Apart from its ion channel properties, the Kir2.1 channel has been found in tumors and cancer cells to facilitate cancer cell motility. It is assumed that Kir2.1 might be associated with cell actin filament dynamics. With the help of structured illumination microscopy (SIM), we show that Kir2.1 overexpression promotes actin filament dynamics, cell invasion, and adhesion. Mutated Kir2.1 channels, with impaired membrane expression, present much weaker actin regulatory effects, which indicates that precise Kir2.1 membrane localization is key to its actin filament remolding effect. It is found that Kir2.1 membrane expression and anchoring are associated with PIP2 affinity, and PIP2 depletion inhibits actin filament dynamics. We also report that membrane-expressed Kir2.1 regulates redistribution and phosphorylation of FLNA (filamin A), which may be the mechanism underlying Kir2.1 and actin filament dynamics. In conclusion, Kir2.1 membrane localization regulates cell actin filaments, and not the ion channel properties. These data indicate that Kir2.1 may have additional cellular functions distinct from the regulation of excitability, which provides new insight into the study of channel proteins.
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- Actin filament dynamics
- Filamin A