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Voltage-Gated Potassium Channels and Human Neurological Diseases

JIN Hong Wei, WANG Xiao Liang (Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College , Beijing 100050 )  
Voltage gated potassium channels (Kv) is the largest, most complex in potassium channel superfamily. It can be divided into Kv α subunit and auxiliary two groups. The roles of some Kv channels types, e.g. rapidly inactivating (A Type channel) and muscarine sensitive channels (M type channel) are beginning to be understood. They are prominent in nervous system, acting in delicate and accurate ways to control or modify many physiological and pathological functions including membrane excitability, neurotransmitter release, cell proliferation or degeneration, signal transduction in neuronal network. Many human neurological disease pathgenesis are found to be related to mutant of Kv channels subunit or subtype, such as, learning and memory impairing, ataxia, epilepsy, deafness, etc.
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