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News Physiol Sci. 2002 Aug;17:156-61.

New disguises for an old channel: MaxiK channel beta-subunits.

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  • 1Centro de Estudios Científicos (CECS), Valdivia, Chile.


Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channels of large conductance (MaxiK or BK channels) control a large variety of physiological processes, including smooth muscle tone, neurosecretion, and hearing. Despite being coded by a single gene (Slowpoke), the diversity of MaxiK channels is great. Regulatory b-subunits, splicing, and metabolic regulation create this diversity fundamental to the adequate function of many tissues.

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