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Inward Rectifier K+ Channels

Inwardly rectifying K+ (Kir) channels have diverse physiological functions depending on their type and their location. To date, 15 Kir subunit genes have been identified and classified into seven subfamilies (Kir1 to Kir7). These subfamilies can be categorized into four functional groups: 1) classical Kir channels (Kir2.x), 2) G-protein gated Kir channels (Kir3.x), 3) ATP-sensitive K+ channels (Kir6.x), and 4) K+-transport channels (Kir1.x, Kir4.x, Kir5.x, and Kir7.x).