Exp Neurobiol 2021; 30(5): 319-328
Published online October 31, 2021
© The Korean Society for Brain and Neural Sciences
Minwoo Wendy Jang1,2, Tai Young Kim2, Kushal Sharma3, Jea Kwon1,2, Eunyoung Yi3 and C. Justin Lee1,2*
1KU-KIST Graduate School of Converging Science and Technology, Korea University, Seoul 02841,
2Center for Cognition and Sociality, Institute for Basic Science (IBS), Daejeon 34141,
3College of Pharmacy and Natural Medicine Research Institute, Mokpo National University, Mokpo 58554, Korea
Correspondence to: *To whom correspondence should be addressed.
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The TMEM43 has been studied in human diseases such as arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy type 5 (ARVC5) and auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder (ANSD). In the heart, the p.(Ser358Leu) mutation has been shown to alter intercalated disc protein function and disturb beating rhythms. In the cochlea, the p.(Arg372Ter) mutation has been shown to disrupt connexin-linked function in glia-like supporting cells (GLSs), which maintain inner ear homeostasis for hearing. The TMEM43-p.(Arg372Ter) mutant knock-in mice displayed a significantly reduced passive conductance current in the cochlear GLSs, raising a possibility that TMEM43 is essential for mediating the passive conductance current in GLSs. In the brain, the two-pore-domain potassium (K2P) channels are generally known as the “leak channels” to mediate background conductance current, raising another possibility that K2P channels might contribute to the passive conductance current in GLSs. However, the possible association between TMEM43 and K2P channels has not been investigated yet. In this study, we examined whether TMEM43 physically interacts with one of the K2P channels in the cochlea, KCNK3 (TASK-1). Utilizing co-immunoprecipitation (IP) assay and Duolink proximity ligation assay (PLA), we revealed that TMEM43 and TASK-1 proteins could directly interact. Genetic modifications further delineated that the intracellular loop domain of TMEM43 is responsible for TASK-1 binding. In the end, gene-silencing of