Voltage-gated potassium channels (Kv) represent the most complex class of voltage-gated ion channels from both functional and structural standpoints. Their diverse functions include regulating neurotransmitter release, heart rate, insulin secretion, neuronal excitability, epithelial electrolyte transport, smooth muscle contraction, and cell volume. This gene encodes a member of the potassium channel, voltage-gated, isk-related subfamily. This member is a type I membrane protein, and a beta subunit that assembles with a potassium channel alpha-subunit to modulate the gating kinetics and enhance stability of the multimeric complex. This gene is prominently expressed in the kidney. Mutations in this gene are associated with hypokalemic periodic paralysis and Brugada syndrome. KCNE3 is thought to be an accessory protein that serves to inhibit the fast inactivating Kv channel Kv4.3 (the A-current).
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