Nomenclature: Kir5.1

Family: Inwardly rectifying potassium channels

Annotation status:  image of a green circle Annotated and expert reviewed. Please contact us if you can help with updates. 


Gene and Protein Information
Species TM P Loops AA Chromosomal Location Gene Symbol Gene Name Reference
Human 2 1 418 17q23.1-24.2 KCNJ16 potassium inwardly-rectifying channel, subfamily J, member 16
Mouse 2 1 419 11 E2 Kcnj16 potassium inwardly-rectifying channel, subfamily J, member 16 7
Rat 2 1 419 10q32.1 Kcnj16 potassium inwardly-rectifying channel, subfamily J, member 16 1,12
Previous and Unofficial Names
inward rectifier K(+) channel Kir5.1
inward rectifier potassium channel 16
potassium channel, inwardly rectifying subfamily J member 16
potassium inwardly-rectifying channel, subfamily J, member 16
Database Links
Ensembl Gene
Entrez Gene
GenitoUrinary Development Molecular Anatomy Project
Human Protein Reference Database
PharmGKB Gene
Protein Ontology (PRO)
RefSeq Nucleotide
RefSeq Protein
UniGene Hs.
Associated Proteins
Heteromeric Pore-forming Subunits
Name References
Kir4.2 8
Kir4.1 8
Auxiliary Subunits
Name References
Not determined
Other Associated Proteins
Name References
PSD-95 10
Functional Characteristics
Inward-rectifier current
Ion Selectivity and Conductance
Species:  Rat
Rank order:  K+
References:  10
Ion Selectivity and Conductance Comments
Kir5.1 only forms a functional homomeric channel when expressed with PSD-95 [10].

Functional channels are also formed by heteromers of Kir5.1 with
· Kir4.1 (K+,42.7-49.6pS, [9]
· Kir4.2 (K+, 54.2pS, [8])
Gating Inhibitor Comments
PKA phosphorylation inhibits tha activation of the Kir5.1/PSD-95 channel [10].
Channel Blockers
Key to terms and symbols Click column headers to sort
Ligand Sp. Action Affinity Units Concentration range (M) Holding voltage (mV) Reference
Ba2+ Rn Antagonist - - 3x10-3 -100.0 1,10
Conc range: 3x10-3 M [1,10]
Holding voltage: -100.0 mV
Cs+ Rn Antagonist - - - Physiological 1
Holding voltage: Physiological
Channel Blocker Comments
Kir5.1, when forming heteromers with Kir4.1 or Kir4.2, modulates their sensitivity to intracellular pH:
· Kir4.1/5.1 heteromer (pEC50=6.8-7.35, [8,11-12]).
· Kir4.2/5.1 heteromer (pEC50=7.64, [8]).
Tissue Distribution
Kidney (convoluted tubule cells), pancreas (acinar and ductal cells), thyroid gland.
Species:  Human
Technique:  In situ hybridisation
References:  6
Astrocytes (forebrain, olfactory bulb).
Species:  Mouse
Technique:  Immunohistochemistry
References:  3
Retina (Müller cells, GABAergic amacrine cells).
Species:  Rat
Technique:  Immunohistochemistry
References:  5
Cochlea (spiral ligament of the lateral wall).
Species:  Rat
Technique:  Immunohistochemistry
References:  4
Brainstem nuclei (mesencephalic trigeminal, hypoglossal nucleus, facial, lateral reticular, para-ambiguus, paragigantocellularis, pontine), locus coeruleus, superior and inferior colliculi.
Species:  Rat
Technique:  In situ hybridisation
References:  2,13
Spleen, adrenal gland, liver, testis
Species:  Rat
Technique:  Northern Blot
References:  1
Physiological Functions
pH sensing.
Species:  Rat
Tissue:  Kidney
References:  12


1. Bond CT, Pessia M, Xia XM, Lagrutta A, Kavanaugh MP, Adelman JP. (1994) Cloning and expression of a family of inward rectifier potassium channels. Recept. Channels2 (3): 183-91. [PMID:7874445]

2. Derst C, Karschin C, Wischmeyer E, Hirsch JR, Preisig-Müller R, Rajan S, Engel H, Grzeschik K, Daut J, Karschin A. (2001) Genetic and functional linkage of Kir5.1 and Kir2.1 channel subunits. FEBS Lett.491 (3): 305-11. [PMID:11240146]

3. Hibino H, Fujita A, Iwai K, Yamada M, Kurachi Y. (2004) Differential assembly of inwardly rectifying K+ channel subunits, Kir4.1 and Kir5.1, in brain astrocytes. J. Biol. Chem.279 (42): 44065-73. [PMID:15310750]

4. Hibino H, Higashi-Shingai K, Fujita A, Iwai K, Ishii M, Kurachi Y. (2004) Expression of an inwardly rectifying K+ channel, Kir5.1, in specific types of fibrocytes in the cochlear lateral wall suggests its functional importance in the establishment of endocochlear potential. Eur. J. Neurosci.19 (1): 76-84. [PMID:14750965]

5. Ishii M, Fujita A, Iwai K, Kusaka S, Higashi K, Inanobe A, Hibino H, Kurachi Y. (2003) Differential expression and distribution of Kir5.1 and Kir4.1 inwardly rectifying K+ channels in retina. Am. J. Physiol., Cell Physiol.285 (2): C260-7. [PMID:12686518]

6. Liu Y, McKenna E, Figueroa DJ, Blevins R, Austin CP, Bennett PB, Swanson R. (2000) The human inward rectifier K(+) channel subunit kir5.1 (KCNJ16) maps to chromosome 17q25 and is expressed in kidney and pancreas. Cytogenet. Cell Genet.90 (1-2): 60-3. [PMID:11060447]

7. Mouri T, Kittaka N, Horio Y, Copeland NG, Gilbert DJ, Jenkins NA, Kurachi Y. (1998) Assignment of mouse inwardly rectifying potassium channel Kcnj16 to the distal region of mouse chromosome 11. Genomics54 (1): 181-2. [PMID:9806850]

8. Pessia M, Imbrici P, D'Adamo MC, Salvatore L, Tucker SJ. (2001) Differential pH sensitivity of Kir4.1 and Kir4.2 potassium channels and their modulation by heteropolymerisation with Kir5.1. J. Physiol. (Lond.)532 (Pt 2): 359-67. [PMID:11306656]

9. Pessia M, Tucker SJ, Lee K, Bond CT, Adelman JP. (1996) Subunit positional effects revealed by novel heteromeric inwardly rectifying K+ channels. EMBO J.15 (12): 2980-7. [PMID:8670799]

10. Tanemoto M, Fujita A, Higashi K, Kurachi Y. (2002) PSD-95 mediates formation of a functional homomeric Kir5.1 channel in the brain. Neuron34 (3): 387-97. [PMID:11988170]

11. Tanemoto M, Kittaka N, Inanobe A, Kurachi Y. (2000) In vivo formation of a proton-sensitive K+ channel by heteromeric subunit assembly of Kir5.1 with Kir4.1. J. Physiol. (Lond.)525 Pt 3: 587-92. [PMID:10856114]

12. Tucker SJ, Imbrici P, Salvatore L, D'Adamo MC, Pessia M. (2000) pH dependence of the inwardly rectifying potassium channel, Kir5.1, and localization in renal tubular epithelia. J. Biol. Chem.275 (22): 16404-7. [PMID:10764726]

13. Wu J, Xu H, Shen W, Jiang C. (2004) Expression and coexpression of CO2-sensitive Kir channels in brainstem neurons of rats. J. Membr. Biol.197 (3): 179-91. [PMID:15042349]

To cite this database page, please use the following:

John P. Adelman, David E. Clapham, Hiroshi Hibino, Atsushi Inanobe, Lily Y. Jan, Andreas Karschin, Yoshihiro Kubo, Yoshihisa Kurachi, Michel Lazdunski, Takashi Miki, Colin G. Nichols, Wade L. Pearson, Susumu Seino, Carol A. Vandenberg.
Inwardly rectifying potassium channels: Kir5.1. Last modified on 01/07/2010. Accessed on 20/10/2014. IUPHAR database (IUPHAR-DB),

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