Encyclopedia of Signaling Molecules

2018 Edition
| Editors: Sangdun Choi


  • Antonella Celluzzi
  • Andrea MasottiEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-67199-4_101534


 BIR1;  GIRK-2;  hiGIRK2;  KATP2;  KATP-2;  KCNJ7;  KIR3.2;  KPLBS

Historical Background

In the last few years, the knowledge about the molecular and structural determinants of a special class of potassium channels regulated by G proteins, the G protein-activated inwardly rectifying K+ channels (GIRK channels) has increased (Luscher et al. 1997). GIRK channels are members of a large family of inwardly rectifying K+ channels (referred also with the symbols Kir1–Kir7), which stabilize the potential (by changing the current) to maintain the equilibrium potential for K+ (EK), corresponding to the zero current level. The term “inwardly rectifying K+ channels rectification” refers to the ability of these channels to pass current into the cells most efficiently when the cell is hyperpolarized, thus allowing a large influx of potassium ions. The mechanism behind this rectification, yet not fully understood, involves the blockade by high-affinity endogenous polyamines and Mg2+,which...

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Gene Expression – Microarrays LaboratoryBambino Gesù Children’s HospitalIRCCS, RomeItaly