This potassium channel may be involved in the regulation of insulin secretion by glucose and/or neurotransmitters acting through G-protein-coupled receptors. Inward rectifier potassium channels are characterized by a greater tendency to allow potassium to flow into the cell rather than out of it. Their voltage dependence is regulated by the concentration of extracellular potassium; as external potassium is raised, the voltage range of the channel opening shifts to more positive voltages. The inward rectification is mainly due to the blockage of outward current by internal magnesium.
Most abundant in cerebellum, and to a lesser degree in islets and exocrine pancreas.
Belongs to the inward rectifier-type potassium channel (TC 1.A.2.1) family. KCNJ6 subfamily.