Potassium channels are the most diverse group of the ion channel family. They play important roles in diverse physiological processes, such as shaping the action potential, neuronal excitability and plasticity. Until now, several subfamilies of the Kv family have been discovered. They are highly similar proteins, with only small amino acid changes causing the diversity of the voltage-dependent gating mechanism, channel conductance, and toxin binding properties. Each type of K+ channel is activated by different signals and conditions depending on their type of regulation. Potassium voltage-gated channel subfamily G (Kv7 channels), belonging to the big family of potassium voltage-gated channels, is comprised of four different subtypes. Studies have shown that these subunits do not possess any functional activity by themselves, but appear to form heteromeric channels with Kv2 subunits, and thus modulate Shab channel activity.
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