PSD-95 and SAP97 exhibit distinct mechanisms for regulating K+ channel surface expression and clustering

Amanda M. Tiffany, Louis N. Manganas, Eunjoon Kim, Yi Ping Hsueh, Morgan Sheng, James Trimmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

144 Scopus citations


Mechanisms of ion channel clustering by cytoplasmic membrane-associated guanylate kinases such as postsynaptic density 95 (PSD-95) and synapse- associated protein 97 (SAP97) are poorly understood. Here, we investigated the interaction of PSD-95 and SAP97 with voltage-gated or Kv K+ channels. Using Kv channels with different surface expression properties, we found that clustering by PSD-95 depended on channel cell surface expression. Moreover, PSD-95-induced clusters of Kv1 K+ channels were present on the cell surface. This was most dramatically demonstrated for Kv1.2 K+ channels, where surface expression and clustering by PSD-95 were coincidentally promoted by coexpression with cytoplasmic Kvβ subunits. Consistent with a mechanism of plasma membrane channel-PSD-95 binding, coexpression with PSD-95 did not affect the intrinsic surface expression characteristics of the different Kv channels. In contrast, the interaction of Kv1 channels with SAP97 was independent of Kv1 surface expression, occurred intracellularly, and prevented further biosynthetic trafficking of Kv1 channels. As such, SAP97 binding caused an intracellular accumulation of each Kv1 channel tested, through the accretion of SAP97 channel clusters in large (3-5 μm) ER-derived intracellular membrane vesicles. Together, these data show that ion channel clustering by PSD-95 and SAP97 occurs by distinct mechanisms, and suggests that these channel-clustering proteins may play diverse roles in regulating the abundance and distribution of channels at synapses and other neuronal membrane specializations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-157
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Cell Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 10 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • COS cells
  • Ion channel localization
  • Membrane proteins
  • Nerve tissue proteins
  • Protein binding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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