We have recently shown that the rat brain Kv1.1 (RCK1) voltage-gated K+ channel is partially phosphorylated in its basal state in Xenopus oocytes and can be further phosphorylated upon treatment for a short time with a cAMP analog (Ivanina, T., Perts, T., Thornhill, W. B., Levin, G., Dascal, N., and Lotan, I. (1994) Biochemistry 33, 8786-8792). In this study, we show, by two- electrode voltage clamp analysis, that whereas treatments for a short time with various cAMP analogs do not affect the channel function, prolonged treatment with 8-bromoadenosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphorothioate ((S(p))-8- Br-cAMPS), a membrane-permeant cAMP analog, enhances the current amplitude. It also enhances the current amplitude through a mutant channel that cannot be phosphorylated by protein kinase A activation. The enhancement is inhibited in the presence of (R(p))-8-Br-cAMPS, a membrane-permeant protein kinase A inhibitor. Concomitant SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis analysis reveals that this treatment not only brings about phosphorylation of the wild-type channel, but also increases the amounts of both wild-type and mutant channel proteins; the latter effect can be inhibited by cycloheximide, a protein synthesis inhibitor. In the presence of cycloheximide, the (Sp)-8- Br-cAMPS treatment enhances only the wild-type current amplitudes and induces accumulation of wild-type channels in the plasma membrane of the oocyte. In summary, prolonged treatment with (S(p))-8-Br-cAMPS regulates RCK1 function via two pathways, a pathway leading to enhanced channel synthesis and a pathway involving channel phosphorylation that directs channels to the plasma membrane.