Evidence for Mitochondrial K+ Channels and Their Role in Cardioprotection

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375 Scopus citations


Twenty years after the discovery of sarcolemmal ATP-sensitive K + channels and 12 years after the discovery of mitochondrial K ATP (mitoKATP) channels, progress has been remarkable, but many questions remain. In the case of the former, detailed structural information is available, and it is well accepted that the channel couples bioenergetics to cellular electrical excitability; however, in the heart, a clear physiological or pathophysiological role has yet to be defined. For mitoKATP, structural information is lacking, but there is abundant evidence linking the opening of the channel to protection against ischemia-reperfusion injury or apoptosis. This review updates recent progress in understanding the physiological role of mitoKATP and highlights outstanding questions and controversies, with the intent of stimulating additional investigation on this topic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)420-432
Number of pages13
JournalCirculation research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 5 2004


  • ATP-sensitive potassium channels
  • Calcium-activated potassium channels
  • Ischemia
  • Mitochondria
  • Reperfusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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