Volume 92 Issue 42 | p. 29 | Concentrates
Issue Date: October 20, 2014

Molecular Dynamics Results Challenge View Of How Potassium Ions Move Through Membrane-Spanning Channels

Simulations suggest that ions traverse cell-membrane pores without intervening water molecules
Department: Science & Technology | Collection: Life Sciences
News Channels: Biological SCENE
Keywords: X-ray crystallography, molecular dynamics simulations, computational chemistry, ion channels

Cell-membrane-spanning potassium ion channel proteins regulate heartbeat and generate nerve impulses—they are essential to health. And for years, researchers have had a healthy debate about how ions move through these channels. X-ray crystallographic studies show a cylinder-shaped selectivity filter inside the channels, with four contiguous ion-binding sites. The X-ray picture and other studies suggest that potassium ions take turns with intervening water molecules on the narrow path through the channels. But a multi-institution group of . . .

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