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Hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN) channels are expressed in dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons, which are involved in diverse mechanisms that regulate DRG functions. Protein kinase A (PKA) is an essential kinase that plays a key role in almost all types of cells; it regulates the ion channel activity, the intracellular Ca(2+) concentration, as well as modulates cellular signals transduction. Nevertheless, the effect of PKA inhibition on the HCN channel activity in DRG neuron remains to be elucidated. Here we investigated the impact of PKA inhibition on the HCN channel activity and DRG neurons excitability. Our patch-clamp experiments both under whole-cell and single-channel conditions demonstrated that PKA inhibition with KT5720, a cell membrane permeable PKA-specific inhibitor, significantly attenuated HCN channel currents. Current clamp recording on freshly isolated DRG neurons showed KT5720 reduced overshoot amplitude and enhanced the threshold of the action potential. Moreover, our live-cell Ca(2+) imaging experiments illustrated KT5720 markedly reduced the intracellular Ca(2+) level. Collectively, this is the first report that addresses KT5720 attenuates the HCN channel activity and intracellular Ca(2+), thus reducing DRG neurons excitability. Therefore, our data strongly suggest that PKA is a potential target for curing HCN and DRG neuron relevant diseases.


Qiuping Cheng, Yanhong Zhou. Novel role of KT5720 on regulating hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated channel activity and dorsal root ganglion neuron excitability. DNA and cell biology. 2013 Jun;32(6):320-8

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PMID: 23713946

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