Potassium channels


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Activation of potassium channels regulates excitability and can control the shape of the action potential waveform. They are present in all cells within the body and can influence processes as diverse as cognition, muscle contraction and hormone secretion. Potassium channels are subdivided into families, based on their structural and functional properties. The largest family consists of potassium channels that activated by membrane depolarization, with other families consisting of channels that are either activated by a rise of intracellular calcium ions or are constitutively active. A standardised nomenclature for potassium channels has been proposed by the NC-IUPHAR subcommittees on potassium channels [1-4], which has placed cloned channels into groups based on gene family and structure of channels that exhibit 6, 4 or 2 transmembrane domains (TM).

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NC-IUPHAR subcommittee and family contributors

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How to cite this family page

Database page citation:

Richard Aldrich, Bernard Attali, K. George Chandy, Steve A.N. Goldstein, Stephan Grissmer, Lily Y. Jan, Leonard K. Kaczmarek, Jeanne Nerbonne, Colin G. Nichols, Lawrence G. Palmer, Leigh D Plant, Henry Sackin, Michael C. Sanguinetti, Paul A. Slesinger, James S. Trimmer, Stephen Tucker, Aguan D. Wei, Heike Wulff. Potassium channels. Accessed on 01/12/2015. IUPHAR/BPS Guide to PHARMACOLOGY, http://www.guidetopharmacology.org/GRAC/FamilyDisplayForward?familyId=133.

Concise Guide to PHARMACOLOGY citation:

Alexander SPH, Benson HE, Faccenda E, Pawson AJ, Sharman JL, Catterall WA, Spedding M, Peters JA and Harmar AJ, CGTP Collaborators. (2013) The Concise Guide to PHARMACOLOGY 2013/14: Ion Channels. Br J Pharmacol. 170: 1607–1651.