Next Article in Journal
Trimethylamine N-Oxide: A Link among Diet, Gut Microbiota, Gene Regulation of Liver and Intestine Cholesterol Homeostasis and HDL Function
Next Article in Special Issue
Voltage-Dependent Sarcolemmal Ion Channel Abnormalities in the Dystrophin-Deficient Heart
Previous Article in Journal
Novel Potentials of the DPP-4 Inhibitor Sitagliptin against Ischemia-Reperfusion (I/R) Injury in Rat Ex-Vivo Heart Model
Previous Article in Special Issue
Histone Deacetylases Enhance Ca2+-Activated K+ Channel KCa3.1 Expression in Murine Inflammatory CD4+ T Cells
Article Menu
Issue 10 (October) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessReview

Gas Signaling Molecules and Mitochondrial Potassium Channels

Laboratory of Intracellular Ion Channels, Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology PAS, 3 Pasteur St., 02-093 Warsaw, Poland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(10), 3227;
Received: 28 September 2018 / Revised: 15 October 2018 / Accepted: 16 October 2018 / Published: 18 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ion Channel and Ion-Related Signaling)
PDF [1736 KB, uploaded 18 October 2018]


Recently, gaseous signaling molecules, such as carbon monoxide (CO), nitric oxide (NO), and hydrogen sulfide (H2S), which were previously considered to be highly toxic, have been of increasing interest due to their beneficial effects at low concentrations. These so-called gasotransmitters affect many cellular processes, such as apoptosis, proliferation, cytoprotection, oxygen sensing, ATP synthesis, and cellular respiration. It is thought that mitochondria, specifically their respiratory complexes, constitute an important target for these gases. On the other hand, increasing evidence of a cytoprotective role for mitochondrial potassium channels provides motivation for the analysis of the role of gasotransmitters in the regulation of channel function. A number of potassium channels have been shown to exhibit activity within the inner mitochondrial membrane, including ATP-sensitive potassium channels, Ca2+-activated potassium channels, voltage-gated Kv potassium channels, and TWIK-related acid-sensitive K+ channel 3 (TASK-3). The effects of these channels include the regulation of mitochondrial respiration and membrane potential. Additionally, they may modulate the synthesis of reactive oxygen species within mitochondria. The opening of mitochondrial potassium channels is believed to induce cytoprotection, while channel inhibition may facilitate cell death. The molecular mechanisms underlying the action of gasotransmitters are complex. In this review, we focus on the molecular mechanisms underlying the action of H2S, NO, and CO on potassium channels present within mitochondria. View Full-Text
Keywords: mitochondria; potassium channels; KATP channel; BKCa channel; gasotransmitters; carbon monoxide; nitric oxide; hydrogen sulfide; heme mitochondria; potassium channels; KATP channel; BKCa channel; gasotransmitters; carbon monoxide; nitric oxide; hydrogen sulfide; heme

Graphical abstract

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Walewska, A.; Szewczyk, A.; Koprowski, P. Gas Signaling Molecules and Mitochondrial Potassium Channels. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19, 3227.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Int. J. Mol. Sci. EISSN 1422-0067 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top