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Potassium Channel

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Structure of the Potassium Channel complex with K+ ions, (2r9r)

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This article was developed based on lectures given in Chemistry 543 by Prof. Clarence E. Schutt at Princeton University.

Potassium channels (KCh) are subdivided into voltage-gated KCh and calcium-dependent KCh. The latter are subdivided into high- (BK, LKCa), intermediate- and small-conductance KCh (human SK1, rat SK2, SKCa). The T1 domain is a highly conserved N-terminal domain which is responsible for driving the tetramerization of the KCh α subunit. The inward rectifier KCh (IRK) passes current more easily in the inward direction. MthK is a calcium-dependent KCh from Methanobacterium thermoautrophicum.

3D structures of Potassium Channels

Updated on 10-April-2014

1wlj, 2wlh, 2wli, 2wlj, 2wlm, 2wln, 2wlo - MmKCh - Magnetospirillum magnetoacticum
2k44 – KCh voltage-sensor paddle domain – NMR
3e86, 3e83 – BcKCh transmembrane domain – Bacillus cereus
3e8g, 3e89, 3e8b, 3e8f, 3e8h – BcKCh transmembrane domain +ions
2q67, 2q68, 2q69, 2q6a, 3ouf – BcKCh (mutant)
2ahy, 2ahz – BcKCh+ions
1bl8, 1f6g - SlKCh (mutant) - Streptomyces lividans
2qto - SlKCh
1j95 - SlKCh+K+tetrabutylammonium
1jvm - SlKCh (mutant)+Rb+tetrabutylammonium
1jq1, 1jq2 - SlKCh inner transmembrane segment - NMR
3ifx - SlKCh pore domain
3pjs – SlKCh + antibody
2pnv – rKCh leucine zipper domain SKCa – rat
3lut - rKCh Kv1.2 (mutant)
1dsx - rKCh N-terminal (mutant)
1qdv, 1qdw - rKCh Kv1.2 N-terminal
1kn7 - rKCh Kv1.4 N-terminal (mutant) - NMR
1nn7 - rKCh Kv4.2 N-terminal T1 domain
3eau - rKCh β-2 +cortisone
3eb3, 3eb4 - rKCh β-2 (mutant) + cortisone
4hoi – mKCh Kv10.1 PAS domain – mouse
1a68, 1eod, 1eoe, 1eof, 3kvt - AcKCh Kv1.1 T1 domain (mutant) - Aplysia californica
1t1d - AcKCh Kv1.1 T1 domain
1b4g, 1b4i - hKCh inactivation domain - human - NMR
1byw - hKCh ERG N-terminal (mutant)
1ujl - hKCh ERG1 extracellular linker - NMR
2l1m, 2l4r, 2l0w - hKCh HERG - NMR
1s1g - hKCh Kv4.3 T1 domain
2ovc - hKCh Kv7.4 T1 domain
3bj4 - hKCh Kv7.1 C-termianl
3hfc, 3hfe - hKCh Kv7.1 (mutant)
4bw5 – hKCh TREK-2
1zsx - hKCh β-2
1ztn – hKCH RAW3 inactivation gate – NMR
1zto - hKCH RCK4 inactivation gate – NMR
3co2, 1vp6 - MlotiK1 cyclic nucleotide binding domain - Mesorhizobium loti
1ho2, 1ho7 - KCh L45 segment - Drosophila melanogaster - NMR
2kyh - AeKCh voltage ensing domain - Aeropyrum pernix - NMR
2wll - KCh KIRBAC1.1 - Burkholderia pseudomalie
1bei - KCh Kv1.3 – Stichodactyla helianthus

Potassium channel complex with protein

2nz0 – hKCh Kv4.3 N-terminal+KV channel interacting protein 1
2i2r - rKCh Kv4.3 N-terminal+KV channel interacting protein 1
1s6c - rKCh Kv4.2 N-terminal+KV channel interacting protein 1
2a79, 1qrq - rKCh Kv1.2 + beta2
4jta, 4jtc, 4jtd - rKCh Kv1.2-2.1 + KCh toxin
2r9r - rKCh
1qx7 – rKCh SKCa+ calmodulin
1g4y – rKCh rSK2 calmodulin binding domain SKCa + calmodulin
1exb - rKCh Kv1.1 T1 domain + KV beta2 protein
2p7t - rKCh + FAV
3lnm - rKCh Kv2.1/KCh Kv1.2 (mutant)
3eff - mKCh + FAB
2w0f - mKCh + FAB + tetraoctylammonium
2hg5, 2h8p, 2hfe - KCh + mFAB
3f7v, 3f7y, 3fb5, 3fb7, 3fb8, 3gb7, 3hpl, 3iga, 3or6, 3or7, 1r3i, 1r3j, 1r3k,1r3l, 1s5h, 2atk, 2bob, 2boc, 2dwd, 2dwe, 2hvj, 2hvk, 2ih1, 2ih3, 2itc, 2itd, 2jk5, 2nlj - mKCh (mutant) + FAB
3f5w, 1zwi, 2hjf - mKCh (mutant) + antibody heavy+light chains
1k4c, 1k4d - SlKCh (mutant) + antibody heavy+light chains
2a0l - AeKCh + FV
1orq - AeKCh (mutant) + FAB
2a9h - SlKCh (mutant) + charybdotoxin

Inward rectifier KCh

1u4f,3agw - mIRK 2 cytoplasmic domain
2xky - mIRK 2 cytoplasmic domain - EM
2gix, 3vsq - mIRK 2 cytoplasmic domain (mutant)
2e4f - mIRK 2 fragment
1n9p, 1u4e - mIRK 1 cytoplasmic domain
3k6n - mIRK 1 cytoplasmic domain (mutant)
3at8, 3at9, 3ata, 3atb, 3atd, 3ate, 3atf, 3auw, 3syo - mIRK 3.2
3syc, 3syp - mIRK 3.2 (mutant)
3sya - mIRK 3.2 + PIP2
3syq - mIRK 3.2 (mutant) + PIP2
4kfm - mIRK 3.2 + guanine nucleotide-biding protein
1xl4, 1xl6, 2wlk, 2x6a, 2x6b, 2x6c - MmIRK KIRBAC3.1
4lp8 - MmIRK KIRBAC3.1 (mutant)
1p7b - BpIRK C-terminal
3spc – cIRK 2.2 + DGPP – chicken
3spg, 3sph – cIRK 2.2 (mutant) + PIP2
3spi – cIRK 2.2 + PIP2
3spj – cIRK 2.2 (mutant)
3ukm – hIRK TWIK-1
3um7 – hIRK TRAAK
3zrs – MmIRK 10


2ogu, 2fy8, 2aej, 2aem, 1lnq - MthK RCK domain - Methanobacterium thermoautrophicum
3ldc, 3ldd, 3lde, 3ous – MthK residues 28-99 (mutant)
2aef, 3kxd, 4ei2, 4l73, 4l74, 4l75, 4l76 - MthK RCK domain + Ca
3rbx, 3rbz - MthK RCK domain (mutant) + Ca
3r65, 4hyo, 4hz3 – MthK pore domain (mutant)

Large conductance calcium-activated KCh

3mt5 - hBK cytoplasmic domain
1jo6 - BK beta 2 N-terminal KCNMB2 encoded LKCa - NMR
3u6n – BK – Danio rerio

Potassium/Sodium channel

3k03, 3k04, 3k06, 3k08, 3k0d, 3k0g – BcNaK
3t1c, 3t2m, 3t4d, 3t4z, 3tcu, 3tet – BcNaK (mutant)

Potassium/Sodium hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated channel or cyclic nucleotide-gated channel or HCN channel

Ion channels

Calcium-activated KCh

3naf – hKCh α1 subunit

Small conductance calcium-activated KCh

1kkd – rKCh calmodulin-binding domain - NMR - rat
3sjq, 4g27, 4g28, 4j9y, 4j9z - rKCh calmodulin-binding domain + calmodulin
2pnv – rKCh leucine zipper domain SKCa

Additional Resources

For Additional Information, See: Membrane Channels & Pumps


  1. 1.0 1.1 Zhou Y, Morais-Cabral JH, Kaufman A, MacKinnon R. Chemistry of ion coordination and hydration revealed by a K+ channel-Fab complex at 2.0 A resolution. Nature. 2001 Nov 1;414(6859):43-8. PMID:11689936 doi:
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Doyle DA, Morais Cabral J, Pfuetzner RA, Kuo A, Gulbis JM, Cohen SL, Chait BT, MacKinnon R. The structure of the potassium channel: molecular basis of K+ conduction and selectivity. Science. 1998 Apr 3;280(5360):69-77. PMID:9525859
  3. Jiang Y, Lee A, Chen J, Ruta V, Cadene M, Chait BT, MacKinnon R. X-ray structure of a voltage-dependent K+ channel. Nature. 2003 May 1;423(6935):33-41. PMID:12721618 doi:
  4. Waters MF, Minassian NA, Stevanin G, Figueroa KP, Bannister JP, Nolte D, Mock AF, Evidente VG, Fee DB, Muller U, Durr A, Brice A, Papazian DM, Pulst SM. Mutations in voltage-gated potassium channel KCNC3 cause degenerative and developmental central nervous system phenotypes. Nat Genet. 2006 Apr;38(4):447-51. Epub 2006 Feb 26. PMID:16501573 doi:ng1758
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Long SB, Tao X, Campbell EB, MacKinnon R. Atomic structure of a voltage-dependent K+ channel in a lipid membrane-like environment. Nature. 2007 Nov 15;450(7168):376-82. PMID:18004376 doi:

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