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High-conductance potassium channels of the SLO family.

Lawrence Salkoff, Alice Butler, Gonzalo Ferreira, Celia Santi, Aguan Wei

Nat. Rev. Neurosci., 2006 Dec , 7, 921-31

High-conductance, 'big' potassium (BK) channels encoded by the Slo gene family are among the largest and most complex of the extended family of potassium channels. The family of SLO channels apparently evolved from voltage-dependent potassium channels, but acquired a large conserved carboxyl extension, which allows channel gating to be altered in response to the direct sensing of several different intracellular ions, and by other second-messenger systems, such as those activated following neurotransmitter binding to G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). This versatility has been exploited to serve many cellular roles, both within and outside the nervous system.