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Potassium (K) channels regulate cell membrane potential and modulate a number of important cellular functions. KCNA10 is a cyclic nucleotide-gated, voltage-activated K channel that is detected in kidney, heart, and aorta by Northern blot and postulated to participate in renal K metabolism and to regulate vascular tone. The aim of this study was to establish the cellular and subcellular localization of KCNA10 in kidney and vascular tissues. An anti-KCNA10 polyclonal antibody was generated, and immunocytochemical studies were performed on rat kidney. KCNA10 protein was easily detectable at the apical membrane of rat proximal tubular cells, and a weaker signal was also evident in the glomerulus. In situ hybridization experiments confirmed the immunocytochemical studies and revealed KCNA10 expression in human proximal tubular cells, glomerular and vascular endothelial cells, and also in vascular smooth muscle cells. The data suggest that KCNA10 may facilitate proximal tubular sodium absorption by stabilizing cell membrane voltage. Furthermore, its presence in endothelial and vascular smooth muscle cells supports the notion that it also regulates vascular tone.
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