Polyamines pp 113-126 | Cite as

Polyamine Block of Inwardly Rectifying Potassium Channels

  • Harley T. Kurata
  • Wayland W. L. Cheng
  • Colin G. NicholsEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 720)


Polyamine blockade of inwardly rectifying potassium (Kir) channels underlies their steep voltage-­dependence observed in native cells. The structural determinants of polyamine blockade and the structure-activity profile of endogenous polyamines requires specialized methodology for characterizing polyamine interactions with Kir channels. Recent identification and growing interest in the structure and function of prokaryotic Kir channels (KirBacs) has driven the development of new techniques for measuring ion channel activity. Several methods for measuring polyamine interactions with prokaryotic and eukaryotic Kir channels are discussed.

Key words

Inward rectifier Potassium channel Electrophysiology Patch-clamp Ion channel blockade 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Harley T. Kurata
    • 1
  • Wayland W. L. Cheng
    • 2
  • Colin G. Nichols
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Anesthesiology, Pharmacology, and TherapeuticsUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  2. 2.Department of Cell Biology and PhysiologyWashington University School of MedicineSt. LouisUSA

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