The Yin and Yang of BK Channels in Epilepsy

Author(s): Yudan Zhu, Shuzhang Zhang, Yijun Feng, Qian Xiao, Jiwei Cheng*, Jie Tao*

Journal Name: CNS & Neurological Disorders - Drug Targets
Formerly Current Drug Targets - CNS & Neurological Disorders

Volume 17 , Issue 4 , 2018

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Graphical Abstract:


Background & Objective: The large conductance calcium-activated potassium (BK) channel, extensively distributed in the central nervous system (CNS), is considered as a vital player in the pathogenesis of epilepsy, with evidence implicating derangement of K+ as well as regulating action potential shape and duration. However, unlike other channels implicated in epilepsy whose function in neurons could clearly be labeled “excitatory” or “inhibitory”, the unique physiological behavior of the BK channel allows it to both augment and decrease the excitability of neurons. Thus, the role of BK in epilepsy is controversial so far, and a growing area of intense investigation.

Conclusion: Here, this review aims to highlight recent discoveries on the dichotomous role of BK channels in epilepsy, focusing on relevant BK-dependent pro- as well as antiepileptic pathways, and discuss the potential of BK specific modulators for the treatment of epilepsy.

Keywords: Action potential, auxiliary subunit, BK channel, epilepsy, specific modulator, large conductance.

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Article Details

Year: 2018
Page: [272 - 279]
Pages: 8
DOI: 10.2174/1871527317666180213142403
Price: $65

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