The minK gene encodes a protein of 130 amino acids that has a single transmembrane segment and is expressed in many tissues including heart, uterus, and kidney. When Xenopus oocytes are injected with minK mRNA, a very slowly activating voltage-dependent potassium current is induced in these cells. The induced channels appear to result from the interaction of the minK protein with other channel-forming subunits such as the KvLQT1 channel. The minK protein is intimately associated with the structure of the resultant channels, and mutations in minK can alter ion selectivity and modulation by second messengers. Strong candidates for native currents regulated by the minK protein include the slow component of the cardiac delayed rectifier and potassium currents recorded across epithelial cells in vestibular organs and cochlea.