Cytoprotective Role of Ca2+- Activated K+ Channels in the Cardiac Inner Mitochondrial Membrane

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Science  01 Nov 2002:
Vol. 298, Issue 5595, pp. 1029-1033
DOI: 10.1126/science.1074360

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Ion channels on the mitochondrial inner membrane influence cell function in specific ways that can be detrimental or beneficial to cell survival. At least one type of potassium (K+) channel, the mitochondrial adenosine triphosphate–sensitive K+ channel (mitoKATP), is an important effector of protection against necrotic and apoptotic cell injury after ischemia. Here another channel with properties similar to the surface membrane calcium-activated K+ channel was found on the mitochondrial inner membrane (mitoKCa) of guinea pig ventricular cells. MitoKCa significantly contributed to mitochondrial K+ uptake of the myocyte, and an opener of mitoKCa protected hearts against infarction.

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