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Current insight into the role of voltage-gated potassiumion channel 7 (Kv7) channels: an emerging therapy target against epilepsy

Author(s): Yu Diao, Ying Tian, Song Han, Nan Zhang, Junfa Li, Yanling Yin

Kv channels, the voltage-gated potassium channels, are encoded by KCN gene family. Kv channels are important in maintaining the resting membrane potential and spiking threshold, deciding the firing frequency and nerve hyperexcitability, and inducing after hyperpolarization after burst firing. In this family, Kv7 is a special one for it is activated at subthreshold potentials. Because of its specific characteristics, Kv7 channels show pronounced control over the excitability of neurons and often inhibit neuronal excitability. Moreover, it is also documented that mutations of Kv7 channels are associated with the occurrence of epilepsy, deafness and cardiac arrhythmia. In this review, we discussed the characteristics and functions of Kv channels especially the Kv7 channels, which determined their targeting role in treatment against epilepsy.

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