Reperfusion-induced ventricular fibrillation (VF) severely threatens the lives of post-myocardial infarction patients. Carbon monoxide (CO) - produced by haem oxygenase in cardiomyocytes - has been reported to prevent VF through an unknown mechanism of action. Here, we report that CO prolongs action potential duration (APD) by inhibiting a subset of inward-rectifying potassium (Kir) channels. We show that CO blocks Kir2.2 and Kir2.3 but not Kir2.1 channels in both cardiomyocytes and HEK-293 cells transfected with Kir. CO directly inhibits Kir2.3 by interfering with its interaction with the second messenger phosphatidylinositol (4,5)-bisphosphate (PIP 2). As the inhibition of Kir2.2 and Kir2.3 by CO prolongs APD in myocytes, cardiac Kir2.2 and Kir2.3 are promising targets for the prevention of reperfusion-induced VF.