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Reviewed March 2014
What is the official name of the KCNT1 gene?
The official name of this gene is “potassium channel, sodium activated subfamily T, member 1.”
KCNT1 is the gene's official symbol. The KCNT1 gene is also known by other names, listed below.
Read more about gene names and symbols on the About page.
What is the normal function of the KCNT1 gene?
The KCNT1 gene belongs to a large family of genes that provide instructions for making potassium channels. These channels, which transport positively charged atoms (ions) of potassium into and out of cells, play a key role in a cell's ability to generate and transmit electrical signals.
The specific function of a potassium channel depends on its protein components and its location in the body. Channels made with the KCNT1 protein are active in nerve cells (neurons) in the brain, where they transport potassium ions out of cells. This flow of ions is involved in generating currents to activate (excite) neurons and send signals in the brain.
Potassium channels are made up of several protein components (subunits). Each channel contains four alpha subunits that form the hole (pore) through which potassium ions move. Four alpha subunits from the KCNT1 gene can form a channel. The KCNT1 alpha subunits can also interact with alpha subunits produced from the KCNT2 gene to form a functional potassium channel.
Researchers have determined that a molecule called PKC can turn on channels made with the KCNT1 protein. While the channels can generate electrical currents without PKC, when PKC turns the channel on, the currents are stronger.
Does the KCNT1 gene share characteristics with other genes?
The KCNT1 gene belongs to a family of genes called KCN (potassium channels).
A gene family is a group of genes that share important characteristics. Classifying individual genes into families helps researchers describe how genes are related to each other. For more information, see What are gene families? in the Handbook.
How are changes in the KCNT1 gene related to health conditions?
Genetics Home Reference provides information about autosomal dominant nocturnal frontal lobe epilepsy, which is also associated with changes in the KCNT1 gene.
Where is the KCNT1 gene located?
Cytogenetic Location: 9q34.3
Molecular Location on chromosome 9: base pairs 135,702,185 to 135,793,147
(Homo sapiens Annotation Release 107, GRCh38.p2) (
The KCNT1 gene is located on the long (q) arm of chromosome 9 at position 34.3.
More precisely, the KCNT1 gene is located from base pair 135,702,185 to base pair 135,793,147 on chromosome 9.
See How do geneticists indicate the location of a gene? in the Handbook.
Where can I find additional information about KCNT1?
You and your healthcare professional may find the following resources about KCNT1 helpful.
You may also be interested in these resources, which are designed for genetics professionals and researchers.
What other names do people use for the KCNT1 gene or gene products?
See How are genetic conditions and genes named? in the Handbook.
Where can I find general information about genes?
The Handbook provides basic information about genetics in clear language.
These links provide additional genetics resources that may be useful.
What glossary definitions help with understanding KCNT1?
You may find definitions for these and many other terms in the Genetics Home Reference Glossary.
See also Understanding Medical Terminology.
References (7 links)
The resources on this site should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice. Users seeking information about a personal genetic disease, syndrome, or condition should consult with a qualified healthcare professional. See How can I find a genetics professional in my area? in the Handbook.