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J Membr Biol. 2005 Jun;205(3):115-24.

Role of voltage-gated potassium channels in cancer.

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Max-Planck-Institute of Experimental Medicine, Hermann Rein Str. 3, Göttingen, 37075 Germany.


Ion channels are being associated with a growing number of diseases including cancer. This overview summarizes data on voltage-gated potassium channels (VGKCs) that exhibit oncogenic properties: ether-à-go-go type 1 (Eag1). Normally, Eag1 is expressed almost exclusively in tissue of neural origin, but its ectopic expression leads to uncontrolled proliferation, while inhibition of Eag1 expression produces a concomitant reduction in proliferation. Specific monoclonal antibodies against Eag1 recognize an epitope in over 80% of human tumors of diverse origins, endowing it with diagnostic and therapeutic potential. Eag1 also possesses unique electrophysiological properties that simplify its identification. This is particularly important, as specific blockers of Eag1 currents are not available. Molecular imaging of Eag1 in live tumor models has been accomplished with dye-tagged antibodies using 3-D imaging techniques in the near-infrared spectral range.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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