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Jpn J Physiol. 1998 Dec;48(6):397-412.

ATP-sensitive potassium channels: structures, functions, and pathophysiology.

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  • 1Department of Physiology, Akita University School of Medicine, Akita, 010-8543, Japan.


ATP-sensitive potassium channels (KATP channels) play important roles in various tissues by coupling cell metabolic status to electrical activity. Recently, molecular biological and electrophysiological techniques have revealed the molecular basis of the KATP channels to be a complex of the Kir6.0 subunit, a member of the inwardly rectifying K+ channel subfamily Kir6.0, and the sulfonylurea receptor (SUR) subunit, a member of ATP-binding cassette (ABC) superfamily; the functional diversity of the various KATP channels is being determined by a combination of the Kir6.0 subunit (Kir6.1 or Kir6.2) and the SUR subunit (SUR1 or SUR2) comprising it. Recent studies of the KATP channels have suggested mechanisms of KATP channel regulation and pathophysiology and also a new model in which ABC proteins regulate the functional expression of ion channels.

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