Inward Rectifier Potassium Channels
Inward rectifier potassium channels, also called Kir channels are potassium channels which, on the contrary of the other potassium channels, let little potassium ions flow outside of the cell and allow a large inflow of potassium ions inside the cells. In other words, inward rectifier currents present a reduced outward current at membrane potential above the potassium reversal potential and large inward current for membrane potential below the potassium reversal potential.
First described in skeletal muscle, these channels have been identified in several other cell types: cardiac myocytes, blood cells, osteoclasts, endothelial cells, epithelial cells, oocytes, neurons, and glial cells (for review, see Hibino et al. 2010).
The inward rectifier potassium channels are part of a heterogeneous family of potassium channels named Kir m.n or KCNJ.x. This family can...
- Hille B (2001) Ion channels of excitable membrane, 3rd edn. Sinauer Associates, SunderlandGoogle Scholar