Possible heteromultimer formation between Kv- and Kir-type K+ channels was investigated, in connection with the known functional diversity of K+ channels in vivo. Voltage-clamp experiments were performed on Xenopus oocytes, either injected with concatenated Kir2.1-Kv1.1 mRNA, or co-injected with Kv1.1 and Kir2.1 mRNA. K+ currents could be approximated by the algebraic sum of the 2 K+ current types alone. The tandem construct did not show functional expression, although it could be detected by Western blotting. We conclude that Kv1.1 and Kir2.1 alpha-subunit proteins fail to assemble and do not contribute functional diversity to K+ channels.