Ca 2+ - and voltage-gated K + channels of large conductance (BK channels) are expressed in a diverse variety of both excitable and inexcitable cells, with functional properties presumably uniquely calibrated for the cells in which they are found. Although some diversity in BK channel function, localization, and regulation apparently arises from cell-specific alternative splice variants of the single pore-forming α subunit (KCa1.1, Kcnma1, Slo1) gene, two families of regulatory subunits, β and γ, define BK channels that span a diverse range of functional properties. We are just beginning to unravel the cell-specific, physiological roles served by BK channels of different subunit composition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-137
Number of pages25
JournalAnnual review of physiology
StatePublished - Feb 10 2019


  • BK channels
  • Ca2+-and voltage-dependent
  • K+channels
  • KCa1.1
  • LRRC26
  • auxiliary subunits
  • beta subunits
  • gamma subunits


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