Calcium-activated potassium channel beta subunit

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PDB 1jo6 EBI.jpg
solution structure of the cytoplasmic n-terminus of the bk beta-subunit kcnmb2
Symbol CaKB
Pfam PF03185
InterPro IPR003930
SCOP 1jo6
TCDB 8.A.14

In molecular biology, the calcium-activated potassium channel beta subunit is a family of proteins comprising the beta subunits of calcium-activated potassium channels.

The functional diversity of potassium channels can arise through homo- or hetero-associations of alpha subunits or association with auxiliary cytoplasmic beta subunits. The beta subunit (which is thought to possess 2 transmembrane domains) increases the calcium sensitivity of the BK channel.[1] It does this by enhancing the time spent by the channel in burst-like open states. However, it has little effect on the durations of closed intervals between bursts, or on the numbers of open and closed states entered during gating.[2]


  1. ^ McManus OB, Helms LM, Pallanck L, Ganetzky B, Swanson R, Leonard RJ (March 1995). "Functional role of the beta subunit of high conductance calcium-activated potassium channels". Neuron. 14 (3): 645–50. doi:10.1016/0896-6273(95)90321-6. PMID 7695911. 
  2. ^ Nimigean CM, Magleby KL (March 1999). "The beta subunit increases the Ca2+ sensitivity of large conductance Ca2+-activated potassium channels by retaining the gating in the bursting states". J. Gen. Physiol. 113 (3): 425–40. doi:10.1085/jgp.113.3.425. PMC 2222905Freely accessible. PMID 10051518. 

This article incorporates text from the public domain Pfam and InterPro IPR003930