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Carbon monoxide: an emerging regulator of ion channels

Wilkinson, William James and Kemp, Paul J. 2011. Carbon monoxide: an emerging regulator of ion channels. The Journal of Physiology 589 (13) , pp. 3055-3062. 10.1113/jphysiol.2011.206706

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Carbon monoxide is rapidly emerging as an important cellular messenger, regulating a wide range of physiological processes. Crucial to its role in both physiology and disease is its ability differentially to regulate several classes of ion channels, including examples from calcium-activated K+ (BKCa), voltage-activated K+ (Kv) and Ca2+ channel (L-type) families, ligand-gated P2X receptors (P2X2 and P2X4), tandem P domain K+ channels (TREK1) and the epithelial Na+ channel (ENaC). The mechanisms by which CO regulates these ion channels are still unclear and remain somewhat controversial. However, available structure–function studies suggest that a limited range of amino acid residues confer CO sensitivity, either directly or indirectly, to particular ion channels and that cellular redox state appears to be important to the final integrated response. Whatever the molecular mechanism by which CO regulates ion channels, endogenous production of this gasotransmitter has physiologically important roles and is currently being explored as a potential therapeutic.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Publisher: The Physiological Society
ISSN: 0022-3751
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 03:42

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