The KCNQ1 channel - remarkable flexibility in gating allows for functional versatility

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37 Scopus citations


The KCNQ1 channel (also called Kv7.1 or KvLQT1) belongs to the superfamily of voltage-gated K+ (Kv) channels. KCNQ1 shares several general features with other Kv channels but also displays a fascinating flexibility in terms of the mechanism of channel gating, which allows KCNQ1 to play different physiological roles in different tissues. This flexibility allows KCNQ1 channels to function as voltage-independent channels in epithelial tissues, whereas KCNQ1 function as voltage-activated channels with very slow kinetics in cardiac tissues. This flexibility is in part provided by the association of KCNQ1 with different accessory KCNE β-subunits and different modulators, but also seems like an integral part of KCNQ1 itself. The aim of this review is to describe the main mechanisms underlying KCNQ1 flexibility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2605-2615
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Physiology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 15 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology


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