The voltage-gated potassium channels and their relatives

Nature. 2002 Sep 5;419(6902):35-42. doi: 10.1038/nature00978.


The voltage-gated potassium channels are the prototypical members of a family of membrane signalling proteins. These protein-based machines have pores that pass millions of ions per second across the membrane with astonishing selectivity, and their gates snap open and shut in milliseconds as they sense changes in voltage or ligand concentration. The architectural modules and functional components of these sophisticated signalling molecules are becoming clear, but some important links remain to be elucidated.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Electric Conductivity
  • Ion Channel Gating*
  • Ligands
  • Models, Molecular
  • Potassium / metabolism
  • Potassium Channels, Voltage-Gated / chemistry*
  • Potassium Channels, Voltage-Gated / metabolism*
  • Protein Conformation
  • Signal Transduction
  • Sodium / metabolism
  • Substrate Specificity


  • Ligands
  • Potassium Channels, Voltage-Gated
  • Sodium
  • Potassium
  • Calcium