KCNJ13 Membrane Protein Introduction

Introduction of KCNJ13

KCNJ13, also known as potassium inwardly-rectifying channel, subfamily J, member 13, is encoded by KCNJ13 gene. It is mainly expressed in small intestine, thyroid, kidney, and duodenum. Meanwhile, some studies have identified that KCNJ13 mutations are responsible for early-onset retinal dystrophy, featuring remarkable clumpy pigment deposits at the level of the retinal pigment epithelium, suggesting dysfunction and disorganization of this tissue. Recent studies have indicated that KCNJ13 is associated with various diseases, such as snowflake vitreoretinal degeneration and Leber congenital amaurosis 16.

Basic Information of KCNJ13
Protein Name Inward rectifier potassium channel 13
Gene Name KCNJ13
Aliases KIR1.4, KIR7.1, LCA16
Organism Homo sapiens (Human)
UniProt ID O60928
Transmembrane Times 2
Length (aa) 360

Function of KCNJ13 Membrane Protein

KCNJ13, a member of potassium channel, inwardly rectifying subfamily J, has shown many functions. Kcnj13 expression in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) is essential for normal retinal electrophysiology, function, and survival. Mutations in the KCNJ13 gene that encodes the inwardly rectifying potassium channel Kir7.1 cause snowflake vitreoretinal degeneration (SVD) and Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA). KCNJ13 controls the microenvironment between the photoreceptors and the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and also contributes to the function of other organs, such as uterus and brain. It is documented that KCNJ13 mutations are significantly associated with the risk of early-onset retinal dystrophy.

Structure of voltage-gated potassium channel. Fig.1 Structure of voltage-gated potassium channel. (Daniel, 2016)

Application of KCNJ13 Membrane Protein in Literature

  1. Roman D., et al. Conditional loss of Kcnj13 in the retinal pigment epithelium causes photoreceptor degeneration. Exp Eye Res. 2018, pii: S0014-4835(18)30277-X. PubMed ID: 30009826

    This article analyses the role of KCNJ13 in the retinal pigment epithelium where it causes photoreceptor degeneration. The data show that the expression of Kcnj13 in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) plays an important role in photoreceptor function and survival.

  2. Perez-Roustit S., et al. Leber Congenital Amaurosis with Large Retinal Pigment Clumps Caused by Compound Heterozygous Mutations in Kcnj13. Retin Cases Brief Rep. 2017, 11(3): 221-226. PubMed ID: 27203561

    This article reveals the clinical features of a nystagmus patient who carry KCNJ13 mutations. These results indicate that its mutations are significantly associated with the risk of early-onset retinal dystrophy.

  3. Pattnaik B.R., et al. A Novel KCNJ13 Nonsense Mutation and Loss of Kir7.1 Channel Function Causes Leber Congenital Amaurosis (LCA16) channel. Hum Mutat. 2015, 36(7): 720-7. PubMed ID: 25921210

    Authors in this group identify a novel nonsense mutation in the second exon of the KCNJ13 gene that leads to a premature stop codon which is associated with LCA16.

  4. Zhong H., et al. CRISPR-engineered mosaicism rapidly reveals that loss of Kcnj13 function in mice mimics human disease phenotypes. Sci Rep. 2015, 5: 8366. PubMed ID: 25666713

    This article examines the pathogenic role of Kcnj13 in mutant mice using the CRISPR-Cas9 system, and then further analyses the function of KCNJ13 mutation in human. These results illustrate that KCNJ13 expression is required for retinal pigment epithelium cells to maintain photoreceptor survival.

  5. Khan A.O., et al. A distinct vitreo-retinal dystrophy with early-onset cataract from recessive KCNJ13 mutations. Ophthalmic Genet. 2015, 36(1): 79-84. PubMed ID: 25475713

    This article reveals a novel missense mutation in KCNJ13 (c.359T > C; p.Ile120Thr), which is associated with nystagmus in Arabian female patients.

KCNJ13 Preparation Options

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As a forward-looking research institute as well as a leading custom service provider in the field of membrane protein, Creative Biolabs has won good reputation among our worldwide customers for successfully accomplishing numerous challenging projects including generation of many functional membrane proteins. Please feel free to contact us for more information.


  1. Daniel R, et al. (2016). ML418: The first selective, sub-micromolar pore blocker of Kir7.1 potassium channels. ACS Chem Neurosci. 7(7): 1013–1023.

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