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Date of Award

Spring 2011

Document Type

Restricted Thesis: Campus only access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



First Advisor

Dr. Linda M. Boland


There are three types of potassium permeant membrane channels, the Kv, Kir, and K2P channels. Kv channels are voltage-sensitive with six transmembrane domains, and a set of positive charges in the fourth domain, the S4 region, which is responsible for voltage sensing (Logothetis et al., 1992). Kir channels, unlike the other K+ channels, are inward rectifiers. Kir channels are made up of two transmembrane domains with a single pore region (Doyle et al., 1998). K2P stands for dual pore potassium channel. Subunits with two pore forming domains dimerize to form the K2P structure. Figure 1 shows a structural model of one K2P subunit. These channels are outward rectifying leak channels, which means they selectively allow the passage of potassium from inside the cell to outside the cell (Bayliss and Barrett 2008). K2P channels are believed to be crucial in setting the resting membrane potential in excitable cells (Bayliss and Barrett 2008).