Two-pore domain k(+) channels and their role in chemoreception.
A number of tandem P-domain K(+)- channels (K(2)P) generate background K(+)-currents similar to those found in enteroreceptors that sense a diverse range of physiological stimuli including blood pH, carbon dioxide, oxygen, potassium and glucose. This review presents an overview of the properties of both cloned K(2)P tandem-P-domain K-channels and the endogenous chemosensitive background K-currents found in central chemoreceptors, peripheral chemoreceptors, the adrenal gland and the hypothalamus. Although the identity of many of these endogenous channels has yet to be confirmed they show striking similarities to a number of K(2)P channels especially those of the TASK subgroup. Moreover these channels seem often (albeit not exclusively) to be involved in pH and nutrient/metabolic sensing.