Controversy surrounds the molecular identity of mitochondrial K+ channels that are important for protection against cardiac ischemia-reperfusion injury. Although KNa1.2 (sodium-activated potassium channel encoded by Kcn2) is necessary for cardioprotection by volatile anesthetics, electrophysiological evidence for a channel of this type in mitochondria is lacking. The endogenous physiological role of a potential mito-KNa1.2 channel is also unclear. In this study, single channel patch-clamp of 27 independent cardiac mitochondrial inner membrane (mitoplast) preparations from wild-type (WT) mice yielded 6 channels matching the known ion sensitivity, ion selectivity, pharmacology, and conductance properties of KNa1.2 (slope conductance, 138 ± 1 pS). However, similar experiments on 40 preparations from Kcnt2-/- mice yielded no such channels. The KNa opener bithionol uncoupled respiration in WT but not Kcnt2-/- cardiomyocytes. Furthermore, when oxidizing only fat as substrate, Kcnt2-/- cardiomyocytes and hearts were less responsive to increases in energetic demand. Kcnt2-/- mice also had elevated body fat, but no baseline differences in the cardiac metabolome. These data support the existence of a cardiac mitochondrial KNa1.2 channel, and a role for cardiac KNa1.2 in regulating metabolism under conditions of high energetic demand.-Smith, C. O., Wang, Y. T., Nadtochiy, S. M., Miller, J. H., Jonas, E. A., Dirksen, R. T., Nehrke, K., Brookes, P. S. Cardiac metabolic effects of KNa1.2 channel deletion and evidence for its mitochondrial localization.