Potassium/sodium hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN) channels consist of a series of intermembrane proteins that serve as nonselective voltage-gated cation channels in the plasma membranes of heart and brain cells. Unlikely other members of the voltage-gated channel superfamily, they are activated upon hyperpolarization, near the membrane resting potential of excitable cells. Currently, four mammalian HCN channels subtypes (HCN1-HCN4) have been determined. As the name implies, the HCN family are cation channels that are activated upon hyperpolarization and serve important functions in the nervous system, including regulation of neurotransmitter release, initiation of rhythmic activity by acting as pacemakers and dampening of dendritic excitability. Studies have suggested that the potassium/sodium HCN channels are widely expressed in excitable tissues, where they play a key role in the initiation and regulation of the rhythmic activity. What’s more, HCN channels display a weak cation selectivity but under physiological conditions, due to the electrochemical gradient, carry a Na+ inward current when they open.
Here, we have described in detail of members of the potassium/sodium HCN channel family, which including but not limited to potassium/sodium hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated channel 1 and potassium/sodium hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated channel 2. To learn more detailed information, please click the links below.
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