KCNQ1 trafficking in epithelial cells:
Trafficking of proteins targeted for the apical or basolateral cell surface or for secretion is of great interest and critical to the function of polarized epithelia. The information that targets a protein to a specific cell surface domain may be an intrinsic property of the protein itself or may involve accessory proteins. We are using a multidisciplinary approach to understand macromolecular signaling complexes and their role in regulation and targeting of the KCNQ1 potassium channel in variety of epithelial tissues. KCNQ1 is expressed on the apical or basolateral surfaces, depending on the tissue, suggesting that accessory proteins are involved in targeting. We are studying whether KCNE and AKAP (A-kinase anchoring proteins) families play a role in tissue specific targeting of KCNQ1. Our approaches include NMR, molecular modeling/graphics, proteomics, electrophysiology and confocal microscopy. This work is currently funded through the KSU-COBRE “Epithelial Function in Health and Disease”.