Role of the BK Channel (KCa1.1) During Activation of Electrogenic K+ Secretion in Guinea Pig Distal Colon

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Secretagogues acting at a variety of receptor types activate electrogenic K+ secretion in guinea pig distal colon, often accompanied by Cl- secretion. Distinct blockers of KCa1.1 (BK, Kcnma1), iberiotoxin (IbTx), and paxilline inhibited the negative short-circuit current (Isc) associated with K+ secretion. Mucosal addition of IbTx inhibited epinephrine-activated Isc (epiIsc) and transepithelial conductance (epiGt) consistent with K+ secretion occurring via apical membrane KCa1.1. The concentration dependence of IbTx inhibition of epiIsc yielded an IC50 of 193 nM, with a maximal inhibition of 51%. Similarly, IbTx inhibited epiGt with an IC50 of 220 nM and maximal inhibition of 48%. Mucosally added paxilline (10 μM) inhibited epiIsc and epiGt by ∼50%. IbTx and paxilline also inhibited Isc activated by mucosal ATP, supporting apical KCa1.1 as a requirement for this K+ secretagogue. Responses to IbTx and paxilline indicated that a component of K+ secretion occurred during activation of Cl- secretion by prostaglandin-E2 and cholinergic stimulation. Analysis of KCa1.1α mRNA expression in distal colonic epithelial cells indicated the presence of the ZERO splice variant and three splice variants for the COOH terminus. The presence of the regulatory β-subunits KCaβ1 and KCaβ4 also was demonstrated. Immunolocalization supported the presence of KCa1.1α in apical and basolateral membranes of surface and crypt cells. Together these results support a cellular mechanism for electrogenic K+ secretion involving apical membrane KCa1.1 during activation by several secretagogue types, but the observed K+ secretion likely required the activity of additional K+ channel types in the apical membrane.



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