Seizing the brake: defining the role of KCNQ2/3 channels in the brain
My seminar will focus on KCNQ channels, a potassium channel family implicated in multiple neonatal epileptic encephalopathy disorders. I will first discuss the role of KCNQ2/3 channels in interneurons. Previous research on the function of KCNQ2/3 channels nearly exclusively focused on excitatory neurons, but in fact these channels are also expressed by inhibitory interneurons. Insight regarding the function of KCNQ2/3 channels in interneurons has become critical as some newly identified epilepsy-associated KCNQ2/3 mutations have a gain-of-function effect on channel activity, and such mutations may lead to seizures through diminished inhibitory neuron activity. Second, I will present data regarding the molecular components that underlie the slow afterhyperpolarization (sAHP) in hippocampus and the role of KCNQ2/3 channels in the sAHP.