Voltage-gated K(+) channels (Kv) represent the largest family of genes in the K(+) channel family. The Kv1 subfamily plays an essential role in the initiation and shaping of action potentials, influencing action potential firing patterns and controlling neuronal excitability. Overlapping patterns with differential expression and precise localization of Kv1.1 and Kv1.2 channels targeted to specialized subcellular compartments contribute to distinctive patterns of neuronal excitability. Dynamic regulation of the components in these subcellular domains help to finely tune the cellular and regional networks. Disruption of the expression, distribution, and density of these channels through deletion or mutation of the genes encoding these channels, Kcna1 and Kcna2, is associated with neurologic pathologies including epilepsy and ataxia in humans and in rodent models. Kv1.1 and Kv1.2 knockout mice both have seizures beginning early in development; however, each express a different seizure type (pathway), although the channels are from the same subfamily and are abundantly coexpressed. Voltage-gated ion channels clustered in specific locations may present a novel therapeutic target for influencing excitability in neurologic disorders associated with some channelopathies.
Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2012 International League Against Epilepsy.