The Kv7 channels, a family of voltage-dependent K(+) channels (Kv7.1-Kv7.5), have gained much attention in drug discovery especially because four members are genetically linked to diseases. For disorders of the CNS focus was originally on epilepsy and pain, but it is becoming increasingly evident that Kv7 channels can also be valid targets for psychiatric disorders, such as anxiety and mania. The common denominator is probably neuronal hyperexcitability in different brain areas, which can be successfully attenuated by pharmacological increment of Kv7 channel activity. This perspective attempts to review the current status and challenges for CNS drug discovery based on Kv7 channels as targets for neurological and psychiatric indications with special focus on selectivity and mode-of-actions.
Keywords: Anti-convulsion; Anti-manic; Anti-psychotic; K(v)7; KCNQ; Mode-of-action.
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