Novel Roles for hERG K(+) Channels in Cell Proliferation and Apoptosis

Cell Death Dis. 2011 Aug 18;2(8):e193. doi: 10.1038/cddis.2011.77.


The human ether-a-go-go-related gene potassium channel (hERG, Kv11.1, KCNH2) has an essential role in cardiac action potential repolarization. Electrical dysfunction of the voltage-sensitive ion channel is associated with potentially lethal ventricular arrhythmias in humans. hERG K(+) channels are also expressed in a variety of cancer cells where they control cell proliferation and apoptosis. In this review, we discuss molecular mechanisms of hERG-associated cell cycle regulation and cell death. In addition, the significance of hERG K(+) channels as future drug target in anticancer therapy is highlighted.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis*
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Ether-A-Go-Go Potassium Channels / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Ether-A-Go-Go Potassium Channels / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Potassium Channel Blockers / pharmacology


  • Ether-A-Go-Go Potassium Channels
  • Potassium Channel Blockers