The Nuts and Bolts of Channel Gating

Science's STKE  19 Oct 2004:
Vol. 2004, Issue 255, pp. tw375
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2552004tw375


Voltage-dependent cation channels have sensor domains that alter the conformation of the channel gate in response to changes in transmembrane voltage, but how this regulation is achieved remains a matter of debate. Cuello et al. have used site-directed spin labeling and electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy to analyze the local structure and dynamics of the prokaryotic voltage-dependent K+ channel KvAP. The results are not in complete agreement with any of the current models for channel gating, but find common ground between contrasting models and provide constraints that can be used in future analyses.

L. G. Cuello, D. M. Cortes, E. Perozo, Molecular architecture of the KvAP voltage-dependent K+ channel in a lipid bilayer. Science 306, 491-495 (2004). [Abstract] [Full Text]