K(V)7 potassium channels: a new therapeutic target in smooth muscle disorders

Drug Discov Today. 2014 Apr;19(4):413-24. doi: 10.1016/j.drudis.2013.12.003. Epub 2013 Dec 12.


Potassium channels are key regulators of smooth muscle tone, with increases in activity resulting in hyperpolarisation of the cell membrane, which acts to oppose vasoconstriction. Several potassium channels exist within smooth muscle, but the KV7 family of voltage-gated potassium channels have been identified as being crucial mediators of this process in a variety of smooth muscle. Recently, KV7 channels have been shown to be involved in the pathogenesis of hypertension, as well as being implicated in other smooth muscle disorders, providing a new and inviting target for smooth muscle disorders.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Asthma / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • KCNQ Potassium Channels / agonists
  • KCNQ Potassium Channels / antagonists & inhibitors
  • KCNQ Potassium Channels / chemistry
  • KCNQ Potassium Channels / physiology*
  • Muscle, Smooth / physiology*
  • Muscular Diseases / genetics
  • Muscular Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Obstetric Labor, Premature / physiopathology
  • Potassium Channels, Calcium-Activated / physiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Urinary Incontinence / physiopathology
  • Vascular Diseases / physiopathology


  • KCNQ Potassium Channels
  • Potassium Channels, Calcium-Activated