Apart from my deep fascination for potassium channels since early 90-ies, this family of tetrameric membrane proteins deserves great attention and respect due to several obvious reasons and facts: 78 family members (more than half of all existed voltage-gated ion channels and the third largest family of signaling molecules, following G-protein coupled receptors and protein kinases), one of the oldest group of channels from the evolutionary point of view, and numerous crucial physiological functions giving a grandiose potential for therapeutic use.
Treatment of arrhythmias and diabetes type 2 cannot be imagine today without K+ channels modulators.Therefore, there are two chapters in this book dedicated to that clinical disciplines written by experienced and excellent clinicians and scientists Dr. sci. Malgorzata Mysliwiec and Prof. Dariusz Kozlowski, for which I am extremely grateful. One of the most fascinating type of K+ channels are certainly ATP-sensitive K+ channels (KATP ), the only one so tightly connected to cell metabolism and with a so intriguing participation in such a phenomenon as cardiprotection and preconditioning. Here, I want to express my gratitude to Prof. Aleksandar Jovanovic from Dandee University for participating in this chapter dedicated to KATP, who published several cornerstone papers related to the role of KATP in cardioprotection. Also, I greatly appreciate participation of Dr. Ashan Jayasekera in this chapter.
I decided to prepare one chapter including some other important clinical possibilities in other clinical disciplines such as neurology and hypertensiology, to give to the readers a more complete picture of therapeutic potential of K+ channels modulators. And last but not least, in this book one chapter is dedicated to genetic and molecular biology of K+ channels. I asked my coworker Dr. Izabela Rusiecka for help in preparing this chapter. She is a biotechnologist and molecular pharmacologist and I hope we presented the most relevant information in this attractive field.
Finally, my thanks goes to the publisher, Bentham Science, and especially to Sara Moqeet for help and motivation to prepare this book.
Professor of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology
Medical University of Gdansk, Poland