Potassium channels in the heart

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Ionic currents over the plasma membrane through channels are the cornerstone of excitable cells. Human cardiomyocytes are excitable and continuously cycle between a depolarized and a repolarized state every second throughout human life, initiating and coordinating cardiac pump function. Ion channels selective for potassium (K+) critically participate in cellular repolarization and contribute to stabilizing the diastolic membrane potential, thus shaping the cardiac action potential. Four different subfamilies of potassium channels are present in the heart: small conductance, calcium-activated potassium channels (SK or KCa2), inwardly rectifying potassium channels (Kir), two-pore-domain potassium channels (K2P), and voltage-gated potassium channels (KV). In the present review, the structure and biophysical function of these cardiac potassium ion channels are reviewed. Moreover, rectification, inactivation, and current dependency on the extracellular potassium concentration are explained.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationChannelopathies in Heart Disease
EditorsDierk Thomas , Carol Ann Remme
Publication date2018
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-77811-2
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-77812-9
Publication statusPublished - 2018
SeriesCardiac and Vascular Biology

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature.

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