Indan Journal of Medical Research Indan Journal of Medical Research Indan Journal of Medical Research Indan Journal of Medical Research
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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2009  |  Volume : 129  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 223-232

Potassium channels in health, disease & development of channel modulators


Department of Pharmacology, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education & Research Puducherry, India

Correspondence Address:
S Sandhiya
Department of Pharmacology, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education & Research Puducherry, India

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


PMID: 19491413

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Ion channels present in the plasma membrane and intracellular organelles of all cells, play an important role in maintaining cellular integrity, smooth muscle contraction, secretion of hormones and neurotransmitters. Among the ion channels, potassium channels (K(+)) are the most abundant having important role in cardiac repolarization, smooth muscle relaxation and insulin release. These are also involved in the regulation of physiological functions like gastrointestinal peristalsis. These channels are the most diverse of all ion channels and are coded by at least 75 genes. Moreover, these have different subunits which co-assemble to form diverse functional channels. Abnormalities in K(+) channels are associated with diseases like long QT syndrome, Anderson Tawil syndrome, epilepsy, type 2 diabetes mellitus, etc. A number of naturally occurring as well as synthetic compounds have been identified that modulate the opening and closure of K(ATP) Channels. Some of the currently available K(+) channel modulators like sulphonylureas, minoxidil, amiodarone, etc. lack tissue selectivity and have adverse effects. Hence, the success of K(ATP) channel modulators depend on their tissue selectivity. Molecular level studies are needed to understand the type of K(+) channels as this can lead to the development of newer drugs with tissue selectivity for various diseases.


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