GSBS Student Publications


Arachidonic acid and other fatty acids directly activate potassium channels in smooth muscle cells

UMMS Affiliation

Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences; Department of Physiology



Document Type


Medical Subject Headings

Animals; Arachidonic Acid; Arachidonic Acids; Bufo marinus; Fatty Acids, Nonesterified; Ion Channels; Kinetics; Membrane Potentials; Muscle, Smooth; Stomach


Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences


Arachidonic acid, as well as fatty acids that are not substrates for cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase enzymes, activated a specific type of potassium channel in freshly dissociated smooth muscle cells. Activation occurred in excised membrane patches in the absence of calcium and all nucleotides. Therefore signal transduction pathways that require such soluble factors, including the NADPH-dependent cytochrome P450 pathway, do not mediate the response. Thus, fatty acids directly activate potassium channels and so may constitute a class of signal molecules that regulate ion channels.

Rights and Permissions

Citation: Science. 1989 Jun 9;244(4909):1176-9.

Related Resources

Link to article in PubMed

Journal Title

Science (New York, N.Y.)

PubMed ID