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Modulation of Kv7 channels and excitability in the brain


Neuronal Kv7 channels underlie a voltage-gated non-inactivating potassium current known as the M-current. Due to its particular characteristics, Kv7 channels show pronounced control over the excitability of neurons. We will discuss various factors that have been shown to drastically alter the activity of this channel such as protein and phospholipid interactions, phosphorylation, calcium, and numerous neurotransmitters. Kv7 channels locate to key areas for the control of action potential initiation and propagation. Moreover, we will explore the dynamic surface expression of the channel modulated by neurotransmitters and neural activity. We will also focus on known principle functions of neural Kv7 channels: control of resting membrane potential and spiking threshold, setting the firing frequency, afterhyperpolarization after burst firing, theta resonance, and transient hyperexcitability from neurotransmitter-induced suppression of the M-current. Finally, we will discuss the contribution of altered Kv7 activity to pathologies such as epilepsy and cognitive deficits.

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