Ion channel gates: comparative analysis of energy barriers.

K. Tai, Shozeb Haider, A. Grottesi, M.S. Sansom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The energetic profile of an ion translated along the axis of an ion channel should reveal whether the structure corresponds to a functionally open or closed state of the channel. In this study, we explore the combined use of Poisson–Boltzmann electrostatic calculations and evaluation of van der Waals interactions between ion and pore to provide an initial appraisal of the gating state of a channel. This approach is exemplified by its application to the bacterial inward rectifier potassium channel KirBac3.1, where it reveals the closed gate to be formed by a ring of leucine (L124) side chains. We have extended this analysis to a comparative survey of gating profiles, including model hydrophobic nanopores, the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor, and a number of potassium channel structures and models. This enables us to identify three gating regimes, and to show the limitation of this computationally inexpensive method. For a (closed) gate radius of 0.4 nm
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)347-354
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean biophysics journal : EBJ
Volume38(4)
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics

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