Pathophysiology of voltage-gated K + channels in vascular smooth muscle cells: Modulation by protein kinases

Eun A. Ko, Won Sun Park, Amy L. Firth, Nari Kim, Jason X.J. Yuan, Jin Han

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


In this review, the pathological alteration and clinical relevance of voltage-gated K + (Kv) channels and their specific regulation by protein kinase-dependent signaling in vascular smooth muscle cells are described, particularly focusing on the pulmonary vasculature. The physiological relevance, channel characteristics, pharmacological modulation, and expression of Kv channels vary between different arterial beds and between subdivisions of arteries within those vascular beds. Although detailed signaling cascades regulating Kv channels are not clearly elucidated, it is known that the Kv channels in vascular smooth muscle cells can be tightly regulated by protein kinases C (PKC) and A (PKA). Alterations in Kv channel expression and function has been noted in pathological and pathophysiological conditions including hypertension (pulmonary and systemic), in diabetes and in individuals subjected to prolonged hypoxia (high altitude living). Vascular Kv channels are potential therapeutic targets in diseases such as pulmonary arterial hypertension and, therefore, it is important to understand the specific pharmacological modulation of Kv channel isoforms in different vascular beds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)95-101
Number of pages7
JournalProgress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Protein kinase A
  • Protein kinase C
  • Vascular smooth muscle
  • Voltage-dependent K channels

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Molecular Biology


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