Although it is generally accepted that ROMK is the K(+) secretory channel in the mammalian distal nephron, recent in vitro and in vivo studies have provided evidence that large-conductance Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channels (BK, or maxi K) also secrete K(+) in renal tubules. This review assesses the current evidence relating BK channels with K(+) secretion. We shall consider the component proteins of the BK channel, their localization with respect to segment and cell type, and the electrophysiological forces involved in K(+) secretion. Although the majority of studies have focused on a role for BK channels in flow-mediated K(+) secretion, this review also considers a potential role for BK channels in high-K diet-induced K(+) secretion. The division of workload between ROMK and BK is discussed as a mechanism for ensuring a constant plasma K(+) concentration.