Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Channels (Austin). 2013 Nov-Dec;7(6):442-58. doi: 10.4161/chan.26242. Epub 2013 Sep 11.

A BK (Slo1) channel journey from molecule to physiology.

Author information

1
Centro Interdisciplinario de Neurociencia de Valparaíso; Facultad de Ciencias; Universidad de Valparaíso; Valparaíso, Chile; Doctorado en Ciencias mención Neurociencia; Universidad de Valparaíso; Valparaíso, Chile.
2
Centro Interdisciplinario de Neurociencia de Valparaíso; Facultad de Ciencias; Universidad de Valparaíso; Valparaíso, Chile.
3
Grupo de Investigación en Fisiología Vascular (GINFIV); Universidad Nacional de la Plata; La Plata, Argentina.
4
Centro Interdisciplinario de Neurociencia de Valparaíso; Facultad de Ciencias; Universidad de Valparaíso; Valparaíso, Chile; Facultad de Ciencias; Universidad de Chile; Santiago, Chile.
5
Facultad de Ciencias; Universidad de Chile; Santiago, Chile.
6
Laboratorio de Canales Iónicos; Departamento de Biofísica; Facultad de Medicina; Universidad de la República; Montevideo, Uruguay.

Abstract

Calcium and voltage-activated potassium (BK) channels are key actors in cell physiology, both in neuronal and non-neuronal cells and tissues. Through negative feedback between intracellular Ca (2+) and membrane voltage, BK channels provide a damping mechanism for excitatory signals. Molecular modulation of these channels by alternative splicing, auxiliary subunits and post-translational modifications showed that these channels are subjected to many mechanisms that add diversity to the BK channel α subunit gene. This complexity of interactions modulates BK channel gating, modifying the energetic barrier of voltage sensor domain activation and channel opening. Regions for voltage as well as Ca (2+) sensitivity have been identified, and the crystal structure generated by the 2 RCK domains contained in the C-terminal of the channel has been described. The linkage of these channels to many intracellular metabolites and pathways, as well as their modulation by extracellular natural agents, has been found to be relevant in many physiological processes. This review includes the hallmarks of BK channel biophysics and its physiological impact on specific cells and tissues, highlighting its relationship with auxiliary subunit expression.

KEYWORDS:

BK channels; Slo1; auxiliary subunits; diseases; intracellular Ca2+; smooth muscle; voltage sensor

PMID:
24025517
PMCID:
PMC4042479
DOI:
10.4161/chan.26242
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Taylor & Francis Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center