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Nat Rev Neurosci. 2007 Apr;8(4):251-61.

The neuronal background K2P channels: focus on TREK1.

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Institut de Pharmacologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire, CNRS UMR 6097, Université de Nice-Sophia Antipolis, 660 route des Lucioles, 06560 Valbonne, France.


Two-pore-domain K(+) (K(2P)) channel subunits are made up of four transmembrane segments and two pore-forming domains that are arranged in tandem and function as either homo- or heterodimeric channels. This structural motif is associated with unusual gating properties, including background channel activity and sensitivity to membrane stretch. Moreover, K(2P) channels are modulated by a variety of cellular lipids and pharmacological agents, including polyunsaturated fatty acids and volatile general anaesthetics. Recent in vivo studies have demonstrated that TREK1, the most thoroughly studied K(2P) channel, has a key role in the cellular mechanisms of neuroprotection, anaesthesia, pain and depression.

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