Determinants of voltage-gated potassium channel surface expression and localization in Mammalian neurons

Crit Rev Biochem Mol Biol. 2004 May-Jun;39(3):125-45. doi: 10.1080/10409230490475417.


Neurons strictly regulate expression of a wide variety of voltage-dependent ion channels in their surface membranes to achieve precise yet dynamic control of intrinsic membrane excitability. Neurons also exhibit extreme morphological complexity that underlies diverse aspects of their function. Most ion channels are preferentially targeted to either the axonal or somatodendritic compartments, where they become further localized to discrete membrane subdomains. This restricted accumulation of ion channels enables local control of membrane signaling events in specific microdomains of a given compartment. Voltage-dependent K+ (Kv) channels act as potent modulators of diverse excitatory events such as action potentials, excitatory synaptic potentials, and Ca2+ influx. Kv channels exhibit diverse patterns of cellular expression, and distinct subtype-specific localization, in mammalian central neurons. Here we review the mechanisms regulating the abundance and distribution of Kv channels in mammalian neurons and discuss how dynamic regulation of these events impacts neuronal signaling.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Membrane / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Mammals / metabolism
  • Neurons / chemistry*
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • Potassium Channels, Voltage-Gated / analysis*
  • Potassium Channels, Voltage-Gated / genetics
  • Potassium Channels, Voltage-Gated / metabolism*


  • Potassium Channels, Voltage-Gated