The covalent attachment of small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) proteins regulates protein localization and function. SUMOylation has recently been shown to modulate ion-channel function; however, the extent to which this affects native currents and cellular excitability remains to be determined. The voltage-dependent K + (Kv) channel Kv2.1 regulates pancreatic β-cell excitability and insulin secretion. We found that YFP-tagged SUMO1 (SUMO1-YFP) can be immunoprecipitated with Kv2.1 when these two proteins are coexpressed in HEK 293 cells. Furthermore, direct infusion of recombinant SUMO1 peptide or coexpression of SUMO1-YFP inhibited current through cloned Kv2.1 by 80% and 48%, respectively. Insulin-secreting cells express SUMO variants 1 and 3, and expression of the SUMO1-YFP in human β-cells or insulinoma cells inhibited native Kv currents (by 49% and 33%, respectively). Inhibition of the channel resulted from an acceleration of channel inactivation and an inhibition of recovery from inactivation, resulting in the widening of β-cell action potentials and a decreased firing frequency. Finally, these effects on channel function and excitability were augmented by the conjugating enzyme Ubc9 and rescued by the SUMO protease SENP1. Thus, protein SUMOylation can exert a strong inhibitory action on the voltage-dependent K + channel Kv2.1 and can regulate cellular excitability in native β-cells.
In many cells, endocytotic membrane retrieval is accelerated by Ca 2+ . The effect of Ca 2+ on single endocytotic vesicles and fission pore kinetics was examined by measuring capacitance and conductance changes in small membrane patches of insulin-secreting INS-1 cells. In intact cells, elevation of Ca 2+ by glucose stimulation induced a 1.8-fold increase in membrane internalisation. This surprisingly resulted from an increased unitary capacitance of endocytotic vesicles whereas the frequency of endocytosis was unaltered. This effect of glucose was prevented by inhibition of L- or R-type Ca 2+ channels. Extracellular (pipette) Ca 2+ was found to regulate endocytotic vesicle capacitance in a bimodal manner. Vesicle capacitance was increased at intermediate Ca 2+ (2.6 mM), but not at high Ca 2+ (10 mM). Similar results were obtained upon direct application of 100 nM and 0.5 mM Ca 2+ to the intracellular surface of inside-out excised membrane patches, and in these experiments the increase in vesicle capacitance was prevented by the calcineurin inhibitor deltamethrin. Endocytotic fission pore kinetics were accelerated by Ca 2+ in both the intact cells and isolated membrane patches; however, the effect in this case was neither bimodal nor deltamethrin sensitive. Membrane retrieval can therefore be upregulated by a Ca 2+ -dependent increase in endocytotic vesicle size and acceleration of membrane fission in insulin-secreting INS-1 cells.