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J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2010 Mar;332(3):811-20. doi: 10.1124/jpet.109.162800. Epub 2009 Dec 29.

Expression, localization, and pharmacological role of Kv7 potassium channels in skeletal muscle proliferation, differentiation, and survival after myotoxic insults.

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Division of Pharmacology, Department of Neuroscience, University of Naples Federico II, Naples, Italy.


Changes in the expression of potassium channels regulate skeletal muscle development. The purpose of this study was to investigate the expression profile and pharmacological role of K(v)7 voltage-gated potassium channels in skeletal muscle differentiation, proliferation, and survival after myotoxic insults. Transcripts for all K(v)7 genes (K(v)7.1-K(v)7.5) were detected by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and/or real-time PCR in murine C(2)C(12) myoblasts; K(v)7.1, K(v)7.3, and K(v)7.4 transcripts were up-regulated after myotube formation. Western blot experiments confirmed K(v)7.2, K(v)7.3, and K(v)7.4 subunit expression, and the up-regulation of K(v)7.3 and K(v)7.4 subunits during in vitro differentiation. In adult skeletal muscles from mice and humans, K(v)7.2 and K(v)7.3 immunoreactivity was mainly localized at the level of intracellular striations positioned between ankyrinG-positive triads, whereas that of K(v)7.4 subunits was largely restricted to the sarcolemmal membrane. In C(2)C(12) cells, retigabine (10 microM), a specific activator of neuronally expressed K(v)7.2 to K(v)7.5 subunits, reduced proliferation, accelerated myogenin expression, and inhibited the myotoxic effect of mevastatin (IC(50) approximately 7 microM); all these effects of retigabine were prevented by the K(v)7 channel blocker 10,10-bis(4-pyridinylmethyl)-9(10H)-anthracenone (XE-991) (10 muM). These data collectively highlight neural K(v)7 channels as significant pharmacological targets to regulate skeletal muscle proliferation, differentiation, and myotoxic effects of drugs.

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