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Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2001 Oct;22(10):505-12.

Protein kinases: tuners of the BKCa channel in smooth muscle.

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Institute of Physiology, University of Rostock, PSF 100888, D-18055, Rostock, Germany.


Large-conductance, Ca(2+)-activated K(+) (BK(Ca)) channels in smooth muscle cells are unique because they integrate changes in both intracellular Ca(2+) and membrane potential. Protein kinases such as cAMP-dependent protein kinase, cGMP-dependent protein kinase and protein kinase C can affect tissue function by 'tuning' the apparent Ca(2+)- and/or voltage-sensitivity of the BK(Ca) channel to physiological changes in both Ca(2+) concentrations and membrane potential. However, despite the central importance of kinase-mediated modulation of BK(Ca) channels in different smooth muscle tissues, many key issues, including the sites and mechanisms of actions of protein kinases, remain unresolved. In this article, the role of protein kinases in the regulation of BK(Ca) channels is discussed.

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