Slick (Slo2.1), a rapidly-gating sodium-activated potassium channel inhibited by ATP. Academic Article uri icon


  • Neuronal stressors such as hypoxia and firing of action potentials at very high frequencies cause intracellular Na+ to rise and ATP to be consumed faster than it can be regenerated. We report the cloning of a gene encoding a K+ channel, Slick, and demonstrate that functionally it is a hybrid between two classes of K+ channels, Na+-activated (KNa) and ATP-sensitive (KATP) K+ channels. The Slick channel is activated by intracellular Na+ and Cl- and is inhibited by intracellular ATP. Slick is widely expressed in the CNS and is detected in heart. We identify a consensus ATP binding site near the C terminus of the channel that is required for ATP and its nonhydrolyzable analogs to reduce open probability. The convergence of Na+, Cl-, and ATP sensitivity in one channel may endow Slick with the ability to integrate multiple indicators of the metabolic state of a cell and to adjust electrical activity appropriately.

publication date

  • December 17, 2003