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Science 310 (5753): 1461-1465

Copyright © 2005 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Principles of Selective Ion Transport in Channels and Pumps

Eric Gouaux1*, and Roderick MacKinnon2*

Abstract: The transport of ions across the membranes of cells and organelles is a prerequisite for many of life's processes. Transport often involves very precise selectivity for specific ions. Recently, atomic-resolution structures have been determined for channels or pumps that are selective for sodium, potassium, calcium, and chloride: four of the most abundant ions in biology. From these structures we can begin to understand the principles of selective ion transport in terms of the architecture and detailed chemistry of the ion conduction pathways.

1 Vollum Institute and Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Oregon Health and Sciences University, 3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Road, Portland, OR 97239, USA.
2 Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Laboratory of Molecular Neurobiology and Biophysics, Rockefeller University, 1230 York Avenue, New York, NY 10021, USA.

* To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: gouauxe{at} (E.G.); mackinn{at} (R.M.)

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