Detecting organelle-specific activity of potassium channels with a DNA nanodevice

Palapuravan Anees, Anand Saminathan, Ezekiel R. Rozmus, Anke Di, Asrar B. Malik, Brian P. Delisle, Yamuna Krishnan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Cell surface potassium ion (K+) channels regulate nutrient transport, cell migration and intercellular communication by controlling K+ permeability and are thought to be active only at the plasma membrane. Although these channels transit the trans-Golgi network, early and recycling endosomes, whether they are active in these organelles is unknown. Here we describe a pH-correctable, ratiometric reporter for K+ called pHlicKer, use it to probe the compartment-specific activity of a prototypical voltage-gated K+ channel, Kv11.1, and show that this cell surface channel is active in organelles. Lumenal K+ in organelles increased in cells expressing wild-type Kv11.1 channels but not after treatment with current blockers. Mutant Kv11.1 channels, with impaired transport function, failed to increase K+ levels in recycling endosomes, an effect rescued by pharmacological correction. By providing a way to map the organelle-specific activity of K+ channels, pHlicKer technology could help identify new organellar K+ channels or channel modulators with nuanced functions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNature Biotechnology
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature America, Inc.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering


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