A set of slowly activating and deactivating voltage-sensitive potassium channels, responsible for the M current in neurons, encoded by KV7.2–KV7.5/KCNQ2–KCNQ5 genes. They are inactivated by acetylcholine and regulate the sensitivity of neurons to synaptic input. Mutations in KCNQ2 and KCNQ3, channels that interact functionally with each other, are associated with benign neonatal epilepsy. The KCNQ4 gene product is expressed in cochlear hair cells and mutations are associated with deafness. The KCNQ5 gene product seems to be widely expressed and presumably contributes to variation in the properties of M channels in different neurons. Linopiridine is a selective M-current blocker.
Subjects: Medicine and Health.