Metabolic Modulation of Potassium Channels

Science's STKE  18 May 2004:
Vol. 2004, Issue 233, pp. pe22
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2332004pe22

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Recent investigations have shown that a range of small molecules that reflect the metabolic state of a cell regulate the activity of potassium channels. For instance, hydrogen peroxide has been shown to activate adenosine 5′-triphosphate–sensitive potassium channels (KATP channels), whereas heme closes certain calcium-activated potassium channels. Although the exact function of the β subunit associated with voltage-gated potassium channels is still unclear, its crystal structure suggests that membrane excitability is directly coupled to metabolism.

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