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BMB Rep. 2009 Aug 31;42(8):535-9.

Kv1.3 voltage-gated K(+) channel subunit as a potential diagnostic marker and therapeutic target for breast cancer.

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  • 1Laboratories of Veterinary Pharmacology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-742, Korea.


Voltage-gated K(+) (Kv) channels are widely expressed in the plasma membranes of numerous cells such as epithelial cells. Recently, it has been demonstrated that Kv channels are associated with the proliferation of several types of cancer cells. Specifically, Kv1.3 seems to be involved in cancer cell proliferation and apoptosis. In the present study, we examined the expression of Kv1.3 in immortalized and tumorigenic human mammary epithelial cells. We also evaluated the expression level of Kv1.3 in each stage of breast cancer using mRNA isolated from breast cancer patients. In addition, treatment with tetraethylammonium, a Kv channel blocker, suppressed tumorigenic human mammary epithelial cell proliferation. Therefore, Kv1.3 may serve as a novel molecular target for breast cancer therapy while its stage-specific expression pattern may provide a potential diagnostic marker for breast cancer development.

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