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Molecules. 2012 Apr 5;17(4):4225-35. doi: 10.3390/molecules17044225.

HCN channels and heart rate.

Author information

1
Section of Cardiovascular Diseases, Department of Emergency and Organ Transplantation, University of Bari, School of Medicine, Policlinico, Bari 70124, Italy.

Abstract

Hyperpolarization and Cyclic Nucleotide (HCN) -gated channels represent the molecular correlates of the "funny" pacemaker current (I(f)), a current activated by hyperpolarization and considered able to influence the sinus node function in generating cardiac impulses. HCN channels are a family of six transmembrane domain, single pore-loop, hyperpolarization activated, non-selective cation channels. This channel family comprises four members: HCN1-4, but there is a general agreement to consider HCN4 as the main isoform able to control heart rate. This review aims to summarize advanced insights into the structure, function and cellular regulation of HCN channels in order to better understand the role of such channels in regulating heart rate and heart function in normal and pathological conditions. Therefore, we evaluated the possible therapeutic application of the selective HCN channels blockers in heart rate control.

PMID:
22481543
DOI:
10.3390/molecules17044225
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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