4.2. It is expressed in kidney and lung during human development and in several adult tissues including kidney and brain. After Kir3.2 (GIRK2), Kir4.2 is the second K+ channel gene of this type described within the DCR1.

PubMed (8995301): Shuck ME, Piser TM, Bock JH, Slightom JL, Lee KS, Bienkowski MJ. Cloning and characterization of two K+ inward rectifier (Kir) 1.1 potassiumchannel homologs from human kidney (Kir1.2 and Kir1.3).J Biol Chem. 1997 Jan 3;272(1):586-93. PMID: 8995301 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

The DNA sequence encoding the rat brain inward rectifier-10 K+ channel was amplified from rat brain RNA using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and used to clone the human homolog. Low stringency screening of a human kidney cDNA library and subsequent DNA sequence analysis identified two related K+ inward rectifier cDNAs, referred to as Kir1.2 and Kir1.3, which were derived from transcription of distinct human genes. Kir1.2 represents the human homolog of the rat BIRK-10 sequence, whereas Kir1.3 was unique compared with all available sequence data bases. The genes that encode Kir1.2 and Kir1.3 were mapped to human chromosomes 1 and 21, respectively. Both genes showed tissue-specific expression when analyzed by Northern blots. Kir1.2 was only detected in brain >> kidney and was detected at high levels in all brain regions examined. Kir1.3 was most readily detected in kidney and was also expressed in pancreas > lung. Comparative analysis of the predicted amino acid sequences for Kir1.2 and Kir1.3 revealed they were 62% identical. The most remarkable difference between the two polypeptides is that the Walker Type A consensus binding motif present in both Kir1.1 and Kir1.2 was not conserved in the Kir1.3 sequence. Expression of the Kir1.2 polypeptide in Xenopus oocytes resulted in the synthesis of a K+-selective channel that exhibited an inwardly rectifying current-voltage relationship and was inhibited by external Ba2+ and Cs+. Kir1.2 current amplitude was reduced by >85% when the pH was decreased from pH 7.4 to 5.9 using the membrane-permeant buffer acetate but was relatively unaffected when pH was similarly lowered using membrane-impermeant biphthalate. The inhibition by intracellular protons was voltage-independent with an IC50 of pH 6.2 and a Hill coefficient of 1.9, suggesting the cooperative binding of 2 protons to the intracellular face of the channel. In contrast, Kir1.3 expression in Xenopus oocytes was not detectable despite the fact that the cRNA efficiently directed the synthesis of a polypeptide of the expected Mr in an in vitro translation system. Co-expression of Kir1.3 with either Kir1.1 or Kir1.2 reduced currents resulting from expression of these inward-rectifier subunits alone, consistent with a dominant negative influence on Kir1.1 and Kir1.2 expression.