Direct interaction of the ATP-sensitive K+ channel by the tyrosine kinase inhibitors imatinib, sunitinib and nilotinib

Robin Fröbom, Erik Berglund, Craig A. Aspinwall, Weng Onn Lui, Inga Lena Nilsson, Catharina Larsson, Robert Bränström

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The ATP-regulated K+ channel (KATP) plays an essential role in the control of many physiological processes, and contains a ATP-binding site. Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI) are commonly used drugs, that primarily target ATP-binding sites in tyrosine kinases. Herein, we used the patch-clamp technique to examine the effects of three clinically established TKIs on KATP channel activity in isolated membrane patches, using a pancreatic β-cell line as a KATP channel source. In excised inside-out patches, the activity of the KATP channel was dose-dependently inhibited by imatinib with half-maximal concentration of approximately 9.4 μM. The blocking effect of imatinib was slow and reversible. No effect of imatinib was observed on either the large (KBK) or the small (KSK) conductance, Ca2+-regulated K+ channel. In the presence of ATP/ADP (ratio 1) addition of imatinib increased channel activity approximately 1.5-fold. Sunitinib and nilotinib were also found to decrease KATP channel activity. These findings are compatible with the view that TKIs, designed to interact at the ATP-binding pocket on the tyrosine receptor, also interact at the ATP-binding site on the KATP channel. Possibly, this might explain some of the side effects seen with TKIs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14-19
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
StatePublished - Jun 11 2021


  • ATP-Sensitive K channel
  • Tyrosine kinase inhibitor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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