Table of Contents
Journal of Signal Transduction
Volume 2012, Article ID 421564, 11 pages
Review Article

Expression and Role of the Intermediate-Conductance Calcium-Activated Potassium Channel KCa3.1 in Glioblastoma

Dipartimento di Biologia Cellulare e Ambientale, Universita’ di Perugia, Via Pascoli 1, I-06123 Perugia, Italy

Received 5 February 2012; Accepted 15 March 2012

Academic Editor: Laura Cerchia

Copyright © 2012 Luigi Catacuzzeno et al. 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.


Glioblastomas are characterized by altered expression of several ion channels that have important consequences in cell functions associated with their aggressiveness, such as cell survival, proliferation, and migration. Data on the altered expression and function of the intermediate-conductance calcium-activated K (KCa3.1) channels in glioblastoma cells have only recently become available. This paper aims to (i) illustrate the main structural, biophysical, pharmacological, and modulatory properties of the KCa3.1 channel, (ii) provide a detailed account of data on the expression of this channel in glioblastoma cells, as compared to normal brain tissue, and (iii) critically discuss its major functional roles. Available data suggest that KCa3.1 channels (i) are highly expressed in glioblastoma cells but only scantly in the normal brain parenchima, (ii) play an important role in the control of glioblastoma cell migration. Altogether, these data suggest KCa3.1 channels as potential candidates for a targeted therapy against this tumor.