Why is the hERG gene name KCNH2?

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lazy's picture
Why is the hERG gene name KCNH2?

There are many different types of K channels. I see often the name as KCNH2 for hERG channel.
Also, KCND1,2,3, KCNC1, etc, etc.

K must be potassium
C must be channel
N means what?
H means what? (human?)

N,  D ..... I do not know, but there must be some rules. Can anyone explain me the rule? 

The FFM's picture
There are at least 70 cloned

There are at least 70 cloned potassium channels that can be sorted into 11 families and four families of potassium channel auxiliary subunit

KCNA Voltage dependent: shaker related 
KCNB Voltage dependent: shab related
KCNC Voltage dependent: shaw related
KCNDVoltage dependent: shal related
KCNEVoltage dependent: IsK related
KCNH Voltage dependent: eag related
KCNJ Inward rectifier
KCNK Background channels
KCNM Calcium activated: large conductance
KCNN Calcium activated: intermediate and small conductance
KCNQ Voltage dependent: KQT related
auxiliary subunits

KCNAB Voltage dependent: ß subunit
KCNF Voltage dependent: auxiliary subunit
KCNG Voltage dependent: auxiliary subunit
KCNS Voltage dependent: auxiliary subunit

K = Potassium
CN = Channel
The last letter is just an alphabetical letter assignment used to sort the different gene families

If you want to learn more you should research "potassium channel nomenclature"

Here are some references


The IUPHAR Compendium of Voltage-gated Ion Channels
in which you will find
International Union of Pharmacology. LIII. Nomenclature and molecular relationships of voltage-gated potassium channels.