Human KATP channelopathies: Diseases of metabolic homeostasis

Timothy M. Olson, Andre Terzic

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

83 Scopus citations


Assembly of an inward rectifier K+ channel pore (Kir6.1/Kir6.2) and an adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-binding regulatory subunit (SUR1/SUR2A/SUR2B) forms ATPsensitive K+ (KATP) channel heteromultimers, widely distributed in metabolically active tissues throughout the body. KATP channels are metabolism-gated biosensors functioning as molecular rheostats that adjust membrane potentialdependent functions to match cellular energetic demands. Vital in the adaptive response to (patho)physiological stress, KATP channels serve a homeostatic role ranging from glucose regulation to cardioprotection. Accordingly, genetic variation in KATP channel subunits has been linked to the etiology of life-threatening human diseases. In particular, pathogenic mutations in K ATP channels have been identified in insulin secretion disorders, namely, congenital hyperinsulinism and neonatal diabetes. Moreover, K ATP channel defects underlie the triad of developmental delay, epilepsy, and neonatal diabetes (DEND syndrome). KATP channelopathies implicated in patients with mechanical and/or electrical heart disease include dilated cardiomyopathy (with ventricular arrhythmia; CMD1O) and adrenergic atrial fibrillation. A common Kir6.2 E23K polymorphism has been associated with late-onset diabetes and as a risk factor for maladaptive cardiac remodeling in the community-atlarge and abnormal cardiopulmonary exercise stress performance in patients with heart failure. The overall mutation frequency within K ATP channel genes and the spectrum of genotype-phenotype relationships remain to be established, while predicting consequences of a deficit in channel function is becoming increasingly feasible through systems biology approaches. Thus, advances in molecular medicine in the emerging field of human KATP channelopathies offer new opportunities for targeted individualized screening, early diagnosis, and tailored therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)295-306
Number of pages12
JournalPflugers Archiv European Journal of Physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 2010


  • ABCC8
  • ABCC9
  • ATP-sensitive K channels
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Channelopathy
  • Diabetes
  • Disease
  • E23K
  • Genetics
  • Heart failure
  • Insulin
  • KCNJ11
  • KNCJ8
  • Kir6.1
  • Kir6.2
  • Mutation
  • Polymorphism
  • SUR1
  • SUR2A
  • SUR2B

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Physiology (medical)


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