Probing the Mechanism of Gating in Sodium Channels

Abstract

The translocation of ions and water across cell membranes is a prerequisite for many of life’s processes. Voltage-gated Na+-channels are transmembrane proteins that are responsible for the fast depolarizing phase of the action potential in nerve and muscular cells. Selective permeability of Na+ over Ca2+ or K+ ions is essential for their biological function. The elucidation of the atomic resolution structure of a sodium selective channel [1] provides a fascinating model to glimpse into the functioning of this class of ion-channel.

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References:
[1]

McCusker EC, Bagnéris C, Naylor CE, Cole AR, D'Avanzo N, Nichols CG, Wallace BA. Structure of a bacterial voltage-gated sodium channel pore reveals mechanisms of opening and closing.     Nature Commun. 3, 1102.

[2]

Ulmschneider, M.B., Bagnéris, C., McCusker, E.C., DeCaen, P.G., Delling, M., Clapham, D.E.,       Ulmschneider, J.P. and Wallace, B.A. (2013) Molecular dynamics of ion transport through the             open conformation of a bacterial voltage-gated sodium channel. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA 110,            6364-6369.

[3]

S. Furini, C. Domene (2012) On conduction and selectivity in sodium channels.       PLoS Comput Biol, 2012

[4]

S. Furini, C. Domene (2011) Gating at the selectivity filter of ion channels that conduct Na+ and K+       ions. Biophys. J. 2011, 101, 1623-1631.

[5]

S. Furini, C. Domene (2009) Atypical mechanism of conduction in potassium channels.  Proc. Natl.          Acad. Sci. USA, 2009, 106 (38) 16074-16077.


Biological Areas:

Physiology
Structural Biology

BBSRC Area:

Molecules, cells and industrial biotechnology