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Small-conductance Ca2+-activated potassium (KCa2.x) channels are gated exclusively by intracellular Ca2+. The activation of KCa2.3 channels induces hyperpolarization, which augments Ca2+ signaling in endothelial cells. Cilia are specialized Ca2+ signaling compartments. Here, we identified compound 4 that potentiates human KCa2.3 channels selectively. The subtype selectivity of compound 4 for human KCa2.3 over rat KCa2.2a channels relies on an isoleucine residue in the HA/HB helices. Positive modulation of KCa2.3 channels by compound 4 increased flow-induced Ca2+ signaling and cilia length, while negative modulation by AP14145 reduced flow-induced Ca2+ signaling and cilia length. These findings were corroborated by the increased cilia length due to the expression of Ca2+-hypersensitive KCa2.3_G351D mutant channels and the reduced cilia length resulting from the expression of Ca2+-hyposensitive KCa2.3_I438N channels. Collectively, we were able to associate functions of KCa2.3 channels and cilia, two crucial components in the flow-induced Ca2+ signaling of endothelial cells, with potential implications in vasodilation and ciliopathic hypertension.


This article was originally published in ACS Chemical Biology in 2022.


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.



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