K(v)7 channels: function, pharmacology and channel modulators.
ABSTRACT K(v)7 channels are unique among K(+) channels, since four out of the five channel subtypes have well-documented roles in the development of human diseases. They have distinct physiological functions in the heart and in the nervous system, which can be ascribed to their voltage-gating properties. The K(v)7 channels also lend themselves to pharmacological modulation, and synthetic openers as well as blockers of the channels, regulating neuronal excitability, have existed even before the K(v)7 channels were identified by cloning. In the present review we give an account on the focused efforts to develop selective modulators, openers as well as blockers, of the K(v)7 channel subtypes, which have been undertaken during recent years, along with a discussion of the K(v)7 ion channel physiology and therapeutic indications for modulators of the neuronal K(v)7 channels.
Article: KCNQ modulators reveal a key role for KCNQ potassium channels in regulating the tone of rat pulmonary artery smooth muscle.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Potassium channels are central to the regulation of pulmonary vascular tone. The smooth muscle cells of pulmonary artery display a background K(+) conductance with biophysical properties resembling those of KCNQ (K(V)7) potassium channels. Therefore, we investigated the expression and functional role of KCNQ channels in pulmonary artery. The effects of selective KCNQ channel modulators were investigated on K(+) current and membrane potential in isolated pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells (PASMCs), on the tension developed by intact pulmonary arteries, and on pulmonary arterial pressure in isolated perfused lungs and in vivo. The KCNQ channel blockers, linopirdine and XE991 [10,10-bis(4-pyridinylmethyl)-9(10H)-anthracenone], inhibited the noninactivating background K(+) conductance in PASMCs and caused depolarization, vasoconstriction, and raised pulmonary arterial pressure without constricting several systemic arteries or raising systemic pressure. The KCNQ channel openers, retigabine and flupirtine, had the opposite effects. PASMCs were found to express KCNQ4 mRNA, at higher levels than mesenteric artery, along with smaller amounts of KCNQ1 and 5. It is concluded that KCNQ channels, most probably KCNQ4, make an important contribution to the regulation of pulmonary vascular tone, with a greater contribution in pulmonary compared with systemic vessels. The pulmonary vasoconstrictor effect of KCNQ blockers is a potentially serious side effect, but the pulmonary vasodilator effect of the openers may be useful in the treatment of pulmonary hypertension.Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics 02/2009; 329(1):368-76. · 3.83 Impact Factor
Article: New molecular targets for antiepileptic drugs: alpha(2)delta, SV2A, and K(v)7/KCNQ/M potassium channels.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Many currently prescribed antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) act via voltage-gated sodium channels, through effects on gamma-aminobutyric acid-mediated inhibition, or via voltage-gated calcium channels. Some newer AEDs do not act via these traditional mechanisms. The molecular targets for several of these nontraditional AEDs have been defined using cellular electrophysiology and molecular approaches. Here, we describe three of these targets: alpha(2)delta, auxiliary subunits of voltage-gated calcium channels through which the gabapentinoids gabapentin and pregabalin exert their anticonvulsant and analgesic actions; SV2A, a ubiquitous synaptic vesicle glycoprotein that may prepare vesicles for fusion and serves as the target for levetiracetam and its analog brivaracetam (which is currently in late-stage clinical development); and K(v)7/KCNQ/M potassium channels that mediate the M-current, which acts a brake on repetitive firing and burst generation and serves as the target for the investigational AEDs retigabine and ICA-105665. Functionally, all of the new targets modulate neurotransmitter output at synapses, focusing attention on presynaptic terminals as critical sites of action for AEDs.Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports 08/2008; 8(4):345-52. · 3.45 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Almost three decades ago, the M current was identified and characterized in frog sympathetic neurons (Brown and Adams, 1980). The years following this discovery have seen a huge progress in the understanding of the function and the pharmacology of this current as well as on the structure of the underlying ion channels. Therapies for a number of syndromes involving abnormal levels of excitability in neurons are benefiting from research on M currents. At present, the potential of M current openers as analgesics for neuropathic pain is under discussion. Here we offer a critical view of existing data on the involvement of M currents in pain processing. We believe that enhancement of M currents at the site of injury may become a powerful strategy to alleviate pain in some peripheral neuropathies.Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience 02/2009; 2:10.