A component of calcium-activated potassium channels encoded by the Drosophila slo locus

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  02 Aug 1991:
Vol. 253, Issue 5019, pp. 551-555
DOI: 10.1126/science.1857984


Calcium-activated potassium channels mediate many biologically important functions in electrically excitable cells. Despite recent progress in the molecular analysis of voltage-activated K+ channels, Ca(2+)-activated K+ channels have not been similarly characterized. The Drosophila slowpoke (slo) locus, mutations of which specifically abolish a Ca(2+)-activated K+ current in muscles and neurons, provides an opportunity for molecular characterization of these channels. Genomic and complementary DNA clones from the slo locus were isolated and sequenced. The polypeptide predicted by slo is similar to voltage-activated K+ channel polypeptides in discrete domains known to be essential for function. Thus, these results indicate that slo encodes a structural component of Ca(2+)-activated K+ channels.

Stay Connected to Science