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Protein kinase A activity at the endoplasmic reticulum surface is responsible for augmentation of human ether-a-go-go-related gene product (HERG).

The Journal of Biological Chemistry

Cell Line, Protein Binding, chemistry, Potassium Channels, methods, Microscopy, Fluorescence, Humans, HEK293 Cells, Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer, metabolism, Ether-A-Go-Go Potassium Channels, pharmacology, Enzyme Inhibitors, Endoplasmic Reticulum, Cyclic AMP-Dependent Protein Kinases, Cyclic AMP, Colforsin, Cell Membrane

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      Human ether-a-go-go-related gene product (HERG) is a cardiac potassium channel commonly implicated in the pathogenesis of the long QT syndrome, type 2 (LQT2). LQT2 mutations typically have incomplete penetrance and affect individuals at various stages of their lives; this may mirror variations in intracellular signaling and HERG regulation. Previous work showed that sustained protein kinase A (PKA) activity augments HERG protein abundance by a mechanism that includes enhanced protein translation. To investigate the subcellular site of this regulation, we generated site-specific probes to the cytoplasmic surface of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), the presumed locale of channel synthesis. Real-time FRET-based indicators demonstrated both cAMP and PKA activity at the ER. A PKA inhibitor targeted to the ER surface (termed p4PKIg) completely abolished PKA-mediated augmentation of HERG in HEK293 cells as well as rat neonatal cardiomyocytes. Immunofluorescence co-localization, targeted FRET-based PKA biosensors, phospho-specific antibodies, and in vivo phosphorylation experiments confirmed that p4PKIg is preferentially active at the ER surface rather than the plasma membrane. Rerouting this inhibitor to the outer mitochondrial membrane diminishes its ability to block cAMP-dependent HERG induction. Our results support a model where PKA-dependent regulation of HERG synthesis occurs at the ER surface. Furthermore, reagents generated for this study provide novel experimental tools to probe compartmentalized cAMP/PKA signaling within cells.

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