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Two-pore-Domain (KCNK) potassium channels: dynamic roles in neuronal function.

Leak K+ currents contribute to the resting membrane potential and are important for modulation of neuronal excitability. Within the past few years, an entire family of genes has been described whose members form leak K+ channels, insofar as they generate potassium-selective currents with little voltage- and time-dependence. They are often referred to as "two-pore-domain" channels because of their predicted topology, which includes two pore-forming regions in each subunit. These channels are modulated by a host of different endogenous and clinical compounds such as neurotransmitters and anesthetics, and by physicochemical factors such as temperature, pH, oxygen tension, and osmolarity. They also are subject to long-term regulation by changes in gene expression. In this review, the authors describe multiple roles that modulation of leak K+ channels play in CNS function and discuss evidence that members of the two-pore-domain family are molecular substrates for these processes.[1]


  1. Two-pore-Domain (KCNK) potassium channels: dynamic roles in neuronal function. Talley, E.M., Sirois, J.E., Lei, Q., Bayliss, D.A. The Neuroscientist : a review journal bringing neurobiology, neurology and psychiatry. (2003) [Pubmed]
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