Voltage-gated potassium channels (Kv) of the Shaker-related superfamily are assembled from membrane-integrated alpha subunits and auxiliary beta subunits. The beta subunits may increase Kv channel surface expression and/or confer A-type behavior to noninactivating Kv channels in heterologous expression systems. The interaction of Kv alpha and Kv beta subunits depends on the presence or absence of several domains including the amino-terminal N-type inactivating and NIP domains and the Kv alpha and Kv beta binding domains. Loss of function of Kv beta 1.1 subunits leads to a reduction of A-type Kv channel activity in hippocampal and striatal neurons of knock-out mice. This reduction may be correlated with altered cognition and motor control in the knock-out mice.