The plasma membrane (PM) comprises distinct subcellular domains with diverse functions that need to be dynamically coordinated with intracellular events, one of the most impactful being mitosis. The Kv2.1 voltage-gated potassium channel is conditionally localized to large PM clusters that represent specialized PM:endoplasmic reticulum membrane contact sites (PM:ER MCS), and overexpression of Kv2.1 induces more exuberant PM:ER MCS in neurons and in certain heterologous cell types. Localization of Kv2.1 at these contact sites is dynamically regulated by changes in phosphorylation at one or more sites located on its large cytoplasmic C terminus. Here, we show that Kv2.1 expressed in COS-1 cells undergoes dramatic cell cycle-dependent changes in its PM localization, having diffuse localization in interphase cells, and robust clustering during M phase. The mitosis-specific clusters of Kv2.1 are localized to PM:ER MCS, and M phase clustering of Kv2.1 induces more extensive PM:ER MCS. These cell cycle-dependent changes in Kv2.1 localization and the induction of PM:ER MCS are accompanied by increased mitotic Kv2.1 phosphorylation at several C-terminal phosphorylation sites. Phosphorylation of exogenously expressed Kv2.1 is significantly increased upon metaphase arrest in COS-1 and CHO cells, and in a pancreatic β cell line that express endogenous Kv2.1. The M phase clustering of Kv2.1 at PM:ER MCS in COS-1 cells requires the same C-terminal targeting motif needed for conditional Kv2.1 clustering in neurons. The cell cycle-dependent changes in localization and phosphorylation of Kv2.1 were not accompanied by changes in the electrophysiological properties of Kv2.1 expressed in CHO cells. Together, these results provide novel insights into the cell cycle-dependent changes in PM protein localization and phosphorylation.
The Kv2.1 voltage-gated K+ channel is widely expressed throughout mammalian brain, where it contributes to dynamic activity-dependent regulation of intrinsic neuronal excitability. Here we show that somatic plasma membrane Kv2.1 clusters are juxtaposed to clusters of intracellular ryanodine receptor (RyR) Ca2+ -release channels in mouse brain neurons, most prominently in medium spiny neurons (MSNs) of the striatum. Electron microscopy-immunogold labeling shows that in MSNs, plasma membrane Kv2.1 clusters are adjacent to subsurface cisternae, placing Kv2.1 in close proximity to sites of RyR-mediated Ca2+ release. Immunofluorescence labeling in transgenic mice expressing green fluorescent protein in specific MSN populations reveals the most prominent juxtaposed Kv2.1:RyR clusters in indirect pathway MSNs. Kv2.1 in both direct and indirect pathway MSNs exhibits markedly lower levels of labeling with phosphospecific antibodies directed against the S453, S563, and S603 phosphorylation site compared with levels observed in neocortical neurons, although labeling for Kv2.1 phosphorylation at S563 was significantly lower in indirect pathway MSNs compared with those in the direct pathway. Finally, acute stimulation of RyRs in heterologous cells causes a rapid hyperpolarizing shift in the voltage dependence of activation of Kv2.1, typical of Ca2+ /calcineurin-dependent Kv2.1 dephosphorylation. Together, these studies reveal that striatal MSNs are distinct in their expression of clustered Kv2.1 at plasma membrane sites juxtaposed to intracellular RyRs, as well as in Kv2.1 phosphorylation state. Differences in Kv2.1 expression and phosphorylation between MSNs in direct and indirect pathways provide a cell- and circuit-specific mechanism for coupling intracellular Ca2+ release to phosphorylation-dependent regulation of Kv2.1 to dynamically impact intrinsic excitability.
Dynamic modulation of ion channels by phosphorylation underlies neuronal plasticity. The Kv2.1 potassium channel is highly phosphorylated in resting mammalian neurons. Activity-dependent Kv2.1 dephosphorylation by calcineurin induces graded hyperpolarizing shifts in voltage-dependent activation, causing suppression of neuronal excitability. Mass spectrometry-SILAC (stable isotope labeling with amino acids in cell culture) identified 16 Kv2.1 phosphorylation sites, of which 7 were dephosphorylated by calcineurin. Mutation of individual calcineurin-regulated sites to alanine produced incremental shifts mimicking dephosphorylation, whereas mutation to aspartate yielded equivalent resistance to calcineurin. Mutations at multiple sites were additive, showing that variable phosphorylation of Kv2.1 at a large number of sites allows graded activity-dependent regulation of channel gating and neuronal firing properties.