Large conductance Ca2+-activated K+ (BK) channels are activated by membrane depolarization and intracellular Ca2+. BK channels regulate membrane potential, intracellular Ca2+ concentration and ion transportation across the cell membrane. BK channels are composed of four Slo1 subunits that may associate with β and γ regulatory subunits. The Slo1 subunit contains a transmembrane voltage-sensor domain and a pore-gate domain as well as a cytosolic domain that serves as the Ca2+ sensor. BK channels exhibit an intrinsic opening in the absence of stimulation. Voltage and Ca2+ activate BK channels with allosteric mechanisms such that the activation of each voltage or Ca2+ sensor enhances pore opening. Peptide toxins, fatty acids and small molecule compounds are found to interact with the channel protein to inhibit or enhance BK channel function.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTextbook of Ion Channels Volume II
Subtitle of host publicationProperties, Function, and Pharmacology of the Superfamilies
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781000857740
ISBN (Print)9780367538163
StatePublished - Jan 1 2023


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