Protein kinases: tuners of the BKCa channel in smooth muscle

Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2001 Oct;22(10):505-12. doi: 10.1016/s0165-6147(00)01775-2.


Large-conductance, Ca(2+)-activated K(+) (BK(Ca)) channels in smooth muscle cells are unique because they integrate changes in both intracellular Ca(2+) and membrane potential. Protein kinases such as cAMP-dependent protein kinase, cGMP-dependent protein kinase and protein kinase C can affect tissue function by 'tuning' the apparent Ca(2+)- and/or voltage-sensitivity of the BK(Ca) channel to physiological changes in both Ca(2+) concentrations and membrane potential. However, despite the central importance of kinase-mediated modulation of BK(Ca) channels in different smooth muscle tissues, many key issues, including the sites and mechanisms of actions of protein kinases, remain unresolved. In this article, the role of protein kinases in the regulation of BK(Ca) channels is discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Large-Conductance Calcium-Activated Potassium Channels
  • Muscle, Smooth / enzymology*
  • Muscle, Smooth / metabolism
  • Muscle, Smooth / physiology
  • Phosphorylation
  • Potassium Channels / metabolism
  • Potassium Channels / physiology*
  • Potassium Channels, Calcium-Activated*
  • Protein Kinases / physiology*


  • Large-Conductance Calcium-Activated Potassium Channels
  • Potassium Channels
  • Potassium Channels, Calcium-Activated
  • Protein Kinases