TWIK-related acid-sensitive potassium channel 1 (TASK-1 encoded by KCNK3) belongs to the family of two-pore domain potassium channels. This gene subfamily is constitutively active at physiological resting membrane potentials in excitable cells, including smooth muscle cells, and has been particularly linked to the human pulmonary circulation. TASK-1 channels are sensitive to a wide array of physiological and pharmacological mediators that affect their activity such as unsaturated fatty acids, extracellular pH, hypoxia, anaesthetics and intracellular signalling pathways. Recent studies show that modulation of TASK-1 channels, either directly or indirectly by targeting their regulatory mechanisms, has the potential to control pulmonary arterial tone in humans. Furthermore, mutations in KCNK3 have been identified as a rare cause of both familial and idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension. This review summarises our current state of knowledge of the functional role of TASK-1 channels in the pulmonary circulation in health and disease, with special emphasis on current advancements in the field.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine