PubMed 11094335

Title: Modulation of Kv channel alpha/beta subunit interactions.

Authors: J R Martens, Y G Kwak, M M Tamkun

Journal, date & volume: Trends Cardiovasc. Med., 1999 Nov , 9, 253-8

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Voltage-gated K(+) channels comprise the largest and most diverse class of ion channels. These channels establish the resting membrane potential and modulate the frequency and duration of action potentials in nerve and muscle, as well as being the targets of several antiarrhythmic drugs in the heart. The multiplicity of Kv channel function is further enhanced through modulation by accessory beta subunits, which confer rapid inactivation, alter current amplitudes, and promote cell surface expression. In addition, alpha/beta interactions are also influenced by second messenger pathways. Recent evidence demonstrates that phosphorylation of Kv channel alpha and/or beta subunits may dramatically affect channel properties. The functional response of different K(+) channel subunits to activation of protein kinases represents not only a means to modulate subunit interactions, but also another mechanism for K(+) channel diversity in vivo.