An overview of the potassium channel family
HHMI and Department of Biochemistry, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA 02454, USA
Genome Biology 2000, 1:reviews0004-reviews0004.5 doi:10.1186/gb-2000-1-4-reviews0004Published: 13 October 2000
Potassium channels, tetrameric integral membrane proteins that form aqueous pores through which K+ can flow, are found in virtually all organisms; the genomes of humans, Drosophila, and Caenorhabditis elegans contain 30-100 K+ channel genes each. The structure of a bacterial K+ channel, sequence comparisons with other channels and electrophysiological measurements have enabled conclusions about the mechanism of gating and ion flow to be drawn for many other channels.