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Delayed rectifier K(+) currents and cardiac repolarization.

Flavien Charpentier, Jean Mérot, Gildas Loussouarn, Isabelle Baró

J. Mol. Cell. Cardiol., 2010 Jan , 48, 37-44

The two components of the cardiac delayed rectifier current have been the subject of numerous studies since firstly described. This current controls the action potential duration and is highly regulated. After identification of the channel subunits underlying IKs, KCNQ1 associated with KCNE1, and IKr, HERG, their involvement in human cardiac channelopathies have provided various models allowing the description of the molecular mechanisms of the KCNQ1 and HERG channels trafficking, activity and regulation. More recently, studies have been focusing on the unveiling of different partners of the pore-forming proteins that contribute to their maturation, trafficking, activity and/or degradation, on one side, and on their respective expression in the heterogeneous cardiac tissue, on the other side. The aim of this review is to report and discuss the major works on IKs and IKr and the most recent ones that help to understand the precise function of these currents in the heart.