This chapter discusses the molecular structure of mouse B2 BK receptors based on its cDNA and functional characterization, describes B2 receptors at the genetic and molecular level, and summarizes the results obtained for B2 receptors expressed in xenopus oocytes and Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells. The chapter also describes signal transduction pathways in the downstream of B2 BK receptors in NG108-15 neuroblastoma X glioma hybrid cells, which provide one of the basic mechanisms underlying nociception and neuronal activity modulation by BK. The chapter mentions B2 BK receptor-mediated interaction between tyrosine kinase and phospholipase C signal pathways in ras-transformed NIH/3T3 fibroblast (DT) cells, where BK functions as a mitogen. The chapter also discusses various B2 receptor-mediated inositol phospholipid metabolism. The activation of a mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase pathway may result in cell proliferation. In relation to nociception, and pain neurotransmission or neuromodulaion, BK serves as a transmitter or modulator. To do this, B2 receptors induce changes in ion channel conductances, as a consequence of formation of second messengers or of protein phosphorylation.
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