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Nature. 2006 Mar 23;440(7083):470-6.

KATP channels as molecular sensors of cellular metabolism.

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  • 1Department of Cell Biology and Physiology, Washington University School of Medicine, 660 South Euclid Avenue, St Louis, Missouri 63110, USA. cnichols@cellbio.wustl.edu


In responding to cytoplasmic nucleotide levels, ATP-sensitive potassium (K(ATP)) channel activity provides a unique link between cellular energetics and electrical excitability. Over the past ten years, a steady drumbeat of crystallographic and electrophysiological studies has led to detailed structural and kinetic models that define the molecular basis of channel activity. In parallel, the uncovering of disease-causing mutations of K(ATP) has led to an explanation of the molecular basis of disease and, in turn, to a better understanding of the structural basis of channel function.

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