SK channels in excitability, pacemaking and synaptic integration

Chris T. Bond, James Maylie, John P. Adelman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

144 Scopus citations


Small conductance calcium-activated potassium channels link elevations of intracellular calcium ions to membrane potential, exerting a hyperpolarizing influence when activated. The consequences of SK channel activity have been revealed by the specific blocker apamin, a peptide toxin from honeybee venom. Recent studies have revealed unexpected roles for SK channels in fine-tuning intrinsic cell firing properties and in responsiveness to synaptic input. They have also identified specific roles for different SK channel subtypes. A host of Ca2+ sources, including distinct subtypes of voltage-dependent calcium channels, intracellular Ca2+ stores and Ca 2+-permeable ionotropic neurotransmitter receptors, activate SK channels. The macromolecular complex in which the Ca2+ source, SK channels and various modulators are assembled determines the kinetics and consequences of SK channel activation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)305-311
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Neurobiology
Issue number3 SPEC. ISS.
StatePublished - Jun 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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