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Trafficking of potassium channels.

Katja Heusser, Blanche Schwappach

Curr. Opin. Neurobiol., 2005 Jun , 15, 364-9

Recent progress in our understanding of the trafficking of potassium channels can be seen in particular when considering the Kv-type channels. To date, we have discovered that folding of the Kv1.3 T1 domain begins in the ribosomal exit tunnel, and that the cell surface expression of Kv4 channels is enhanced by the presence of two recently identified accessory subunits. Current advances are beginning to enable us to understand the Kv supermolecular complex containing these subunits in crystallographic detail. In addition, determinants that govern the dendritic or axonal targeting of Kv channels have also been identified. In terms of the bigger picture, the careful analysis of gene expression patterns in the brain paves the way for studying trafficking in a physiological context. Indeed, neuronal activity has recently been shown to fine-tune the localization of Kv2.1 channels in microdomains of the neuronal plasma membrane.