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Sample records for ion channels ion

  1. The Earliest Ion Channels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pohorille, A.; Wilson, M. A.; Wei, C.

    2009-12-01

    Supplying protocells with ions required assistance from channels spanning their membrane walls. The earliest channels were most likely short proteins that formed transmembrane helical bundles surrounding a water-filled pore. These simple aggregates were capable of transporting ions with efficiencies comparable to those of complex, contemporary ion channels. Channels with wide pores exhibited little ion selectivity but also imposed only modest constraints on amino acid sequences of channel-forming proteins. Channels with small pores could have been selective but also might have required a more precisely defined sequence of amino acids. In contrast to modern channels, their protocellular ancestors had only limited capabilities to regulate ion flux. It is postulated that subsequent evolution of ion channels progressed primarily to acquire precise regulation, and not high efficiency or selectivity. It is further proposed that channels and the surrounding membranes co-evolved.

  2. Mechanically Activated Ion Channels.

    PubMed

    Ranade, Sanjeev S; Syeda, Ruhma; Patapoutian, Ardem

    2015-09-23

    Mechanotransduction, the conversion of physical forces into biochemical signals, is essential for various physiological processes such as the conscious sensations of touch and hearing, and the unconscious sensation of blood flow. Mechanically activated (MA) ion channels have been proposed as sensors of physical force, but the identity of these channels and an understanding of how mechanical force is transduced has remained elusive. A number of recent studies on previously known ion channels along with the identification of novel MA ion channels have greatly transformed our understanding of touch and hearing in both vertebrates and invertebrates. Here, we present an updated review of eukaryotic ion channel families that have been implicated in mechanotransduction processes and evaluate the qualifications of the candidate genes according to specified criteria. We then discuss the proposed gating models for MA ion channels and highlight recent structural studies of mechanosensitive potassium channels. PMID:26402601

  3. Phosphoinositides regulate ion channels

    PubMed Central

    Hille, Bertil; Dickson, Eamonn J.; Kruse, Martin; Vivas, Oscar; Suh, Byung-Chang

    2014-01-01

    Phosphoinositides serve as signature motifs for different cellular membranes and often are required for the function of membrane proteins. Here, we summarize clear evidence supporting the concept that many ion channels are regulated by membrane phosphoinositides. We describe tools used to test their dependence on phosphoinositides, especially phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate, and consider mechanisms and biological meanings of phosphoinositide regulation of ion channels. This lipid regulation can underlie changes of channel activity and electrical excitability in response to receptors. Since different intracellular membranes have different lipid compositions, the activity of ion channels still in transit towards their final destination membrane may be suppressed until they reach an optimal lipid environment. PMID:25241941

  4. Ion channels in microbes

    PubMed Central

    Martinac, Boris; Saimi, Yoshiro; Kung, Ching

    2008-01-01

    Summary Studies of ion channels have for long been dominated by the animalcentric, if not anthropocentric view of physiology. The structures and activities of ion channels had, however, evolved long before the appearance of complex multicellular organisms on Earth. The diversity of ion channels existing in cellular membranes of prokaryotes is a good example. Though at first it may appear as a paradox that most of what we know about the structure of eukaryotic ion channels is based on the structure of bacterial channels, this should not be surprising given the evolutionary relatedness of all living organisms and suitability of microbial cells for structural studies of biological macromolecules in a laboratory environment. Genome sequences of the human as well as various microbial, plant and animal organisms unambiguously established the evolutionary links, whereas crystallographic studies of the structures of major types of ion channels published over the last decade clearly demonstrated the advantage of using microbes as experimental organisms. The purpose of this review is not only to provide an account of acquired knowledge on microbial ion channels but also to show that the study of microbes and their ion channels may also hold a key to solving unresolved molecular mysteries in the future. PMID:18923187

  5. Bacterial Ion Channels.

    PubMed

    Compton, Emma L R; Mindell, Joseph A

    2010-09-01

    Bacterial ion channels were known, but only in special cases, such as outer membrane porins in Escherichia coli and bacterial toxins that form pores in their target (bacterial or mammalian) membranes. The exhaustive coverage provided by a decade of bacterial genome sequencing has revealed that ion channels are actually widespread in bacteria, with homologs of a broad range of mammalian channel proteins coded throughout the bacterial and archaeal kingdoms. This review discusses four groups of bacterial channels: porins, mechano-sensitive (MS) channels, channel-forming toxins, and bacterial homologs of mammalian channels. The outer membrane (OM) of gram-negative bacteria blocks access of essential nutrients; to survive, the cell needs to provide a mechanism for nutrients to penetrate the OM. Porin channels provide this access by forming large, nonspecific aqueous pores in the OM that allow ions and vital nutrients to cross it and enter the periplasm. MS channels act as emergency release valves, allowing solutes to rapidly exit the cytoplasm and to dissipate the large osmotic disparity between the internal and external environments. MS channels are remarkable in that they do this by responding to forces exerted by the membrane itself. Some bacteria produce toxic proteins that form pores in trans, attacking and killing other organisms by virtue of their pore formation. The review focuses on those bacterial toxins that kill other bacteria, specifically the class of proteins called colicins. Colicins reveal the dangers of channel formation in the plasma membrane, since they kill their targets with exactly that approach. PMID:26443789

  6. Mitochondrial Ion Channels

    PubMed Central

    O’Rourke, Brian

    2009-01-01

    In work spanning more than a century, mitochondria have been recognized for their multifunctional roles in metabolism, energy transduction, ion transport, inheritance, signaling, and cell death. Foremost among these tasks is the continuous production of ATP through oxidative phosphorylation, which requires a large electrochemical driving force for protons across the mitochondrial inner membrane. This process requires a membrane with relatively low permeability to ions to minimize energy dissipation. However, a wealth of evidence now indicates that both selective and nonselective ion channels are present in the mitochondrial inner membrane, along with several known channels on the outer membrane. Some of these channels are active under physiological conditions, and others may be activated under pathophysiological conditions to act as the major determinants of cell life and death. This review summarizes research on mitochondrial ion channels and efforts to identify their molecular correlates. Except in a few cases, our understanding of the structure of mitochondrial ion channels is limited, indicating the need for focused discovery in this area. PMID:17059356

  7. Ion channeling revisited.

    SciTech Connect

    Doyle, Barney Lee; Corona, Aldo; Nguyen, Anh

    2014-09-01

    A MS Excel program has been written that calculates accidental, or unintentional, ion channeling in cubic bcc, fcc and diamond lattice crystals or polycrystalline materials. This becomes an important issue when simulating the creation by energetic neutrons of point displacement damage and extended defects using beams of ions. All of the tables and graphs in the three Ion Beam Analysis Handbooks that previously had to be manually looked up and read from were programed into Excel in handy lookup tables, or parameterized, for the case of the graphs, using rather simple exponential functions with different powers of the argument. The program then offers an extremely convenient way to calculate axial and planar half-angles and minimum yield or dechanneling probabilities, effects on half-angles of amorphous overlayers, accidental channeling probabilities for randomly oriented crystals or crystallites, and finally a way to automatically generate stereographic projections of axial and planar channeling half-angles. The program can generate these projections and calculate these probabilities for axes and [hkl] planes up to (555).

  8. Ion channels and migraine

    PubMed Central

    Yan, Jin; Dussor, Gregory

    2014-01-01

    Migraine is one of the most common neurological disorders. Despite its prevalence, the basic physiology of the molecules and mechanisms that contribute to migraine headache is still poorly understood, making the discovery of more effective treatments extremely difficult. The consistent presence of head-specific pain during migraine suggests an important role for activation of the peripheral nociceptors localized to the head. Accordingly, this review will cover the current understanding of the biological mechanisms leading to episodic activation and sensitization of the trigeminovascular pain pathway, focusing on recent advances regarding activation and modulation of ion channels. PMID:24697223

  9. Ion Channels in Epithelial Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Palmer, Lawrence G.

    Ion channels in epithelial cells serve to move ions, and in some cases fluid, between compartments of the body. This function of the transfer of material is fundamentally different from that of the transfer of information, which is the main job of most channels in excitable cells. Nevertheless the basic construction of the channels is similar in many respects in the two tissue types. This chapter reviews the nature of channels in epithelia and discusses how their functions have evolved to accomplish the basic tasks for which they are responsible. I will focus on three channel types: epithelial Na+ channels, inward-rectifier K+ channels, and CFTR Cl- channels.

  10. Ion channel therapeutics for pain

    PubMed Central

    Skerratt, Sarah E; West, Christopher W

    2015-01-01

    Pain is a complex disease which can progress into a debilitating condition. The effective treatment of pain remains a challenge as current therapies often lack the desired level of efficacy or tolerability. One therapeutic avenue, the modulation of ion channel signaling by small molecules, has shown the ability to treat pain. However, of the 215 ion channels that exist in the human genome, with 85 ion channels having a strong literature link to pain, only a small number of these channels have been successfully drugged for pain. The focus of future research will be to fully explore the possibilities surrounding these unexplored ion channels. Toward this end, a greater understanding of ion channel modulation will be the greatest tool we have in developing the next generation of drugs for the treatment of pain. PMID:26218246

  11. Biophysics of CNG Ion Channels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barry, Peter H.; Qu, Wei; Moorhouse, Andrew J.

    Cyclic nucleotide-gated (CNG) ion channels are cation-selective, opened by intracellular cyclic nucleotides like cAMP and cGMP, and present in many different neurons and non-neuronal cells. This chapter will concentrate primarily on the biophysical aspects of retinal and olfactory CNG channels, with special reference to ion permeation and selectivity and their underlying molecular basis, and will include a brief overview of the physiological function of CNG channels in both olfaction and phototransduction. We will review the subunit composition and molecular structure of the CNG channel and its similarity to the closely related potassium channels, and will also briefly outline the currently accepted molecular basis underlying activation of the channel and the location of the channel `gate'. We will then outline some general methodologies for investigating ion permeation and selectivity, before reviewing the ion permeation and selectivity properties of native and recombinant CNG channels. We will discuss divalent ion permeation through the channel and the mechanism of channel block by divalent ions. The chapter will conclude by discussing the results of recent experiments to investigate the molecular determinants of cation-anion selectivity in the channel.

  12. Cholesterol binding to ion channels

    PubMed Central

    Levitan, Irena; Singh, Dev K.; Rosenhouse-Dantsker, Avia

    2014-01-01

    Numerous studies demonstrated that membrane cholesterol is a major regulator of ion channel function. The goal of this review is to discuss significant advances that have been recently achieved in elucidating the mechanisms responsible for cholesterol regulation of ion channels. The first major insight that comes from growing number of studies that based on the sterol specificity of cholesterol effects, show that several types of ion channels (nAChR, Kir, BK, TRPV) are regulated by specific sterol-protein interactions. This conclusion is supported by demonstrating direct saturable binding of cholesterol to a bacterial Kir channel. The second major advance in the field is the identification of putative cholesterol binding sites in several types of ion channels. These include sites at locations associated with the well-known cholesterol binding motif CRAC and its reversed form CARC in nAChR, BK, and TRPV, as well as novel cholesterol binding regions in Kir channels. Notably, in the majority of these channels, cholesterol is suggested to interact mainly with hydrophobic residues in non-annular regions of the channels being embedded in between transmembrane protein helices. We also discuss how identification of putative cholesterol binding sites is an essential step to understand the mechanistic basis of cholesterol-induced channel regulation. Clearly, however, these are only the first few steps in obtaining a general understanding of cholesterol-ion channels interactions and their roles in cellular and organ functions. PMID:24616704

  13. Dynamic ion-ion and water-ion interactions in ion channels.

    PubMed Central

    Wu, J V

    1992-01-01

    The dynamic interactions among ions and water molecules in ion channels are treated based on an assumption that ions at binding sites can be knocked off by both transient entering ions and local water molecules. The theory, when applied to a single-site model K+ channel, provides solutions for super- and subsaturations, flux-ratio exponent (n') greater than 1, osmotic streaming current, activity-dependent reversal potentials, and anomalous mole-fraction behavior. The analysis predicts that: (a) the saturation may but, in general, does not follow the Michaelis-Menten relation; (b) streaming current results from imbalanced water-ion knock-off interactions; (c) n' greater than 1 even for single-site channels, but it is unlikely to exceed 1.4 unless the pore is occupied by one or more ion(s); (d) in the calculation involving two permeant ion species with similar radii, the heavier ions show higher affinity; the ion-ion knock-off dissociation from the site is more effective when two interacting ions are identical. Therefore, the "multi-ion behaviors" found in most ion channels are the consequences of dynamic ion-ion and water-ion interactions. The presence of these interactions does not require two or more binding sites in channels. PMID:1376158

  14. Ultrasound modulates ion channel currents.

    PubMed

    Kubanek, Jan; Shi, Jingyi; Marsh, Jon; Chen, Di; Deng, Cheri; Cui, Jianmin

    2016-01-01

    Transcranial focused ultrasound (US) has been demonstrated to stimulate neurons in animals and humans, but the mechanism of this effect is unknown. It has been hypothesized that US, a mechanical stimulus, may mediate cellular discharge by activating mechanosensitive ion channels embedded within cellular membranes. To test this hypothesis, we expressed potassium and sodium mechanosensitive ion channels (channels of the two-pore-domain potassium family (K2P) including TREK-1, TREK-2, TRAAK; NaV1.5) in the Xenopus oocyte system. Focused US (10 MHz, 0.3-4.9 W/cm(2)) modulated the currents flowing through the ion channels on average by up to 23%, depending on channel and stimulus intensity. The effects were reversible upon repeated stimulation and were abolished when a channel blocker (ranolazine to block NaV1.5, BaCl2 to block K2P channels) was applied to the solution. These data reveal at the single cell level that focused US modulates the activity of specific ion channels to mediate transmembrane currents. These findings open doors to investigations of the effects of  US on ion channels expressed in neurons, retinal cells, or cardiac cells, which may lead to important medical applications. The findings may also pave the way to the development of sonogenetics: a non-invasive, US-based analogue of optogenetics. PMID:27112990

  15. Ultrasound modulates ion channel currents

    PubMed Central

    Kubanek, Jan; Shi, Jingyi; Marsh, Jon; Chen, Di; Deng, Cheri; Cui, Jianmin

    2016-01-01

    Transcranial focused ultrasound (US) has been demonstrated to stimulate neurons in animals and humans, but the mechanism of this effect is unknown. It has been hypothesized that US, a mechanical stimulus, may mediate cellular discharge by activating mechanosensitive ion channels embedded within cellular membranes. To test this hypothesis, we expressed potassium and sodium mechanosensitive ion channels (channels of the two-pore-domain potassium family (K2P) including TREK-1, TREK-2, TRAAK; NaV1.5) in the Xenopus oocyte system. Focused US (10 MHz, 0.3–4.9 W/cm2) modulated the currents flowing through the ion channels on average by up to 23%, depending on channel and stimulus intensity. The effects were reversible upon repeated stimulation and were abolished when a channel blocker (ranolazine to block NaV1.5, BaCl2 to block K2P channels) was applied to the solution. These data reveal at the single cell level that focused US modulates the activity of specific ion channels to mediate transmembrane currents. These findings open doors to investigations of the effects of  US on ion channels expressed in neurons, retinal cells, or cardiac cells, which may lead to important medical applications. The findings may also pave the way to the development of sonogenetics: a non-invasive, US-based analogue of optogenetics. PMID:27112990

  16. Simulating complex ion channel kinetics with IonChannelLab

    PubMed Central

    Covarrubias, Manuel; Sánchez-Rodríguez, Jorge E; Perez-Cornejo, Patricia; Arreola, Jorge

    2010-01-01

    In-silico simulation based on Markov chains is a powerful way to describe and predict the activity of many transport proteins including ion channels. However, modeling and simulation using realistic models of voltage- or ligand-gated ion channels exposed to a wide range of experimental conditions require building complex kinetic schemes and solving complicated differential equations. To circumvent these problems, we developed IonChannelLab a software tool that includes a user-friendly Graphical User Interface and a simulation library. This program supports channels with Ohmic or Goldman-Hodgkin-Katz behavior and can simulate the time-course of ionic and gating currents, single channel behavior and steady-state conditions. The program allows the simulation of experiments where voltage, ligand and ionic concentration are varied independently or simultaneously. PMID:20935453

  17. Ion Channels in Nerve Membranes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ehrenstein, Gerald

    1976-01-01

    Discusses research that indicates that nerve membranes, which play a key role in the conduction of impulses, are traversed by protein channels with ion pathways opened and closed by the membrane electric field. (Author/MLH)

  18. Ion channel-transporter interactions.

    PubMed

    Neverisky, Daniel L; Abbott, Geoffrey W

    2015-01-01

    All living cells require membrane proteins that act as conduits for the regulated transport of ions, solutes and other small molecules across the cell membrane. Ion channels provide a pore that permits often rapid, highly selective and tightly regulated movement of ions down their electrochemical gradient. In contrast, active transporters can move moieties up their electrochemical gradient. The secondary active transporters (such as SLC superfamily solute transporters) achieve this by coupling uphill movement of the substrate to downhill movement of another ion, such as sodium. The primary active transporters (including H(+)/K(+)-ATPases and Na(+)/K(+)-ATPases) utilize ATP hydrolysis as an energy source to power uphill transport. It is well known that proteins in each of these classes work in concert with members of the other classes to ensure, for example, ion homeostasis, ion secretion and restoration of ion balance following action potentials. More recently, evidence is emerging of direct physical interaction between true ion channels, and some primary or secondary active transporters. Here, we review the first known members of this new class of macromolecular complexes that we term "chansporters", explore their biological roles and discuss the pathophysiological consequences of their disruption. We compare functional and/or physical interactions between the ubiquitous KCNQ1 potassium channel and various active transporters, and examine other newly discovered chansporter complexes that suggest we may be seeing the tip of the iceberg in a newly emerging signaling modality. PMID:27098917

  19. The ion-channel laser

    SciTech Connect

    Whittum, D.H.; Sessler, A.M. ); Dawson, J.M. . Dept. of Physics)

    1990-01-01

    A relativistic electron beam propagating through a plasma in the ion-focused regime exhibits an electromagnetic instability at a resonant frequency {omega} {approximately} 2{gamma}{sup 2} {omega}{sub {beta}}. Growth is enhanced by optical guiding in the ion channel, which acts as dielectric waveguide, with fiber parameter V {approximately} 2 (I/I{sub A}){sup 1/2}. A 1-D theory for such an ion-channel laser'' is formulated, scaling laws are derived and numerical examples are given. Possible experimental evidence is noted. 23 refs., 1 fig., 1 tab.

  20. Marine Toxins Targeting Ion Channels

    PubMed Central

    Arias, Hugo R.

    2006-01-01

    This introductory minireview points out the importance of ion channels for cell communication. The basic concepts on the structure and function of ion channels triggered by membrane voltage changes, the so-called voltage-gated ion channels (VGICs), as well as those activated by neurotransmitters, the so-called ligand-gated ion channel (LGICs), are introduced. Among the most important VGIC superfamiles, we can name the voltage-gated Na+ (NaV), Ca2+ (CaV), and K+ (KV) channels. Among the most important LGIC super families, we can include the Cys-loop or nicotinicoid, the glutamate-activated (GluR), and the ATP-activated (P2XnR) receptor superfamilies. Ion channels are transmembrane proteins that allow the passage of different ions in a specific or unspecific manner. For instance, the activation of NaV, CaV, or KV channels opens a pore that is specific for Na+, Ca2+, or K+, respectively. On the other hand, the activation of certain LGICs such as nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, GluRs, and P2XnRs allows the passage of cations (e.g., Na+, K+, and/or Ca2+), whereas the activation of other LGICs such as type A γ-butyric acid and glycine receptors allows the passage of anions (e.g., Cl− and/or HCO3−). In this regard, the activation of NaV and CaV as well as ligand-gated cation channels produce membrane depolarization, which finally leads to stimulatory effects in the cell, whereas the activation of KV as well as ligand-gated anion channels induce membrane hyperpolarization that finally leads to inhibitory effects in the cell. The importance of these ion channel superfamilies is emphasized by considering their physiological functions throughout the body as well as their pathophysiological implicance in several neuronal diseases. In this regard, natural molecules, and especially marine toxins, can be potentially used as modulators (e.g., inhibitors or prolongers) of ion channel functions to treat or to alleviate a specific ion channel-linked disease (e

  1. Intracellular ion channels and cancer.

    PubMed

    Leanza, Luigi; Biasutto, Lucia; Managò, Antonella; Gulbins, Erich; Zoratti, Mario; Szabò, Ildikò

    2013-01-01

    Several types of channels play a role in the maintenance of ion homeostasis in subcellular organelles including endoplasmatic reticulum, nucleus, lysosome, endosome, and mitochondria. Here we give a brief overview of the contribution of various mitochondrial and other organellar channels to cancer cell proliferation or death. Much attention is focused on channels involved in intracellular calcium signaling and on ion fluxes in the ATP-producing organelle mitochondria. Mitochondrial K(+) channels (Ca(2+)-dependent BKCa and IKCa, ATP-dependent KATP, Kv1.3, two-pore TWIK-related Acid-Sensitive K(+) channel-3 (TASK-3)), Ca(2+) uniporter MCU, Mg(2+)-permeable Mrs2, anion channels (voltage-dependent chloride channel VDAC, intracellular chloride channel CLIC) and the Permeability Transition Pore (MPTP) contribute importantly to the regulation of function in this organelle. Since mitochondria play a central role in apoptosis, modulation of their ion channels by pharmacological means may lead to death of cancer cells. The nuclear potassium channel Kv10.1 and the nuclear chloride channel CLIC4 as well as the endoplasmatic reticulum (ER)-located inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3) receptor, the ER-located Ca(2+) depletion sensor STIM1 (stromal interaction molecule 1), a component of the store-operated Ca(2+) channel and the ER-resident TRPM8 are also mentioned. Furthermore, pharmacological tools affecting organellar channels and modulating cancer cell survival are discussed. The channels described in this review are summarized on Figure 1. Overall, the view is emerging that intracellular ion channels may represent a promising target for cancer treatment. PMID:24027528

  2. Ion Channels in Brain Metastasis.

    PubMed

    Klumpp, Lukas; Sezgin, Efe C; Eckert, Franziska; Huber, Stephan M

    2016-01-01

    Breast cancer, lung cancer and melanoma exhibit a high metastatic tropism to the brain. Development of brain metastases severely worsens the prognosis of cancer patients and constrains curative treatment options. Metastasizing to the brain by cancer cells can be dissected in consecutive processes including epithelial-mesenchymal transition, evasion from the primary tumor, intravasation and circulation in the blood, extravasation across the blood-brain barrier, formation of metastatic niches, and colonization in the brain. Ion channels have been demonstrated to be aberrantly expressed in tumor cells where they regulate neoplastic transformation, malignant progression or therapy resistance. Moreover, many ion channel modulators are FDA-approved drugs and in clinical use proposing ion channels as druggable targets for future anti-cancer therapy. The present review article aims to summarize the current knowledge on the function of ion channels in the different processes of brain metastasis. The data suggest that certain channel types involving voltage-gated sodium channels, ATP-release channels, ionotropic neurotransmitter receptors and gap junction-generating connexins interfere with distinct processes of brain metastazation. PMID:27618016

  3. ROS and intracellular ion channels.

    PubMed

    Kiselyov, Kirill; Muallem, Shmuel

    2016-08-01

    Oxidative stress is a well-known driver of numerous pathological processes involving protein and lipid peroxidation and DNA damage. The resulting increase of pro-apoptotic pressure drives tissue damage in a host of conditions, including ischemic stroke and reperfusion injury, diabetes, death in acute pancreatitis and neurodegenerative diseases. Somewhat less frequently discussed, but arguably as important, is the signaling function of oxidative stress stemming from the ability of oxidative stress to modulate ion channel activity. The evidence for the modulation of the intracellular ion channels and transporters by oxidative stress is constantly emerging and such evidence suggests new regulatory and pathological circuits that can be explored towards new treatments for diseases in which oxidative stress is an issue. In this review we summarize the current knowledge on the effects of oxidative stress on the intracellular ion channels and transporters and their role in cell function. PMID:26995054

  4. Ion channels in development and cancer.

    PubMed

    Bates, Emily

    2015-01-01

    Ion channels have emerged as regulators of developmental processes. In model organisms and in people with mutations in ion channels, disruption of ion channel function can affect cell proliferation, cell migration, and craniofacial and limb patterning. Alterations of ion channel function affect morphogenesis in fish, frogs, mammals, and flies, demonstrating that ion channels have conserved roles in developmental processes. One model suggests that ion channels affect proliferation and migration through changes in cell volume. However, ion channels have not explicitly been placed in canonical developmental signaling cascades until recently. This review gives examples of ion channels that influence developmental processes, offers a potential underlying molecular mechanism involving bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling, and finally explores exciting possibilities for manipulating ion channels to influence cell fate for regenerative medicine and to impact disease. PMID:26566112

  5. Ion channels versus ion pumps: the principal difference, in principle

    PubMed Central

    Gadsby, David C.

    2009-01-01

    Two kinds of border guards control the incessant traffic of ions across cell membranes: ion channels and ion pumps. When open, channels let selected ions diffuse rapidly down electrical and concentration gradients, whereas ion pumps labour tirelessly to maintain the gradients, by consuming energy to slowly move ions against them. Because of their diametrically opposed tasks and their divergent speeds, channels and pumps have traditionally been viewed as completely different entities, as alike as chalk and cheese. But new structural and mechanistic information about both classes of these molecular machines challenges this comfortable separation, forcing its reevaluation. PMID:19339978

  6. Demystifying Mechanosensitive Piezo Ion Channels.

    PubMed

    Xu, X Z Shawn

    2016-06-01

    Mechanosensitive channels mediate touch, hearing, proprioception, and blood pressure regulation. Piezo proteins, including Piezo1 and Piezo2, represent a new class of mechanosensitive channels that have been reported to play key roles in most, if not all, of these modalities. The structural architecture and molecular mechanisms by which Piezos act as mechanosensitive channels, however, remain mysterious. Two new studies have now provided critical insights into the atomic structure and molecular basis of the ion permeation and mechano-gating properties of the Piezo1 channel. PMID:27164907

  7. Improved Ion-Channel Biosensors

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nadeau, Jay; White, Victor; Dougherty, Dennis; Maurer, Joshua

    2004-01-01

    An effort is underway to develop improved biosensors of a type based on ion channels in biomimetic membranes. These sensors are microfabricated from silicon and other materials compatible with silicon. As described, these sensors offer a number of advantages over prior sensors of this type.

  8. Microbial Senses and Ion Channels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kung, Ching; Zhou, Xin-Liang; Su, Zhen-Wei; Haynes, W. John; Loukin, Sephan H.; Saimi, Yoshiro

    The complexity of animals and plants is due largely to cellular arrangement. The structures and activities of macromolecules had, however, evolved in early microbes long before the appearance of this complexity. Among such molecules are those that sense light, heat, force, water, and ligands. Though historically and didactically associated with the nervous system, ion channels also have deep evolutionary roots. For example, force sensing with channels, which likely began as water sensing through membrane stretch generated by osmotic pressure, must be ancient and is universal in extant species. Extant microbial species, such as the model bacterium Escherichia coli and yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, are equipped with stretch-activated channels. The ion channel proteins MscL and MscS show clearly that these bacterial channels receive stretch forces from the lipid bilayer. TRPY1, the mechanosensitive channel in yeast, is being developed towards a similar basic understanding of channels of the TRP (transientreceptor- potential) superfamily. TRPY1 resides in the vacuolar membrane and releases Ca2+ from the vacuole to the cytoplasm upon hyperosmotic shock. Unlike in most TRP preparations from animals, the mechanosensitivity of TRPY1 can be examined directly under patch clamp in either whole-vacuole mode or excised patch mode. The combination of direct biophysical examination in vitro with powerful microbial genetics in vivo should complement the study of mechanosensations of complex animals and plants.

  9. A Latin American Perspective on Ion Channels.

    PubMed

    Elgoyhen, Ana Belén; Barajas-López, Carlos

    2016-09-01

    Ion channels, both ligand- and voltage-gated, play fundamental roles in many physiologic processes. Alteration in ion channel function underlies numerous pathologies, including hypertension, diabetes, chronic pain, epilepsy, certain cancers, and neuromuscular diseases. In addition, an increasing number of inherited and de novo ion channel mutations have been shown to contribute to disease states. Ion channels are thus a major class of pharmacotherapeutic targets. PMID:27535998

  10. THEMATICS analysis for functional ion channels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shehadi, Ihsan A.

    Ion channels, as a group of integral membrane proteins, span the cell membrane forming ion-conducting pores that allow ions to traverse the hydrophobic lipid environment rapidly and selectively. The structure of the Streptomyces lividians (KcsA) and Mycobacterium tuberculosis ion channel (Mscl) potassium ion channel have provided the impetus and has helped further the understanding of the structural and functional studies of these channels. The KcsA adapts the voltage-gated mechanism for opening and closing of the channel. While Mcsl represents the mechanosensitive model of the channels. However, the mechanism of the opening and closing of these channels are not fully understood. Electrostatic methods (THEMATICS) are used to locate the site where closing and opening of the channels are controlled. Two clusters of amino acid residues are identified in each of the previously mentioned active models where net charges play an important role in controlling the mechanism of the opening and closure of the ion channels.0

  11. Ion Channel Engineering: Perspectives and Strategies

    PubMed Central

    Subramanyam, Prakash; Colecraft, Henry M.

    2014-01-01

    Ion channels facilitate the passive movement of ions down an electrochemical gradient and across lipid bilayers in cells. This phenomenon is essential for life, and underlies many critical homeostatic processes in cells. Ion channels are diverse and differ with respect to how they open and close (gating), and their ionic conductance/selectivity (permeation). Fundamental understanding of ion channel structure-function mechanisms, their physiological roles, how their dysfunction leads to disease, their utility as biosensors, and development of novel molecules to modulate their activity are important and active research frontiers. In this review, we focus on ion-channel engineering approaches that have been applied to investigate these aspects of ion channel function, with a major emphasis on voltage-gated ion channels. PMID:25205552

  12. Ion Channel Probes for Scanning Ion Conductance Microscopy

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    The sensitivity and selectivity of ion channels provide an appealing opportunity for sensor development. Here, we describe ion channel probes (ICPs), which consist of multiple ion channels reconstituted into lipid bilayers suspended across the opening of perflourinated glass micropipets. When incorporated with a scanning ion conductance microscope (SICM), ICPs displayed a distance-dependent current response that depended on the number of ion channels in the membrane. With distance-dependent current as feedback, probes were translated laterally, to demonstrate the possibility of imaging with ICPs. The ICP platform yields several potential advantages for SICM that will enable exciting opportunities for incorporation of chemical information into imaging and for high-resolution imaging. PMID:25425190

  13. High throughput screening technologies for ion channels

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Hai-bo; Li, Min; Wang, Wei-ping; Wang, Xiao-liang

    2016-01-01

    Ion channels are involved in a variety of fundamental physiological processes, and their malfunction causes numerous human diseases. Therefore, ion channels represent a class of attractive drug targets and a class of important off-targets for in vitro pharmacological profiling. In the past decades, the rapid progress in developing functional assays and instrumentation has enabled high throughput screening (HTS) campaigns on an expanding list of channel types. Chronologically, HTS methods for ion channels include the ligand binding assay, flux-based assay, fluorescence-based assay, and automated electrophysiological assay. In this review we summarize the current HTS technologies for different ion channel classes and their applications. PMID:26657056

  14. ICEPO: the ion channel electrophysiology ontology.

    PubMed

    Hinard, V; Britan, A; Rougier, J S; Bairoch, A; Abriel, H; Gaudet, P

    2016-01-01

    Ion channels are transmembrane proteins that selectively allow ions to flow across the plasma membrane and play key roles in diverse biological processes. A multitude of diseases, called channelopathies, such as epilepsies, muscle paralysis, pain syndromes, cardiac arrhythmias or hypoglycemia are due to ion channel mutations. A wide corpus of literature is available on ion channels, covering both their functions and their roles in disease. The research community needs to access this data in a user-friendly, yet systematic manner. However, extraction and integration of this increasing amount of data have been proven to be difficult because of the lack of a standardized vocabulary that describes the properties of ion channels at the molecular level. To address this, we have developed Ion Channel ElectroPhysiology Ontology (ICEPO), an ontology that allows one to annotate the electrophysiological parameters of the voltage-gated class of ion channels. This ontology is based on a three-state model of ion channel gating describing the three conformations/states that an ion channel can adopt: closed, open and inactivated. This ontology supports the capture of voltage-gated ion channel electrophysiological data from the literature in a structured manner and thus enables other applications such as querying and reasoning tools. Here, we present ICEPO (ICEPO ftp site:ftp://ftp.nextprot.org/pub/current_release/controlled_vocabularies/), as well as examples of its use. PMID:27055825

  15. ICEPO: the ion channel electrophysiology ontology

    PubMed Central

    Hinard, V.; Britan, A.; Rougier, J.S.; Bairoch, A.; Abriel, H.; Gaudet, P.

    2016-01-01

    Ion channels are transmembrane proteins that selectively allow ions to flow across the plasma membrane and play key roles in diverse biological processes. A multitude of diseases, called channelopathies, such as epilepsies, muscle paralysis, pain syndromes, cardiac arrhythmias or hypoglycemia are due to ion channel mutations. A wide corpus of literature is available on ion channels, covering both their functions and their roles in disease. The research community needs to access this data in a user-friendly, yet systematic manner. However, extraction and integration of this increasing amount of data have been proven to be difficult because of the lack of a standardized vocabulary that describes the properties of ion channels at the molecular level. To address this, we have developed Ion Channel ElectroPhysiology Ontology (ICEPO), an ontology that allows one to annotate the electrophysiological parameters of the voltage-gated class of ion channels. This ontology is based on a three-state model of ion channel gating describing the three conformations/states that an ion channel can adopt: closed, open and inactivated. This ontology supports the capture of voltage-gated ion channel electrophysiological data from the literature in a structured manner and thus enables other applications such as querying and reasoning tools. Here, we present ICEPO (ICEPO ftp site: ftp://ftp.nextprot.org/pub/current_release/controlled_vocabularies/), as well as examples of its use. PMID:27055825

  16. Ion Channels in Innate and Adaptive Immunity

    PubMed Central

    Feske, Stefan; Wulff, Heike; Skolnik, Edward Y.

    2016-01-01

    Ion channels and transporters mediate the transport of charged ions across hydrophobic lipid membranes. In immune cells, divalent cations such as calcium, magnesium, and zinc have important roles as second messengers to regulate intracellular signaling pathways. By contrast, monovalent cations such as sodium and potassium mainly regulate the membrane potential, which indirectly controls the influx of calcium and immune cell signaling. Studies investigating human patients with mutations in ion channels and transporters, analysis of gene-targeted mice, or pharmacological experiments with ion channel inhibitors have revealed important roles of ionic signals in lymphocyte development and in innate and adaptive immune responses. We here review the mechanisms underlying the function of ion channels and transporters in lymphocytes and innate immune cells and discuss their roles in lymphocyte development, adaptive and innate immune responses, and autoimmunity, as well as recent efforts to develop pharmacological inhibitors of ion channels for immunomodulatory therapy. PMID:25861976

  17. Equivalence of trans paths in ion channels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alvarez, Juan; Hajek, Bruce

    2006-04-01

    We explore stochastic models for the study of ion transport in biological cells. Analysis of these models explains and explores an interesting feature of ion transport observed by biophysicists. Namely, the average time it takes ions to cross certain ion channels is the same in either direction, even if there is an electric potential difference across the channels. It is shown for simple single ion models that the distribution of a path (i.e., the history of location versus time) of an ion crossing the channel in one direction has the same distribution as the time-reversed path of an ion crossing the channel in the reverse direction. Therefore, not only is the mean duration of these paths equal, but other measures, such as the variance of passage time or the mean time a path spends within a specified section of the channel, are also the same for both directions of traversal. The feature is also explored for channels with interacting ions. If a system of interacting ions is in reversible equilibrium (net flux is zero), then the equivalence of the left-to-right trans paths with the time-reversed right-to-left trans paths still holds. However, if the system is in equilibrium, but not reversible equilibrium, then such equivalence need not hold.

  18. Modeling ion channels: Past, present, and future

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Ion channels are membrane-bound enzymes whose catalytic sites are ion-conducting pores that open and close (gate) in response to specific environmental stimuli. Ion channels are important contributors to cell signaling and homeostasis. Our current understanding of gating is the product of 60 plus years of voltage-clamp recording augmented by intervention in the form of environmental, chemical, and mutational perturbations. The need for good phenomenological models of gating has evolved in parallel with the sophistication of experimental technique. The goal of modeling is to develop realistic schemes that not only describe data, but also accurately reflect mechanisms of action. This review covers three areas that have contributed to the understanding of ion channels: traditional Eyring kinetic theory, molecular dynamics analysis, and statistical thermodynamics. Although the primary emphasis is on voltage-dependent channels, the methods discussed here are easily generalized to other stimuli and could be applied to any ion channel and indeed any macromolecule. PMID:24935742

  19. Ion channels, channelopathies, and tooth formation.

    PubMed

    Duan, X

    2014-02-01

    The biological functions of ion channels in tooth development vary according to the nature of their gating, the species of ions passing through those gates, the number of gates, localization of channels, tissue expressing the channel, and interactions between cells and microenvironment. Ion channels feature unique and specific ion flux in ameloblasts, odontoblasts, and other tooth-specific cell lineages. Both enamel and dentin have active chemical systems orchestrating a variety of ion exchanges and demineralization and remineralization processes in a stage-dependent manner. An important role for ion channels is to regulate and maintain the calcium and pH homeostasis that are critical for proper enamel and dentin biomineralization. Specific functions of chloride channels, TRPVs, calcium channels, potassium channels, and solute carrier superfamily members in tooth formation have been gradually clarified in recent years. Mutations in these ion channels or transporters often result in disastrous changes in tooth development. The channelopathies of tooth include altered eruption (CLCN7, KCNJ2, TRPV3), root dysplasia (CLCN7, KCNJ2), amelogenesis imperfecta (KCNJ1, CFTR, AE2, CACNA1C, GJA1), dentin dysplasia (CLCN5), small teeth (CACNA1C, GJA1), tooth agenesis (CLCN7), and other impairments. The mechanisms leading to tooth channelopathies are primarily related to pH regulation, calcium homeostasis, or other alterations of the niche for tooth eruption and development. PMID:24076519

  20. Cardiac ion channels in health and disease.

    PubMed

    Amin, Ahmad S; Tan, Hanno L; Wilde, Arthur A M

    2010-01-01

    Cardiac electrical activity depends on the coordinated propagation of excitatory stimuli through the heart and, as a consequence, the generation of action potentials in individual cardiomyocytes. Action potential formation results from the opening and closing (gating) of ion channels that are expressed within the sarcolemma of cardiomyocytes. Ion channels possess distinct genetic, molecular, pharmacologic, and gating properties and exhibit dissimilar expression levels within different cardiac regions. By gating, ion channels permit ion currents across the sarcolemma, thereby creating the different phases of the action potential (e.g., resting phase, depolarization, repolarization). The importance of ion channels in maintaining normal heart rhythm is reflected by the increased incidence of arrhythmias in inherited diseases that are linked to mutations in genes encoding ion channels or their accessory proteins and in acquired diseases that are associated with changes in ion channel expression levels or gating properties. This review discusses ion channels that contribute to action potential formation in healthy hearts and their role in inherited and acquired diseases. PMID:19875343

  1. Mitochondrial ion channels as oncological targets.

    PubMed

    Leanza, L; Zoratti, M; Gulbins, E; Szabo, I

    2014-12-01

    Mitochondria, the key bioenergetic intracellular organelles, harbor a number of proteins with proven or hypothetical ion channel functions. Growing evidence points to the important contribution of these channels to the regulation of mitochondrial function, such as ion homeostasis imbalances profoundly affecting energy transducing processes, reactive oxygen species production and mitochondrial integrity. Given the central role of mitochondria in apoptosis, their ion channels with the potential to compromise mitochondrial function have become promising targets for the treatment of malignancies. Importantly, in vivo evidence demonstrates the involvement of the proton-transporting uncoupling protein, a mitochondrial potassium channel, the outer membrane located porin and the permeability transition pore in tumor progression/control. In this review, we focus on mitochondrial channels that have been assigned a definite role in cell death regulation and possess clear oncological relevance. Overall, based on in vivo and in vitro genetic and pharmacological evidence, mitochondrial ion channels are emerging as promising targets for cancer treatment. PMID:24469031

  2. Pair creation in heavy ion channeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belov, N. A.; Harman, Z.

    2016-04-01

    Heavy ions channeled through crystals with multi-GeV kinetic energies can create electron-positron pairs. In the framework of the ion, the energy of virtual photons arising from the periodic crystal potential may exceed the threshold 2mec2. The repeated periodic collisions with the crystal ions yield high pair production rates. When the virtual photon frequency matches a nuclear transition in the ion, the production rate can be resonantly increased. In this two-step excitation-pair conversion scheme, the excitation rates are coherently enhanced, and scale approximately quadratically with the number of crystal sites along the channel.

  3. Dendritic Ion Channel Trafficking and Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Shah, Mala M.; Hammond, Rebecca S.; Hoffman, Dax

    2010-01-01

    Dendrites, the elaborate processes emerging from neuronal cell bodies, receive most excitatory synaptic inputs. Voltage- and calcium-gated ion channels are abundant in dendrites and modify the shape, propagation and integration of synaptic signals. These ion channels also determine intrinsic dendritic excitability and are therfore important for the induction and manifestation of Hebbian and non-Hebbian plasticity. Revealingly, dendritic channels have distinct expression patterns and biophysical properties from those present in other neuronal compartments. Recent evidence suggests that dendritic ion channels are locally regulated, perhaps contributing to different forms of plasticity. In this review, we will discuss the implications of regulating dendritic ion channel function and trafficking in the context of plasticity and information processing. PMID:20363038

  4. Understanding autoimmunity: The ion channel perspective.

    PubMed

    RamaKrishnan, Anantha Maharasi; Sankaranarayanan, Kavitha

    2016-07-01

    Ion channels are integral membrane proteins that orchestrate the passage of ions across the cell membrane and thus regulate various key physiological processes of the living system. The stringently regulated expression and function of these channels hold a pivotal role in the development and execution of various cellular functions. Malfunction of these channels results in debilitating diseases collectively termed channelopathies. In this review, we highlight the role of these proteins in the immune system with special emphasis on the development of autoimmunity. The role of ion channels in various autoimmune diseases is also listed out. This comprehensive review summarizes the ion channels that could be used as molecular targets in the development of new therapeutics against autoimmune disorders. PMID:26854401

  5. Measuring Ion Channels on Solid Supported Membranes

    PubMed Central

    Schulz, Patrick; Dueck, Benjamin; Mourot, Alexandre; Hatahet, Lina; Fendler, Klaus

    2009-01-01

    Abstract Application of solid supported membranes (SSMs) for the functional investigation of ion channels is presented. SSM-based electrophysiology, which has been introduced previously for the investigation of active transport systems, is expanded for the analysis of ion channels. Membranes or liposomes containing ion channels are adsorbed to an SSM and a concentration gradient of a permeant ion is applied. Transient currents representing ion channel transport activity are recorded via capacitive coupling. We demonstrate the application of the technique to liposomes reconstituted with the peptide cation channel gramicidin, vesicles from native tissue containing the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor, and membranes from a recombinant cell line expressing the ionotropic P2X2 receptor. It is shown that stable ion gradients, both inside as well as outside directed, can be applied and currents are recorded with an excellent signal/noise ratio. For the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor and the P2X2 receptor excellent assay quality factors of Z′ = 0.55 and Z′ = 0.67, respectively, are obtained. This technique opens up new possibilities in cases where conventional electrophysiology fails like the functional characterization of ion channels from intracellular compartments. It also allows for robust fully automatic assays for drug screening. PMID:19580777

  6. Acid-sensitive ion channels and receptors.

    PubMed

    Holzer, Peter

    2009-01-01

    Acidosis is a noxious condition associated with inflammation, ischaemia or defective acid containment. As a consequence, acid sensing has evolved as an important property of afferent neurons with unmyelinated and thinly myelinated nerve fibres. Protons evoke multiple currents in primary afferent neurons, which are carried by several acid-sensitive ion channels. Among these, acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs) and transient receptor potential (TRP) vanilloid-1 (TRPV1) ion channels have been most thoroughly studied. ASICs survey moderate decreases in extracellular pH, whereas TRPV1 is activated only by severe acidosis resulting in pH values below 6. Two-pore-domain K(+) (K(2P)) channels are differentially regulated by small deviations of extra- or intracellular pH from physiological levels. Other acid-sensitive channels include TRPV4, TRPC4, TRPC5, TRPP2 (PKD2L1), ionotropic purinoceptors (P2X), inward rectifier K(+) channels, voltage-activated K(+) channels, L-type Ca(2+) channels, hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide gated channels, gap junction channels, and Cl(-) channels. In addition, acid-sensitive G protein coupled receptors have also been identified. Most of these molecular acid sensors are expressed by primary sensory neurons, although to different degrees and in various combinations. Emerging evidence indicates that many of the acid-sensitive ion channels and receptors play a role in acid sensing, acid-induced pain and acid-evoked feedback regulation of homeostatic reactions. The existence and apparent redundancy of multiple pH surveillance systems attests to the concept that acid-base regulation is a vital issue for cell and tissue homeostasis. Since upregulation and overactivity of acid sensors appear to contribute to various forms of chronic pain, acid-sensitive ion channels and receptors are considered as targets for novel analgesic drugs. This approach will only be successful if the pathological implications of acid sensors can be differentiated

  7. Acid-sensitive ion channels and receptors

    PubMed Central

    Holzer, Peter

    2015-01-01

    Acidosis is a noxious condition associated with inflammation, ischaemia or defective acid containment. As a consequence, acid sensing has evolved as an important property of afferent neurons with unmyelinated and thinly myelinated nerve fibres. Protons evoke multiple currents in primary afferent neurons, which are carried by several acid-sensitive ion channels. Among these, acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs) and transient receptor potential (TRP) vanilloid-1 (TRPV1) ion channels have been most thoroughly studied. ASICs survey moderate decreases in extracellular pH whereas TRPV1 is activated only by severe acidosis resulting in pH values below 6. Two-pore domain K+ (K2P) channels are differentially regulated by small deviations of extra- or intracellular pH from physiological levels. Other acid-sensitive channels comprise TRPV4, TRPC4, TRPC5, TRPP2 (PKD2L1), ionotropic purinoceptors (P2X), inward rectifier K+ channels, voltage-activated K+ channels, L-type Ca2+ channels, hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated channels, gap junction channels, and Cl− channels. In addition, acid-sensitive G protein-coupled receptors have also been identified. Most of these molecular acid sensors are expressed by primary sensory neurons, although to different degrees and in various combinations. Emerging evidence indicates that many of the acid-sensitive ion channels and receptors play a role in acid sensing, acid-induced pain and acid-evoked feedback regulation of homeostatic reactions. The existence and apparent redundancy of multiple pH surveillance systems attests to the concept that acid-base regulation is a vital issue for cell and tissue homeostasis. Since upregulation and overactivity of acid sensors appear to contribute to various forms of chronic pain, acid-sensitive ion channels and receptors are considered as targets for novel analgesic drugs. This approach will only be successful if the pathological implications of acid sensors can be differentiated

  8. Caveolae, Ion Channels and Cardiac Arrhythmias

    PubMed Central

    Balijepalli, Ravi C.; Kamp, Timothy J.

    2009-01-01

    Caveolae are specialized membrane microdomains enriched in cholesterol and sphingolipids which are present in multiple cell types including cardiomyocytes. Along with the essential scaffolding protein caveolin-3, a number of different ion channels and transporters have been localized to caveolae in the heart including L-type Ca2+ channels (Cav1.2), Na+ channels (Nav1.5), pacemaker channels (HCN4), Na+/Ca2+ exchnager (NCX1) and others. Closely associated with these channels are specific macromolecular signaling complexes that provide highly localized regulation of the channels. Mutations in the caveolin-3 gene (CAV3) have been linked with the congenital long QT syndrome (LQT9), and mutations in caveolar-localized ion channels may contribute to other inherited arrhythmias. Changes in the caveolar microdomain in acquired heart disease may also lead to dysregulation and dysfunction of ion channels, altering the risk of arrhythmias in conditions such as heart failure. This review highlights the existing evidence identifying and characterizing ion channels localized to caveolae in cardiomyocytes and their role in arrhythmogenesis. PMID:19351512

  9. Hypoxia. 4. Hypoxia and ion channel function

    PubMed Central

    Polak, Jan

    2011-01-01

    The ability to sense and respond to oxygen deprivation is required for survival; thus, understanding the mechanisms by which changes in oxygen are linked to cell viability and function is of great importance. Ion channels play a critical role in regulating cell function in a wide variety of biological processes, including neuronal transmission, control of ventilation, cardiac contractility, and control of vasomotor tone. Since the 1988 discovery of oxygen-sensitive potassium channels in chemoreceptors, the effect of hypoxia on an assortment of ion channels has been studied in an array of cell types. In this review, we describe the effects of both acute and sustained hypoxia (continuous and intermittent) on mammalian ion channels in several tissues, the mode of action, and their contribution to diverse cellular processes. PMID:21178108

  10. Bright ion channels and lipid bilayers.

    PubMed

    Szymański, Wiktor; Yilmaz, Duygu; Koçer, Armağan; Feringa, Ben L

    2013-12-17

    If we look at a simple organism such as a zebrafish under a microscope, we would see many cells working in harmony. If we zoomed in, we would observe each unit performing its own tasks in a special aqueous environment isolated from the other units by a lipid bilayer approximately 5 nm thick. These confined units are social: they communicate with one another by sensing and responding to the chemical changes in their environment through receptors and ion channels. These channels control the highly specific and selective passage of ions from one side of the cell to the other and are embedded in lipid bilayers. The movement of ions through ion channels supports excitation and electrical signaling in the nervous system. Ion channels have fascinated scientists not only because of their specificity and selectivity, but also for their functions, the serious consequences when they malfunction, and the other potential applications of these molecules. Light is a useful trigger to control and manipulate ion channels externally. With the many state-of-the-art optical technologies available, light offers a high degree of spatial and temporal control, millisecond precision, and noninvasive intervention and does not change the chemical environment of the system of interest. In this Account, we discuss research toward the dynamic control of lipid bilayer assembly and channel function, particularly the transport across the lipid bilayer-ion channel barrier of cells using light. We first summarize the manipulation of ion channel activity with light to modulate the channel's natural activity. Based on the type of photoswitch employed, we can achieve novel functionalities with these channels, and control neural activity. Then we discuss the recent developments in light-induced transport through lipid bilayers. We focus on three different approaches: the incorporation of photoswitchable copolymers into the lipids, the doping of the lipid bilayer with photosensitive amphiphiles and the

  11. Targeting ion channels in cystic fibrosis.

    PubMed

    Mall, Marcus A; Galietta, Luis J V

    2015-09-01

    Mutations in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene cause a characteristic defect in epithelial ion transport that plays a central role in the pathogenesis of cystic fibrosis (CF). Hence, pharmacological correction of this ion transport defect by targeting of mutant CFTR, or alternative ion channels that may compensate for CFTR dysfunction, has long been considered as an attractive approach to a causal therapy of this life-limiting disease. The recent introduction of the CFTR potentiator ivacaftor into the therapy of a subgroup of patients with specific CFTR mutations was a major milestone and enormous stimulus for seeking effective ion transport modulators for all patients with CF. In this review, we discuss recent breakthroughs and setbacks with CFTR modulators designed to rescue mutant CFTR including the common mutation F508del. Further, we examine the alternative chloride channels TMEM16A and SLC26A9, as well as the epithelial sodium channel ENaC as alternative targets in CF lung disease, which remains the major cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with CF. Finally, we will focus on the hurdles that still need to be overcome to make effective ion transport modulation therapies available for all patients with CF irrespective of their CFTR genotype. PMID:26115565

  12. The Earliest Ion Channels in Protocellular Membranes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mijajlovic, Milan; Pohorille, Andrew; Wilson, Michael; Wei, Chenyu

    2010-01-01

    Cellular membranes with their hydrophobic interior are virtually impermeable to ions. Bulk of ion transport through them is enabled through ion channels. Ion channels of contemporary cells are complex protein molecules which span the membrane creating a cylindrical pore filled with water. Protocells, which are widely regarded as precursors to modern cells, had similarly impermeable membranes, but the set of proteins in their disposal was much simpler and more limited. We have been, therefore, exploring an idea that the first ion channels in protocellular membranes were formed by much smaller peptide molecules that could spontaneously selfassemble into short-lived cylindrical bundles in a membrane. Earlier studies have shown that a group of peptides known as peptaibols is capable of forming ion channels in lipid bilayers when they are exposed to an electric field. Peptaibols are small, non-genetically encoded peptides produced by some fungi as a part of their system of defense against bacteria. They are usually only 14-20 residues long, which is just enough to span the membrane. Their sequence is characterized by the presence of non-standard amino acids which, interestingly, are also expected to have existed on the early earth. In particular, the presence of 2-aminoisobutyric acid (AIB) gives peptaibols strong helix forming propensities. Association of the helices inside membranes leads to the formation of cylindrical bundles, typically containing 4 to 10 monomers. Although peptaibols are excellent candidates for models of the earliest ion channels their structures, which are stabilized only by van der Waals forces and occasional hydrogen bonds between neighboring helices, are not very stable. Although it might properly reflect protobiological reality, it is also a major obstacle in studying channel behavior. For this reason we focused on two members of the peptaibol family, trichotoxin and antiamoebin, which are characterized by a single conductance level. This

  13. The earliest ion channels in protocellular membranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mijajlovic, Milan; Pohorille, Andrew; Wilson, Michael; Wei, Chenyu

    Cellular membranes with their hydrophobic interior are virtually impermeable to ions. Bulk of ion transport through them is enabled through ion channels. Ion channels of contemporary cells are complex protein molecules which span the membrane creating a cylindrical pore filled with water. Protocells, which are widely regarded as precursors to modern cells, had similarly impermeable membranes, but the set of proteins in their disposal was much simpler and more limited. We have been, therefore, exploring an idea that the first ion channels in protocellular membranes were formed by much smaller peptide molecules that could spontaneously self-assemble into short-lived cylindrical bundles in a membrane. Earlier studies have shown that a group of peptides known as peptaibols is capable of forming ion channels in lipid bilayers when they are exposed to an electric field. Peptaibols are small, non-genetically encoded peptides produced by some fungi as a part of their system of defense against bacteria. They are usually only 14-20 residues long, which is just enough to span the membrane. Their sequence is characterized by the presence of non-standard amino acids which, interestingly, are also expected to have existed on the early earth. In particular, the presence of 2-aminoisobutyric acid (AIB) gives peptaibols strong helix forming propensities. Association of the helices inside membranes leads to the formation of cylindrical bundles, typically containing 4 to 10 monomers. Although peptaibols are excellent candidates for models of the earliest ion channels their struc-tures, which are stabilized only by van der Waals forces and occasional hydrogen bonds between neighboring helices, are not very stable. Although it might properly reflect protobiological real-ity, it is also a major obstacle in studying channel behavior. For this reason we focused on two members of the peptaibol family, trichotoxin and antiamoebin, which are characterized by a single conductance level. This

  14. Mitochondrial Ion Channels in Cancer Transformation

    PubMed Central

    Madamba, Stephen M.; Damri, Kevin N.; Dejean, Laurent M.; Peixoto, Pablo M.

    2015-01-01

    Cancer transformation involves reprograming of mitochondrial function to avert cell death mechanisms, monopolize energy metabolism, accelerate mitotic proliferation, and promote metastasis. Mitochondrial ion channels have emerged as promising therapeutic targets because of their connection to metabolic and apoptotic functions. This mini review discusses how mitochondrial channels may be associated with cancer transformation and expands on the possible involvement of mitochondrial protein import complexes in pathophysiological process. PMID:26090338

  15. More Than a Pore: Ion Channel Signaling Complexes

    PubMed Central

    Fakler, Bernd; Kaczmarek, Leonard K.; Isom, Lori L.

    2014-01-01

    Voltage- and ligand-gated ion channels form the molecular basis of cellular excitability. With >400 members and accounting for ∼1.5% of the human genome, ion channels are some of the most well studied of all proteins in heterologous expression systems. Yet, ion channels often exhibit unexpected properties in vivo because of their interaction with a variety of signaling/scaffolding proteins. Such interactions can influence the function and localization of ion channels, as well as their coupling to intracellular second messengers and pathways, thus increasing the signaling potential of these ion channels in neurons. Moreover, functions have been ascribed to ion channels that are largely independent of their ion-conducting roles. Molecular and functional dissection of the ion channel proteome/interactome has yielded new insights into the composition of ion channel complexes and how their dysregulation leads to human disease. PMID:25392484

  16. The Origins of Transmembrane Ion Channels

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pohorille, Andrew; Wilson, Michael A.

    2012-01-01

    Even though membrane proteins that mediate transport of ions and small molecules across cell walls are among the largest and least understood biopolymers in contemporary cells, it is still possible to shed light on their origins and early evolution. The central observation is that transmembrane portions of most ion channels are simply bundles of -helices. By combining results of experimental and computer simulation studies on synthetic models and natural channels, mostly of non-genomic origin, we show that the emergence of -helical channels was protobiologically plausible, and did not require highly specific amino acid sequences. Despite their simple structure, such channels could possess properties that, at the first sight, appear to require markedly larger complexity. Specifically, we explain how the antiamoebin channels, which are made of identical helices, 16 amino acids in length, achieve efficiency comparable to that of highly evolved channels. We further show that antiamoebin channels are extremely flexible, compared to modern, genetically coded channels. On the basis of our results, we propose that channels evolved further towards high structural complexity because they needed to acquire stable rigid structures and mechanisms for precise regulation rather than improve efficiency. In general, even though architectures of membrane proteins are not nearly as diverse as those of water-soluble proteins, they are sufficiently flexible to adapt readily to the functional demands arising during evolution.

  17. Regulation of Ion Channels by Pyridine Nucleotides

    PubMed Central

    Kilfoil, Peter J.; Tipparaju, Srinivas M.; Barski, Oleg A.; Bhatnagar, Aruni

    2014-01-01

    Recent research suggests that in addition to their role as soluble electron carriers, pyridine nucleotides [NAD(P)(H)] also regulate ion transport mechanisms. This mode of regulation seems to have been conserved through evolution. Several bacterial ion–transporting proteins or their auxiliary subunits possess nucleotide-binding domains. In eukaryotes, the Kv1 and Kv4 channels interact with pyridine nucleotide–binding β-subunits that belong to the aldo-keto reductase superfamily. Binding of NADP+ to Kvβ removes N-type inactivation of Kv currents, whereas NADPH stabilizes channel inactivation. Pyridine nucleotides also regulate Slo channels by interacting with their cytosolic regulator of potassium conductance domains that show high sequence homology to the bacterial TrkA family of K+ transporters. These nucleotides also have been shown to modify the activity of the plasma membrane KATP channels, the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator, the transient receptor potential M2 channel, and the intracellular ryanodine receptor calcium release channels. In addition, pyridine nucleotides also modulate the voltage-gated sodium channel by supporting the activity of its ancillary subunit—the glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase-like protein. Moreover, the NADP+ metabolite, NAADP+, regulates intracellular calcium homeostasis via the 2-pore channel, ryanodine receptor, or transient receptor potential M2 channels. Regulation of ion channels by pyridine nucleotides may be required for integrating cell ion transport to energetics and for sensing oxygen levels or metabolite availability. This mechanism also may be an important component of hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction, memory, and circadian rhythms, and disruption of this regulatory axis may be linked to dysregulation of calcium homeostasis and cardiac arrhythmias. PMID:23410881

  18. Mitochondrial ion channels as therapeutic targets

    PubMed Central

    Peixoto, Pablo M.; Ryu, Shin-Young; Kinnally, Kathleen W.

    2010-01-01

    The study of mitochondrial ion channels changed our perception of these double-wrapped organelles from being just the power house of a cell to the guardian of a cell's fate. Mitochondria communicate with the cell through these special channels. Most of the time, the message is encoded by ion flow across the mitochondrial outer and inner membranes. Potassium, sodium, calcium, protons, nucleotides, and proteins traverse the mitochondrial membranes in an exquisitely regulated manner to control a myriad of processes, from respiration and mitochondrial morphology to cell proliferation and cell death. This review is an update on both well established and putative mitochondrial channels regarding their composition, function, regulation, and therapeutic potential. PMID:20178788

  19. Conductance of Ion Channels - Theory vs. Experiment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pohorille, Andrew; Wilson, Michael; Mijajlovic, Milan

    2013-01-01

    Transmembrane ion channels mediate a number of essential physiological processes in a cell ranging from regulating osmotic pressure to transmission of neural signals. Kinetics and selectivity of ion transport is of critical importance to a cell and, not surprisingly, it is a subject of numerous experimental and theoretical studies. In this presentation we will analyze in detail computer simulations of two simple channels from fungi - antiamoebin and trichotoxin. Each of these channels is made of an alpha-helical bundle of small, nongenomically synthesized peptides containing a number of rare amino acids and exhibits strong antimicrobial activity. We will focus on calculating ionic conductance defined as the ratio of ionic current through the channel to applied voltage. From molecular dynamics simulations, conductance can be calculated in at least two ways, each involving different approximations. Specifically, the current, given as the number of charges transferred through the channel per unit of time, can be obtained from the number of events in which ions cross the channel during the simulation. This method works well for large currents (high conductance values and/or applied voltages). If the number of crossing events is small, reliable estimates of current are difficult to achieve. Alternatively, conductance can be estimated assuming that ion transport can be well approximated as diffusion in the external potential given by the free energy profile. Then, the current can be calculated by solving the one-dimensional diffusion equation in this external potential and applied voltage (the generalized Nernst-Planck equation). To do so three ingredients are needed: the free energy profile, the position-dependent diffusion coefficient and the diffusive flux of ions into the channel. All these quantities can be obtained from molecular dynamics simulations. An important advantage of this method is that it can be used equally well to estimating large and small currents

  20. Principles Governing Metal Ion Selectivity in Ion Channel Proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lim, Carmay

    2014-03-01

    Our research interests are to (i) unravel the principles governing biological processes and use them to identify novel drug targets and guide drug design, and (ii) develop new methods for studying macromolecular interactions. This talk will provide an overview of our work in these two areas and an example of how our studies have helped to unravel the principles underlying the conversion of Ca2+-selective to Na+-selective channels. Ion selectivity of four-domain voltage-gated Ca2+(Cav) and sodium (Nav) channels, which is controlled by the selectivity filter (SF, the narrowest region of an open pore), is crucial for electrical signaling. Over billions of years of evolution, mutation of the Glu from domain II/III in the EEEE/DEEA SF of Ca2+-selective Cav channels to Lys made these channels Na+-selective. This talk will delineate the physical principles why Lys is sufficient for Na+/Ca2+selectivity and why the DEKA SF is more Na+-selective than the DKEA one.

  1. Calcium homeostasis modulator (CALHM) ion channels.

    PubMed

    Ma, Zhongming; Tanis, Jessica E; Taruno, Akiyuki; Foskett, J Kevin

    2016-03-01

    Calcium homeostasis modulator 1 (CALHM1), formerly known as FAM26C, was recently identified as a physiologically important plasma membrane ion channel. CALHM1 and its Caenorhabditis elegans homolog, CLHM-1, are regulated by membrane voltage and extracellular Ca(2+) concentration ([Ca(2+)]o). In the presence of physiological [Ca(2+)]o (∼1.5 mM), CALHM1 and CLHM-1 are closed at resting membrane potentials but can be opened by strong depolarizations. Reducing [Ca(2+)]o increases channel open probability, enabling channel activation at negative membrane potentials. Together, voltage and Ca(2+) o allosterically regulate CALHM channel gating. Through convergent evolution, CALHM has structural features that are reminiscent of connexins and pannexins/innexins/LRRC8 (volume-regulated anion channel (VRAC)) gene families, including four transmembrane helices with cytoplasmic amino and carboxyl termini. A CALHM1 channel is a hexamer of CALHM1 monomers with a functional pore diameter of ∼14 Å. CALHM channels discriminate poorly among cations and anions, with signaling molecules including Ca(2+) and ATP able to permeate through its pore. CALHM1 is expressed in the brain where it plays an important role in cortical neuron excitability induced by low [Ca(2+)]o and in type II taste bud cells in the tongue that sense sweet, bitter, and umami tastes where it functions as an essential ATP release channel to mediate nonsynaptic neurotransmitter release. CLHM-1 is expressed in C. elegans sensory neurons and body wall muscles, and its genetic deletion causes locomotion defects. Thus, CALHM is a voltage- and Ca(2+) o-gated ion channel, permeable to large cations and anions, that plays important roles in physiology. PMID:26603282

  2. Ion channels and apoptosis in cancer

    PubMed Central

    Bortner, Carl D.; Cidlowski, John A.

    2014-01-01

    Humans maintain a constant cell number throughout their lifespan. This equilibrium of cell number is accomplished when cell proliferation and cell death are kept balanced, achieving a steady-state cell number. Abnormalities in cell growth or cell death can lead to an overabundance of cells known as neoplasm or tumours. While the perception of cancer is often that of an uncontrollable rate of cell growth or increased proliferation, a decrease in cell death can also lead to tumour formation. Most cells when detached from their normal tissue die. However, cancer cells evade cell death, tipping the balance to an overabundance of cell number. Therefore, overcoming this resistance to cell death is a decisive factor in the treatment of cancer. Ion channels play a critical role in cancer in regards to cell proliferation, malignant angiogenesis, migration and metastasis. Additionally, ion channels are also known to be critical components of apoptosis. In this review, we discuss the modes of cell death focusing on the ability of cancer cells to evade apoptosis. Specifically, we focus on the role ion channels play in controlling and regulating life/death decisions and how they can be used to overcome resistance to apoptosis in the treatment of cancer. PMID:24493752

  3. Oxidation of ion channels in the aging nervous system.

    PubMed

    Patel, Rahul; Sesti, Federico

    2016-05-15

    Ion channels are integral membrane proteins that allow passive diffusion of ions across membranes. In neurons and in other excitable cells, the harmonious coordination between the numerous types of ion channels shape and propagate electrical signals. Increased accumulation of reactive oxidative species (ROS), and subsequent oxidation of proteins, including ion channels, is a hallmark feature of aging and may contribute to cell failure as a result. In this review we discuss the effects of ROS on three major types of ion channels of the central nervous system, namely the potassium (K(+)), calcium (Ca(2+)) and sodium (Na(+)) channels. We examine two general mechanisms through which ROS affect ion channels: via direct oxidation of specific residues and via indirect interference of pathways that regulate the channels. The overall status of the present studies indicates that the interaction of ion channels with ROS is multimodal and pervasive in the central nervous system and likely constitutes a general mechanism of aging susceptibility. PMID:26947620

  4. Ion channels, phosphorylation and mammalian sperm capacitation

    PubMed Central

    Visconti, Pablo E; Krapf, Dario; de la Vega-Beltrán, José Luis; Acevedo, Juan José; Darszon, Alberto

    2011-01-01

    Sexually reproducing animals require an orchestrated communication between spermatozoa and the egg to generate a new individual. Capacitation, a maturational complex phenomenon that occurs in the female reproductive tract, renders spermatozoa capable of binding and fusing with the oocyte, and it is a requirement for mammalian fertilization. Capacitation encompasses plasma membrane reorganization, ion permeability regulation, cholesterol loss and changes in the phosphorylation state of many proteins. Novel tools to study sperm ion channels, image intracellular ionic changes and proteins with better spatial and temporal resolution, are unraveling how modifications in sperm ion transport and phosphorylation states lead to capacitation. Recent evidence indicates that two parallel pathways regulate phosphorylation events leading to capacitation, one of them requiring activation of protein kinase A and the second one involving inactivation of ser/thr phosphatases. This review examines the involvement of ion transporters and phosphorylation signaling processes needed for spermatozoa to achieve capacitation. Understanding the molecular mechanisms leading to fertilization is central for societies to deal with rising male infertility rates, to develop safe male gamete-based contraceptives and to preserve biodiversity through better assisted fertilization strategies. PMID:21540868

  5. Single-Channel Recording of Ligand-Gated Ion Channels.

    PubMed

    Plested, Andrew J R

    2016-01-01

    Single-channel recordings reveal the microscopic properties of individual ligand-gated ion channels. Such recordings contain much more information than measurements of ensemble behavior and can yield structural and functional information about the receptors that participate in fast synaptic transmission in the brain. With a little care, a standard patch-clamp electrophysiology setup can be adapted for single-channel recording in a matter of hours. Thenceforth, it is a realistic aim to record single-molecule activity with microsecond resolution from arbitrary cell types, including cell lines and neurons. PMID:27480725

  6. Theory of the ion-channel laser

    SciTech Connect

    Whittum, D.H.

    1990-09-01

    A relativistic electron beam propagating through a plasma in the ion-focussed regime exhibits an electromagnetic instability with peak growth rate near a resonant frequency {omega}{approximately}2 {gamma}{sup 2} {omega}{beta}, where {gamma} is the Lorentz factor and {omega}{beta} is the betatron frequency. The physical basis for this instability is that an ensemble of relativistic simple harmonic oscillators, weakly driven by an electromagnetic wave, will lose energy to the wave through axial bunching. This bunching'' corresponds to the development of an rf component in the beam current, and a coherent centroid oscillation. The subject of this thesis is the theory of a laser capitalizing on this electromagnetic instability. A historical perspective is offered. The basic features of relativistic electron beam propagation in the ion-focussed regime are reviewed. The ion-channel laser (ICL) instability is explored theoretically through an eikonal formalism, analgous to the KMR'' formalism for the free-electron laser (FEL). The dispersion relation is derived, and the dependence of growth rate on three key parameters is explored. Finite temperature effects are assessed. From this work it is found that the typical gain length for amplification is longer than the Rayleigh length and we go on to consider three mechanisms which will tend to guide waveguide. First, we consider the effect of the ion channel as a dielectric waveguide. We consider next the use of a conducting waveguide, appropriate for a microwave amplifier. Finally, we examine a form of optical guiding'' analgous to that found in the FEL. The eikonal formalism is used to model numerically the instability through and beyond saturation. Results are compared with the numerical simulation of the full equations of motion, and with the analytic scalings. The analytical requirement on detuning spread is confirmed.

  7. Flipping the Photoswitch: Ion Channels Under Light Control.

    PubMed

    McKenzie, Catherine K; Sanchez-Romero, Inmaculada; Janovjak, Harald

    2015-01-01

    Nature has incorporated small photochromic molecules, colloquially termed 'photoswitches', in photoreceptor proteins to sense optical cues in phototaxis and vision. While Nature's ability to employ light-responsive functionalities has long been recognized, it was not until recently that scientists designed, synthesized and applied synthetic photochromes to manipulate many of which open rapidly and locally in their native cell types, biological processes with the temporal and spatial resolution of light. Ion channels in particular have come to the forefront of proteins that can be put under the designer control of synthetic photochromes. Photochromic ion channel controllers are comprised of three classes, photochromic soluble ligands (PCLs), photochromic tethered ligands (PTLs) and photochromic crosslinkers (PXs), and in each class ion channel functionality is controlled through reversible changes in photochrome structure. By acting as light-dependent ion channel agonists, antagonist or modulators, photochromic controllers effectively converted a wide range of ion channels, including voltage-gated ion channels, 'leak channels', tri-, tetra- and pentameric ligand-gated ion channels, and temperature-sensitive ion channels, into man-made photoreceptors. Control by photochromes can be reversible, unlike in the case of 'caged' compounds, and non-invasive with high spatial precision, unlike pharmacology and electrical manipulation. Here, we introduce design principles of emerging photochromic molecules that act on ion channels and discuss the impact that these molecules are beginning to have on ion channel biophysics and neuronal physiology. PMID:26381942

  8. Mechanosensitive Ion Channels in Cardiovascular Physiology

    PubMed Central

    Teng, Jinfeng; Loukin, Steve; Kung, Ching

    2014-01-01

    EC coupling is subjected to a mechanical feedback, which originates from physical force-sensing ion channels in the pericardium and elsewhere. Reviewed here are the most recent developments that greatly advanced our understanding of these mechanosensitive (MS) channels, including TRPs and K2p’s. Patch clamp has continued to demonstrate the direct channel activation by membrane stretch. Crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy have revealed the structures of several MS channels at atomic resolution. Some have been purified to homogeneity, reconstituted into lipid bilayer, and still retain their ability to respond to stretch force. A force-from-lipid (FFL) theory has been advanced that emphasizes the strong binding between channel proteins and lipids. Through these bonds, the sharp lateral tension (akin to surface tension) of the bilayer can transmit added force to the channel protein. Like temperature sensitivity, sensitivity to mechanical force is far more pervasive than we previously realize, and is especially important to the beating heart. PMID:26778915

  9. High temperature ion channels and pores

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kang, Xiaofeng (Inventor); Gu, Li Qun (Inventor); Cheley, Stephen (Inventor); Bayley, Hagan (Inventor)

    2011-01-01

    The present invention includes an apparatus, system and method for stochastic sensing of an analyte to a protein pore. The protein pore may be an engineer protein pore, such as an ion channel at temperatures above 55.degree. C. and even as high as near 100.degree. C. The analyte may be any reactive analyte, including chemical weapons, environmental toxins and pharmaceuticals. The analyte covalently bonds to the sensor element to produce a detectable electrical current signal. Possible signals include change in electrical current. Detection of the signal allows identification of the analyte and determination of its concentration in a sample solution. Multiple analytes present in the same solution may also be detected.

  10. Ion Concentration- and Voltage-Dependent Push and Pull Mechanisms of Potassium Channel Ion Conduction

    PubMed Central

    Kasahara, Kota; Shirota, Matsuyuki; Kinoshita, Kengo

    2016-01-01

    The mechanism of ion conduction by potassium channels is one of the central issues in physiology. In particular, it is still unclear how the ion concentration and the membrane voltage drive ion conduction. We have investigated the dynamics of the ion conduction processes in the Kv1.2 pore domain, by molecular dynamics (MD) simulations with several different voltages and ion concentrations. By focusing on the detailed ion movements through the pore including selectivity filter (SF) and cavity, we found two major conduction mechanisms, called the III-IV-III and III-II-III mechanisms, and the balance between the ion concentration and the voltage determines the mechanism preference. In the III-IV-III mechanism, the outermost ion in the pore is pushed out by a new ion coming from the intracellular fluid, and four-ion states were transiently observed. In the III-II-III mechanism, the outermost ion is pulled out first, without pushing by incoming ions. Increases in the ion concentration and voltage accelerated ion conductions, but their mechanisms were different. The increase in the ion concentrations facilitated the III-IV-III conductions, while the higher voltages increased the III-II-III conductions, indicating that the pore domain of potassium channels permeates ions by using two different driving forces: a push by intracellular ions and a pull by voltage. PMID:26950215

  11. Ion Concentration- and Voltage-Dependent Push and Pull Mechanisms of Potassium Channel Ion Conduction.

    PubMed

    Kasahara, Kota; Shirota, Matsuyuki; Kinoshita, Kengo

    2016-01-01

    The mechanism of ion conduction by potassium channels is one of the central issues in physiology. In particular, it is still unclear how the ion concentration and the membrane voltage drive ion conduction. We have investigated the dynamics of the ion conduction processes in the Kv1.2 pore domain, by molecular dynamics (MD) simulations with several different voltages and ion concentrations. By focusing on the detailed ion movements through the pore including selectivity filter (SF) and cavity, we found two major conduction mechanisms, called the III-IV-III and III-II-III mechanisms, and the balance between the ion concentration and the voltage determines the mechanism preference. In the III-IV-III mechanism, the outermost ion in the pore is pushed out by a new ion coming from the intracellular fluid, and four-ion states were transiently observed. In the III-II-III mechanism, the outermost ion is pulled out first, without pushing by incoming ions. Increases in the ion concentration and voltage accelerated ion conductions, but their mechanisms were different. The increase in the ion concentrations facilitated the III-IV-III conductions, while the higher voltages increased the III-II-III conductions, indicating that the pore domain of potassium channels permeates ions by using two different driving forces: a push by intracellular ions and a pull by voltage. PMID:26950215

  12. Erythrocyte ion channels in regulation of apoptosis.

    PubMed

    Lang, Florian; Birka, Christina; Myssina, Svetlana; Lang, Karl S; Lang, Philipp A; Tanneur, Valerie; Duranton, Christophe; Wieder, Thomas; Huber, Stephan M

    2004-01-01

    Erythrocytes lack mitochondria and nuclei, key organelles in the regulation of apoptosis. Until recently, erythrocytes were thus not considered subject to this type of cell death. However, exposure of erythrocytes to the Ca2+ ionophore ionomycin was shown to induce cell shrinkage, cell membrane blebbing and breakdown of phosphatidylserine asymmetry with subsequent phosphatidylserine exposure at the cell surface, all typical features of apoptosis. Further studies revealed the participation of ion channels in the regulation of erythrocyte "apoptosis." Osmotic shock, oxidative stress and energy depletion all activate a Ca2(+)-permeable non-selective cation channel in the erythrocyte cell membrane. The subsequent increase of Ca2+ concentration stimulates a scramblase leading to breakdown of cell membrane phosphatidylserine asymmetry and activates Ca2+ sensitive K+ (Gardos) channels leading to KCl loss and (further) cell shrinkage. Phosphatidylserine exposure and cell shrinkage are blunted in the nominal absence of extracellular Ca2+, in the presence of the cation channel inhibitors amiloride or ethylisopropylamiloride, at increased extracellular K+ or in the presence of the Gardos channel inhibitors clotrimazole or charybdotoxin. Thus, increase of cytosolic Ca2+ and cellular loss of K+ participate in the triggering of erythrocyte scramblase. Nevertheless, phosphatidylserine exposure is not completely abrogated in the nominal absence of Ca2+, pointing to additional Ca2(+)-independent pathways. One of those is activation of sphingomyelinase with subsequent formation of ceramide which in turn leads to stimulation of erythrocyte scramblase. The exposure of phosphatidylserine at the extracellular face of the cell membrane stimulates phagocytes to engulf the apoptotic erythrocytes. Thus, sustained activation of the cation channels eventually leads to clearance of affected erythrocytes from peripheral blood. Erythropoietin inhibits the non-selective cation channel and thus

  13. Single-Molecule Ion Channel Conformational Dynamics in Living Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, H. Peter

    2014-03-01

    Stochastic and inhomogeneous conformational changes regulate the function and dynamics of ion channels that are crucial for cell functions, neuronal signaling, and brain functions. Such complexity makes it difficult, if not impossible, to characterize ion channel dynamics using conventional electrical recording alone since that the measurement does not specifically interrogate the associated conformational changes but rather the consequences of the conformational changes. Recently, new technology developments on single-molecule spectroscopy, and especially, the combined approaches of using single ion channel patch-clamp electrical recording and single-molecule fluorescence imaging have provided us the capability of probing ion channel conformational changes simultaneously with the electrical single channel recording. By combining real-time single-molecule fluorescence imaging measurements with real-time single-channel electric current measurements in artificial lipid bilayers and in living cell membranes, we were able to probe single ion-channel-protein conformational changes simultaneously, and thus providing an understanding the dynamics and mechanism of ion-channel proteins at the molecular level. The function-regulating and site-specific conformational changes of ion channels are now measurable under physiological conditions in real-time, one molecule at a time. We will focus our discussion on the new development and results of real-time imaging of the dynamics of gramicidin, colicin, and NMDA receptor ion channels in lipid bilayers and living cells. Our results shed light on new perspectives of the intrinsic interplay of lipid membrane dynamics, solvation dynamics, and the ion channel functions.

  14. Structure and selectivity in bestrophin ion channels

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Yang, Tingting; Liu, Qun; Kloss, Brian; Bruni, Renato; Kalathur, Ravi C.; Guo, Youzhong; Kloppmann, Edda; Rost, Burkhard; Colecraft, Henry M.; Hendrickson, Wayne A.

    2014-09-25

    Human bestrophin 1 (hBest1) is a calcium-activated chloride channel from the retinal pigment epithelium, where it can suffer mutations associated with vitelliform macular degeneration, or Best disease. We describe the structure of a bacterial homolog (KpBest) of hBest1 and functional characterizations of both channels. KpBest is a pentamer that forms a five-helix transmembrane pore, closed by three rings of conserved hydrophobic residues, and has a cytoplasmic cavern with a restricted exit. From electrophysiological analysis of structure-inspired mutations in KpBest and hBest1, we find a subtle control of ion selectivity in the bestrophins, including reversal of anion/cation selectivity, and dramatic activationmore » by mutations at the exit restriction. Lastly, a homology model of hBest1 shows the locations of disease-causing mutations and suggests possible roles in regulation.« less

  15. Structure and selectivity in bestrophin ion channels

    SciTech Connect

    Yang, Tingting; Liu, Qun; Kloss, Brian; Bruni, Renato; Kalathur, Ravi C.; Guo, Youzhong; Kloppmann, Edda; Rost, Burkhard; Colecraft, Henry M.; Hendrickson, Wayne A.

    2014-09-25

    Human bestrophin 1 (hBest1) is a calcium-activated chloride channel from the retinal pigment epithelium, where it can suffer mutations associated with vitelliform macular degeneration, or Best disease. We describe the structure of a bacterial homolog (KpBest) of hBest1 and functional characterizations of both channels. KpBest is a pentamer that forms a five-helix transmembrane pore, closed by three rings of conserved hydrophobic residues, and has a cytoplasmic cavern with a restricted exit. From electrophysiological analysis of structure-inspired mutations in KpBest and hBest1, we find a subtle control of ion selectivity in the bestrophins, including reversal of anion/cation selectivity, and dramatic activation by mutations at the exit restriction. Lastly, a homology model of hBest1 shows the locations of disease-causing mutations and suggests possible roles in regulation.

  16. Gated Ion Channel-Based Biosensor Device

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Separovic, Frances; Cornell, Bruce A.

    A biosensor device based on the ion channel gramicidin A (gA) incorporated into a bilayer membrane is described. This generic immunosensing device utilizes gA coupled to an antibody and assembled in a lipid membrane. The membrane is chemically tethered to a gold electrode, which reports on changes in the ionic conduction of the lipid bilayer. Binding of a target molecule in the bathing solution to the antibody causes the gramicidin channels to switch from predominantly conducting dimers to predominantly nonconducting monomers. Conventional a.c. impedance spectroscopy between the gold and a counter electrode in the bathing solution is used to measure changes in the ionic conductivity of the membrane. This approach permits the quantitative detection of a range of target species, including bacteria, proteins, toxins, DNA sequences, and drug molecules.

  17. Trails of Kilovolt Ions Created by Subsurface Channeling

    SciTech Connect

    Redinger, Alex; Standop, Sebastian; Michely, Thomas; Rosandi, Yudi; Urbassek, Herbert M.

    2010-02-19

    Using scanning tunneling microscopy, we observe the damage trails produced by keV noble-gas ions incident at glancing angles onto Pt(111). Surface vacancies and adatoms aligned along the ion trajectory constitute the ion trails. Atomistic simulations reveal that these straight trails are produced by nuclear (elastic) collisions with surface layer atoms during subsurface channeling of the projectiles. In a small energy window around 5 keV, Xe{sup +} ions create vacancy grooves that mark the ion trajectory with atomic precision. The asymmetry of the adatom production on the two sides of the projectile path is traced back to the asymmetry of the ion's subsurface channel.

  18. Energetics of ion conduction through the K+ channel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bernèche, Simon; Roux, Benoît

    2001-11-01

    K+ channels are transmembrane proteins that are essential for the transmission of nerve impulses. The ability of these proteins to conduct K+ ions at levels near the limit of diffusion is traditionally described in terms of concerted mechanisms in which ion-channel attraction and ion-ion repulsion have compensating effects, as several ions are moving simultaneously in single file through the narrow pore. The efficiency of such a mechanism, however, relies on a delicate energy balance-the strong ion-channel attraction must be perfectly counterbalanced by the electrostatic ion-ion repulsion. To elucidate the mechanism of ion conduction at the atomic level, we performed molecular dynamics free energy simulations on the basis of the X-ray structure of the KcsA K+ channel. Here we find that ion conduction involves transitions between two main states, with two and three K+ ions occupying the selectivity filter, respectively; this process is reminiscent of the `knock-on' mechanism proposed by Hodgkin and Keynes in 1955. The largest free energy barrier is on the order of 2-3kcalmol-1, implying that the process of ion conduction is limited by diffusion. Ion-ion repulsion, although essential for rapid conduction, is shown to act only at very short distances. The calculations show also that the rapidly conducting pore is selective.

  19. Acid-sensing ion channels and transient-receptor potential ion channels in zebrafish taste buds.

    PubMed

    Levanti, M; Randazzo, B; Viña, E; Montalbano, G; Garcia-Suarez, O; Germanà, A; Vega, J A; Abbate, F

    2016-09-01

    Sensory information from the environment is required for life and survival, and it is detected by specialized cells which together make up the sensory system. The fish sensory system includes specialized organs that are able to detect mechanical and chemical stimuli. In particular, taste buds are small organs located on the tongue in terrestrial vertebrates that function in the perception of taste. In fish, taste buds occur on the lips, the flanks, and the caudal (tail) fins of some species and on the barbels of others. In fish taste receptor cells, different classes of ion channels have been detected which, like in mammals, presumably participate in the detection and/or transduction of chemical gustatory signals. However, since some of these ion channels are involved in the detection of additional sensory modalities, it can be hypothesized that taste cells sense stimuli other than those specific for taste. This mini-review summarizes current knowledge on the presence of transient-receptor potential (TRP) and acid-sensing (ASIC) ion channels in the taste buds of teleosts, especially adult zebrafish. Up to now ASIC4, TRPC2, TRPA1, TRPV1 and TRPV4 ion channels have been found in the sensory cells, while ASIC2 was detected in the nerves supplying the taste buds. PMID:27513962

  20. Ion channel regulation by protein S-acylation

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Protein S-acylation, the reversible covalent fatty-acid modification of cysteine residues, has emerged as a dynamic posttranslational modification (PTM) that controls the diversity, life cycle, and physiological function of numerous ligand- and voltage-gated ion channels. S-acylation is enzymatically mediated by a diverse family of acyltransferases (zDHHCs) and is reversed by acylthioesterases. However, for most ion channels, the dynamics and subcellular localization at which S-acylation and deacylation cycles occur are not known. S-acylation can control the two fundamental determinants of ion channel function: (1) the number of channels resident in a membrane and (2) the activity of the channel at the membrane. It controls the former by regulating channel trafficking and the latter by controlling channel kinetics and modulation by other PTMs. Ion channel function may be modulated by S-acylation of both pore-forming and regulatory subunits as well as through control of adapter, signaling, and scaffolding proteins in ion channel complexes. Importantly, cross-talk of S-acylation with other PTMs of both cysteine residues by themselves and neighboring sites of phosphorylation is an emerging concept in the control of ion channel physiology. In this review, I discuss the fundamentals of protein S-acylation and the tools available to investigate ion channel S-acylation. The mechanisms and role of S-acylation in controlling diverse stages of the ion channel life cycle and its effect on ion channel function are highlighted. Finally, I discuss future goals and challenges for the field to understand both the mechanistic basis for S-acylation control of ion channels and the functional consequence and implications for understanding the physiological function of ion channel S-acylation in health and disease. PMID:24821965

  1. Channelpedia: An Integrative and Interactive Database for Ion Channels

    PubMed Central

    Ranjan, Rajnish; Khazen, Georges; Gambazzi, Luca; Ramaswamy, Srikanth; Hill, Sean L.; Schürmann, Felix; Markram, Henry

    2011-01-01

    Ion channels are membrane proteins that selectively conduct ions across the cell membrane. The flux of ions through ion channels drives electrical and biochemical processes in cells and plays a critical role in shaping the electrical properties of neurons. During the past three decades, extensive research has been carried out to characterize the molecular, structural, and biophysical properties of ion channels. This research has begun to elucidate the role of ion channels in neuronal function and has subsequently led to the development of computational models of ion channel function. Although there have been substantial efforts to consolidate these findings into easily accessible and coherent online resources, a single comprehensive resource is still lacking. The success of these initiatives has been hindered by the sheer diversity of approaches and the variety in data formats. Here, we present “Channelpedia” (http://channelpedia.net), which is designed to store information related to ion channels and models and is characterized by an efficient information management framework. Composed of a combination of a database and a wiki-like discussion platform Channelpedia allows researchers to collaborate and synthesize ion channel information from literature. Equipped to automatically update references, Channelpedia integrates and highlights recent publications with relevant information in the database. It is web based, freely accessible and currently contains 187 annotated ion channels with 45 Hodgkin–Huxley models. PMID:22232598

  2. Acid-sensing ion channels under hypoxia

    PubMed Central

    Yingjun, Guo; Xun, Qu

    2013-01-01

    Hypoxia represents the lack of oxygen below the basic level, and the range of known channels related to hypoxia is continually increasing. Since abnormal hypoxia initiates pathological processes in numerous diseases via, to a great degree, producing acidic microenvironment, the significance of these channels in this environment has, until now, remained completely unknown. However, recent discovery of acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs) have enhanced our understanding of the hypoxic channelome. They belong to the degenerin/epithelial Na+ channel family and function once extracellular pH decreases to a certain level. So does the ratiocination emerge that ASICs participate in many hypoxia-induced pathological processes, including pain, apoptosis, malignancy, which all appear to involve them. Since evidence suggests that activity of ASICs is altered under pathological hypoxia, future studies are needed to deeply explore the relationship between ASICs and hypoxia, which may provide a progressive understanding of hypoxic effects in cancer, arthritis, intervertebral disc degeneration, ischemic brain injury and so on. PMID:23764948

  3. Optical control of an ion channel gate.

    PubMed

    Lemoine, Damien; Habermacher, Chloé; Martz, Adeline; Méry, Pierre-François; Bouquier, Nathalie; Diverchy, Fanny; Taly, Antoine; Rassendren, François; Specht, Alexandre; Grutter, Thomas

    2013-12-17

    The powerful optogenetic pharmacology method allows the optical control of neuronal activity by photoswitchable ligands tethered to channels and receptors. However, this approach is technically demanding, as it requires the design of pharmacologically active ligands. The development of versatile technologies therefore represents a challenging issue. Here, we present optogating, a method in which the gating machinery of an ATP-activated P2X channel was reprogrammed to respond to light. We found that channels covalently modified by azobenzene-containing reagents at the transmembrane segments could be reversibly turned on and off by light, without the need of ATP, thus revealing an agonist-independent, light-induced gating mechanism. We demonstrate photocontrol of neuronal activity by a light-gated, ATP-insensitive P2X receptor, providing an original tool devoid of endogenous sensitivity to delineate P2X signaling in normal and pathological states. These findings open new avenues to specifically activate other ion channels independently of their natural stimulus. PMID:24297890

  4. Computer-Aided Drug Discovery and Design Targeting Ion Channels.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Qiansen; Gao, Zhaobing; Yang, Huaiyu

    2016-01-01

    Ion channels are widely expressed in living cells and play critical roles in various cellular biological functions. Dysfunctional ion channels can cause a variety of diseases, making ion channels attractive targets for drug discovery. Computational approaches, such as molecular docking and molecular dynamic simulations, provide economic and efficient tools for finding modulators of ion channels and for elucidating the action mechanisms of small molecules. In this review, we focus primarily on four types of ion channels (voltage-gated, ligand-gated, acid-sensing, and virus matrix 2 ion channels). The current advancements in computer-aided drug discovery and design targeting ion channels are summarized. First, ligand-based studies for drug design are briefly outlined. Then, we focus on the structurebased studies targeting pore domains, endogenous binding sites and allosteric sites of ion channels. Moreover, we also review the contribution of computational methods to the field of ligand binding and unbinding pathways of ion channels. Finally, we propose future developments for the field. PMID:26975507

  5. Ion channels and the control of blood pressure

    PubMed Central

    Baker, Emma H

    2000-01-01

    Ion channels exist in all cells and are enormously varied in structure, function and regulation. Some progress has been made in understanding the role that ion channels play in the control of blood pressure, but the discipline is still in its infancy. Ion channels provide many different targets for intervention in disorders of blood pressure and exciting advances have been made in this field. It is possible that new drugs, as well as antisense nucleotide technology or gene therapy directed towards ion channels, may form a new class of treatments for high and low blood pressure in the future. PMID:10718773

  6. United in Diversity: Mechanosensitive Ion Channels in Plants

    PubMed Central

    Hamilton, Eric S.; Schlegel, Angela M.; Haswell, Elizabeth S.

    2015-01-01

    Mechanosensitive (MS) ion channels are a common mechanism for perceiving and responding to mechanical force. This class of mechanoreceptors is capable of transducing membrane tension directly into ion flux. In plant systems, MS ion channels have been proposed to play a wide array of roles, from the perception of touch and gravity to the osmotic homeostasis of intracellular organelles. Three families of plant MS ion channels have been identified: the MscS-like (MSL), Mid1-complementing activity (MCA), and two-pore potassium (TPK) families. Channels from these families vary widely in structure and function, localize to multiple cellular compartments, and conduct chloride, calcium, and/or potassium ions. However, they are still likely to represent only a fraction of the MS ion channel diversity in plant systems. PMID:25494462

  7. Bioinspired Artificial Sodium and Potassium Ion Channels.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Vázquez, Nuria; Fuertes, Alberto; Amorín, Manuel; Granja, Juan R

    2016-01-01

    In Nature, all biological systems present a high level of compartmentalization in order to carry out a wide variety of functions in a very specific way. Hence, they need ways to be connected with the environment for communication, homeostasis equilibrium, nutrition, waste elimination, etc. The biological membranes carry out these functions; they consist of physical insulating barriers constituted mainly by phospholipids. These amphipathic molecules spontaneously aggregate in water to form bilayers in which the polar groups are exposed to the aqueous media while the non-polar chains self-organize by aggregating to each other to stay away from the aqueous media. The insulating properties of membranes are due to the formation of a hydrophobic bilayer covered at both sides by the hydrophilic phosphate groups. Thus, lipophilic molecules can permeate the membrane freely, while the small charged or very hydrophilic molecules require the assistance of other membrane components in order to overcome the energetic cost implied in crossing the non-polar region of the bilayer. Most of the large polar species (such as oligosaccharides, polypeptides or nucleic acids) cross into and out of the cell via endocytosis and exocytosis, respectively. Nature has created a series of systems (carriers and pores) in order to control the balance of small hydrophilic molecules and ions. The most important structures to achieve these goals are the ionophoric proteins that include the channel proteins, such as the sodium and potassium channels, and ionic transporters, including the sodium/potassium pumps or calcium/sodium exchangers among others. Inspired by these, scientists have created non-natural synthetic transporting structures to mimic the natural systems. The progress in the last years has been remarkable regarding the efficient transport of Na(+) and K(+) ions, despite the fact that the selectivity and the ON/OFF state of the non-natural systems remain a present and future challenge

  8. Plant Ion Channels: Gene Families, Physiology, and Functional Genomics Analyses

    PubMed Central

    Ward, John M.; Mäser, Pascal; Schroeder, Julian I.

    2016-01-01

    Distinct potassium, anion, and calcium channels in the plasma membrane and vacuolar membrane of plant cells have been identified and characterized by patch clamping. Primarily owing to advances in Arabidopsis genetics and genomics, and yeast functional complementation, many of the corresponding genes have been identified. Recent advances in our understanding of ion channel genes that mediate signal transduction and ion transport are discussed here. Some plant ion channels, for example, ALMT and SLAC anion channel subunits, are unique. The majority of plant ion channel families exhibit homology to animal genes; such families include both hyperpolarization-and depolarization-activated Shaker-type potassium channels, CLC chloride transporters/channels, cyclic nucleotide–gated channels, and ionotropic glutamate receptor homologs. These plant ion channels offer unique opportunities to analyze the structural mechanisms and functions of ion channels. Here we review gene families of selected plant ion channel classes and discuss unique structure-function aspects and their physiological roles in plant cell signaling and transport. PMID:18842100

  9. Chapter Five - Ubiquitination of Ion Channels and Transporters.

    PubMed

    Lamothe, S M; Zhang, S

    2016-01-01

    Ion channels and transporters play essential roles in excitable cells including cardiac, skeletal, and smooth muscle cells, neurons, and endocrine cells. Their dysfunction underlies the pathology of various diseases. Thus, the tight regulation of these transmembrane proteins is essential for cell physiology. While the ubiquitin system is involved in many aspects of cellular processes, this chapter focuses on the ubiquitin-mediated degradation of ion channels and transporters. Ubiquitination of ion channels and transporters is multifaceted and occurs at various cellular compartments such as the plasma membrane and the endoplasmic reticulum. While various molecules are involved in the ubiquitination of ion channels and transporters, E3 ubiquitin ligases play a central role in selectively targeting substrates for ubiquitination and will be a major focus in this chapter. To date, the Nedd4 family of E3 ubiquitin ligases and their regulations of ion channels and transporters have been extensively studied. In this chapter, we will first review Nedd4/Nedd4-2 and their regulations. We will then discuss how E3 ubiquitin ligases, especially Nedd4-2, regulate various ion channels and transporters including epithelial Na(+) channels, voltage-gated Na(+) channels, KCNQ and hERG K(+) channels, Cl(-) channels such as CFTR, transporters such as Na(+)/K(+) ATPase, and gap junctions. Furthermore, diseases caused by improper ubiquitination of ion channels and transporters will be discussed to highlight the process of ubiquitination and its biological as well as clinical significance. PMID:27378758

  10. Ion channels and transporters in lymphocyte function and immunity

    PubMed Central

    Feske, Stefan; Skolnik, Edward Y.; Prakriya, Murali

    2013-01-01

    Preface Lymphocyte function is regulated by a network of ion channels and transporters in the plasma membrane of T and B cells. They modulate the cytoplasmic concentrations of diverse cations such as calcium, magnesium and zinc, which function as second messengers to regulate critical lymphocyte effector functions including cytokine production, differentiation and cytotoxicity. The repertoire of ion conducting proteins includes calcium release-activated calcium (CRAC) channels, P2X receptors, transient receptor potential (TRP) channels, potassium channels as well as magnesium and zinc transporters. This review discusses the roles of several ions channels and transporters in lymphocyte function and immunity. PMID:22699833

  11. Improvement in fusion reactor performance due to ion channeling

    SciTech Connect

    Emmert, G.A.; El-Guebaly, L.A.; Kulcinski, G.L.; Santarius, J.F.; Sviatoslavsky, I.N.; Meade, D.M.

    1994-11-01

    Ion channeling is a recent idea for improving the performance of fusion reactors by increasing the fraction of the fusion power deposited in the ions. In this paper the authors assess the effect of ion channeling on D-T and D-{sup 3}He reactors. The figures of merit used are the fusion power density and the cost of electricity. It is seen that significant ion channeling can lead to about a 50-65% increase in the fusion power density. For the Apollo D-{sup 3}He reactor concept the reduction in the cost of electricity can be as large as 30%.

  12. Alternative paradigms for ion channelopathies: disorders of ion channel membrane trafficking and posttranslational modification.

    PubMed

    Curran, Jerry; Mohler, Peter J

    2015-01-01

    Channelopathies are a diverse set of disorders associated with defects in ion channel (and transporter) function. Although the vast majority of channelopathies are linked with inherited mutations that alter ion channel biophysical properties, another group of similar disorders has emerged that alter ion channel synthesis, membrane trafficking, and/or posttranslational modifications. In fact, some electrical and episodic disorders have now been identified that are not defects in the ion channel but instead reflect dysfunction in an ion channel (or transporter) regulatory protein. This review focuses on alternative paradigms for physiological disorders associated with protein biosynthesis, folding, trafficking, and membrane retention. Furthermore, the review highlights the role of aberrant posttranslational modifications in acquired channelopathies. PMID:25293528

  13. Axial channeling of boron ions into silicon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    La Ferla, A.; Galvagno, G.; Raineri, V.; Setola, R.; Rimini, E.; Carbera, A.; Gasparotto, A.

    1992-04-01

    Channeling boron implants were performed into (100) and (110) silicon substrates in the energy range 80-700 keV. The dose ranged between 3.5 × 10 11 and 1 × 10 15 atoms/cm 2. The axial channeling concentration profiles of implanted B + were compared with that obtained for incidence along the random direction of the crystal and with that obtained by implantation in amorphous silicon. The electrical and chemical boron distributions were obtained by spreading resistance and secondary ion mass spectrometry measurements, respectively. The inelastic stopping power, Sc, was extracted from the experimental maximum ranges for the [100] and [110] axis. The energ dependence of the electronic stopping power is given by Sc = KEp with p[100] = 0.469±0.010 and p[110] = 0.554±0.004. Simulations obtained by the MARLOWE code, using the Oen-Robinson impact parameter dependent formula, for the electronic energy loss reproduce quite well the experimental depth profiles.

  14. Tuning the ion selectivity of tetrameric cation channels by changing the number of ion binding sites

    SciTech Connect

    Derebe, Mehabaw G.; Sauer, David B.; Zeng, Weizhong; Alam, Amer; Shi, Ning; Jiang, Youxing

    2015-11-30

    Selective ion conduction across ion channel pores is central to cellular physiology. To understand the underlying principles of ion selectivity in tetrameric cation channels, we engineered a set of cation channel pores based on the nonselective NaK channel and determined their structures to high resolution. These structures showcase an ensemble of selectivity filters with a various number of contiguous ion binding sites ranging from 2 to 4, with each individual site maintaining a geometry and ligand environment virtually identical to that of equivalent sites in K{sup +} channel selectivity filters. Combined with single channel electrophysiology, we show that only the channel with four ion binding sites is K{sup +} selective, whereas those with two or three are nonselective and permeate Na{sup +} and K{sup +} equally well. These observations strongly suggest that the number of contiguous ion binding sites in a single file is the key determinant of the channel's selectivity properties and the presence of four sites in K{sup +} channels is essential for highly selective and efficient permeation of K{sup +} ions.

  15. The Control of Male Fertility by Spermatozoan Ion Channels

    PubMed Central

    Lishko, Polina V.; Kirichok, Yuriy; Ren, Dejian; Navarro, Betsy; Chung, Jean-Ju

    2014-01-01

    Ion channels control the sperm ability to fertilize the egg by regulating sperm maturation in the female reproductive tract and by triggering key sperm physiological responses required for successful fertilization such as hyperactivated motility, chemotaxis, and the acrosome reaction. CatSper, a pH-regulated, calcium-selective ion channel, and KSper (Slo3) are core regulators of sperm tail calcium entry and sperm hyperactivated motility. Many other channels had been proposed as regulating sperm activity without direct measurements. With the development of the sperm patch-clamp technique, CatSper and KSper have been confirmed as the primary spermatozoan ion channels. In addition, the voltage-gated proton channel Hv1 has been identified in human sperm tail, and the P2X2 ion channel has been identified in the midpiece of mouse sperm. Mutations and deletions in sperm-specific ion channels affect male fertility in both mice and humans without affecting other physiological functions. The uniqueness of sperm ion channels makes them ideal pharmaceutical targets for contraception. In this review we discuss how ion channels regulate sperm physiology. PMID:22017176

  16. Ion Channel Expression in the Developing Enteric Nervous System

    PubMed Central

    Stamp, Lincon A.; Fegan, Emily; Dent, Stephan; Cooper, Edward C.; Lomax, Alan E.; Anderson, Colin R.; Bornstein, Joel C.; Young, Heather M.; McKeown, Sonja J.

    2015-01-01

    The enteric nervous system arises from neural crest-derived cells (ENCCs) that migrate caudally along the embryonic gut. The expression of ion channels by ENCCs in embryonic mice was investigated using a PCR-based array, RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry. Many ion channels, including chloride, calcium, potassium and sodium channels were already expressed by ENCCs at E11.5. There was an increase in the expression of numerous ion channel genes between E11.5 and E14.5, which coincides with ENCC migration and the first extension of neurites by enteric neurons. Previous studies have shown that a variety of ion channels regulates neurite extension and migration of many cell types. Pharmacological inhibition of a range of chloride or calcium channels had no effect on ENCC migration in cultured explants or neuritogenesis in vitro. The non-selective potassium channel inhibitors, TEA and 4-AP, retarded ENCC migration and neuritogenesis, but only at concentrations that also resulted in cell death. In summary, a large range of ion channels is expressed while ENCCs are colonizing the gut, but we found no evidence that ENCC migration or neuritogenesis requires chloride, calcium or potassium channel activity. Many of the ion channels are likely to be involved in the development of electrical excitability of enteric neurons. PMID:25798587

  17. Ion channels enable electrical communication within bacterial communities

    PubMed Central

    Prindle, Arthur; Liu, Jintao; Asally, Munehiro; Ly, San; Garcia-Ojalvo, Jordi; Süel, Gürol M.

    2016-01-01

    The study of bacterial ion channels has provided fundamental insights into the structural basis of neuronal signaling. However, the native role of ion channels in bacteria has remained elusive. Here we show that ion channels conduct long-range electrical signals within bacterial biofilm communities through spatially propagating waves of potassium. These waves result from a positive feedback loop, in which a metabolic trigger induces release of intracellular potassium, which in turn depolarizes neighboring cells. Propagating through the biofilm, this wave of depolarization coordinates metabolic states among cells in the interior and periphery of the biofilm. Deletion of the potassium channel abolishes this response. As predicted by a mathematical model, we further show that spatial propagation can be hindered by specific genetic perturbations to potassium channel gating. Together, these results demonstrate a function for ion channels in bacterial biofilms, and provide a prokaryotic paradigm for active, long-range electrical signaling in cellular communities. PMID:26503040

  18. Bis-triazolyl diguanosine derivatives as synthetic transmembrane ion channels.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Y Pavan; Das, Rabindra Nath; Schütte, Ole Mathis; Steinem, Claudia; Dash, Jyotirmayee

    2016-06-01

    In nature, ion channels facilitate the transport of ions across biological membranes. The development of artificial ion channels that can mimic the fundamental functions of the natural ones would be of great importance to biological research. Artificial ion channels based on nucleoside derivatives are expected to be biocompatible with functions that can be controlled by the presence or absence of biologically relevant molecules. This protocol describes the detailed procedures for the synthesis and ion-channel activity of four diguanosine derivatives, each made up of two guanosine moieties separated by a covalent linker (e.g., PEG). The procedure describes the preparation of guanosine azide and guanosine alkine building blocks, as well as the preparation of four distinct synthetic linkers each containing either two alkynes or two azides. The diguanosine derivatives are synthesized using a 'one-pot' modular synthetic approach based on Cu(I)-catalyzed azide and alkyne cycloaddition. The ion-channel activity of these diguanosine derivatives for the transportation of ions across a phospholipid bilayer is investigated using voltage-clamp experiment. By using the PEG-containing diguanosine as an example, we describe how to determine the ion-channel activity in the presence of different metal ions (e.g., Na(+), K(+) and Cs(+)) and the inhibition of the ion-channel activity using the nucleobase cytosine. The approximate time frame for the synthesis of the PEG dinucleoside is 3 d, and that for the experiments to evaluate its ability to transport K(+) ion across a phospholipid bilayer is ∼8-10 h. PMID:27149327

  19. Principles of selective ion transport in channels and pumps.

    PubMed

    Gouaux, Eric; Mackinnon, Roderick

    2005-12-01

    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. PMID:16322449

  20. Electrical Heart Defibrillation with Ion Channel Blockers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feeney, Erin; Clark, Courtney; Puwal, Steffan

    Heart disease is the leading cause of mortality in the United States. Rotary electrical waves within heart muscle underlie electrical disorders of the heart termed fibrillation; their propagation and breakup leads to a complex distribution of electrical activation of the tissue (and of the ensuing mechanical contraction that comes from electrical activation). Successful heart defibrillation has, thus far, been limited to delivering large electrical shocks to activate the entire heart and reset its electrical activity. In theory, defibrillation of a system this nonlinear should be possible with small electrical perturbations (stimulations). A successful algorithm for such a low-energy defibrillator continues to elude researchers. We propose to examine in silica whether low-energy electrical stimulations can be combined with antiarrhythmic, ion channel-blocking drugs to achieve a higher rate of defibrillation and whether the antiarrhythmic drugs should be delivered before or after electrical stimulation has commenced. Progress toward a more successful, low-energy defibrillator will greatly minimize the adverse effects noted in defibrillation and will assist in the development of pediatric defibrillators.

  1. Ion Channels in Obesity: Pathophysiology and Potential Therapeutic Targets.

    PubMed

    Vasconcelos, Luiz H C; Souza, Iara L L; Pinheiro, Lílian S; Silva, Bagnólia A

    2016-01-01

    Obesity is a multifactorial disease related to metabolic disorders and associated with genetic determinants. Currently, ion channels activity has been linked to many of these disorders, in addition to the central regulation of food intake, energetic balance, hormone release and response, as well as the adipocyte cell proliferation. Therefore, the objective of this work is to review the current knowledge about the influence of ion channels in obesity development. This review used different sources of literature (Google Scholar, PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science) to assess the role of ion channels in the pathophysiology of obesity. Ion channels present diverse key functions, such as the maintenance of physiological homeostasis and cell proliferation. Cell biology and pharmacological experimental evidences demonstrate that proliferating cells exhibit ion channel expression, conductance, and electrical properties different from the resting cells. Thereby, a large variety of ion channels has been identified in the pathogenesis of obesity such as potassium, sodium, calcium and chloride channels, nicotinic acetylcholine receptor and transient receptor potential channels. The fundamental involvement of these channels on the generation of obesity leads to the progress in the knowledge about the mechanisms responsible for the obesity pathophysiology, consequently emerging as new targets for pharmacological modulation. PMID:27065858

  2. Ion Channels in Obesity: Pathophysiology and Potential Therapeutic Targets

    PubMed Central

    Vasconcelos, Luiz H. C.; Souza, Iara L. L.; Pinheiro, Lílian S.; Silva, Bagnólia A.

    2016-01-01

    Obesity is a multifactorial disease related to metabolic disorders and associated with genetic determinants. Currently, ion channels activity has been linked to many of these disorders, in addition to the central regulation of food intake, energetic balance, hormone release and response, as well as the adipocyte cell proliferation. Therefore, the objective of this work is to review the current knowledge about the influence of ion channels in obesity development. This review used different sources of literature (Google Scholar, PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science) to assess the role of ion channels in the pathophysiology of obesity. Ion channels present diverse key functions, such as the maintenance of physiological homeostasis and cell proliferation. Cell biology and pharmacological experimental evidences demonstrate that proliferating cells exhibit ion channel expression, conductance, and electrical properties different from the resting cells. Thereby, a large variety of ion channels has been identified in the pathogenesis of obesity such as potassium, sodium, calcium and chloride channels, nicotinic acetylcholine receptor and transient receptor potential channels. The fundamental involvement of these channels on the generation of obesity leads to the progress in the knowledge about the mechanisms responsible for the obesity pathophysiology, consequently emerging as new targets for pharmacological modulation. PMID:27065858

  3. Ion Selectivity Mechanism in a Bacterial Pentameric Ligand-Gated Ion Channel

    SciTech Connect

    Fritsch, Sebastian; Ivanov, Ivaylo; Wang, Hailong; Cheng, Xiaolin

    2010-01-01

    The proton-gated ion channel from Gloeobacter violaceus (GLIC) is a prokaryotic homolog of the eukaryotic nicotinic acetylcholine receptor that responds to the binding of neurotransmitter acetylcholine and mediates fast signal transmission. Recent emergence of a high-resolution crystal structure of GLIC captured in a potentially open state allowed detailed, atomic-level insight into ion conduction and selectivity mechanisms in these channels. Herein, we have examined the barriers to ion conduction and origins of ion selectivity in the GLIC channel by the construction of potential-of-mean-force profiles for sodium and chloride ions inside the transmembrane region. Our calculations reveal that the GLIC channel is open for a sodium ion to transport, but presents a 11 kcal/mol free energy barrier for a chloride ion. Our collective findings identify three distinct contributions to the observed preference for the permeant ions. First, there is a substantial contribution due to a ring of negatively charged glutamate residues (E-2 ) at the narrow intracellular end of the channel. The negative electrostatics of this region and the ability of the glutamate side chains to directly bind cations would strongly favor the passage of sodium ions while hindering translocation of chloride ions. Second, our results imply a significant hydrophobic contribution to selectivity linked to differences in the desolvation penalty for the sodium versus chloride ions in the central hydrophobic region of the pore. This hydrophobic contribution is evidenced by the large free energy barriers experienced by Cl in the middle of the pore for both GLIC and the E-2 A mutant. Finally, there is a distinct contribution arising from the overall negative electrostatics of the channel.

  4. Novel perspectives in cancer therapy: Targeting ion channels.

    PubMed

    Arcangeli, Annarosa; Becchetti, Andrea

    2015-01-01

    By controlling ion fluxes at multiple time scales, ion channels shape rapid cell signals, such as action potential and synaptic transmission, as well as much slower processes, such as mitosis and cell migration. As is currently increasingly recognized, a variety of channel types are involved in cancer hallmarks, and regulate specific stages of neoplastic progression. Long-term in vitro work has established that inhibition of these ion channels impairs the growth of cancer cells. Recently, these studies have been followed up in vivo, hence revealing that ion channels constitute promising pharmacological targets in oncology. The channel proteins can be often accessed from the extracellular milieu, which allows use of lower drug doses and decrease untoward toxicity. However, because of the central physiological roles exerted by ion channels in excitable cells, other types of side effects may arise, the gravest of which is cardiac arrhythmia. A paradigmatic case is offered by Kv11.1 (hERG1) channels. HERG1 blockers attenuate the progression of both hematologic malignancies and solid tumors, but may also lead to the lengthening of the electrocardiographic QT interval, thus predisposing the patient to ventricular arrhythmias. These side effects can be avoided by specifically inhibiting the channel isoforms which are highly expressed in certain tumors, such as Kv11.1B and the neonatal forms of voltage-gated Na(+) channels. Preclinical studies are also being explored in breast and prostate cancer (targeting voltage-gated Na(+) channels), and gliomas (targeting CLC-3). Overall, the possible approaches to improve the efficacy and safety of ion channel targeting in oncology include: (1) the development of specific inhibitors for the channel subtypes expressed in specific tumors; (2) drug delivery into the tumor by using antibodies or nanotechnology-based approaches; (3) combination regimen therapy and (4) blocking specific conformational states of the ion channel. We believe

  5. Thermal Responsive Ion Selectivity of Uranyl Peroxide Nanocages: An Inorganic Mimic of K(+) Ion Channels.

    PubMed

    Gao, Yunyi; Szymanowski, Jennifer E S; Sun, Xinyu; Burns, Peter C; Liu, Tianbo

    2016-06-01

    An actinyl peroxide cage cluster, Li48+m K12 (OH)m [UO2 (O2 )(OH)]60 (H2 O)n (m≈20 and n≈310; U60 ), discriminates precisely between Na(+) and K(+) ions when heated to certain temperatures, a most essential feature for K(+) selective filters. The U60 clusters demonstrate several other features in common with K(+) ion channels, including passive transport of K(+) ions, a high flux rate, and the dehydration of U60 and K(+) ions. These qualities make U60 (a pure inorganic cluster) a promising ion channel mimic in an aqueous environment. Laser light scattering (LLS) and isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) studies revealed that the tailorable ion selectivity of U60 clusters is a result of the thermal responsiveness of the U60 hydration shells. PMID:27105921

  6. Nanoscale ion sequestration to determine the polarity selectivity of ion conductance in carriers and channels.

    PubMed

    Cranfield, Charles G; Bettler, Taren; Cornell, Bruce

    2015-01-01

    The nanoscale spacing between a tethered lipid bilayer membrane (tBLM) and its supporting gold electrode can be utilized to determine the polarity selectivity of the conduction of ion channels and ion carriers embedded in a membrane. The technique relies upon a bias voltage sequestering or eliminating ions, of a particular polarity, into or out of the aqueous electrolyte region between the gold electrode and the tethered membrane. A demonstration is given, using ac swept frequency impedance spectrometry, of the bias polarity dependence of the ionophore conductance of gramicidin A, a cationic selective channel, and valinomycin, a potassium ion selective carrier. We further use pulsed amperometry to show that the intrinsic voltage dependence of the ion conduction is actually selective of the polarity of the transported ion and not simply of the direction of the ionic current flow. PMID:25474616

  7. Ion Permeation and Mechanotransduction Mechanisms of Mechanosensitive Piezo Channels.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Qiancheng; Wu, Kun; Geng, Jie; Chi, Shaopeng; Wang, Yanfeng; Zhi, Peng; Zhang, Mingmin; Xiao, Bailong

    2016-03-16

    Piezo proteins have been proposed as the long-sought-after mechanosensitive cation channels in mammals that play critical roles in various mechanotransduction processes. However, the molecular bases that underlie their ion permeation and mechanotransduction have remained functionally undefined. Here we report our finding of the miniature pore-forming module of Piezo1 that resembles the pore architecture of other trimeric channels and encodes the essential pore properties. We further identified specific residues within the pore module that determine unitary conductance, pore blockage and ion selectivity for divalent and monovalent cations and anions. The non-pore-containing region of Piezo1 confers mechanosensitivity to mechano-insensitive trimeric acid-sensing ion channels, demonstrating that Piezo1 channels possess intrinsic mechanotransduction modules separate from their pore modules. In conclusion, this is the first report on the bona fide pore module and mechanotransduction components of Piezo channels, which define their ion-conducting properties and gating by mechanical stimuli, respectively. PMID:26924440

  8. Surface dynamics of voltage-gated ion channels.

    PubMed

    Heine, Martin; Ciuraszkiewicz, Anna; Voigt, Andreas; Heck, Jennifer; Bikbaev, Arthur

    2016-07-01

    Neurons encode information in fast changes of the membrane potential, and thus electrical membrane properties are critically important for the integration and processing of synaptic inputs by a neuron. These electrical properties are largely determined by ion channels embedded in the membrane. The distribution of most ion channels in the membrane is not spatially uniform: they undergo activity-driven changes in the range of minutes to days. Even in the range of milliseconds, the composition and topology of ion channels are not static but engage in highly dynamic processes including stochastic or activity-dependent transient association of the pore-forming and auxiliary subunits, lateral diffusion, as well as clustering of different channels. In this review we briefly discuss the potential impact of mobile sodium, calcium and potassium ion channels and the functional significance of this for individual neurons and neuronal networks. PMID:26891382

  9. Ion Selectivity Mechanism in a Bacterial Pentameric Ligand-Gated Ion Channel

    SciTech Connect

    Fritsch, Sebastian M; Ivanov, Ivaylo N; Wang, Hailong; Cheng, Xiaolin

    2011-01-01

    The proton-gated ion channel from Gloeobacter violaceus (GLIC) is a prokaryotic homolog of the eukaryotic nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) that responds to the binding of neurotransmitter acetylcholine and mediates fast signal transmission. Recent emergence of a high resolution crystal structure of GLIC captured in a potentially open state allowed detailed, atomic-level insight into ion conduction and selectivity mechanisms in these channels. Herein, we have examined the barriers to ion conduction and origins of ion selectivity in the GLIC channel by the construction of potential of mean force (PMF) profiles for sodium and chloride ions inside the transmembrane region. Our calculations reveal that the GLIC channel is open for a sodium ion to transport, but presents a ~10 kcal/mol free energy barrier for a chloride ion, which arises primarily from the unfavorable interactions with a ring of negatively charged glutamate residues (E-2 ) at the intracellular end and a ring of hydrophobic residues (I9 ) in the middle of the transmembrane domain. Our collective findings further suggest that the charge selection mechanism can, to a large extent, be attributed to the narrow intracellular end and a ring of glutamate residues in this position their strong negative electrostatics and ability to bind cations. By contrast, E19 at the extracellular entrance only plays a minor role in ion selectivity of GLIC. In addition to electrostatics, both ion hydration and protein dynamics are found to be crucial for ion conduction as well, which explains why a chloride ion experiences a much greater barrier than a sodium ion in the hydrophobic region of the pore.

  10. Mass-dependent channel electron multiplier operation. [for ion detection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fields, S. A.; Burch, J. L.; Oran, W. A.

    1977-01-01

    The absolute counting efficiency and pulse height distributions of a continuous-channel electron multiplier used in the detection of hydrogen, argon and xenon ions are assessed. The assessment technique, which involves the post-acceleration of 8-eV ion beams to energies from 100 to 4000 eV, provides information on counting efficiency versus post-acceleration voltage characteristics over a wide range of ion mass. The charge pulse height distributions for H2 (+), A (+) and Xe (+) were measured by operating the experimental apparatus in a marginally gain-saturated mode. It was found that gain saturation occurs at lower channel multiplier operating voltages for light ions such as H2 (+) than for the heavier ions A (+) and Xe (+), suggesting that the technique may be used to discriminate between these two classes of ions in electrostatic analyzers.

  11. Photochemical control of endogenous ion channels and cellular excitability.

    PubMed

    Fortin, Doris L; Banghart, Matthew R; Dunn, Timothy W; Borges, Katharine; Wagenaar, Daniel A; Gaudry, Quentin; Karakossian, Movses H; Otis, Thomas S; Kristan, William B; Trauner, Dirk; Kramer, Richard H

    2008-04-01

    Light-activated ion channels provide a precise and noninvasive optical means for controlling action potential firing, but the genes encoding these channels must first be delivered and expressed in target cells. Here we describe a method for bestowing light sensitivity onto endogenous ion channels that does not rely on exogenous gene expression. The method uses a synthetic photoisomerizable small molecule, or photoswitchable affinity label (PAL), that specifically targets K+ channels. PALs contain a reactive electrophile, enabling covalent attachment of the photoswitch to naturally occurring nucleophiles in K+ channels. Ion flow through PAL-modified channels is turned on or off by photoisomerizing PAL with different wavelengths of light. We showed that PAL treatment confers light sensitivity onto endogenous K+ channels in isolated rat neurons and in intact neural structures from rat and leech, allowing rapid optical regulation of excitability without genetic modification. PMID:18311146

  12. Detection of single ion channel activity with carbon nanotubes

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Weiwei; Wang, Yung Yu; Lim, Tae-Sun; Pham, Ted; Jain, Dheeraj; Burke, Peter J.

    2015-01-01

    Many processes in life are based on ion currents and membrane voltages controlled by a sophisticated and diverse family of membrane proteins (ion channels), which are comparable in size to the most advanced nanoelectronic components currently under development. Here we demonstrate an electrical assay of individual ion channel activity by measuring the dynamic opening and closing of the ion channel nanopores using single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs). Two canonical dynamic ion channels (gramicidin A (gA) and alamethicin) and one static biological nanopore (α-hemolysin (α-HL)) were successfully incorporated into supported lipid bilayers (SLBs, an artificial cell membrane), which in turn were interfaced to the carbon nanotubes through a variety of polymer-cushion surface functionalization schemes. The ion channel current directly charges the quantum capacitance of a single nanotube in a network of purified semiconducting nanotubes. This work forms the foundation for a scalable, massively parallel architecture of 1d nanoelectronic devices interrogating electrophysiology at the single ion channel level. PMID:25778101

  13. Detection of single ion channel activity with carbon nanotubes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Weiwei; Wang, Yung Yu; Lim, Tae-Sun; Pham, Ted; Jain, Dheeraj; Burke, Peter J.

    2015-03-01

    Many processes in life are based on ion currents and membrane voltages controlled by a sophisticated and diverse family of membrane proteins (ion channels), which are comparable in size to the most advanced nanoelectronic components currently under development. Here we demonstrate an electrical assay of individual ion channel activity by measuring the dynamic opening and closing of the ion channel nanopores using single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs). Two canonical dynamic ion channels (gramicidin A (gA) and alamethicin) and one static biological nanopore (α-hemolysin (α-HL)) were successfully incorporated into supported lipid bilayers (SLBs, an artificial cell membrane), which in turn were interfaced to the carbon nanotubes through a variety of polymer-cushion surface functionalization schemes. The ion channel current directly charges the quantum capacitance of a single nanotube in a network of purified semiconducting nanotubes. This work forms the foundation for a scalable, massively parallel architecture of 1d nanoelectronic devices interrogating electrophysiology at the single ion channel level.

  14. Detection of single ion channel activity with carbon nanotubes.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Weiwei; Wang, Yung Yu; Lim, Tae-Sun; Pham, Ted; Jain, Dheeraj; Burke, Peter J

    2015-01-01

    Many processes in life are based on ion currents and membrane voltages controlled by a sophisticated and diverse family of membrane proteins (ion channels), which are comparable in size to the most advanced nanoelectronic components currently under development. Here we demonstrate an electrical assay of individual ion channel activity by measuring the dynamic opening and closing of the ion channel nanopores using single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs). Two canonical dynamic ion channels (gramicidin A (gA) and alamethicin) and one static biological nanopore (α-hemolysin (α-HL)) were successfully incorporated into supported lipid bilayers (SLBs, an artificial cell membrane), which in turn were interfaced to the carbon nanotubes through a variety of polymer-cushion surface functionalization schemes. The ion channel current directly charges the quantum capacitance of a single nanotube in a network of purified semiconducting nanotubes. This work forms the foundation for a scalable, massively parallel architecture of 1d nanoelectronic devices interrogating electrophysiology at the single ion channel level. PMID:25778101

  15. Diversity of folds in animal toxins acting on ion channels.

    PubMed Central

    Mouhat, Stéphanie; Jouirou, Besma; Mosbah, Amor; De Waard, Michel; Sabatier, Jean-Marc

    2004-01-01

    Animal toxins acting on ion channels of excitable cells are principally highly potent short peptides that are present in limited amounts in the venoms of various unrelated species, such as scorpions, snakes, sea anemones, spiders, insects, marine cone snails and worms. These toxins have been used extensively as invaluable biochemical and pharmacological tools to characterize and discriminate between the various ion channel types that differ in ionic selectivity, structure and/or cell function. Alongside the huge molecular and functional diversity of ion channels, a no less impressive structural diversity of animal toxins has been indicated by the discovery of an increasing number of polypeptide folds that are able to target these ion channels. Indeed, it appears that these peptide toxins have evolved over time on the basis of clearly distinct architectural motifs, in order to adapt to different ion channel modulating strategies (pore blockers compared with gating modifiers). Herein, we provide an up-to-date overview of the various types of fold from animal toxins that act on ion channels selective for K+, Na+, Ca2+ or Cl- ions, with special emphasis on disulphide bridge frameworks and structural motifs associated with these peptide folds. PMID:14674883

  16. Surface potentials and the calculated selectivity of ion channels.

    PubMed Central

    Miedema, Henk

    2002-01-01

    Ion channels catalyze the transport of ions across biological membranes. A proper understanding of ion-channel functioning is essential to our knowledge of cell physiology, and, in this context, ion-channel selectivity is a key concept. The extent to which a channel permeates two ion species, a and b, is expressed by the permeability ratio, P(a)/P(b). This paper addresses a complication in the calculation of P(a)/P(b) that is related to the existence of surface potentials (psi) and that so far has not been fully appreciated. This paper shows the rather surprising effect of psi on the calculated P(a)/P(b) of a channel that is permeable to two ion species of different valence. If we ignore psi, we conclude, for instance, P(a) > P(b). If we implement psi in the calculation of P(a)/P(b), we may, however, conclude exactly the reverse, i.e., P(a) < P(b). Because electrostatic potentials arise at the surface of essentially all biological membranes, this paper argues for a more critical evaluation of ion channel selectivity measurements. PMID:11751304

  17. Energetics of Multi-Ion Conduction Pathways in Potassium Ion Channels

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Potassium ion channels form pores in cell membranes, allowing potassium ions through while preventing the passage of sodium ions. Despite numerous high-resolution structures, it is not yet possible to relate their structure to their single molecule function other than at a qualitative level. Over the past decade, there has been a concerted effort using molecular dynamics to capture the thermodynamics and kinetics of conduction by calculating potentials of mean force (PMF). These can be used, in conjunction with the electro-diffusion theory, to predict the conductance of a specific ion channel. Here, we calculate seven independent PMFs, thereby studying the differences between two potassium ion channels, the effect of the CHARMM CMAP forcefield correction, and the sensitivity and reproducibility of the method. Thermodynamically stable ion–water configurations of the selectivity filter can be identified from all the free energy landscapes, but the heights of the kinetic barriers for potassium ions to move through the selectivity filter are, in nearly all cases, too high to predict conductances in line with experiment. This implies it is not currently feasible to predict the conductance of potassium ion channels, but other simpler channels may be more tractable. PMID:24353479

  18. Pathophysiological and protective roles of mitochondrial ion channels

    PubMed Central

    O’Rourke, Brian

    2000-01-01

    Mitochondria possess a highly permeable outer membrane and an inner membrane that was originally thought to be relatively impermeable to ions to prevent dissipation of the electrochemical gradient for protons. Although recent evidence has revealed a rich diversity of ion channels in both membranes, the purpose of these channels remains incompletely determined. Pores in the outer membrane are fundamental participants in apoptotic cell death, and this process may also involve permeability transition pores on the inner membrane. Novel functions are now being assigned to other ion channels of the inner membrane. Examples include protection against ischaemic injury by mitochondrial KATP channels and the contribution of inner membrane anion channels to spontaneous mitochondrial oscillations in cardiac myocytes. The central role of mitochondria in both the normal function of the cell and in its demise makes these channels prime targets for future research and drug development. PMID:11080248

  19. Antibody therapeutics targeting ion channels: are we there yet?

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Han; Li, Min

    2013-01-01

    The combination of technological advances, genomic sequences and market success is catalyzing rapid development of antibody-based therapeutics. Cell surface receptors and ion channel proteins are well known drug targets, but the latter has seen less success. The availability of crystal structures, better understanding of gating biophysics and validation of physiological roles now form an excellent foundation to pursue antibody-based therapeutics targeting ion channels to treat a variety of diseases. PMID:23381110

  20. Na Channel β Subunits: Overachievers of the Ion Channel Family.

    PubMed

    Brackenbury, William J; Isom, Lori L

    2011-01-01

    Voltage-gated Na(+) channels (VGSCs) in mammals contain a pore-forming α subunit and one or more β subunits. There are five mammalian β subunits in total: β1, β1B, β2, β3, and β4, encoded by four genes: SCN1B-SCN4B. With the exception of the SCN1B splice variant, β1B, the β subunits are type I topology transmembrane proteins. In contrast, β1B lacks a transmembrane domain and is a secreted protein. A growing body of work shows that VGSC β subunits are multifunctional. While they do not form the ion channel pore, β subunits alter gating, voltage-dependence, and kinetics of VGSCα subunits and thus regulate cellular excitability in vivo. In addition to their roles in channel modulation, β subunits are members of the immunoglobulin superfamily of cell adhesion molecules and regulate cell adhesion and migration. β subunits are also substrates for sequential proteolytic cleavage by secretases. An example of the multifunctional nature of β subunits is β1, encoded by SCN1B, that plays a critical role in neuronal migration and pathfinding during brain development, and whose function is dependent on Na(+) current and γ-secretase activity. Functional deletion of SCN1B results in Dravet Syndrome, a severe and intractable pediatric epileptic encephalopathy. β subunits are emerging as key players in a wide variety of physiopathologies, including epilepsy, cardiac arrhythmia, multiple sclerosis, Huntington's disease, neuropsychiatric disorders, neuropathic and inflammatory pain, and cancer. β subunits mediate multiple signaling pathways on different timescales, regulating electrical excitability, adhesion, migration, pathfinding, and transcription. Importantly, some β subunit functions may operate independently of α subunits. Thus, β subunits perform critical roles during development and disease. As such, they may prove useful in disease diagnosis and therapy. PMID:22007171

  1. Ion Channels as Drug Targets in Central Nervous System Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Waszkielewicz, A.M; Gunia, A; Szkaradek, N; Słoczyńska, K; Krupińska, S; Marona, H

    2013-01-01

    Ion channel targeted drugs have always been related with either the central nervous system (CNS), the peripheral nervous system, or the cardiovascular system. Within the CNS, basic indications of drugs are: sleep disorders, anxiety, epilepsy, pain, etc. However, traditional channel blockers have multiple adverse events, mainly due to low specificity of mechanism of action. Lately, novel ion channel subtypes have been discovered, which gives premises to drug discovery process led towards specific channel subtypes. An example is Na+ channels, whose subtypes 1.3 and 1.7-1.9 are responsible for pain, and 1.1 and 1.2 – for epilepsy. Moreover, new drug candidates have been recognized. This review is focusing on ion channels subtypes, which play a significant role in current drug discovery and development process. The knowledge on channel subtypes has developed rapidly, giving new nomenclatures of ion channels. For example, Ca2+ channels are not any more divided to T, L, N, P/Q, and R, but they are described as Cav1.1-Cav3.3, with even newer nomenclature α1A-α1I and α1S. Moreover, new channels such as P2X1-P2X7, as well as TRPA1-TRPV1 have been discovered, giving premises for new types of analgesic drugs. PMID:23409712

  2. Turning a Poor Ion Channel into a Good Pump

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Astumian, Dean

    2003-05-01

    We consider a membrane protein that can exist in two configurations, either one of which acts as a poor ion channel, allowing ions to slowly leak across the membrane from high to low elctrochemical potential. We show that random external fluctuations can provide the energy to turn this poor channel into a good pump that drives ion transport from low to high electrochemical potential. We discuss this result in terms of a gambling analogy, and point to possible implications for fields as far ranging as population biology, economics, and actuarial science.

  3. Functional Insights from Glutamate Receptor Ion Channel Structures

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Janesh; Mayer, Mark L.

    2014-01-01

    X-ray crystal structures for the soluble amino terminal and ligand binding domains of glutamate receptor ion channels, combined with a 3.6 Å resolution structure of the full length AMPA receptor GluA2 homotetramer, provide unique insights into the mechanisms of iGluR assembly and function. Increasingly sophisticated biochemical, computational and electrophysiological experiments are beginning to reveal the mechanism of action of partial agonists, and yield new models for the mechanism of action of allosteric modulators. Newly identified NMDA receptor ligands acting at novel sites offer hope for development of subtype selective modulators. Many issues remain unsolved, including the role of the ATD in AMPA receptor signaling, and the mechanisms by which auxiliary proteins regulate receptor activity. The structural basis for ion permeation and ion channel block also remain areas of uncertainty, and despite substantial progress, molecular dynamics simulations have yet to reveal how binding of glutamate opens the ion channel pore. PMID:22974439

  4. Structural basis for ion permeation mechanism in pentameric ligand-gated ion channels

    PubMed Central

    Sauguet, Ludovic; Poitevin, Frédéric; Murail, Samuel; Van Renterghem, Catherine; Moraga-Cid, Gustavo; Malherbe, Laurie; Thompson, Andrew W; Koehl, Patrice; Corringer, Pierre-Jean; Baaden, Marc; Delarue, Marc

    2013-01-01

    To understand the molecular mechanism of ion permeation in pentameric ligand-gated ion channels (pLGIC), we solved the structure of an open form of GLIC, a prokaryotic pLGIC, at 2.4 Å. Anomalous diffraction data were used to place bound anions and cations. This reveals ordered water molecules at the level of two rings of hydroxylated residues (named Ser6′ and Thr2′) that contribute to the ion selectivity filter. Two water pentagons are observed, a self-stabilized ice-like water pentagon and a second wider water pentagon, with one sodium ion between them. Single-channel electrophysiology shows that the side-chain hydroxyl of Ser6′ is crucial for ion translocation. Simulations and electrostatics calculations complemented the description of hydration in the pore and suggest that the water pentagons observed in the crystal are important for the ion to cross hydrophobic constriction barriers. Simulations that pull a cation through the pore reveal that residue Ser6′ actively contributes to ion translocation by reorienting its side chain when the ion is going through the pore. Generalization of these findings to the pLGIC family is proposed. PMID:23403925

  5. Ion homeostasis, channels, and transporters: an update on cellular mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Dubyak, George R

    2004-12-01

    The steady-state maintenance of highly asymmetric concentrations of the major inorganic cations and anions is a major function of both plasma membranes and the membranes of intracellular organelles. Homeostatic regulation of these ionic gradients is critical for most functions. Due to their charge, the movements of ions across biological membranes necessarily involves facilitation by intrinsic membrane transport proteins. The functional characterization and categorization of membrane transport proteins was a major focus of cell physiological research from the 1950s through the 1980s. On the basis of these functional analyses, ion transport proteins were broadly divided into two classes: channels and carrier-type transporters (which include exchangers, cotransporters, and ATP-driven ion pumps). Beginning in the mid-1980s, these functional analyses of ion transport and homeostasis were complemented by the cloning of genes encoding many ion channels and transporter proteins. Comparison of the predicted primary amino acid sequences and structures of functionally similar ion transport proteins facilitated their grouping within families and superfamilies of structurally related membrane proteins. Postgenomics research in ion transport biology increasingly involves two powerful approaches. One involves elucidation of the molecular structures, at the atomic level in some cases, of model ion transport proteins. The second uses the tools of cell biology to explore the cell-specific function or subcellular localization of ion transport proteins. This review will describe how these approaches have provided new, and sometimes surprising, insights regarding four major questions in current ion transporter research. 1) What are the fundamental differences between ion channels and ion transporters? 2) How does the interaction of an ion transport protein with so-called adapter proteins affect its subcellular localization or regulation by various intracellular signal transduction

  6. The dynamics of small excitable ion channel clusters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shuai, J. W.; Jung, P.

    2006-06-01

    Through computational modeling we predict that small sodium ion channel clusters on small patches of membrane can encode electric signals most efficiently at certain magic cluster sizes. We show that this effect can be traced back to algebraic features of small integers and are universal for channels with a simple gating dynamics. We further explore physiologic conditions under which such effects can occur.

  7. Patch Clamp Recording of Ion Channels Expressed in Xenopus Oocytes

    PubMed Central

    L Brown, Austin; E. Johnson, Brandon; B. Goodman, Miriam

    2008-01-01

    Since its development by Sakmann and Neher 1, 2, the patch clamp has become established as an extremely useful technique for electrophysiological measurement of single or multiple ion channels in cells. This technique can be applied to ion channels in both their native environment and expressed in heterologous cells, such as oocytes harvested from the African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis. Here, we describe the well-established technique of patch clamp recording from Xenopus oocytes. This technique is used to measure the properties of expressed ion channels either in populations (macropatch) or individually (single-channel recording). We focus on techniques to maximize the quality of oocyte preparation and seal generation. With all factors optimized, this technique gives a probability of successful seal generation over 90 percent. The process may be optimized differently by every researcher based on the factors he or she finds most important, and we present the approach that have lead to the greatest success in our hands. PMID:19078941

  8. Carbon monoxide: an emerging regulator of ion channels

    PubMed Central

    Wilkinson, William J; Kemp, Paul J

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Carbon monoxide is rapidly emerging as an important cellular messenger, regulating a wide range of physiological processes. Crucial to its role in both physiology and disease is its ability differentially to regulate several classes of ion channels, including examples from calcium-activated K+ (BKCa), voltage-activated K+ (Kv) and Ca2+ channel (L-type) families, ligand-gated P2X receptors (P2X2 and P2X4), tandem P domain K+ channels (TREK1) and the epithelial Na+ channel (ENaC). The mechanisms by which CO regulates these ion channels are still unclear and remain somewhat controversial. However, available structure–function studies suggest that a limited range of amino acid residues confer CO sensitivity, either directly or indirectly, to particular ion channels and that cellular redox state appears to be important to the final integrated response. Whatever the molecular mechanism by which CO regulates ion channels, endogenous production of this gasotransmitter has physiologically important roles and is currently being explored as a potential therapeutic. PMID:21521759

  9. Ion/water channels for embryo implantation barrier.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xin-Mei; Zhang, Dan; Wang, Ting-Ting; Sheng, Jian-Zhong; Huang, He-Feng

    2014-05-01

    Successful implantation involves three distinct processes, namely the embryo apposition, attachment, and penetration through the luminal epithelium of the endometrium to establish a vascular link to the mother. After penetration, stromal cells underlying the epithelium differentiate and surround the embryo to form the embryo implantation barrier, which blocks the passage of harmful substances to the embryo. Many ion/water channel proteins were found to be involved in the process of embryo implantation. First, ion/water channel proteins play their classical role in establishing a resting membrane potential, shaping action potentials and other electrical signals by gating the flow of ions across the cell membrane. Second, most of ion/water channel proteins are regulated by steroid hormone (estrogen or progesterone), which may have important implications to the embryo implantation. Last but not least, these proteins do not limit themselves as pure channels but also function as an initiator of a series of consequences once activated by their ligand/stimulator. Herein, we discuss these new insights in recent years about the contribution of ion/water channels to the embryo implantation barrier construction during early pregnancy. PMID:24789983

  10. Crystal orientation mapping via ion channeling: An alternative to EBSD.

    PubMed

    Langlois, C; Douillard, T; Yuan, H; Blanchard, N P; Descamps-Mandine, A; Van de Moortèle, B; Rigotti, C; Epicier, T

    2015-10-01

    A new method, which we name ion CHanneling ORientation Determination (iCHORD), is proposed to obtain orientation maps on polycrystals via ion channeling. The iChord method exploits the dependence between grain orientation and ion beam induced secondary electron image contrast. At each position of the region of interest, intensity profiles are obtained from a series of images acquired with different orientations with respect to the ion beam. The profiles are then compared to a database of theoretical profiles of known orientation. The Euler triplet associated to the most similar theoretical profile gives the orientation at that position. The proof-of-concept is obtained on a titanium nitride sample. The potentialities of iCHORD as an alternative to EBSD are then discussed. PMID:26094201

  11. Ion channels in cancer: future perspectives and clinical potential.

    PubMed

    Lang, Florian; Stournaras, Christos

    2014-03-19

    Ion transport across the cell membrane mediated by channels and carriers participate in the regulation of tumour cell survival, death and motility. Moreover, the altered regulation of channels and carriers is part of neoplastic transformation. Experimental modification of channel and transporter activity impacts tumour cell survival, proliferation, malignant progression, invasive behaviour or therapy resistance of tumour cells. A wide variety of distinct Ca(2+) permeable channels, K(+) channels, Na(+) channels and anion channels have been implicated in tumour growth and metastasis. Further experimental information is, however, needed to define the specific role of individual channel isoforms critically important for malignancy. Compelling experimental evidence supports the assumption that the pharmacological inhibition of ion channels or their regulators may be attractive targets to counteract tumour growth, prevent metastasis and overcome therapy resistance of tumour cells. This short review discusses the role of Ca(2+) permeable channels, K(+) channels, Na(+) channels and anion channels in tumour growth and metastasis and the therapeutic potential of respective inhibitors. PMID:24493756

  12. Theoretical and computational models of biological ion channels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roux, Benoit

    2004-03-01

    A theoretical framework for describing ion conduction through biological molecular pores is established and explored. The framework is based on a statistical mechanical formulation of the transmembrane potential (1) and of the equilibrium multi-ion potential of mean forces through selective ion channels (2). On the basis of these developments, it is possible to define computational schemes to address questions about the non-equilibrium flow of ions through ion channels. In the case of narrow channels (gramicidin or KcsA), it is possible to characterize the ion conduction in terms of the potential of mean force of the ions along the channel axis (i.e., integrating out the off-axis motions). This has been used for gramicidin (3) and for KcsA (4,5). In the case of wide pores (i.e., OmpF porin), this is no longer a good idea, but it is possible to use a continuum solvent approximations. In this case, a grand canonical monte carlo brownian dynamics algorithm was constructed for simulating the non-equilibrium flow of ions through wide pores. The results were compared with those from the Poisson-Nernst-Planck mean-field electrodiffusion theory (6-8). References; 1. B. Roux, Biophys. J. 73:2980-2989 (1997); 2. B. Roux, Biophys. J. 77, 139-153 (1999); 3. Allen, Andersen and Roux, PNAS (2004, in press); 4. Berneche and Roux. Nature, 414:73-77 (2001); 5. Berneche and Roux. PNAS, 100:8644-8648 (2003); 6. W. Im and S. Seefeld and B. Roux, Biophys. J. 79:788-801 (2000); 7. W. Im and B. Roux, J. Chem. Phys. 115:4850-4861 (2001); 8. W. Im and B. Roux, J. Mol. Biol. 322:851-869 (2002).

  13. Briefing in Application of Machine Learning Methods in Ion Channel Prediction

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    In cells, ion channels are one of the most important classes of membrane proteins which allow inorganic ions to move across the membrane. A wide range of biological processes are involved and regulated by the opening and closing of ion channels. Ion channels can be classified into numerous classes and different types of ion channels exhibit different functions. Thus, the correct identification of ion channels and their types using computational methods will provide in-depth insights into their function in various biological processes. In this review, we will briefly introduce and discuss the recent progress in ion channel prediction using machine learning methods. PMID:25961077

  14. Briefing in application of machine learning methods in ion channel prediction.

    PubMed

    Lin, Hao; Chen, Wei

    2015-01-01

    In cells, ion channels are one of the most important classes of membrane proteins which allow inorganic ions to move across the membrane. A wide range of biological processes are involved and regulated by the opening and closing of ion channels. Ion channels can be classified into numerous classes and different types of ion channels exhibit different functions. Thus, the correct identification of ion channels and their types using computational methods will provide in-depth insights into their function in various biological processes. In this review, we will briefly introduce and discuss the recent progress in ion channel prediction using machine learning methods. PMID:25961077

  15. Multitude of ion channels in the regulation of transmitter release.

    PubMed Central

    Rahamimoff, R; Butkevich, A; Duridanova, D; Ahdut, R; Harari, E; Kachalsky, S G

    1999-01-01

    The presynaptic nerve terminal is of key importance in communication in the nervous system. Its primary role is to release transmitter quanta on the arrival of an appropriate stimulus. The structural basis of these transmitter quanta are the synaptic vesicles that fuse with the surface membrane of the nerve terminal, to release their content of neurotransmitter molecules and other vesicular components. We subdivide the control of quantal release into two major classes: the processes that take place before the fusion of the synaptic vesicle with the surface membrane (the pre-fusion control) and the processes that occur after the fusion of the vesicle (the post-fusion control). The pre-fusion control is the main determinant of transmitter release. It is achieved by a wide variety of cellular components, among them the ion channels. There are reports of several hundred different ion channel molecules at the surface membrane of the nerve terminal, that for convenience can be grouped into eight major categories. They are the voltage-dependent calcium channels, the potassium channels, the calcium-gated potassium channels, the sodium channels, the chloride channels, the non-selective channels, the ligand gated channels and the stretch-activated channels. There are several categories of intracellular channels in the mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum and the synaptic vesicles. We speculate that the vesicle channels may be of an importance in the post-fusion control of transmitter release. PMID:10212476

  16. EPR Studies of Gating Mechanisms in Ion Channels

    PubMed Central

    Chakrapani, Sudha

    2015-01-01

    Ion channels open and close in response to diverse stimuli, and the molecular events underlying these processes are extensively modulated by ligands of both endogenous and exogenous origin. In the past decade, high-resolution structures of several channel types have been solved, providing unprecedented details of the molecular architecture of these membrane proteins. Intrinsic conformational flexibility of ion channels critically governs their functions. However, the dynamics underlying gating mechanisms and modulations are obscured in the information from crystal structures. While nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopic methods allow direct measurements of protein dynamics, they are limited by the large size of these membrane protein assemblies in detergent micelles or lipid membranes. Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy has emerged as a key biophysical tool to characterize structural dynamics of ion channels and to determine stimulus-driven conformational transition between functional states in a physiological environment. This review will provide an overview of the recent advances in the field of voltage- and ligand-gated channels and highlight some of the challenges and controversies surrounding the structural information available. It will discuss general methods used in site-directed spin labeling and EPR spectroscopy and illustrate how findings from these studies have narrowed the gap between high-resolution structures and gating mechanisms in membranes, and have thereby helped reconcile seemingly disparate models of ion channel function. PMID:25950970

  17. Effects of monoterpenes on ion channels of excitable cells.

    PubMed

    Oz, Murat; Lozon, Yosra; Sultan, Ahmed; Yang, Keun-Hang Susan; Galadari, Sehamuddin

    2015-08-01

    Monoterpenes are a structurally diverse group of phytochemicals and a major constituent of plant-derived 'essential oils'. Monoterpenes such as menthol, carvacrol, and eugenol have been utilized for therapeutical purposes and food additives for centuries and have been reported to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and analgesic actions. In recent years there has been increasing interest in understanding the pharmacological actions of these molecules. There is evidence indicating that monoterpenes can modulate the functional properties of several types of voltage and ligand-gated ion channels, suggesting that some of their pharmacological actions may be mediated by modulations of ion channel function. In this report, we review the literature concerning the interaction of monoterpenes with various ion channels. PMID:25956464

  18. Ion selectivity and gating mechanisms of FNT channels

    PubMed Central

    Waight, Andrew B.; Czyzewski, Bryan K.; Wang, Da-Neng

    2013-01-01

    The phospholipid bilayer has evolved to be a protective and selective barrier by which the cell maintains high concentrations of life sustaining organic and inorganic material. As gatekeepers responsible for an immense amount of bidirectional chemical traffic between the cytoplasm and extracellular milieu, ion channels have been studied in detail since their postulated existence nearly three-quarters of a century ago. Over the past fifteen years, we have begun to understand how selective permeability can be achieved for both cationic and anionic ions. Our mechanistic knowledge has expanded recently with studies of a large family of anion channels, the Formate Nitrite Transport (FNT) family. This family has proven amenable to structural studies at a resolution high enough to reveal intimate details of ion selectivity and gating. With five representative members having yielded a total of 15 crystal structures, this family represents one of the richest sources of structural information for anion channels. PMID:23773802

  19. Functional properties of ion channels and transporters in tumour vascularization

    PubMed Central

    Fiorio Pla, Alessandra; Munaron, Luca

    2014-01-01

    Vascularization is crucial for solid tumour growth and invasion, providing metabolic support and sustaining metastatic dissemination. It is now accepted that ion channels and transporters play a significant role in driving the cancer growth at all stages. They may represent novel therapeutic, diagnostic and prognostic targets for anti-cancer therapies. On the other hand, although the expression and role of ion channels and transporters in the vascular endothelium is well recognized and subject of recent reviews, only recently has their involvement in tumour vascularization been recognized. Here, we review the current literature on ion channels and transporters directly involved in the angiogenic process. Particular interest will be focused on tumour angiogenesis in vivo as well as in the different steps that drive this process in vitro, such as endothelial cell proliferation, migration, adhesion and tubulogenesis. Moreover, we compare the ‘transportome’ system of tumour vascular network with the physiological one. PMID:24493751

  20. CRACking ion channel targets: 2nd annual Ion Channel Targets Conference. 12-13 September 2006, Boston, MA, USA.

    PubMed

    Mathes, Chris

    2007-01-01

    The 2nd Annual Ion Channel Targets (ICT) Conference (by Select Bioscience LLC) was held in Boston on 12-13 September 2006. A healthy mixture of scientists from pharma, biotech and academic sectors attended the meeting. The speaker list reflected this mixture. In general, the conference focused on new ion channel targets and the methods for studying them in detail. Keynote lectures from Professors David Clapham (Harvard Medical School, USA) and Reinhold Penner (University of Hawaii, USA) set the tone by highlighting recent findings with a voltage-gated proton channel (Clapham), cation channel in sperm (Clapham) and the calcium-release-activated calcium channel (Penner). Also described at ICT were voltage-gated sodium, potassium, transmembrane-receptor-potential channels, as well as ligand-gated nicotinic acetylcholine (nAChR) and GABA type A receptors. PMID:17150038

  1. Contribution of Automated Technologies to Ion Channel Drug Discovery.

    PubMed

    Picones, Arturo; Loza-Huerta, Arlet; Segura-Chama, Pedro; Lara-Figueroa, Cesar O

    2016-01-01

    Automated technologies are now resolving the historical relegation that ion channels have endured as targets for the new drug discovery and development global efforts. The richness and adequacy of functional assay methodologies, remarkably fluorescence-based detection of ions fluxes and patch-clamp electrophysiology recording of ionic currents, are now automated and increasingly employed for the analysis of ion channel activity. While the former is currently the most commonly applied, the latter is finally reaching the throughput capacity to be engaged in the primary screening of chemical libraries conformed by hundreds of thousands of compounds. The use of automated instrumentation for the study of ion channel functionality (and dysfunctionality), particularly in the search for novel pharmacological agents with therapeutic purposes, has now reached out beyond the industrial setting, its original natural enclave, and is making its way into a growing number of academic labs and core facilities. The present chapter reviews the increasing contributions accomplished by a variety of different key automated technologies which have revolutionized the strategies to approach the discovery and development of new drugs targeting ion channels. PMID:27038379

  2. Regulation of heartbeat by G protein-coupled ion channels.

    PubMed

    Brown, A M

    1990-12-01

    The coupling of ion channels to receptors by G proteins is the subject of this American Physiological Society Walter B. Cannon Memorial "Physiology in Perspective" Lecture. This subject is particularly appropriate because it includes a molecular explanation of a homeostatic mechanism involving the autonomic nervous system and the latter subject preoccupied Dr. Cannon during most of his career. With the use of reconstitution methods, we and others have shown that heterotrimeric guanine nucleotide-binding (G) proteins couple receptors to ion channels by both membrane-delimited, direct pathways and cytoplasmic second messenger pathways. Furthermore, one set of receptors may be coupled to as many as three different sets of ion channels to form networks. Dual G protein pathways lead to the prediction of biphasic ion current responses in cell signaling, and this prediction was confirmed. In sinoatrial pacemaker cells, the pacemaking hyperpolarization-activated inward current (If) is directly regulated by the G proteins Gs and Go, and the two can act simultaneously. This could explain the classical observation that vagal inhibition of heart rate is greater during sympathetic stimulation. Because deactivation of the muscarinic response occurs much faster than the G protein alpha-subunit hydrolyzes guanosine 5'-triphosphate, we looked for accessory cellular factors. A surprising result was that the small monomeric ras G protein blocked the muscarinic pathway. The significance of this observation is unknown, but it appears that small and large G proteins may interact in ion channel signaling pathways. PMID:1701981

  3. Postranslational Modification of Ion Channels in Colonic Inflammation.

    PubMed

    Akbarali, Hamid I; Kang, Minho

    2015-01-01

    Voltage-gated ion channels are key regulators of cell excitability. There is significant evidence that these channels are subject to modulation by redox status of the cells. Here we review the post-translational modifications of ion channels that occur in colonic inflammation. The redox mechanisms involve tyrosine nitration, covalent modification of cysteine residues and sulfhydration by hydrogen sulfide in experimental colitis. In the setting of colonic inflammation, modifications of cysteine and tyrosine are likely to occur at several sites within the same channel complex. In this review we describe alterations in channel function due to specific modifications of tyrosine and cysteine residues by reactive nitrogen, oxygen and hydrogen-sulfide resulting in altered motility. PMID:26411766

  4. [Interaction of melittin with ion channels of excitable membranes].

    PubMed

    Zherelova, O M; Kabanova, N V; Kazachenko, V N; Chaĭlakhian, L M

    2007-01-01

    The effect of the neurotoxin melittin on the activation of ion channels of excitable membrane, the plasmalemma of Characeae algae cells, isolated membrane patches of neurons of mollusc L. stagnalis and Vero cells was studied by the method of intracellular perfusion and the patch-clamp technique in inside-out configuration. It was shown that melittin disturbs the conductivity of plasmalemma and modifieds Ca(2+)-channels of plant membrane. The leakage current that appears by the action of melittin can be restored by substituting calmodulin for melittin. Melittin modifies K(+)-channels of animal cell membrane by disrupting the phospholipid matrix and forms conductive structures in the membrane by interacting with channel proteins, which is evidenced by the appearance of additional ion channels. PMID:17477057

  5. Identification and characterization of a bacterial hydrosulphide ion channel

    SciTech Connect

    Czyzewski, Bryan K.; Wang, Da-Neng

    2012-10-26

    The hydrosulphide ion (HS{sup -}) and its undissociated form, hydrogen sulphide (H{sub 2}S), which are believed to have been critical to the origin of life on Earth, remain important in physiology and cellular signalling. As a major metabolite in anaerobic bacterial growth, hydrogen sulphide is a product of both assimilatory and dissimilatory sulphate reduction. These pathways can reduce various oxidized sulphur compounds including sulphate, sulphite and thiosulphate. The dissimilatory sulphate reduction pathway uses this molecule as the terminal electron acceptor for anaerobic respiration, in which process it produces excess amounts of H{sub 2}S. The reduction of sulphite is a key intermediate step in all sulphate reduction pathways. In Clostridium and Salmonella, an inducible sulphite reductase is directly linked to the regeneration of NAD{sup +}, which has been suggested to have a role in energy production and growth, as well as in the detoxification of sulphite. Above a certain concentration threshold, both H{sub 2}S and HS{sup -} inhibit cell growth by binding the metal centres of enzymes and cytochrome oxidase, necessitating a release mechanism for the export of this toxic metabolite from the cell. Here we report the identification of a hydrosulphide ion channel in the pathogen Clostridium difficile through a combination of genetic, biochemical and functional approaches. The HS{sup -} channel is a member of the formate/nitrite transport family, in which about 50 hydrosulphide ion channels form a third subfamily alongside those for formate (FocA) and for nitrite (NirC). The hydrosulphide ion channel is permeable to formate and nitrite as well as to HS{sup -} ions. Such polyspecificity can be explained by the conserved ion selectivity filter observed in the channel's crystal structure. The channel has a low open probability and is tightly regulated, to avoid decoupling of the membrane proton gradient.

  6. The ion channel inverse problem: neuroinformatics meets biophysics.

    PubMed

    Cannon, Robert C; D'Alessandro, Giampaolo

    2006-08-25

    Ion channels are the building blocks of the information processing capability of neurons: any realistic computational model of a neuron must include reliable and effective ion channel components. Sophisticated statistical and computational tools have been developed to study the ion channel structure-function relationship, but this work is rarely incorporated into the models used for single neurons or small networks. The disjunction is partly a matter of convention. Structure-function studies typically use a single Markov model for the whole channel whereas until recently whole-cell modeling software has focused on serial, independent, two-state subunits that can be represented by the Hodgkin-Huxley equations. More fundamentally, there is a difference in purpose that prevents models being easily reused. Biophysical models are typically developed to study one particular aspect of channel gating in detail, whereas neural modelers require broad coverage of the entire range of channel behavior that is often best achieved with approximate representations that omit structural features that cannot be adequately constrained. To bridge the gap so that more recent channel data can be used in neural models requires new computational infrastructure for bringing together diverse sources of data to arrive at best-fit models for whole-cell modeling. We review the current state of channel modeling and explore the developments needed for its conclusions to be integrated into whole-cell modeling. PMID:16933979

  7. Interaction of ion channels and receptors with PDZ domain proteins.

    PubMed

    Kornau, H C; Seeburg, P H; Kennedy, M B

    1997-06-01

    The complex anatomy of neurons demands a high degree of functional organization. Therefore, membrane receptors and ion channels are often localized to selected subcellular sites and coupled to specific signal transduction machineries. PDZ domains have come into focus as protein interaction modules that mediate the binding of a class of submembraneous proteins to membrane receptors and ion channels and thus subserve these organizational aspects. The structures of two PDZ domains have been resolved, which has led to a structural understanding of the specificity of interactions of various PDZ domains with their respective partners. The functional implications of PDZ domain interactions are now being addressed in vitro and in vivo. PMID:9232802

  8. Ion channels and the transduction of light signals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Spalding, E. P.; Evans, M. L. (Principal Investigator)

    2000-01-01

    Studies of biological light-sensing mechanisms are revealing important roles for ion channels. Photosensory transduction in plants is no exception. In this article, the evidence that ion channels perform such signal-transducing functions in the complex array of mechanisms that bring about plant photomorphogenesis will be reviewed and discussed. The examples selected for discussion range from light-gradient detection in unicellular algae to the photocontrol of stem growth in Arabidopsis. Also included is some discussion of the technical aspects of studies that combine electrophysiology and photobiology.

  9. The transient receptor potential family of ion channels

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Summary The transient receptor potential (TRP) multigene superfamily encodes integral membrane proteins that function as ion channels. Members of this family are conserved in yeast, invertebrates and vertebrates. The TRP family is subdivided into seven subfamilies: TRPC (canonical), TRPV (vanilloid), TRPM (melastatin), TRPP (polycystin), TRPML (mucolipin), TRPA (ankyrin) and TRPN (NOMPC-like); the latter is found only in invertebrates and fish. TRP ion channels are widely expressed in many different tissues and cell types, where they are involved in diverse physiological processes, such as sensation of different stimuli or ion homeostasis. Most TRPs are non-selective cation channels, only few are highly Ca2+ selective, some are even permeable for highly hydrated Mg2+ ions. This channel family shows a variety of gating mechanisms, with modes of activation ranging from ligand binding, voltage and changes in temperature to covalent modifications of nucleophilic residues. Activated TRP channels cause depolarization of the cellular membrane, which in turn activates voltage-dependent ion channels, resulting in a change of intracellular Ca2+ concentration; they serve as gatekeeper for transcellular transport of several cations (such as Ca2+ and Mg2+), and are required for the function of intracellular organelles (such as endosomes and lysosomes). Because of their function as intracellular Ca2+ release channels, they have an important regulatory role in cellular organelles. Mutations in several TRP genes have been implicated in diverse pathological states, including neurodegenerative disorders, skeletal dysplasia, kidney disorders and pain, and ongoing research may help find new therapies for treatments of related diseases. PMID:21401968

  10. The transient receptor potential family of ion channels.

    PubMed

    Nilius, Bernd; Owsianik, Grzegorz

    2011-01-01

    The transient receptor potential (TRP) multigene superfamily encodes integral membrane proteins that function as ion channels. Members of this family are conserved in yeast, invertebrates and vertebrates. The TRP family is subdivided into seven subfamilies: TRPC (canonical), TRPV (vanilloid), TRPM (melastatin), TRPP (polycystin), TRPML (mucolipin), TRPA (ankyrin) and TRPN (NOMPC-like); the latter is found only in invertebrates and fish. TRP ion channels are widely expressed in many different tissues and cell types, where they are involved in diverse physiological processes, such as sensation of different stimuli or ion homeostasis. Most TRPs are non-selective cation channels, only few are highly Ca2+ selective, some are even permeable for highly hydrated Mg2+ ions. This channel family shows a variety of gating mechanisms, with modes of activation ranging from ligand binding, voltage and changes in temperature to covalent modifications of nucleophilic residues. Activated TRP channels cause depolarization of the cellular membrane, which in turn activates voltage-dependent ion channels, resulting in a change of intracellular Ca2+ concentration; they serve as gatekeeper for transcellular transport of several cations (such as Ca2+ and Mg2+), and are required for the function of intracellular organelles (such as endosomes and lysosomes). Because of their function as intracellular Ca2+ release channels, they have an important regulatory role in cellular organelles. Mutations in several TRP genes have been implicated in diverse pathological states, including neurodegenerative disorders, skeletal dysplasia, kidney disorders and pain, and ongoing research may help find new therapies for treatments of related diseases. PMID:21401968

  11. Calcium-permeable ion channels in the kidney.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Yiming; Greka, Anna

    2016-06-01

    Calcium ions (Ca(2+)) are crucial for a variety of cellular functions. The extracellular and intracellular Ca(2+) concentrations are thus tightly regulated to maintain Ca(2+) homeostasis. The kidney, one of the major organs of the excretory system, regulates Ca(2+) homeostasis by filtration and reabsorption. Approximately 60% of the Ca(2+) in plasma is filtered, and 99% of that is reabsorbed by the kidney tubules. Ca(2+) is also a critical signaling molecule in kidney development, in all kidney cellular functions, and in the emergence of kidney diseases. Recently, studies using genetic and molecular biological approaches have identified several Ca(2+)-permeable ion channel families as important regulators of Ca(2+) homeostasis in kidney. These ion channel families include transient receptor potential channels (TRP), voltage-gated calcium channels, and others. In this review, we provide a brief and systematic summary of the expression, function, and pathological contribution for each of these Ca(2+)-permeable ion channels. Moreover, we discuss their potential as future therapeutic targets. PMID:27029425

  12. Equilibrium selectivity alone does not create K+-selective ion conduction in K+ channels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Shian; Lockless, Steve W.

    2013-11-01

    Potassium (K+) channels are selective for K+ over Na+ ions during their transport across membranes. We and others have previously shown that tetrameric K+ channels are primarily occupied by K+ ions in their selectivity filters under physiological conditions, demonstrating the channel’s intrinsic equilibrium preference for K+ ions. Based on this observation, we hypothesize that the preference for K+ ions over Na+ ions in the filter determines its selectivity during ion conduction. Here, we ask whether non-selective cation channels, which share an overall structure and similar individual ion-binding sites with K+ channels, have an ion preference at equilibrium. The variants of the non-selective Bacillus cereus NaK cation channel we examine are all selective for K+ over Na+ ions at equilibrium. Thus, the detailed architecture of the K+ channel selectivity filter, and not only its equilibrium ion preference, is fundamental to the generation of selectivity during ion conduction.

  13. Ion Channels and Signaling in the Pituitary Gland

    PubMed Central

    Stojilkovic, Stanko S.; Tabak, Joël; Bertram, Richard

    2010-01-01

    Endocrine pituitary cells are neuronlike; they express numerous voltage-gated sodium, calcium, potassium, and chloride channels and fire action potentials spontaneously, accompanied by a rise in intracellular calcium. In some cells, spontaneous electrical activity is sufficient to drive the intracellular calcium concentration above the threshold for stimulus-secretion and stimulus-transcription coupling. In others, the function of these action potentials is to maintain the cells in a responsive state with cytosolic calcium near, but below, the threshold level. Some pituitary cells also express gap junction channels, which could be used for intercellular Ca2+ signaling in these cells. Endocrine cells also express extracellular ligand-gated ion channels, and their activation by hypothalamic and intrapituitary hormones leads to amplification of the pacemaking activity and facilitation of calcium influx and hormone release. These cells also express numerous G protein-coupled receptors, which can stimulate or silence electrical activity and action potential-dependent calcium influx and hormone release. Other members of this receptor family can activate calcium channels in the endoplasmic reticulum, leading to a cell type-specific modulation of electrical activity. This review summarizes recent findings in this field and our current understanding of the complex relationship between voltage-gated ion channels, ligand-gated ion channels, gap junction channels, and G protein-coupled receptors in pituitary cells. PMID:20650859

  14. Ion Channels in Regulation of Neuronal Regenerative Activities

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Dongdong; Yu, Shan Ping; Wei, Ling

    2014-01-01

    The regeneration of the nervous system is achieved by the regrowth of damaged neuronal axons, the restoration of damaged nerve cells, and the generation of new neurons to replace those that have been lost. In the central nervous system the regenerative ability is limited by various factors including damaged oligodendrocytes that are essential for neuronal axon myelination, an emerging glial scar, and secondary injury in the surrounding areas. Stem cell transplantation therapy has been shown to be a promising approach to treating neurodegenerative diseases because of the regenerative capability of stem cells that secrete neurotrophic factors and give rise to differentiated progeny. However, some issues of stem cell transplantation, such as survival, homing, and efficiency of neural differentiation after transplantation, still need to be improved. Ion channels allow for the exchange of ions between the intra- and extracellular spaces or between the cytoplasm and organelles. These ion channels maintain the ion homeostasis in the brain and play a key role in regulating the physiological function of the nervous system and allowing the processing of neuronal signals. In seeking a potential strategy to enhance the efficacy of stem cell therapy in neurological and neurodegenerative diseases, this review briefly summarizes the roles of ion channels in cell proliferation, differentiation, migration, chemotropic axon guidance of growth cones and axon outgrowth after injury. PMID:24399572

  15. A parallel finite element simulator for ion transport through three-dimensional ion channel systems.

    PubMed

    Tu, Bin; Chen, Minxin; Xie, Yan; Zhang, Linbo; Eisenberg, Bob; Lu, Benzhuo

    2013-09-15

    A parallel finite element simulator, ichannel, is developed for ion transport through three-dimensional ion channel systems that consist of protein and membrane. The coordinates of heavy atoms of the protein are taken from the Protein Data Bank and the membrane is represented as a slab. The simulator contains two components: a parallel adaptive finite element solver for a set of Poisson-Nernst-Planck (PNP) equations that describe the electrodiffusion process of ion transport, and a mesh generation tool chain for ion channel systems, which is an essential component for the finite element computations. The finite element method has advantages in modeling irregular geometries and complex boundary conditions. We have built a tool chain to get the surface and volume mesh for ion channel systems, which consists of a set of mesh generation tools. The adaptive finite element solver in our simulator is implemented using the parallel adaptive finite element package Parallel Hierarchical Grid (PHG) developed by one of the authors, which provides the capability of doing large scale parallel computations with high parallel efficiency and the flexibility of choosing high order elements to achieve high order accuracy. The simulator is applied to a real transmembrane protein, the gramicidin A (gA) channel protein, to calculate the electrostatic potential, ion concentrations and I - V curve, with which both primitive and transformed PNP equations are studied and their numerical performances are compared. To further validate the method, we also apply the simulator to two other ion channel systems, the voltage dependent anion channel (VDAC) and α-Hemolysin (α-HL). The simulation results agree well with Brownian dynamics (BD) simulation results and experimental results. Moreover, because ionic finite size effects can be included in PNP model now, we also perform simulations using a size-modified PNP (SMPNP) model on VDAC and α-HL. It is shown that the size effects in SMPNP can

  16. Dysfunctional HCN ion channels in neurological diseases

    PubMed Central

    DiFrancesco, Jacopo C.; DiFrancesco, Dario

    2015-01-01

    Hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN) channels are expressed as four different isoforms (HCN1-4) in the heart and in the central and peripheral nervous systems. HCN channels are activated by membrane hyperpolarization at voltages close to resting membrane potentials and carry the hyperpolarization-activated current, dubbed If (funny current) in heart and Ih in neurons. HCN channels contribute in several ways to neuronal activity and are responsible for many important cellular functions, including cellular excitability, generation, and modulation of rhythmic activity, dendritic integration, transmission of synaptic potentials, and plasticity phenomena. Because of their role, defective HCN channels are natural candidates in the search for potential causes of neurological disorders in humans. Several data, including growing evidence that some forms of epilepsy are associated with HCN mutations, support the notion of an involvement of dysfunctional HCN channels in different experimental models of the disease. Additionally, some anti-epileptic drugs are known to modify the activity of the Ih current. HCN channels are widely expressed in the peripheral nervous system and recent evidence has highlighted the importance of the HCN2 isoform in the transmission of pain. HCN channels are also present in the midbrain system, where they finely regulate the activity of dopaminergic neurons, and a potential role of these channels in the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease has recently emerged. The function of HCN channels is regulated by specific accessory proteins, which control the correct expression and modulation of the neuronal Ih current. Alteration of these proteins can severely interfere with the physiological channel function, potentially predisposing to pathological conditions. In this review we address the present knowledge of the association between HCN dysfunctions and neurological diseases, including clinical, genetic, and physiopathological

  17. Small iminium ions block gramicidin channels in lipid bilayers.

    PubMed Central

    Hemsley, G; Busath, D

    1991-01-01

    Guanidinium and acetamidinium, when added to the bathing solution in concentrations of approximately 0.1M, cause brief blocks in the single channel potassium currents from channels formed in planar lipid bilayers by gramicidin A. Single channel lifetimes are not affected indicating that the channel structure is not modified by the blockers. Guanidinium block durations and interblock times are approximately exponential in distribution. Block frequencies increase with guanidinium concentration whereas block durations are unaffected. Increases in membrane potential cause an increase in block frequency as expected for a positively charged blocker but a decrease in block duration suggesting that the block is relieved when the blocker passes through the channel. At low pH, urea, formamide, and acetamide cause similar blocks suggesting that the protonated species of these molecules also block. Arginine and several amines do not block. This indicates that only iminium ions which are small enough to enter the channel can cause blocks in gramicidin channels. PMID:1712240

  18. Ion channel networks in the control of cerebral blood flow.

    PubMed

    Longden, Thomas A; Hill-Eubanks, David C; Nelson, Mark T

    2016-03-01

    One hundred and twenty five years ago, Roy and Sherrington made the seminal observation that neuronal stimulation evokes an increase in cerebral blood flow.(1) Since this discovery, researchers have attempted to uncover how the cells of the neurovascular unit-neurons, astrocytes, vascular smooth muscle cells, vascular endothelial cells and pericytes-coordinate their activity to control this phenomenon. Recent work has revealed that ionic fluxes through a diverse array of ion channel species allow the cells of the neurovascular unit to engage in multicellular signaling processes that dictate local hemodynamics.In this review we center our discussion on two major themes: (1) the roles of ion channels in the dynamic modulation of parenchymal arteriole smooth muscle membrane potential, which is central to the control of arteriolar diameter and therefore must be harnessed to permit changes in downstream cerebral blood flow, and (2) the striking similarities in the ion channel complements employed in astrocytic endfeet and endothelial cells, enabling dual control of smooth muscle from either side of the blood-brain barrier. We conclude with a discussion of the emerging roles of pericyte and capillary endothelial cell ion channels in neurovascular coupling, which will provide fertile ground for future breakthroughs in the field. PMID:26661232

  19. Ion channel voltage sensors: structure, function, and pathophysiology.

    PubMed

    Catterall, William A

    2010-09-23

    Voltage-gated ion channels generate electrical signals in species from bacteria to man. Their voltage-sensing modules are responsible for initiation of action potentials and graded membrane potential changes in response to synaptic input and other physiological stimuli. Extensive structure-function studies, structure determination, and molecular modeling are now converging on a sliding-helix mechanism for electromechanical coupling in which outward movement of gating charges in the S4 transmembrane segments catalyzed by sequential formation of ion pairs pulls the S4-S5 linker, bends the S6 segment, and opens the pore. Impairment of voltage-sensor function by mutations in Na+ channels contributes to several ion channelopathies, and gating pore current conducted by mutant voltage sensors in Na(V)1.4 channels is the primary pathophysiological mechanism in hypokalemic periodic paralysis. The emerging structural model for voltage sensor function opens the way to development of a new generation of ion-channel drugs that act on voltage sensors rather than blocking the pore. PMID:20869590

  20. Targeting ion channels for the treatment of autoimmune neuroinflammation

    PubMed Central

    Bittner, Stefan

    2013-01-01

    Pharmacological targeting of ion channels has long been recognized as an attractive strategy for the treatment of various diseases. Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disorder of the central nervous system with a prominent neurodegenerative component. A multitude of different cell types are involved in the complex pathophysiology of this disorder, including cells of the immune system (e.g. T and B lymphocytes and microglia), the neurovascular unit (e.g. endothelial cells and astrocytes) and the central nervous system (e.g. astrocytes and neurons). The pleiotropic expression and function of ion channels gives rise to the attractive opportunity of targeting different players and pathophysiological aspects of MS by the modulation of ion channel function in a cell-type and context-specific manner. We discuss the emerging knowledge about ion channels in the context of autoimmune neuroinflammation. While some pharmacological targets are at the edge of clinical translation, others have only recently been discovered and are still under investigation. Special focus is given to those candidates that could be attractive novel targets for future therapeutic approaches in neuroimmune autoinflammation. PMID:23997817

  1. Emergence of ion channel modal gating from independent subunit kinetics.

    PubMed

    Bicknell, Brendan A; Goodhill, Geoffrey J

    2016-09-01

    Many ion channels exhibit a slow stochastic switching between distinct modes of gating activity. This feature of channel behavior has pronounced implications for the dynamics of ionic currents and the signaling pathways that they regulate. A canonical example is the inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor (IP3R) channel, whose regulation of intracellular Ca(2+) concentration is essential for numerous cellular processes. However, the underlying biophysical mechanisms that give rise to modal gating in this and most other channels remain unknown. Although ion channels are composed of protein subunits, previous mathematical models of modal gating are coarse grained at the level of whole-channel states, limiting further dialogue between theory and experiment. Here we propose an origin for modal gating, by modeling the kinetics of ligand binding and conformational change in the IP3R at the subunit level. We find good agreement with experimental data over a wide range of ligand concentrations, accounting for equilibrium channel properties, transient responses to changing ligand conditions, and modal gating statistics. We show how this can be understood within a simple analytical framework and confirm our results with stochastic simulations. The model assumes that channel subunits are independent, demonstrating that cooperative binding or concerted conformational changes are not required for modal gating. Moreover, the model embodies a generally applicable principle: If a timescale separation exists in the kinetics of individual subunits, then modal gating can arise as an emergent property of channel behavior. PMID:27551100

  2. The influence of lipids on voltage-gated ion channels

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Qiu-Xing; Gonen, Tamir

    2012-01-01

    Voltage-gated ion channels are responsible for transmitting electrochemical signals in both excitable and non-excitable cells. Structural studies of voltage-gated potassium and sodium channels by X-ray crystallography have revealed atomic details on their voltage-sensor domains and pore domains, and were put in context of disparate mechanistic views on the voltage-driven conformational changes in these proteins. Functional investigation of voltage-gated channels in membranes, however, showcased a mechanism of lipid-dependent gating for voltage-gated channels, suggesting that the lipids play an indispensible and critical role in the proper gating of many of these channels. Structure determination of membrane-embedded voltage-gated ion channels appears to be the next frontier in fully addressing the mechanism by which the voltage sensor domains control channel opening. Currently electron crystallography is the only structural biology method in which a membrane protein of interest is crystallized within a complete lipid-bilayer mimicking the native environment of a biological membrane. At a sufficiently high resolution, an electron crystallographic structure could reveal lipids, the channel and their mutual interactions at the atomic level. Electron crystallography is therefore a promising avenue toward understanding how lipids modulate channel activation through close association with the voltage sensor domains. PMID:22483432

  3. Collective Diffusion Model for Ion Conduction through Microscopic Channels

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Yingting; Zhu, Fangqiang

    2013-01-01

    Ion conduction through microscopic channels is of central importance in both biology and nanotechnology. To better understand the current-voltage (I-V) dependence of ion channels, here we describe and prove a collective diffusion model that quantitatively relates the spontaneous ion permeation at equilibrium to the stationary ionic fluxes driven by small voltages. The model makes it possible to determine the channel conductance in the linear I-V range from equilibrium simulations without the application of a voltage. To validate the theory, we perform molecular-dynamics simulations on two channels—a conical-shaped nanopore and the transmembrane pore of an α-hemolysin—under both equilibrium and nonequilibrium conditions. The simulations reveal substantial couplings between the motions of cations and anions, which are effectively captured by the collective coordinate in the model. Although the two channels exhibit very different linear ranges in the I-V curves, in both cases the channel conductance at small voltages is in reasonable agreement with the prediction from the equilibrium simulation. The simulations also suggest that channel charges, rather than geometric asymmetry, play a more prominent role in current rectification. PMID:23442858

  4. Cooperation of Hydrophobic Gating, Knock-on Effect, and Ion Binding Determines Ion Selectivity in the p7 Channel.

    PubMed

    Padhi, Siladitya; Priyakumar, U Deva

    2016-05-19

    Ion channels selectively allow certain ions to pass through at much higher rates than others, and thereby modulate ionic concentrations across cell membranes. The current molecular dynamics study elucidates the intricate mechanisms that render ion selectivity to the viral channel p7 by employing free energy calculations. Free energy barriers of 5.4 and 19.4 kcal mol(-1) for K(+) and Ca(2+), respectively, explain the selectivity of the channel reported in experiments. Initially, the permeating ions encounter a hydrophobic barrier followed by stabilization in an ion-binding site. Electrostatic repulsion between the permeating ions propels one of the ions out of the binding site to complete the process of permeation. K(+) and Ca(2+) are seen to exhibit different modes of binding toward a ring of asparagine residues, which serves as the binding site. The findings illustrate how the overall selectivity of a channel can be achieved by a combination of subtle differences. PMID:27111292

  5. Application of ion-sensitive field effect transistors for ion channel screening.

    PubMed

    Walsh, Kenneth B; DeRoller, Nicholas; Zhu, Yihao; Koley, Goutam

    2014-04-15

    Cell-based screening assays are now widely used for identifying compounds that serve as ion channel modulators. However, instrumentation for the automated, real-time analysis of ion flux from clonal and primary cells is lacking. This study describes the initial development of an ion-sensitive field effect transistor (ISFET)-based screening assay for the acquisition of K(+) efflux data from cells cultured in multi-well plates. Silicon-based K(+)-sensitive ISFETs were tested for their electrical response to varying concentrations of KCl and were found to display a linear response relationship to KCl in the range of 10 µM-1 mM. The ISFETs, along with reference electrodes, were inserted into fast-flow chambers containing either human colonic T84 epithelial cells or U251-MG glioma cells. Application of the Ca(2+) ionophore A23187 (1 µM), to activate Ca(2+)-activated non-selective cation (NSC) channels (T84 cells) and large conductance Ca(2+)-activated K(+) (BK) channels (U251 cells), resulted in time-dependent increases in the extracellular K(+) concentration ([K(+)]o) as measured with the ISFETs. Treatment of the cells with blockers of either the NSC or BK channels, caused a strong inhibition of the A23187-induced increase in [K(+)]o. These results were consistent with ion current measurements obtained using the whole-cell arrangement of the patch clamp procedure. In addition, K(+) efflux data could be acquired in parallel from multiple cell chambers using the ISFET sensors. Given the non-invasive properties of the probes, the ISFET-based assay should be adaptable for screening ion channels in various cell types. PMID:24315877

  6. Protein 4.1 and the control of ion channels.

    PubMed

    Baines, Anthony J; Bennett, Pauline M; Carter, Edward W; Terracciano, Cesare

    2009-01-01

    The classical function of 4.1R in red blood cells is to contribute to the mechanochemical properties of the membrane by promoting the interaction between spectrin and actin. More recently, it has been recognized that 4.1R is required for the stable cell surface accumulation of a number of erythrocyte membrane proteins. 4.1R is one member of the mammalian 4.1 family - the others being 4.1N, 4.1G and 4.1B - and is expressed in many cell types other than erythrocytes. Recently we have examined the phenotype of hearts from 4.1R knockout mice. Although they had a generally normal morphology, these hearts exhibited bradycardia, and prolongation of both action potentials and QT intervals. Electrophysiological analysis revealed anomalies in a range of ion channel activities. In addition, the immunoreactivity of voltage-gated Na(+) channel NaV1.5 was reduced, indicating a role for 4.1R in the cellular accumulation of this ion channel. 4.1 proteins also have roles in the accumulation of at least two other classes of ion channel. In epithelia, 4.1 interacts with the store-operated channel TRPC4. In neurons, the ligand-gated channels GluR1 and GluR4 require 4.1 proteins for cell surface accumulation. The spectrum of transmembrane proteins that bind to 4.1 proteins overlaps with that of ankyrin. A hypothesis to investigate in the future is that differential regulation of 4.1 and ankyrins (e.g. by PIP(2)) allows highly selective control of cell surface accumulation and transport activity of a specific range of ion channels. PMID:19272819

  7. A gating mechanism of pentameric ligand-gated ion channels

    PubMed Central

    Calimet, Nicolas; Simoes, Manuel; Changeux, Jean-Pierre; Karplus, Martin; Taly, Antoine; Cecchini, Marco

    2013-01-01

    Pentameric ligand-gated ion channels (pLGICs) play a central role in intercellular communication in the nervous system and are involved in fundamental processes such as attention, learning, and memory. They are oligomeric protein assemblies that convert a chemical signal into an ion flux through the postsynaptic membrane, but the molecular mechanism of gating ions has remained elusive. Here, we present atomistic molecular dynamics simulations of the prokaryotic channels from Gloeobacter violaceus (GLIC) and Erwinia chrysanthemi (ELIC), whose crystal structures are thought to represent the active and the resting states of pLGICs, respectively, and of the eukaryotic glutamate-gated chloride channel from Caenorhabditis elegans (GluCl), whose open-channel structure was determined complexed with the positive allosteric modulator ivermectin. Structural observables extracted from the trajectories of GLIC and ELIC are used as progress variables to analyze the time evolution of GluCl, which was simulated in the absence of ivermectin starting from the structure with bound ivermectin. The trajectory of GluCl with ivermectin removed shows a sequence of structural events that couple agonist unbinding from the extracellular domain to ion-pore closing in the transmembrane domain. Based on these results, we propose a structural mechanism for the allosteric communication leading to deactivation/activation of the GluCl channel. This model of gating emphasizes the coupling between the quaternary twisting and the opening/closing of the ion pore and is likely to apply to other members of the pLGIC family. PMID:24043807

  8. The Tenth Annual Ion Channel Retreat, Vancouver, Canada, June 25–27, 2012

    PubMed Central

    Kimlicka, Lynn; Liang, Sophia; Brugger, Saranna; Liang, Dong

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Ten years after Aurora Biomed (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada) hosted the inaugural Ion Channel Retreat, this event is recognized as a leading conference for ion channel researchers. Held annually in Vancouver, this meeting consistently provides an outlet for researchers to share their findings while learning about new concepts, methods, and technologies. Researchers use this forum to discuss and debate a spectrum of topics from ion channel research and technology to drug discovery and safety. The Retreat covered key subjects in the ion channel industry, including ion channels as disease targets, transient receptor protein channels as pain and disease targets, ion channels as pain targets, ion channel structure and function, ion channel screening technologies, cardiac safety and toxicology, and cardiac function and pharmacology. PMID:23679851

  9. Ion fluxes through nanopores and transmembrane channels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bordin, J. R.; Diehl, A.; Barbosa, M. C.; Levin, Y.

    2012-03-01

    We introduce an implicit solvent Molecular Dynamics approach for calculating ionic fluxes through narrow nanopores and transmembrane channels. The method relies on a dual-control-volume grand-canonical molecular dynamics (DCV-GCMD) simulation and the analytical solution for the electrostatic potential inside a cylindrical nanopore recently obtained by Levin [Europhys. Lett.EULEEJ0295-507510.1209/epl/i2006-10240-4 76, 163 (2006)]. The theory is used to calculate the ionic fluxes through an artificial transmembrane channel which mimics the antibacterial gramicidin A channel. Both current-voltage and current-concentration relations are calculated under various experimental conditions. We show that our results are comparable to the characteristics associated to the gramicidin A pore, especially the existence of two binding sites inside the pore and the observed saturation in the current-concentration profiles.

  10. Role of TRP ion channels in cancer and tumorigenesis.

    PubMed

    Shapovalov, George; Ritaine, Abigael; Skryma, Roman; Prevarskaya, Natalia

    2016-05-01

    Transient receptor potential (TRP) channels are recently identified proteins that form a versatile family of ion channels, the majority of which are calcium permeable and exhibit complex regulatory patterns with sensitivity to multiple environmental factors. While this sensitivity has captured early attention, leading to recognition of TRP channels as environmental and chemical sensors, many later studies concentrated on the regulation of intracellular calcium by TRP channels. Due to mutations, dysregulation of ion channel gating or expression levels, normal spatiotemporal patterns of local Ca(2+) distribution become distorted. This causes deregulation of downstream effectors sensitive to changes in Ca(2+) homeostasis that, in turn, promotes pathophysiological cancer hallmarks, such as enhanced survival, proliferation and invasion. These observations give rise to the appreciation of the important contributions that TRP channels make to many cellular processes controlling cell fate and positioning these channels as important players in cancer regulation. This review discusses the accumulated scientific knowledge focused on TRP channel involvement in regulation of cell fate in various transformed tissues. PMID:26842901

  11. Voltage Sensor in Voltage-gated ion channels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bezanilla, Francisco

    2006-03-01

    Voltage-gated ion channels are intrinsic membrane proteins that play a fundamental role in the generation and propagation of the nerve impulse. Their salient characteristic is that the probability of the ion channel of being open depends steeply on the voltage across the membrane where those channels are inserted. Thus, in a membrane containing many channels, the ionic conductance is controlled by the membrane potential. The voltage exerts its control on the channel by reorienting intrinsic charges in the protein, generally arginine or lysine residues located in the 4th transmembrane segment of the channel protein, a region that has been called the voltage sensor. Upon changing the membrane potential, the charged groups reorient in the field generating a transient current (gating current). The properties of the gating current may be studied with a small number of channels to infer the operation of the sensor at the single molecule level by noise analysis or with a large number of channels to infer the details of the energy landscape the sensor traverses in opening the pore. This information is global in nature and cannot pinpoint the exact origin of the charge movement that generates the gating current. The movement of physical charges in the protein has been inferred with site-directed mutagenesis of the charged residues to histidine that allows the study of proton accessibility. The actual movement has been studied with fluorescence spectroscopy, fluorescence resonance energy transfer. The combined information of site-directed mutagenesis, gating currents, fluorescence studies and emerging crystal structures have started to delineate a physical representation of the conformational changes responsible for voltage sensing that lead to the opening of the conduction pore in voltage-gated ion channels.

  12. Molecular Dynamical Study on Ion Channeling through Peptide Nanotube

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sumiya, Norihito; Igami, Daiki; Takeda, Kyozaburo

    2011-12-01

    We theoretically study the possibility of ion channeling through peptide nanotubes (PNTs). After designing the minimal peptide nanorings (PNRs) and their aggregated form (peptide nanotubes, PNT) computationally, we carry out molecular dynamics (MD) calculations for cation channeling. The present MD calculations show that cation channeling through PNTs occurs. Furthermore, inter-ring hydrogen bonds (HBs) survive and maintain the tubular form of PNTs during cation channeling. We introduce mobility such that cation channeling can be evaluated quantitatively. As the ionic radius of the cation becomes smaller, the effective relaxation time τ becomes larger. Accordingly, mobilities of 10-2˜10-3[cm2/volt/sec] are calculated. In contrast, when an anion (F-) passes through the PNT, the inter-ring HBs are broken, thus inducing breakdown of the peptide backbone. Consequently, H atoms from the broken HBs surround the channeling anion (F-) and halt its motion.

  13. Potassium ion channels and allergic asthma.

    PubMed

    Kocmalova, M; Oravec, M; Adamkov, M; Sadlonova, V; Kazimierova, I; Medvedova, I; Joskova, M; Franova, S; Sutovska, M

    2015-01-01

    High-conductive calcium-sensitive potassium channels (BK+Ca) and ATP-sensitive potassium (K+ATP) channels play a significant role in the airway smooth muscle cell and goblet cell function, and cytokine production. The present study evaluated the therapeutic potential of BK+Ca and K+ATP openers, NS 1619 and pinacidil, respectively, in an experimental model of allergic inflammation. Airway allergic inflammation was induced with ovalbumine in guinea pigs during 21 days, which was followed by a 14-day treatment with BK+Ca and K+ATP openers. The outcome measures were airway smooth muscle cells reactivity in vivo and in vitro, cilia beating frequency and the level of exhaled NO (ENO), and the level of pro-inflammatory cytokines in the plasma and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. The openers of both channels decreased airway smooth muscle cells reactivity, cilia beating frequency, and cytokine levels in the serum. Furthermore, NS1619 reduced ENO and inflammatory cells infiltration. The findings confirmed the presence of beneficial effects of BK+Ca and K+ATP openers on airway defence mechanisms. Although both openers dampened pro-inflammatory cytokines and mast cells infiltration, an evident anti-inflammatory effect was provided only by NS1619. Therefore, we conclude that particularly BK+Ca channels represent a promising new drug target in treatment of airway's allergic inflammation. PMID:25315623

  14. Ion channels modulating mouse dendritic cell functions.

    PubMed

    Matzner, Nicole; Zemtsova, Irina M; Nguyen, Thi Xuan; Duszenko, Michael; Shumilina, Ekaterina; Lang, Florian

    2008-11-15

    Ca(2+)-mediated signal transduction pathways play a central regulatory role in dendritic cell (DC) responses to diverse Ags. However, the mechanisms leading to increased [Ca(2+)](i) upon DC activation remained ill-defined. In the present study, LPS treatment (100 ng/ml) of mouse DCs resulted in a rapid increase in [Ca(2+)](i), which was due to Ca(2+) release from intracellular stores and influx of extracellular Ca(2+) across the cell membrane. In whole-cell voltage-clamp experiments, LPS-induced currents exhibited properties similar to the currents through the Ca(2+) release-activated Ca(2+) channels (CRAC). These currents were highly selective for Ca(2+), exhibited a prominent inward rectification of the current-voltage relationship, and showed an anomalous mole fraction and a fast Ca(2+)-dependent inactivation. In addition, the LPS-induced increase of [Ca(2+)](i) was sensitive to margatoxin and ICAGEN-4, both inhibitors of voltage-gated K(+) (Kv) channels Kv1.3 and Kv1.5, respectively. MHC class II expression, CCL21-dependent migration, and TNF-alpha and IL-6 production decreased, whereas phagocytic capacity increased in LPS-stimulated DCs in the presence of both Kv channel inhibitors as well as the I(CRAC) inhibitor SKF-96365. Taken together, our results demonstrate that Ca(2+) influx in LPS-stimulated DCs occurs via Ca(2+) release-activated Ca(2+) channels, is sensitive to Kv channel activity, and is in turn critically important for DC maturation and functions. PMID:18981098

  15. Redox Regulation of Ion Channels in the Pulmonary Circulation

    PubMed Central

    Weir, Edward Kenneth

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Significance: The pulmonary circulation is a low-pressure, low-resistance, highly compliant vasculature. In contrast to the systemic circulation, it is not primarily regulated by a central nervous control mechanism. The regulation of resting membrane potential due to ion channels is of integral importance in the physiology and pathophysiology of the pulmonary vasculature. Recent Advances: Redox-driven ion conductance changes initiated by direct oxidation, nitration, and S-nitrosylation of the cysteine thiols and indirect phosphorylation of the threonine and serine residues directly affect pulmonary vascular tone. Critical Issues: Molecular mechanisms of changes in ion channel conductance, especially the identification of the sites of action, are still not fully elucidated. Future Directions: Further investigation of the interaction between redox status and ion channel gating, especially the physiological significance of S-glutathionylation and S-nitrosylation, could result in a better understanding of the physiological and pathophysiological importance of these mediators in general and the implications of such modifications in cellular functions and related diseases and their importance for targeted treatment strategies. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 22, 465–485. PMID:24702125

  16. 50 years of ion channeling in materials science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vantomme, André

    2016-03-01

    In the early days of ion beam analysis, i.e. the early 60s, channeling was discovered and brought to maturity via a combined effort in experimental, computational and theoretical research. It was soon realized that the probability for nuclear interaction (such as nuclear scattering, nuclear reactions, ionization followed by X-ray emission…) would significantly decrease when steering the ion beam along a crystallographic direction of a single crystal. Hence, this effect would be optimally suited to investigate a wide range of materials properties related to their crystal structure, such as defects, elastic strain, the lattice site of impurities, as well as phonon-related properties. In this paper, I will briefly review some of the pioneering work, which led to the discovery and theoretical understanding of ion channeling. Subsequently, a number of applications will be discussed where the strength of the ion beam analysis technique allows deducing information which is often hardly (or not) attainable by other techniques. Throughout the paper, I will reflect on the future of channeling in materials research, and pay special attention to potential pitfalls, challenges and opportunities.

  17. Multi-ion free energy landscapes underscore the microscopic mechanism of ion selectivity in the KcsA channel.

    PubMed

    Medovoy, David; Perozo, Eduardo; Roux, Benoît

    2016-07-01

    Potassium (K(+)) channels are transmembrane proteins that passively and selectively allow K(+) ions to flow through them, after opening in response to an external stimulus. One of the most critical functional aspects of their function is their ability to remain very selective for K(+) over Na(+) while allowing high-throughput ion conduction at a rate close to the diffusion limit. Classically, it is assumed that the free energy difference between K(+) and Na(+) in the pore relative to the bulk solution is the critical quantity at the origin of selectivity. This is the thermodynamic view of ion selectivity. An alternative view assumes that kinetic factors play the dominant role. Recent results from a number of studies have also highlighted the great importance of the multi-ion single file on the selectivity of K(+) channels. The data indicate that having multiple K(+) ions bound simultaneously is required for selective K(+) conduction, and that a reduction in the number of bound K(+) ions destroys the multi-ion selectivity mechanism utilized by K(+) channels. In the present study, multi-ion potential of mean force molecular dynamics computations are carried out to clarify the mechanism of ion selectivity in the KcsA channel. The computations show that the multi-ion character of the permeation process is a critical element for establishing the selective ion conductivity through K(+)-channels. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Membrane Proteins edited by J.C. Gumbart and Sergei Noskov. PMID:26896693

  18. Multi-ion free energy landscapes underscore the microscopic mechanism of ion selectivity in the KcsA channel

    PubMed Central

    Medovoy, David; Perozo, Eduardo; Roux, Benoît

    2016-01-01

    Potassium (K+) channels are transmembrane proteins that passively and selectively allow K+ ions to flow through them, after opening in response to an external stimulus. One of the most critical functional aspects of their function is their ability to remain very selective for K+ over Na+ while allowing high-throughput ion conduction at a rate close to the diffusion limit. Classically, it is assumed that the free energy difference between K+ and Na+ in the pore relative to the bulk solution is the critical quantity at the origin of selectivity. This is the thermodynamic view of ion selectivity. An alternative view assumes that kinetic factor play the dominant role. Recent results from a number of studies have also highlighted the great importance of the multi-ion single file on the selectivity of K+ channels. The data indicate that having multiple K+ ions bound simultaneously is required for selective K+ conduction, and that a reduction in the number of bound K+ ions destroys the multi-ion selectivity mechanism utilized by K+ channels. In the present study, multi-ion potential of mean force molecular dynamics computations are carried out to clarify the mechanism of ion selectivity in the KcsA channel. The computations show that the multi-ion character of the permeation process is a critical element for establishing the selective ion conductivity through K+-channels. PMID:26896693

  19. Apocalmodulin Itself Promotes Ion Channel Opening and Ca2+ Regulation

    PubMed Central

    Adams, Paul J.; Ben-Johny, Manu; Dick, Ivy E.; Inoue, Takanari; Yue, David T.

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY The Ca2+-free form of calmodulin (apoCaM) often appears inert, modulating target molecules only upon conversion to its Ca2+-bound form. This schema has appeared to govern voltage-gated Ca2+ channels, where apoCaM has been considered a dormant Ca2+ sensor, associated with channels, but awaiting the binding of Ca2+ ions before inhibiting channel opening to provide vital feedback inhibition. Using single-molecule measurements of channels and chemical dimerization to elevate apoCaM, we find that apoCaM binding on its own markedly upregulates opening, rivaling the strongest forms of modulation. Upon Ca2+ binding to this CaM, inhibition may simply reverse the initial upregulation. As RNA edited and spliced channel variants show different affinities for apoCaM, the apoCaM-dependent control mechanisms may underlie the functional diversity of these variants and explain an elongation of neuronal action potentials by apoCaM. More broadly, voltage-gated Na channels adopt this same modulatory principle. ApoCaM thus imparts potent and pervasive ion-channel regulation. PMID:25417111

  20. Scorpion venom components that affect ion-channels function

    PubMed Central

    Quintero-Hernández, V.; Jiménez-Vargas, J.M.; Gurrola, G.B.; Valdivia, H.H.F.; Possani, L.D.

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY The number and types of venom components that affect ion-channel function are reviewed. These are the most important venom components responsible for human intoxication, deserving medical attention, often requiring the use of specific anti-venoms. Special emphasis is given to peptides that recognize Na+-, K+- and Ca++-channels of excitable cells. Knowledge generated by direct isolation of peptides from venom and components deduced from cloned genes, whose amino acid sequences are deposited into databanks are now adays in the order of 1.5 thousands, out of an estimate biodiversity closed to 300,000. Here the diversity of components is briefly reviewed with mention to specific references. Structural characteristic are discussed with examples taken from published work. The principal mechanisms of action of the three different types of peptides are also reviewed. Na+-channel specific venom components usually are modifier of the open and closing kinetic mechanisms of the ion-channels, whereas peptides affecting K+-channels are normally pore blocking agents. The Ryanodine Ca++-channel specific peptides are known for causing sub-conducting stages of the channels conductance and some were shown to be able to internalize penetrating inside the muscle cells. PMID:23891887

  1. Asymmetric ion transport through ion-channel-mimetic solid-state nanopores.

    PubMed

    Guo, Wei; Tian, Ye; Jiang, Lei

    2013-12-17

    Both scientists and engineers are interested in the design and fabrication of synthetic nanofluidic architectures that mimic the gating functions of biological ion channels. The effort to build such structures requires interdisciplinary efforts at the intersection of chemistry, materials science, and nanotechnology. Biological ion channels and synthetic nanofluidic devices have some structural and chemical similarities, and therefore, they share some common features in regulating the traverse ionic flow. In the past decade, researchers have identified two asymmetric ion transport phenomena in synthetic nanofluidic structures, the rectified ionic current and the net diffusion current. The rectified ionic current is a diode-like current-voltage response that occurs when switching the voltage bias. This phenomenon indicates a preferential direction of transport in the nanofluidic system. The net diffusion current occurs as a direct product of charge selectivity and is generated from the asymmetric diffusion through charged nanofluidic channels. These new ion transport phenomena and the elaborate structures that occur in biology have inspired us to build functional nanofluidic devices for both fundamental research and practical applications. In this Account, we review our recent progress in the design and fabrication of biomimetic solid-state nanofluidic devices with asymmetric ion transport behavior. We demonstrate the origin of the rectified ionic current and the net diffusion current. We also identify several influential factors and discuss how to build these asymmetric features into nanofluidic systems by controlling (1) nanopore geometry, (2) surface charge distribution, (3) chemical composition, (4) channel wall wettability, (5) environmental pH, (6) electrolyte concentration gradient, and (7) ion mobility. In the case of the first four features, we build these asymmetric features directly into the nanofluidic structures. With the final three, we construct

  2. Maximization of the rate of chloride conduction in the CFTR channel pore by ion-ion interactions.

    PubMed

    Gong, Xiandi; Linsdell, Paul

    2004-06-01

    Multi-ion pore behaviour has been identified in many Cl(-) channel types but its biophysical significance is uncertain. Here, we show that mutations in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) Cl(-) channel that disrupt anion-anion interactions within the pore are associated with drastically reduced single channel conductance. These results are consistent with models suggesting that rapid Cl(-) permeation in CFTR results from repulsive ion-ion interactions between Cl(-) ions bound concurrently inside the pore. Naturally occurring mutations that disrupt these interactions can result in cystic fibrosis. PMID:15130785

  3. Convergence of ion channel genome content in early animal evolution.

    PubMed

    Liebeskind, Benjamin J; Hillis, David M; Zakon, Harold H

    2015-02-24

    Multicellularity has evolved multiple times, but animals are the only multicellular lineage with nervous systems. This fact implies that the origin of nervous systems was an unlikely event, yet recent comparisons among extant taxa suggest that animal nervous systems may have evolved multiple times independently. Here, we use ancestral gene content reconstruction to track the timing of gene family expansions for the major families of ion-channel proteins that drive nervous system function. We find that animals with nervous systems have broadly similar complements of ion-channel types but that these complements likely evolved independently. We also find that ion-channel gene family evolution has included large loss events, two of which were immediately followed by rounds of duplication. Ctenophores, cnidarians, and bilaterians underwent independent bouts of gene expansion in channel families involved in synaptic transmission and action potential shaping. We suggest that expansions of these family types may represent a genomic signature of expanding nervous system complexity. Ancestral nodes in which nervous systems are currently hypothesized to have originated did not experience large expansions, making it difficult to distinguish among competing hypotheses of nervous system origins and suggesting that the origin of nerves was not attended by an immediate burst of complexity. Rather, the evolution of nervous system complexity appears to resemble a slow fuse in stem animals followed by many independent bouts of gene gain and loss. PMID:25675537

  4. Convergence of ion channel genome content in early animal evolution

    PubMed Central

    Liebeskind, Benjamin J.; Hillis, David M.; Zakon, Harold H.

    2015-01-01

    Multicellularity has evolved multiple times, but animals are the only multicellular lineage with nervous systems. This fact implies that the origin of nervous systems was an unlikely event, yet recent comparisons among extant taxa suggest that animal nervous systems may have evolved multiple times independently. Here, we use ancestral gene content reconstruction to track the timing of gene family expansions for the major families of ion-channel proteins that drive nervous system function. We find that animals with nervous systems have broadly similar complements of ion-channel types but that these complements likely evolved independently. We also find that ion-channel gene family evolution has included large loss events, two of which were immediately followed by rounds of duplication. Ctenophores, cnidarians, and bilaterians underwent independent bouts of gene expansion in channel families involved in synaptic transmission and action potential shaping. We suggest that expansions of these family types may represent a genomic signature of expanding nervous system complexity. Ancestral nodes in which nervous systems are currently hypothesized to have originated did not experience large expansions, making it difficult to distinguish among competing hypotheses of nervous system origins and suggesting that the origin of nerves was not attended by an immediate burst of complexity. Rather, the evolution of nervous system complexity appears to resemble a slow fuse in stem animals followed by many independent bouts of gene gain and loss. PMID:25675537

  5. Ion channels in mesenchymal stem cells from rat bone marrow.

    PubMed

    Li, Gui-Rong; Deng, Xiu-Ling; Sun, Haiying; Chung, Stephen S M; Tse, Hung-Fat; Lau, Chu-Pak

    2006-06-01

    Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) from bone marrow are believed to be an ideal cell source for cardiomyoplasty; however, cellular electrophysiology is not understood. The present study was designed to investigate ion channels in undifferentiated rat MSCs. It was found that three types of outward currents were present in rat MSCs, including a small portion of Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channel (I(KCa)) sensitive to inhibition by iberiotoxin and/or clotromazole, a delayed rectifier K(+) current (IK(DR)), and a transient outward K(+) current (I(to)). In addition, tetrodotoxin (TTX)-sensitive sodium current (I(Na.TTX)) and nifedipine-sensitive L-type Ca(2+) current (I(Ca.L)) were found in a small population of rat MSCs. Moreover, reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction revealed the molecular evidence of mRNA for the functional ionic currents, including Slo and KCNN4 for I(KCa); Kv1.4 for I(to); Kv1.2 and Kv2.1 for IK(DR); SCN2a1 for I(Na.TTX); and CCHL2a for I(Ca.L). These results demonstrate for the first time that multiple functional ion channel currents (i.e., I(KCa), I(to), IK(DR), I(Na.TTX), and I(Ca.L)) are present in rat MSCs from bone marrow; however, physiological roles of these ion channels remain to be studied. PMID:16484345

  6. Epithelial Sodium and Acid-Sensing Ion Channels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kellenberger, Stephan

    The epithelial Na+ channel (ENaC) and acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs) are non-voltage-gated Na+ channels that form their own subfamilies within the ENaC/degenerin ion channel family. ASICs are sensors of extracellular pH, and ENaC, whose main function is trans-epithelial Na+ transport, can sense extra- and intra-cellular Na+. In aldosterone-responsive epithelial cells of the kidney, ENaC plays a critical role in the control of sodium balance, blood volume and blood pressure. In airway epithelia, ENaC has a distinct role in controlling fluid reabsorption at the air-liquid interface, thereby determining the rate of mucociliary transport. In taste receptor cells of the tongue, ENaC is involved in salt taste sensation. ASICs have emerged as key sensors for extracellular protons in central and peripheral neurons. Although not all of their physiological and pathological functions are firmly established yet, there is good evidence for a role of ASICs in the brain in learning, expression of fear, and in neurodegeneration after ischaemic stroke. In sensory neurons, ASICs are involved in nociception and mechanosensation. ENaC and ASIC subunits share substantial sequence homology and the conservation of several functional domains. This chapter summarises our current understanding of the physiological functions and of the mechanisms of ion permeation, gating and regulation of ENaC and ASICs.

  7. Ion channels and transporters in tumour cell migration and invasion

    PubMed Central

    Schwab, Albrecht; Stock, Christian

    2014-01-01

    Cell migration is a central component of the metastatic cascade requiring a concerted action of ion channels and transporters (migration-associated transportome), cytoskeletal elements and signalling cascades. Ion transport proteins and aquaporins contribute to tumour cell migration and invasion among other things by inducing local volume changes and/or by modulating Ca2+ and H+ signalling. Targeting cell migration therapeutically bears great clinical potential, because it is a prerequisite for metastasis. Ion transport proteins appear to be attractive candidate target proteins for this purpose because they are easily accessible as membrane proteins and often overexpressed or activated in cancer. Importantly, a number of clinically widely used drugs are available whose anticipated efficacy as anti-tumour drugs, however, has now only begun to be evaluated. PMID:24493750

  8. Allosteric regulation of pentameric ligand-gated ion channels

    PubMed Central

    Taly, Antoine; Hénin, Jérôme; Changeux, Jean-Pierre; Cecchini, Marco

    2014-01-01

    Pentameric ligand-gated ion channels (pLGICs) play a central role in intercellular communications in the nervous system by converting the binding of a chemical messenger—a neurotransmitter—into an ion flux through the postsynaptic membrane. They are oligomeric assemblies that provide prototypical examples of allosterically regulated integral membrane proteins. Here, we present an overview of the most recent advances on the signal transduction mechanism based on the X-ray structures of both prokaryotic and invertebrate eukaryotic pLGICs and on atomistic Molecular Dynamics simulations. The present results suggest that ion gating involves a large structural reorganization of the molecule mediated by two distinct quaternary transitions, a global twisting and the blooming of the extracellular domain, which can be modulated by ligand binding at the topographically distinct orthosteric and allosteric sites. The emerging model of gating is consistent with a wealth of functional studies and will boost the development of novel pharmacological strategies. PMID:25478624

  9. Structural mechanisms underlying the function of epithelial sodium channel/acid-sensing ion channel

    PubMed Central

    Carattino, Marcelo D.

    2013-01-01

    Purpose of review The epithelial sodium channel/degenerin family encompasses a group of cation-selective ion channels that are activated or modulated by a variety of extracellular stimuli. This review describes findings that provide new insights into the molecular mechanisms that control the function of these channels. Recent findings Epithelial sodium channels facilitate Na+ reabsorption in the distal nephron and hence have a role in fluid volume homeostasis and arterial blood pressure regulation. Acid-sensing ion channels are broadly distributed in the nervous system where they contribute to the sensory processes. The atomic structure of acid-sensing ion channel 1 illustrates the complex trimeric architecture of these proteins. Each subunit has two transmembrane spanning helices, a highly organized ectodomain and intracellular N-terminus and C-terminus. Recent findings have begun to elucidate the structural elements that allow these channels to sense and respond to extracellular factors. This review emphasizes the roles of the extracellular domain in sensing changes in the extracellular milieu and of the residues in the extracellular–transmembrane domains interface in coupling extracellular changes to the pore of the channel. Summary Epithelial sodium channels and acid-sensing ion channels have evolved to sense extracellular cues. Future research should be directed toward elucidating how changes triggered by extracellular factors translate into pore opening and closing events. PMID:21709553

  10. Temporal evolution of helix hydration in a light-gated ion channel correlates with ion conductance

    PubMed Central

    Lórenz-Fonfría, Víctor A.; Bamann, Christian; Resler, Tom; Schlesinger, Ramona; Bamberg, Ernst; Heberle, Joachim

    2015-01-01

    The discovery of channelrhodopsins introduced a new class of light-gated ion channels, which when genetically encoded in host cells resulted in the development of optogenetics. Channelrhodopsin-2 from Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, CrChR2, is the most widely used optogenetic tool in neuroscience. To explore the connection between the gating mechanism and the influx and efflux of water molecules in CrChR2, we have integrated light-induced time-resolved infrared spectroscopy and electrophysiology. Cross-correlation analysis revealed that ion conductance tallies with peptide backbone amide I vibrational changes at 1,665(−) and 1,648(+) cm−1. These two bands report on the hydration of transmembrane α-helices as concluded from vibrational coupling experiments. Lifetime distribution analysis shows that water influx proceeded in two temporally separated steps with time constants of 10 μs (30%) and 200 μs (70%), the latter phase concurrent with the start of ion conductance. Water efflux and the cessation of the ion conductance are synchronized as well, with a time constant of 10 ms. The temporal correlation between ion conductance and hydration of helices holds for fast (E123T) and slow (D156E) variants of CrChR2, strengthening its functional significance. PMID:26460012

  11. Mn ions pass through calcium channels. A possible explanation

    PubMed Central

    1983-01-01

    The divalent transition-metal cations Fe, Co, and Ni were used to test the hypothesis that Mn ions pass through calcium channels because Mn ions have a relatively low energy of hydration. The test ions were applied to the bath and comparisons were made of their effects on Ca or Mn spikes elicited from myoepithelial cells of the proventriculus of the polychaete worm Syllis spongiphila. Control experiments showed that (a) results obtained using deoxygenated solutions (required to stabilize Fe2+ ions) could be compared with those using solutions containing oxygen, and (b) the test cations did not measurably affect the electrical coupling between cells. Ca spikes were reversibly abolished by the test cations in the order of effectiveness: Fe (16.1 mM +/- 1.0, SE; n = 15) = Co (14.6 mM +/- 0.8; n = 27) less than Ni (8.3 mM +/- 0.7; n = 16). The test cations diminished Mn spikes by decreasing maximum rates of rise (Fe = Co less than Ni) and overshoot amplitudes (Fe less than Co less than Ni). The test cations also increased the current intensity required for Ca (Fe = Co less than Ni) or Mn spike initiation (Fe less than Co less than Ni). Since the energies of hydration of Fe, Co, and Ni increase stepwise from that of Mn, and the effectiveness of these ions in diminishing Ca and Mn spikes increased in the order Fe less than or equal to Co less than Ni, these data support the hypothesis that Mn ions pass through Ca channels because they shed waters of hydration relatively easily. An additional observation was that, at below-blocking concentrations, the test cations caused decreased duration of Mn spikes and increased duration of Ca spikes. PMID:6308126

  12. Synthetic ion channels: from pores to biological applications.

    PubMed

    Gokel, George W; Negin, Saeedeh

    2013-12-17

    In this Account, we describe the development of several diverse families of synthetic, membrane-active amphiphiles that form pores and facilitate transport within membrane bilayers. For the most part, the compounds are amphiphiles that insert into the bilayer and form pores either on their own or by self-assembly. The first family of synthetic ion channels prepared in our lab, the hydraphiles, used crown ethers as head groups and as a polar central element. In a range of biophysical studies, we showed that the hydraphiles formed unimolecular pores that spanned the bilayer. They mediated the transport of Na(+) and K(+) but were blocked by Ag(+). The hydraphiles are nonrectifying and disrupt ion homeostasis. As a result, these synthetic ion channels are toxic to various bacteria and yeast, a feature that has been used therapeutically in direct injection chemotherapy. We also developed a family of amphiphilic heptapeptide ion transporters that selected Cl(-) >10-fold over K(+) and showed voltage dependent gating. The formed pores were approximately dimeric, and variations in the N- and C-terminal anchor chains and the acids affected transport rates. Surprisingly, the longer N-terminal anchor chains led to less transport but greater Cl(-) selectivity. A proline residue, which is present in the ClC protein channel's conductance pore, proved to be critical for Cl(-) transport selectivity. Pyrogallol[4]arenes are macrocycles formed by acid-catalyzed condensation of four 1,2,3- trihydroxybenzenes with four aldehydes. The combination of 12 hydroxyl groups on one face of the macrocycle and four pendant alkyl chains conferred considerable amphiphilicity to these compounds. The pyrogallol[4]arenes inserted into bilayer membranes and conducted ions. Based on our experimental evidence, the ions passed through a self-assembled pore comprising four or five amphiphiles rather than passing through the central opening of a single macrocycle. Pyrogallol[4]arenes constructed with

  13. The effect of ions, ion channel blockers, and ionophores on uptake of vitellogenin into cockroach follicles.

    PubMed

    Kindle, H; Lanzrein, B; Kunkel, J G

    1990-12-01

    Since calcium plays an important role in vitellogenin binding and uptake in Nauphoeta cinerea and because calcium channels have been described in follicles of this species, we investigated the effect of various ions, ionophores, and ion channel blockers on vitellogenin uptake in vitro. Calcium significantly stimulated vitellogenin uptake; this effect could be substituted best by barium and less well by strontium and magnesium. The stimulatory effect of calcium, and to a certain extent also that of barium, was dependent on the vitellogenin concentration, whereas the effect of strontium and magnesium was not. In the presence of calcium, vitellogenin uptake was inhibited by barium, strontium, and magnesium as well as by the transition elements nickel, cobalt, and zinc, but not by manganese which had a stimulatory effect. Valinomycin, verapamil, tetraethylammonium, and atropine reduced vitellogenin uptake, while amiloride and ouabain were ineffective. Our results indicate that calcium inward (and possibly potassium outward) fluxes play an important role in vitellogenin uptake. PMID:2257971

  14. Pressure effects on stopping power of solids for channeled ions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pathak, A. P.; Cruz, S. A.; Soullard, J.

    2005-01-01

    Pressure effects on the energy loss of swift channeled ions through silicon are considered. This is accomplished by estimating the changes in orbital charge densities and the corresponding mean ionization potentials, induced by increasing pressure. The bulk density for the compressed material is obtained from available experimental information on the corresponding equation of state for pressures up to 11.3 GPa, beyond which a structural phase transformation occurs. The high pressure is simulated by first caging the individual Si atom in a small spherical volume V and estimated as P=-partial derivative E/partial derivative V, where E is the total electronic energy for a particular confinement volume. The energy is selfconsistently calculated through a recently developed shell-wise version of the Thomas-Fermi-Dirac-Weizsacker density functional, which compares favorably with ab initio calculations on the basis of a cluster model where the Si atom is surrounded by neon (helium) atoms (in a molecular scheme). The resulting individual electronic shell charge densities are then averaged along planar channels to find the effective charge densities needed in the channeling energy loss calculations for channeled ions. The position dependence of the energy loss in the channels for the free and high-pressure case is calculated for 5 Me V protons and alpha particles along the (110) planar channels.

  15. Identification of the Energetic Plume Ion Escape Channel at Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, B. C.; Liemohn, M. W.; Fraenz, M.; Barabash, S.

    2013-12-01

    Mars lacks a global dipole magnetic field. The resulting induced magnetosphere arising from Mars' atmosphere's direct interaction with the solar wind differs significantly from that of Venus. The weak gravitational field of Mars creates scale heights so large that the exosphere extends out beyond the Induced Magnetosphere Boundary (IMB), where newly ionized exospheric oxygen is exposed to high speed shocked solar wind flow and the associated strong convective electric field (E). The weaker Interplanetary Magnetic Field (IMF) at Mars, combined with this strong electric field, should be expected to result in heavy pickup ions with gyroradii much larger than the radius of Mars. Test particle models and hybrid models have predicted that these pickup ions create an energetic plume of escaping planetary ions that may have a flux on the same order of magnitude as the flow of planetary ions down the central tail loss channel. This study presents an analysis of data from the Ion Mass Analyzer aboard European Space Agency's Mars Express (MEX) to identify the presence of this energetic ion plume. We searched through the time period when Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) was operating simultaneously with MEX, and selected hundreds of time intervals when IMF proxies from MGS show the convective electric field to be aligned with the orbit of MEX. We then examined plots of the MEX orbit during these intervals and selected times when MEX was positioned on the +E side of Mars and outside the nominal IMB. Finally, from these intervals we identified the cases in which oxygen ions were detected with energies above 2 keV. The result is a set of several direct measurements of the energetic plume.

  16. Crystal structure of a heterotetrameric NMDA receptor ion channel

    PubMed Central

    Karakas, Erkan; Furukawa, Hiro

    2014-01-01

    N -methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors belong to the family of ionotropic glutamate receptors, which mediate most excitatory synaptic transmission in mammalian brains. Calcium permeation triggered by activation of NMDA receptors is the pivotal event for initiation of neuronal plasticity. Here we show the crystal structure of the intact heterotetrameric GluN1/GluN2B NMDA receptor ion channel at 4 Å. The NMDA receptors are arranged as a dimer of GluN1-GluN2B heterodimers with the two-fold symmetry axis running through the entire molecule composed of an amino terminal domain (ATD), a ligand-binding domain (LBD), and a transmembrane domain (TMD). The ATD and LBD are much more highly packed in the NMDA receptors than non-NMDA receptors, which may explain why ATD regulates ion channel activity in NMDA receptors but not in non-NMDA receptors. PMID:24876489

  17. Automatable lipid bilayer formation for ion channel studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poulos, Jason L.; Bang, Hyunwoo; Jeon, Tae-Joon; Schmidt, Jacob J.

    2008-08-01

    Transmembrane proteins and ion channels are important drug targets and have been explored as single molecule sensors. For these proteins to function normally they must be integrated within lipid bilayers; however, the labor and skill required to create artificial lipid bilayers have the limited the possible applications utilizing these proteins. In order to reduce the complexity and cost of lipid bilayer formation and measurement, we have modified a previously published lipid bilayer formation technique using mechanically contacted monolayers so that the process is automatable, requiring minimal operator input. Measurement electronics are integrated with the fluid handling system, greatly reducing the time and operator feedback characteristically required of traditional bilayer experiments. To demonstrate the biological functionality of the resultant bilayers and the system's capabilities as a membrane platform, the ion channel gramicidin A was incorporated and measured with this system.

  18. Biomimetic Nanotubes Based on Cyclodextrins for Ion-Channel Applications.

    PubMed

    Mamad-Hemouch, Hajar; Ramoul, Hassen; Abou Taha, Mohammad; Bacri, Laurent; Huin, Cécile; Przybylski, Cédric; Oukhaled, Abdelghani; Thiébot, Bénédicte; Patriarche, Gilles; Jarroux, Nathalie; Pelta, Juan

    2015-11-11

    Biomimetic membrane channels offer a great potential for fundamental studies and applications. Here, we report the fabrication and characterization of short cyclodextrin nanotubes, their insertion into membranes, and cytotoxicity assay. Mass spectrometry and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy were used to confirm the synthesis pathway leading to the formation of short nanotubes and to describe their structural parameters in terms of length, diameter, and number of cyclodextrins. Our results show the control of the number of cyclodextrins threaded on the polyrotaxane leading to nanotube synthesis. Structural parameters obtained by electron microscopy are consistent with the distribution of the number of cyclodextrins evaluated by mass spectrometry from the initial polymer distribution. An electrophysiological study at single molecule level demonstrates the ion channel formation into lipid bilayers, and the energy penalty for the entry of ions into the confined nanotube. In the presence of nanotubes, the cell physiology is not altered. PMID:26471761

  19. Laser induced electron acceleration in an ion-channel guiding

    SciTech Connect

    Esmaeilzadeh, Mahdi; Taghavi, Amin; Hanifpour, Maryam

    2011-09-15

    Direct electron acceleration by a propagating laser pulse of circular polarization in an ion-channel guiding is studied by developing a relativistic three-dimensional single particle code. The electron chaotic dynamic is also studied using time series, power spectrum, and Liapunov exponent. It is found that the electron motion is regular (non-chaotic) for laser pulse with short time duration, while for long enough time duration, the electron motion may be chaotic. In the case of non-chaotic motion, the electron can gain and retain very high energy in the presence of ion-channel before reaching the steady-state, whereas in the case of chaotic motion, the electron gains energy and then loses it very rapidly in an unpredictable manner.

  20. Reactive derivatives of gramicidin enable light- and ion-modulated ion channels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Macrae, Michael X.; Blake, Steven; Mayer, Thomas; Mayer, Michael; Yang, Jerry

    2009-08-01

    Detection of chemical processes on a single molecule scale is the ultimate goal of sensitive analytical assays. We have explored methods to detect chemical analytes in solution using synthetic derivatives of gramicidin A (gA). We exploited the functional properties of an ion channel-forming peptideg--gA--to report changes in the local environment near the opening of these semi-synthetic nanopores upon exposure to specific external stimuli. These peptide-based nanosensors detect reaction-induced changes in the chemical or physical properties of functional groups presented at the opening of the pore. This paper discusses the development of gA-based sensors for detecting external factors such as metal ions in solution or for detecting specific wavelengths of light. We propose that gA-based ion channel sensors offer tremendous potential for ultra sensitive functional detection since a single chemical modification of each individual sensing element can lead to readily detectable changes in channel conductance.

  1. Non-equilibrium dynamics contribute to ion selectivity in the KcsA channel.

    PubMed

    Ngo, Van; Stefanovski, Darko; Haas, Stephan; Farley, Robert A

    2014-01-01

    The ability of biological ion channels to conduct selected ions across cell membranes is critical for the survival of both animal and bacterial cells. Numerous investigations of ion selectivity have been conducted over more than 50 years, yet the mechanisms whereby the channels select certain ions and reject others are not well understood. Here we report a new application of Jarzynski's Equality to investigate the mechanism of ion selectivity using non-equilibrium molecular dynamics simulations of Na(+) and K(+) ions moving through the KcsA channel. The simulations show that the selectivity filter of KcsA adapts and responds to the presence of the ions with structural rearrangements that are different for Na(+) and K(+). These structural rearrangements facilitate entry of K(+) ions into the selectivity filter and permeation through the channel, and rejection of Na(+) ions. A mechanistic model of ion selectivity by this channel based on the results of the simulations relates the structural rearrangement of the selectivity filter to the differential dehydration of ions and multiple-ion occupancy and describes a mechanism to efficiently select and conduct K(+). Estimates of the K(+)/Na(+) selectivity ratio and steady state ion conductance for KcsA from the simulations are in good quantitative agreement with experimental measurements. This model also accurately describes experimental observations of channel block by cytoplasmic Na(+) ions, the "punch through" relief of channel block by cytoplasmic positive voltages, and is consistent with the knock-on mechanism of ion permeation. PMID:24465882

  2. Ion channels go to Stockholm--this time as proteins.

    PubMed

    Miller, Christopher

    2003-12-18

    The 2003 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to two structural biologists, Roderick Mackinnon of Rockefeller University and Peter Agre of Johns Hopkins University, for their groundbreaking work on the structure and function of ion channels. In recognition of the outstanding impact that MacKinnon's work has had for neuroscience, Chris Miller traces MacKinnon's scientific path to the Nobel Prize. PMID:14687537

  3. Amino acid-sensing ion channels in plants

    SciTech Connect

    Spalding, Edgar P.

    2014-08-12

    The title of our project is “Amino acid-sensing ion channels in plants”. Its goals are two-fold: to determine the molecular functions of glutamate receptor-like (GLR) proteins, and to elucidate their biological roles (physiological or developmental) in plants. Here is our final technical report. We were highly successful in two of the three aims, modestly successful in the third.

  4. Role of Ion Channels in the Sperm Acrosome Reaction.

    PubMed

    Beltrán, Carmen; Treviño, Claudia L; Mata-Martínez, Esperanza; Chávez, Julio C; Sánchez-Cárdenas, Claudia; Baker, Mark; Darszon, Alberto

    2016-01-01

    The acrosome reaction (AR) is a unique exocytotic process where the acrosome, a single membrane-delimited specialized organelle, overlying the nucleus in the sperm head of many species, fuses with the overlying plasma membrane. This reaction, triggered by physiological inducers from the female gamete, its vicinity, or other stimuli, discharges the acrosomal content modifying the plasma membrane, incorporating the inner acrosomal membrane, and exposing it to the extracellular medium. The AR is essential for sperm-egg coat penetration, fusion with the eggs' plasma membrane, and fertilization. As in most exocytotic processes Ca(2+) is crucial for the AR, as well as intracellular pH and membrane potential changes. Thus, among the required processes needed for this reaction, ion permeability changes involving channels are pivotal. In spite of the key role ion channels play in the AR, their identity and regulation is not fully understood. Though molecular and pharmacological evidence indicates that various ionic channels participate during the AR, such as store-operated Ca(2+) channels and voltage-dependent Ca(2+) channels, whole cell patch clamp recordings have failed to detect some of them until now. Since sperm display a very high resistance and a minute cytoplasmic volume, very few channels are needed to achieve large membrane potential and concentration changes. Functional detection of few channels in the morphologically complex and tiny sperm poses technical problems, especially when their conductance is very small, as in the case of SOCs. Single channel recordings and novel fluorescence microscopy strategies will help to define the participation of ionic channels in the intertwined signaling network that orchestrates the AR. PMID:27194349

  5. Regulation of lysosomal ion homeostasis by channels and transporters.

    PubMed

    Xiong, Jian; Zhu, Michael X

    2016-08-01

    Lysosomes are the major organelles that carry out degradation functions. They integrate and digest materials compartmentalized by endocytosis, phagocytosis or autophagy. In addition to more than 60 hydrolases residing in the lysosomes, there are also ion channels and transporters that mediate the flux or transport of H(+), Ca(2+), Na(+), K(+), and Cl(-) across the lysosomal membranes. Defects in ionic exchange can lead to abnormal lysosome morphology, defective vesicle trafficking, impaired autophagy, and diseases such as neurodegeneration and lysosomal storage disorders. The latter are characterized by incomplete lysosomal digestion and accumulation of toxic materials inside enlarged intracellular vacuoles. In addition to degradation, recent studies have revealed the roles of lysosomes in metabolic pathways through kinases such as mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) and transcriptional regulation through calcium signaling molecules such as transcription factor EB (TFEB) and calcineurin. Owing to the development of new approaches including genetically encoded fluorescence probes and whole endolysosomal patch clamp recording techniques, studies on lysosomal ion channels have made remarkable progress in recent years. In this review, we will focus on the current knowledge of lysosome-resident ion channels and transporters, discuss their roles in maintaining lysosomal function, and evaluate how their dysfunction can result in disease. PMID:27430889

  6. Ion Channel Voltage Sensors: Structure, Function, and Pathophysiology

    PubMed Central

    Catterall, William A.

    2010-01-01

    Voltage-gated ion channels generate electrical signals in species from bacteria to man. Their voltage-sensing modules are responsible for initiation of action potentials and graded membrane potential changes in response to synaptic input and other physiological stimuli. Extensive structure-function studies, structure determination, and molecular modeling are now converging on a sliding-helix mechanism for electromechanical coupling in which outward movement of gating charges in the S4 transmembrane segments catalyzed by sequential formation of ion pairs pulls the S4-S5 linker, bends the S6 segment, and opens the pore. Impairment of voltage-sensor function by mutations in Na+ channels contributes to several ion channelopathies, and gating pore current conducted by mutant voltage sensors in NaV1.4 channels is the primary pathophysiological mechanism in Hypokalemic Periodic Paralysis. The emerging structural model for voltage sensor function opens the way to development of a new generation of ionchannel drugs that act on voltage sensors rather than blocking the pore. PMID:20869590

  7. Modeling negative ion defect migration through the gramicidin A channel.

    PubMed

    Nemukhin, Alexander V; Kaliman, Ilya A; Moskovsky, Alexander A

    2009-08-01

    The results of potential of mean force (PMF) calculations for the distinct stages of proton conduction through the gramicidin A channel, including proton migration, reorientation of the water file and negative ion defect migration, are presented. The negative ion defect migration mechanism was hypothesized in experimental studies but was not considered previously in molecular dynamics simulations. The model system consisted of the peptide chains constructed on the base of the structure PDBID:1JNO, the inner file of nine water molecules and external clusters of water molecules placed at both ends of the channel. Potential energy functions were computed with the CHARMM/PM6/TIP3P parameters. The results obtained for proton migration and water file reorientation are basically consistent with those reported previously by Pómès and Roux (Biophys J 82:2304, 2002) within the similar approach. For the newly considered mechanism of negative ion defect migration from the channel center to the end of the water file we obtain the energy 3.8 kcal mol(-1) which is not considerably different from the activation energy of water reorientation, 5.4 kcal mol(-1). Therefore this mechanism may principally compete for the rate-limiting step in proton conduction in gramicidin. PMID:19198898

  8. Organization of Ion Channels in the Myelinated Nerve Fiber

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Waxman, Stephen G.; Murdoch Ritchie, J.

    1985-06-01

    The functional organization of the mammalian myelinated nerve fiber is complex and elegant. In contrast to nonmyelinated axons, whose membranes have a relatively uniform structure, the mammalian myelinated axon exhibits a high degree of regional specialization that extends to the location of voltage-dependent ion channels within the axon membrane. Sodium and potassium channels are segregated into complementary membrane domains, with a distribution reflecting that of the overlying Schwann or glial cells. This complexity of organization has important implications for physiology and pathophysiology, particularly with respect to the development of myelinated fibers.

  9. Lipid bilayer array for simultaneous recording of ion channel activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hirano-Iwata, Ayumi; Nasu, Tomohiro; Oshima, Azusa; Kimura, Yasuo; Niwano, Michio

    2012-07-01

    This paper describes an array of stable and reduced-solvent bilayer lipid membranes (BLMs) formed in microfabricated silicon chips. BLMs were first vertically formed simultaneously and then turned 90° in order to realize a horizontal BLM array. Since the present BLMs are mechanically stable and robust, the BLMs survive this relatively tough process. Typically, a ˜60% yield in simultaneous BLM formation over 9 sites was obtained. Parallel recordings of gramicidin channel activities from different BLMs were demonstrated. The present system has great potential as a platform of BLM-based high throughput drug screening for ion channel proteins.

  10. Acid-sensing ion channels in pain and disease

    PubMed Central

    Wemmie, John A.; Taugher, Rebecca J.; Kreple, Collin J.

    2015-01-01

    Why do neurons sense extracellular acid? In large part, this question has driven increasing investigation on acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs) in the CNS and the peripheral nervous system for the past two decades. Significant progress has been made in understanding the structure and function of ASICs at the molecular level. Studies aimed at clarifying their physiological importance have suggested roles for ASICs in pain, neurological and psychiatric disease. This Review highlights recent findings linking these channels to physiology and disease. In addition, it discusses some of the implications for therapy and points out questions that remain unanswered. PMID:23783197

  11. From Toxins Targeting Ligand Gated Ion Channels to Therapeutic Molecules

    PubMed Central

    Nasiripourdori, Adak; Taly, Valérie; Grutter, Thomas; Taly, Antoine

    2011-01-01

    Ligand-gated ion channels (LGIC) play a central role in inter-cellular communication. This key function has two consequences: (i) these receptor channels are major targets for drug discovery because of their potential involvement in numerous human brain diseases; (ii) they are often found to be the target of plant and animal toxins. Together this makes toxin/receptor interactions important to drug discovery projects. Therefore, toxins acting on LGIC are presented and their current/potential therapeutic uses highlighted. PMID:22069709

  12. [Acid-Sensing Ion Channels (ASICs) in pain].

    PubMed

    Lingueglia, Eric

    2014-01-01

    The discovery of new drug targets represents a real opportunity for developing fresh strategies against pain. Ion channels are interesting targets because they are directly involved in the detection and the transmission of noxious stimuli by sensory fibres of the peripheral nervous system and by neurons of the spinal cord. Acid-Sensing Ion Channels (ASICs) have emerged as important players in the pain pathway. They are neuronal, voltage-independent depolarizing sodium channels activated by extracellular protons. The ASIC family comprises several subunits that need to associate into homo- or hetero-trimers to form a functional channel. The ASIC1 and ASIC3 isoforms are particularly important in sensory neurons, whereas ASIC1a, alone or in association with ASIC2, is essential in the central nervous system. The potent analgesic effects associated with their inhibition in animals (which can be comparable to those of morphine) and data suggesting a role in human pain illustrate the therapeutic potential of these channels. PMID:24948015

  13. Ion channel noise can explain firing correlation in auditory nerves.

    PubMed

    Moezzi, Bahar; Iannella, Nicolangelo; McDonnell, Mark D

    2016-10-01

    Neural spike trains are commonly characterized as a Poisson point process. However, the Poisson assumption is a poor model for spiking in auditory nerve fibres because it is known that interspike intervals display positive correlation over long time scales and negative correlation over shorter time scales. We have therefore developed a biophysical model based on the well-known Meddis model of the peripheral auditory system, to produce simulated auditory nerve fibre spiking statistics that more closely match the firing correlations observed in empirical data. We achieve this by introducing biophysically realistic ion channel noise to an inner hair cell membrane potential model that includes fractal fast potassium channels and deterministic slow potassium channels. We succeed in producing simulated spike train statistics that match empirically observed firing correlations. Our model thus replicates macro-scale stochastic spiking statistics in the auditory nerve fibres due to modeling stochasticity at the micro-scale of potassium channels. PMID:27480847

  14. The CFTR ion channel: gating, regulation, and anion permeation.

    PubMed

    Hwang, Tzyh-Chang; Kirk, Kevin L

    2013-01-01

    Cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) is an ATP-gated anion channel with two remarkable distinctions. First, it is the only ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter that is known to be an ion channel--almost all others function as transport ATPases. Second, CFTR is the only ligand-gated channel that consumes its ligand (ATP) during the gating cycle--a consequence of its enzymatic activity as an ABC transporter. We discuss these special properties of CFTR in the context of its evolutionary history as an ABC transporter. Other topics include the mechanisms by which CFTR gating is regulated by phosphorylation of its unique regulatory domain and our current view of the CFTR permeation pathway (or pore). Understanding these basic operating principles of the CFTR channel is central to defining the mechanisms of action of prospective cystic fibrosis drugs and to the development of new, rational treatment strategies. PMID:23284076

  15. Ion transport in a model gramicidin channel. Structure and thermodynamics.

    PubMed Central

    Roux, B; Karplus, M

    1991-01-01

    The potential of mean force for Na+ and K+ ions as a function of position in the interior of a periodic poly(L,D)-alanine model for the gramicidin beta-helix is calculated with a detailed atomic model and realistic interactions. The calculated free energy barriers are 4.5 kcal/mol for Na+ and 1.0 kcal/mol for K+. A decomposition of the free energy demonstrates that the water molecules make a significant contribution to the free energy of activation. There is an increase in entropy at the transition state associated with greater fluctuations. Analysis reveals that the free energy profile of ions in the periodic channel is controlled not by the large interaction energy involving the ion but rather by the weaker water-water, water-peptide and peptide-peptide hydrogen bond interactions. The interior of the channel retains much of the solvation properties of a liquid in its interactions with the cations. Of particular importance is the flexibility of the helix, which permits it to respond to the presence of an ion in a fluidlike manner. The distortion of the helix is local (limited to a few carbonyls) because the structure is too flexible to transmit a perturbation to large distances. The plasticity of the structure (i.e., the property to deform without generating a large energy stress) appears to be an essential factor in the transport of ions, suggesting that a rigid helix model would be inappropriate. Images FIGURE 1 FIGURE 10 PMID:1714305

  16. Ion channel recordings on an injection-molded polymer chip.

    PubMed

    Tanzi, Simone; Matteucci, Marco; Christiansen, Thomas Lehrmann; Friis, Søren; Christensen, Mette Thylstrup; Garnaes, Joergen; Wilson, Sandra; Kutchinsky, Jonatan; Taboryski, Rafael

    2013-12-21

    In this paper, we demonstrate recordings of the ion channel activity across the cell membrane in a biological cell by employing the so-called patch clamping technique on an injection-molded polymer microfluidic device. The findings will allow direct recordings of ion channel activity to be made using the cheapest materials and production platform to date and with the potential for very high throughput. The employment of cornered apertures for cell capture allowed the fabrication of devices without through holes and via a scheme comprising master origination by dry etching in a silicon substrate, electroplating in nickel and injection molding of the final part. The most critical device parameters were identified as the length of the patching capillary and the very low surface roughness on the inside of the capillary. The cross-sectional shape of the orifice was found to be less critical, as both rectangular and semicircular profiles seemed to have almost the same ability to form tight seals with cells with negligible leak currents. The devices were functionally tested using human embryonic kidney cells expressing voltage-gated sodium channels (Nav1.7) and benchmarked against a commercial state-of-the-art system for automated ion channel recordings. These experiments considered current-voltage (IV) relationships for activation and inactivation of the Nav1.7 channels and their sensitivity to a local anesthetic, lidocaine. Both IVs and lidocaine dose-response curves obtained from the injection-molded polymer device were in good agreement with data obtained from the commercial system. PMID:24154831

  17. Progress in Development of Improved Ion-Channel Biosensors

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nadeau, Jay L.; White, Victor E.; Maurer, Joshua A.; Dougherty, Dennis A.

    2008-01-01

    Further improvements have recently been made in the development of the devices described in Improved Ion-Channel Biosensors (NPO-30710), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 28, No. 10 (October 2004), page 30. As discussed in more detail in that article, these sensors offer advantages of greater stability, greater lifetime, and individual electrical addressability, relative to prior ion-channel biosensors. In order to give meaning to a brief description of the recent improvements, it is necessary to recapitulate a substantial portion of the text of the cited previous article. The figure depicts one sensor that incorporates the recent improvements, and can be helpful in understanding the recapitulated text, which follows: These sensors are microfabricated from silicon and other materials compatible with silicon. Typically, the sensors are fabricated in arrays in silicon wafers on glass plates. Each sensor in the array can be individually electrically addressed, without interference with its neighbors. Each sensor includes a well covered by a thin layer of silicon nitride, in which is made a pinhole for the formation of a lipid bilayer membrane. In one stage of fabrication, the lower half of the well is filled with agarose, which is allowed to harden. Then the upper half of the well is filled with a liquid electrolyte (which thereafter remains liquid) and a lipid bilayer is painted over the pinhole. The liquid contains a protein that forms an ion channel on top of the hardened agarose. The combination of enclosure in the well and support by the hardened agarose provides the stability needed to keep the membrane functional for times as long as days or even weeks. An electrode above the well, another electrode below the well, and all the materials between the electrodes together constitute a capacitor. What is measured is the capacitive transient current in response to an applied voltage pulse. One notable feature of this sensor, in comparison with prior such sensors, is a

  18. Regulation of CFTR ion channel gating by MgATP.

    PubMed

    Aleksandrov, A A; Riordan, J R

    1998-07-10

    Single channel currents of wild-type CFTR reconstituted in lipid bilayers were recorded to study the temperature dependence of channel gating between +20 degrees C and +40 degrees C. The opening of the channel was highly temperature dependent and required an activation energy of about 100 kJ/mol. Closing of the channel was only weakly temperature dependent with an activation energy close to that of diffusion in water. We found no significant difference in the free energy between the open and closed states. Most of the excess energy needed to activate channel opening is used to diminish the entropy of the open state. This structural reorganization is initiated by ATP binding followed by interconversion to the open channel structure as the CFTR-ATP-Mg complex passes to the transition state for hydrolysis. The energy of the CFTR-ATP-Mg interaction in the transition state is responsible for the CFTR ion channel opening rather than the energy of ATP hydrolysis. Channel closing is a diffusion limited process and does not require additional ATP binding. PMID:9684873

  19. Peptidomimetic Star Polymers for Targeting Biological Ion Channels.

    PubMed

    Chen, Rong; Lu, Derong; Xie, Zili; Feng, Jing; Jia, Zhongfan; Ho, Junming; Coote, Michelle L; Wu, Yingliang; Monteiro, Michael J; Chung, Shin-Ho

    2016-01-01

    Four end-functionalized star polymers that could attenuate the flow of ionic currents across biological ion channels were first de novo designed computationally, then synthesized and tested experimentally on mammalian K+ channels. The 4-arm ethylene glycol conjugate star polymers with lysine or a tripeptide attached to the end of each arm were specifically designed to mimic the action of scorpion toxins on K+ channels. Molecular dynamics simulations showed that the lysine side chain of the polymers physically occludes the pore of Kv1.3, a target for immuno-suppression therapy. Two of the compounds tested were potent inhibitors of Kv1.3. The dissociation constants of these two compounds were computed to be 0.1 μM and 0.7 μM, respectively, within 3-fold to the values derived from subsequent experiments. These results demonstrate the power of computational methods in molecular design and the potential of star polymers as a new infinitely modifiable platform for ion channel drug discovery. PMID:27007701

  20. The Concise Guide to Pharmacology 2013/14: Ion Channels

    PubMed Central

    Alexander, Stephen PH; Benson, Helen E; Faccenda, Elena; Pawson, Adam J; Sharman, Joanna L; Catterall, William A; Spedding, Michael; Peters, John A; Harmar, Anthony J

    2013-01-01

    The Concise Guide to PHARMACOLOGY 2013/14 provides concise overviews of the key properties of over 2000 human drug targets with their pharmacology, plus links to an open access knowledgebase of drug targets and their ligands (www.guidetopharmacology.org), which provides more detailed views of target and ligand properties. The full contents can be found at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bph.12444/full. Ion channels are one of the seven major pharmacological targets into which the Guide is divided, with the others being G protein-coupled receptors, ligand-gated ion channels, catalytic receptors, nuclear hormone receptors, transporters and enzymes. These are presented with nomenclature guidance and summary information on the best available pharmacological tools, alongside key references and suggestions for further reading. A new landscape format has easy to use tables comparing related targets. It is a condensed version of material contemporary to late 2013, which is presented in greater detail and constantly updated on the website www.guidetopharmacology.org, superseding data presented in previous Guides to Receptors and Channels. It is produced in conjunction with NC-IUPHAR and provides the official IUPHAR classification and nomenclature for human drug targets, where appropriate. It consolidates information previously curated and displayed separately in IUPHAR-DB and the Guide to Receptors and Channels, providing a permanent, citable, point-in-time record that will survive database updates. PMID:24528239

  1. Peptidomimetic Star Polymers for Targeting Biological Ion Channels

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Rong; Lu, Derong; Xie, Zili; Feng, Jing; Jia, Zhongfan; Ho, Junming; Coote, Michelle L.; Wu, Yingliang; Monteiro, Michael J.; Chung, Shin-Ho

    2016-01-01

    Four end-functionalized star polymers that could attenuate the flow of ionic currents across biological ion channels were first de novo designed computationally, then synthesized and tested experimentally on mammalian K+ channels. The 4-arm ethylene glycol conjugate star polymers with lysine or a tripeptide attached to the end of each arm were specifically designed to mimic the action of scorpion toxins on K+ channels. Molecular dynamics simulations showed that the lysine side chain of the polymers physically occludes the pore of Kv1.3, a target for immuno-suppression therapy. Two of the compounds tested were potent inhibitors of Kv1.3. The dissociation constants of these two compounds were computed to be 0.1 μM and 0.7 μM, respectively, within 3-fold to the values derived from subsequent experiments. These results demonstrate the power of computational methods in molecular design and the potential of star polymers as a new infinitely modifiable platform for ion channel drug discovery. PMID:27007701

  2. Peptides inhibitors of acid-sensing ion channels.

    PubMed

    Diochot, S; Salinas, M; Baron, A; Escoubas, P; Lazdunski, M

    2007-02-01

    Acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs) channels are proton-gated cationic channels mainly expressed in central and peripheric nervous system and related to the epithelial amiloride-sensitive Na(+) channels and to the degenerin family of ion channels. ASICs comprise four proteins forming functional channel subunits (ASIC1a, ASIC1b, ASIC2a, and ASIC3) and two proteins (ASIC2b and ASIC4) without yet known activators. Functional channels are activated by external pH variations ranging from pH(0.5) 6.8 to 4.0 and currents are characterized by either rapid kinetics of inactivation (ASIC1a, ASIC1b, ASIC3) or slow kinetics of inactivation (ASIC2a) and sometimes the presence of a plateau phase (ASIC3). ASIC1a and ASIC3, which are expressed in nociceptive neurons, have been implicated in inflammation and knockout mice studies support the role of ASIC3 in various pain processes. ASIC1a seems more related to synaptic plasticity, memory, learning and fear conditioning in the CNS. ASIC2a contributes to hearing in the cochlea, sour taste sensation, and visual transduction in the retina. The pharmacology of ASICs is limited to rather nonselective drugs such as amiloride, nonsteroid anti-inflammatory drugs, and neuropeptides. Recently, two peptides, PcTx1 and APETx2, isolated from a spider and a sea anemone, have been characterized as selective and high-affinity inhibitors for ASIC1a and ASIC3 channels, respectively. PcTx1 inhibits ASIC1a homomers with an affinity of 0.7 nM (IC(50)) without any effect on ASIC1a containing heteromers and thus helped to characterize ASIC1a homomeric channels in peripheric and central neurons. PcTx1 acts as a gating modifier since it shifts the channel from the resting to an inactivated state by increasing its affinity for H(+). APETx2 is less selective since it inhibits several ASIC3-containing channels (IC(50) from 63 nM to 2 microM) and to date its mode of action is unknown. Nevertheless, APETx2 structure is related to other sea anemone peptides, which

  3. Voltage-Gated Ion Channels in Cancer Cell Proliferation

    PubMed Central

    Rao, Vidhya R.; Perez-Neut, Mathew; Kaja, Simon; Gentile, Saverio

    2015-01-01

    Changes of the electrical charges across the surface cell membrane are absolutely necessary to maintain cellular homeostasis in physiological as well as in pathological conditions. The opening of ion channels alter the charge distribution across the surface membrane as they allow the diffusion of ions such as K+, Ca++, Cl−, Na+. Traditionally, voltage-gated ion channels (VGIC) are known to play fundamental roles in controlling rapid bioelectrical signaling including action potential and/or contraction. However, several investigations have revealed that these classes of proteins can also contribute significantly to cell mitotic biochemical signaling, cell cycle progression, as well as cell volume regulation. All these functions are critically important for cancer cell proliferation. Interestingly, a variety of distinct VGICs are expressed in different cancer cell types, including metastasis but not in the tissues from which these tumors were generated. Given the increasing evidence suggesting that VGIC play a major role in cancer cell biology, in this review we discuss the role of distinct VGIC in cancer cell proliferation and possible therapeutic potential of VIGC pharmacological manipulation. PMID:26010603

  4. The CFTR Ion Channel: Gating, Regulation, and Anion Permeation

    PubMed Central

    Hwang, Tzyh-Chang; Kirk, Kevin L.

    2013-01-01

    Cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) is an ATP-gated anion channel with two remarkable distinctions. First, it is the only ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter that is known to be an ion channel—almost all others function as transport ATPases. Second, CFTR is the only ligand-gated channel that consumes its ligand (ATP) during the gating cycle—a consequence of its enzymatic activity as an ABC transporter. We discuss these special properties of CFTR in the context of its evolutionary history as an ABC transporter. Other topics include the mechanisms by which CFTR gating is regulated by phosphorylation of its unique regulatory domain and our current view of the CFTR permeation pathway (or pore). Understanding these basic operating principles of the CFTR channel is central to defining the mechanisms of action of prospective cystic fibrosis drugs and to the development of new, rational treatment strategies. PMID:23284076

  5. Parameterization of ion channeling half-angles and minimum yields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doyle, Barney L.

    2016-03-01

    A MS Excel program has been written that calculates ion channeling half-angles and minimum yields in cubic bcc, fcc and diamond lattice crystals. All of the tables and graphs in the three Ion Beam Analysis Handbooks that previously had to be manually looked up and read from were programed into Excel in handy lookup tables, or parameterized, for the case of the graphs, using rather simple exponential functions with different power functions of the arguments. The program then offers an extremely convenient way to calculate axial and planar half-angles, minimum yields, effects on half-angles and minimum yields of amorphous overlayers. The program can calculate these half-angles and minimum yields for axes and [h k l] planes up to (5 5 5). The program is open source and available at

  6. Transition from heating to cooling of channeled ion beams

    SciTech Connect

    Toepffer, Christian

    2006-06-15

    Experiments showing a transverse heating or cooling of channeled ion beams are explained in terms of electron capture and loss processes between the projectile ions and the target. Such processes violate reversibility as the projectile captures electrons from occupied bound states and loses them to unoccupied weakly bound or continuum states. The transition probabilities for the transfer of electrons are calculated in the impact parameter Born approximation. Their dependence on the distance from the crystal strings is determined by scale factors which depend in turn on the relative velocity and the binding energies of the transferred electrons in the projectile and in the crystal, respectively. The appearance of transverse heating and cooling depends on the relative size of the scale factors for capture and loss. The transition from heating to cooling as function of velocity is described in good agreement with the experiments.

  7. Semiconductor chips with ion channels, nerve cells and brain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fromherz, Peter

    2003-01-01

    The electrical interfacing of individual nerve cells and semiconductor microstructures as well as the assembly of neuronal networks and microelectronic circuits, is considered. At first the planar core-coat conductor of a neuron-silicon junction is studied as it determines the coupling of ion-conducting neurons and electron-conducting silicon. The width of the cleft between cell and chip, the resistance of cleft and voltage-gate ion channels in the junction are investigated. On that basis, a subsequent section describes the electronic interfacing of individual cultured neurons with silicon microstructures as well as the integration of microelectronics with small neuronal networks grown in culture. In a final part, the electronic interfacing of cultured brain slices is addressed. The goal of this approach is an integration of neuronal network dynamics and digital computation on a microscopic level for studies in brain research, biosensorics, information technology and medical prosthetics.

  8. Molecular basis of ion permeability in a voltage-gated sodium channel.

    PubMed

    Naylor, Claire E; Bagnéris, Claire; DeCaen, Paul G; Sula, Altin; Scaglione, Antonella; Clapham, David E; Wallace, B A

    2016-04-15

    Voltage-gated sodium channels are essential for electrical signalling across cell membranes. They exhibit strong selectivities for sodium ions over other cations, enabling the finely tuned cascade of events associated with action potentials. This paper describes the ion permeability characteristics and the crystal structure of a prokaryotic sodium channel, showing for the first time the detailed locations of sodium ions in the selectivity filter of a sodium channel. Electrostatic calculations based on the structure are consistent with the relative cation permeability ratios (Na(+) ≈ Li(+) ≫ K(+), Ca(2+), Mg(2+)) measured for these channels. In an E178D selectivity filter mutant constructed to have altered ion selectivities, the sodium ion binding site nearest the extracellular side is missing. Unlike potassium ions in potassium channels, the sodium ions in these channels appear to be hydrated and are associated with side chains of the selectivity filter residues, rather than polypeptide backbones. PMID:26873592

  9. Binding of Capsaicin to the TRPV1 Ion Channel.

    PubMed

    Darré, Leonardo; Domene, Carmen

    2015-12-01

    Transient receptor potential (TRP) ion channels constitute a notable family of cation channels involved in the ability of an organisms to detect noxious mechanical, thermal, and chemical stimuli that give rise to the perception of pain, taste, and changes in temperature. One of the most experimentally studied agonist of TRP channels is capsaicin, which is responsible for the burning sensation produced when chili pepper is in contact with organic tissues. Thus, understanding how this molecule interacts and regulates TRP channels is essential to high impact pharmacological applications, particularly those related to pain treatment. The recent publication of a three-dimensional structure of the vanilloid receptor 1 (TRPV1) in the absence and presence of capsaicin from single particle electron cryomicroscopy experiments provides the opportunity to explore these questions at the atomic level. In the present work, molecular docking and unbiased and biased molecular dynamics simulations were employed to generate a structural model of the capsaicin-channel complex. In addition, the standard free energy of binding was estimated using alchemical transformations coupled with conformational, translational, and orientational restraints on the ligand. Key binding modes consistent with previous experimental data are identified, and subtle but essential dynamical features of the binding site are characterized. These observations shed some light into how TRPV1 interacts with capsaicin, and may help to refine design parameters for new TRPV1 antagonists, and potentially guide further developments of TRP channel modulators. PMID:26502196

  10. Crystal structures of a double-barrelled fluoride ion channel

    PubMed Central

    Stockbridge, Randy B.; Kolmakova-Partensky, Ludmila; Shane, Tania; Koide, Akiko; Koide, Shohei; Miller, Christopher; Newstead, Simon

    2016-01-01

    To contend with hazards posed by environmental fluoride, microorganisms export this anion through F--specific ion channels of the Fluc family1–4. Since the recent discovery of Fluc channels, numerous idiosyncratic features of these proteins have been unearthed, including extreme selectivity for F- over Cl- and dual-topology dimeric assembly5–6. To understand the chemical basis for F- permeation and how the antiparallel subunits convene to form a F--selective pore, we solved crystal structures of two bacterial Fluc homologues in complex with three different monobody inhibitors, with and without F- present, to a maximum resolution of 2.1 Å. The structures reveal a surprising “double-barrelled” channel architecture in which two F- ion pathways span the membrane and the dual-topology arrangement includes a centrally coordinated cation, most likely Na+. F- selectivity is proposed to arise from the very narrow pores and an unusual anion coordination that exploits the quadrupolar edges of conserved phenylalanine rings. PMID:26344196

  11. Ion Channels in the Eye: Involvement in Ocular Pathologies.

    PubMed

    Giblin, Jonathan P; Comes, Nuria; Strauss, Olaf; Gasull, Xavier

    2016-01-01

    The eye is the sensory organ of vision. There, the retina transforms photons into electrical signals that are sent to higher brain areas to produce visual sensations. In the light path to the retina, different types of cells and tissues are involved in maintaining the transparency of avascular structures like the cornea or lens, while others, like the retinal pigment epithelium, have a critical role in the maintenance of photoreceptor function by regenerating the visual pigment. Here, we have reviewed the roles of different ion channels expressed in ocular tissues (cornea, conjunctiva and neurons innervating the ocular surface, lens, retina, retinal pigment epithelium, and the inflow and outflow systems of the aqueous humor) that are involved in ocular disease pathophysiologies and those whose deletion or pharmacological modulation leads to specific diseases of the eye. These include pathologies such as retinitis pigmentosa, macular degeneration, achromatopsia, glaucoma, cataracts, dry eye, or keratoconjunctivitis among others. Several disease-associated ion channels are potential targets for pharmacological intervention or other therapeutic approaches, thus highlighting the importance of these channels in ocular physiology and pathophysiology. PMID:27038375

  12. Modelling modal gating of ion channels with hierarchical Markov models

    PubMed Central

    Fackrell, Mark; Crampin, Edmund J.; Taylor, Peter

    2016-01-01

    Many ion channels spontaneously switch between different levels of activity. Although this behaviour known as modal gating has been observed for a long time it is currently not well understood. Despite the fact that appropriately representing activity changes is essential for accurately capturing time course data from ion channels, systematic approaches for modelling modal gating are currently not available. In this paper, we develop a modular approach for building such a model in an iterative process. First, stochastic switching between modes and stochastic opening and closing within modes are represented in separate aggregated Markov models. Second, the continuous-time hierarchical Markov model, a new modelling framework proposed here, then enables us to combine these components so that in the integrated model both mode switching as well as the kinetics within modes are appropriately represented. A mathematical analysis reveals that the behaviour of the hierarchical Markov model naturally depends on the properties of its components. We also demonstrate how a hierarchical Markov model can be parametrized using experimental data and show that it provides a better representation than a previous model of the same dataset. Because evidence is increasing that modal gating reflects underlying molecular properties of the channel protein, it is likely that biophysical processes are better captured by our new approach than in earlier models. PMID:27616917

  13. Acid-sensing ion channels: trafficking and synaptic function

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Extracellular acidification occurs in the brain with elevated neural activity, increased metabolism, and neuronal injury. This reduction in pH can have profound effects on brain function because pH regulates essentially every single biochemical reaction. Therefore, it is not surprising to see that Nature evolves a family of proteins, the acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs), to sense extracellular pH reduction. ASICs are proton-gated cation channels that are mainly expressed in the nervous system. In recent years, a growing body of literature has shown that acidosis, through activating ASICs, contributes to multiple diseases, including ischemia, multiple sclerosis, and seizures. In addition, ASICs play a key role in fear and anxiety related psychiatric disorders. Several recent reviews have summarized the importance and therapeutic potential of ASICs in neurological diseases, as well as the structure-function relationship of ASICs. However, there is little focused coverage on either the basic biology of ASICs or their contribution to neural plasticity. This review will center on these topics, with an emphasis on the synaptic role of ASICs and molecular mechanisms regulating the spatial distribution and function of these ion channels. PMID:23281934

  14. Structure and activity of the acid-sensing ion channels

    PubMed Central

    Sherwood, Thomas W.; Frey, Erin N.

    2012-01-01

    The acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs) are a family of proton-sensing channels expressed throughout the nervous system. Their activity is linked to a variety of complex behaviors including fear, anxiety, pain, depression, learning, and memory. ASICs have also been implicated in neuronal degeneration accompanying ischemia and multiple sclerosis. As a whole, ASICs represent novel therapeutic targets for several clinically important disorders. An understanding of the correlation between ASIC structure and function will help to elucidate their mechanism of action and identify potential therapeutics that specifically target these ion channels. Despite the seemingly simple nature of proton binding, multiple studies have shown that proton-dependent gating of ASICs is quite complex, leading to activation and desensitization through distinct structural components. This review will focus on the structural aspects of ASIC gating in response to both protons and the newly discovered activators GMQ and MitTx. ASIC modulatory compounds and their action on proton-dependent gating will also be discussed. This review is dedicated to the memory of Dale Benos, who made a substantial contribution to our understanding of ASIC activity. PMID:22843794

  15. Crystal structures of a double-barrelled fluoride ion channel.

    PubMed

    Stockbridge, Randy B; Kolmakova-Partensky, Ludmila; Shane, Tania; Koide, Akiko; Koide, Shohei; Miller, Christopher; Newstead, Simon

    2015-09-24

    To contend with hazards posed by environmental fluoride, microorganisms export this anion through F(-)-specific ion channels of the Fluc family. Since the recent discovery of Fluc channels, numerous idiosyncratic features of these proteins have been unearthed, including strong selectivity for F(-) over Cl(-) and dual-topology dimeric assembly. To understand the chemical basis for F(-) permeation and how the antiparallel subunits convene to form a F(-)-selective pore, here we solve the crystal structures of two bacterial Fluc homologues in complex with three different monobody inhibitors, with and without F(-) present, to a maximum resolution of 2.1 Å. The structures reveal a surprising 'double-barrelled' channel architecture in which two F(-) ion pathways span the membrane, and the dual-topology arrangement includes a centrally coordinated cation, most likely Na(+). F(-) selectivity is proposed to arise from the very narrow pores and an unusual anion coordination that exploits the quadrupolar edges of conserved phenylalanine rings. PMID:26344196

  16. Molecular candidates for cardiac stretch-activated ion channels

    PubMed Central

    Reed, Alistair; Kohl, Peter; Peyronnet, Rémi

    2014-01-01

    The heart is a mechanically-active organ that dynamically senses its own mechanical environment. This environment is constantly changing, on a beat-by-beat basis, with additional modulation by respiratory activity and changes in posture or physical activity, and further overlaid with more slowly occurring physiological (e.g. pregnancy, endurance training) or pathological challenges (e.g. pressure or volume overload). Far from being a simple pump, the heart detects changes in mechanical demand and adjusts its performance accordingly, both via heart rate and stroke volume alteration. Many of the underlying regulatory processes are encoded intracardially, and are thus maintained even in heart transplant recipients. Over the last three decades, molecular substrates of cardiac mechanosensitivity have gained increasing recognition in the scientific and clinical communities. Nonetheless, the processes underlying this phenomenon are still poorly understood. Stretch-activated ion channels (SAC) have been identified as one contributor to mechanosensitive autoregulation of the heartbeat. They also appear to play important roles in the development of cardiac pathologies – most notably stretch-induced arrhythmias. As recently discovered, some established cardiac drugs act, in part at least, via mechanotransduction pathways suggesting SAC as potential therapeutic targets. Clearly, identification of the molecular substrate of cardiac SAC is of clinical importance and a number of candidate proteins have been identified. At the same time, experimental studies have revealed variable–and at times contrasting–results regarding their function. Further complication arises from the fact that many ion channels that are not classically defined as SAC, including voltage and ligand-gated ion channels, can respond to mechanical stimulation. Here, we summarise what is known about the molecular substrate of the main candidates for cardiac SAC, before identifying potential further

  17. Defective interactions of protein partner with ion channels and transporters as alternative mechanisms of membrane channelopathies

    PubMed Central

    Kline, Crystal F.; Mohler, Peter J.

    2013-01-01

    The past twenty years have revealed the existence of numerous ion channel mutations resulting in human pathology. Ion channels provide the basis of diverse cellular functions, ranging from hormone secretion, excitation-contraction coupling, cell signaling, immune response, and trans-epithelial transport. Therefore, the regulation of biophysical properties of channels is vital in human physiology. Only within the last decade has the role of non-ion channel components come to light in regard to ion channel spatial, temporal, and biophysical regulation in physiology. A growing number of auxiliary components have been determined to play elemental roles in excitable cell physiology, with dysfunction resulting in disorders and related manifestations. This review focuses on the broad implications of such dysfunction, focusing on disease-causing mutations that alter interactions between ion channels and auxiliary ion channel components in a diverse set of human excitable cell disease. PMID:23732236

  18. Shielding analysis for a heavy ion beam chamber with plasma channels for ion transport

    SciTech Connect

    Sawan, M.E.; Peterson, R.R.; Yu, S.

    2000-06-28

    Neutronics analysis has been performed to assess the shielding requirements for the insulators and final focusing magnets in a modified HYLIFE-II target chamber that utilizes pre-formed plasma channels for heavy ion beam transport. Using 65 cm thick Flibe jet assemblies provides adequate shielding for the electrical insulator units. Additional shielding is needed in front of the final focusing superconducting quadrupole magnets. A shield with a thickness varying between 45 and 90 cm needs to be provided in front of the quadrupole unit. The final laser mirrors located along the channel axis are in the direct line-of-sight of source neutrons. Neutronics calculations were performed to determine the constraints on the placement of these mirrors to be lifetime components.

  19. Hydrogen peroxide affects ion channels in lily pollen grain protoplasts.

    PubMed

    Breygina, M A; Abramochkin, D V; Maksimov, N M; Yermakov, I P

    2016-09-01

    Ion homeostasis plays a central role in polarisation and polar growth. In several cell types ion channels are controlled by reactive oxygen species (ROS). One of the most important cells in the plant life cycle is the male gametophyte, which grows under the tight control of both ion fluxes and ROS balance. The precise relationship between these two factors in pollen tubes has not been completely elucidated, and in pollen grains it has never been studied to date. In the present study we used a simple model - protoplasts obtained from lily pollen grains at the early germination stage - to reveal the effect of H2 O2 on cation fluxes crucial for pollen germination. Here we present direct evidence for two ROS-sensitive currents on the pollen grain plasma membrane: the hyperpolarisation-activated calcium current, which is strongly enhanced by H2 O2 , and the outward potassium current, which is modestly enhanced by H2 O2 . We used low concentrations of H2 O2 that do not cause an intracellular oxidative burst and do not damage cells, as demonstrated with fluorescent staining. PMID:27115728

  20. The Thumb Domain Mediates Acid-sensing Ion Channel Desensitization.

    PubMed

    Krauson, Aram J; Carattino, Marcelo D

    2016-05-20

    Acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs) are cation-selective proton-gated channels expressed in neurons that participate in diverse physiological processes, including nociception, synaptic plasticity, learning, and memory. ASIC subunits contain intracellular N and C termini, two transmembrane domains that constitute the pore, and a large extracellular loop with defined domains termed the finger, β-ball, thumb, palm, and knuckle. Here we examined the contribution of the finger, β-ball, and thumb domains to activation and desensitization through the analysis of chimeras and the assessment of the effect of covalent modification of introduced Cys at the domain-domain interfaces. Our studies with ASIC1a-ASIC2a chimeras showed that swapping the thumb domain between subunits results in faster channel desensitization. Likewise, the covalent modification of Cys residues at selected positions in the β-ball-thumb interface accelerates the desensitization of the mutant channels. Studies of accessibility with thiol-reactive reagents revealed that the β-ball and thumb domains reside apart in the resting state but that they become closer to each other in response to extracellular acidification. We propose that the thumb domain moves upon continuous exposure to an acidic extracellular milieu, assisting with the closing of the pore during channel desensitization. PMID:27015804

  1. Acid-sensing ion channels in pathological conditions

    PubMed Central

    Chu, Xiang-Ping; Xiong, Zhi-Gang

    2013-01-01

    Acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs), a novel family of proton-gated amiloride-sensitive cation channels, are expressed primarily in neurons of peripheral sensory and central nervous systems. Recent studies have shown that activation of ASICs, particularly the ASIC1a channels, plays a critical role in neuronal injury associated with neurological disorders such as brain ischemia, multiple sclerosis, and spinal cord injury, etc. In normal conditions in vitro, ASIC1a channels desensitize rapidly in the presence of a continuous acidosis or following a pre-exposure to minor pH drop, raising doubt for their contributions to the acidosis-mediated neuronal injury. It is now known that the properties of ASICs can be dramatically modulated by signaling molecules or biochemical changes associated with pathological conditions. Modulation of ASICs by these molecules can lead to dramatically enhanced and/or prolonged activities of these channels thus promoting their pathological functions. Understanding of how ASICs behave in pathological conditions may help define new strategies for the treatment and/or prevention of neuronal injury associated with various neurological disorders. PMID:23224900

  2. Neurosensory mechanotransduction through acid-sensing ion channels

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Chih-Cheng; Wong, Chia-Wen

    2013-01-01

    Acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs) are voltage-insensitive cation channels responding to extracellular acidification. ASIC proteins have two transmembrane domains and a large extracellular domain. The molecular topology of ASICs is similar to that of the mechanosensory abnormality 4- or 10-proteins expressed in touch receptor neurons and involved in neurosensory mechanotransduction in nematodes. The ASIC proteins are involved in neurosensory mechanotransduction in mammals. The ASIC isoforms are expressed in Merkel cell–neurite complexes, periodontal Ruffini endings and specialized nerve terminals of skin and muscle spindles, so they might participate in mechanosensation. In knockout mouse models, lacking an ASIC isoform produces defects in neurosensory mechanotransduction of tissue such as skin, stomach, colon, aortic arch, venoatrial junction and cochlea. The ASICs are thus implicated in touch, pain, digestive function, baroreception, blood volume control and hearing. However, the role of ASICs in mechanotransduction is still controversial, because we lack evidence that the channels are mechanically sensitive when expressed in heterologous cells. Thus, ASIC channels alone are not sufficient to reconstruct the path of transducing molecules of mechanically activated channels. The mechanotransducers associated with ASICs need further elucidation. In this review, we discuss the expression of ASICs in sensory afferents of mechanoreceptors, findings of knockout studies, technical issues concerning studies of neurosensory mechanotransduction and possible missing links. Also we propose a molecular model and a new approach to disclose the molecular mechanism underlying the neurosensory mechanotransduction. PMID:23490035

  3. Zinc as Allosteric Ion Channel Modulator: Ionotropic Receptors as Metalloproteins.

    PubMed

    Peralta, Francisco Andrés; Huidobro-Toro, Juan Pablo

    2016-01-01

    Zinc is an essential metal to life. This transition metal is a structural component of many proteins and is actively involved in the catalytic activity of cell enzymes. In either case, these zinc-containing proteins are metalloproteins. However, the amino acid residues that serve as ligands for metal coordination are not necessarily the same in structural proteins compared to enzymes. While crystals of structural proteins that bind zinc reveal a higher preference for cysteine sulfhydryls rather than histidine imidazole rings, catalytic enzymes reveal the opposite, i.e., a greater preference for the histidines over cysteines for catalysis, plus the influence of carboxylic acids. Based on this paradigm, we reviewed the putative ligands of zinc in ionotropic receptors, where zinc has been described as an allosteric modulator of channel receptors. Although these receptors do not strictly qualify as metalloproteins since they do not normally bind zinc in structural domains, they do transitorily bind zinc at allosteric sites, modifying transiently the receptor channel's ion permeability. The present contribution summarizes current information showing that zinc allosteric modulation of receptor channels occurs by the preferential metal coordination to imidazole rings as well as to the sulfhydryl groups of cysteine in addition to the carboxyl group of acid residues, as with enzymes and catalysis. It is remarkable that most channels, either voltage-sensitive or transmitter-gated receptor channels, are susceptible to zinc modulation either as positive or negative regulators. PMID:27384555

  4. Computer Simulation Studies of Ion Channels at High Temperatures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Song, Hyun Deok

    The gramicidin channel is the smallest known biological ion channel, and it exhibits cation selectivity. Recently, Dr. John Cuppoletti's group at the University of Cincinnati showed that the gramicidin channel can function at high temperatures (360 ˜ 380K) with significant currents. This finding may have significant implications for fuel cell technology. In this thesis, we have examined the gramicidin channel at 300K, 330K, and 360K by computer simulation. We have investigated how the temperature affects the current and differences in magnitude of free energy between the two gramicidin forms, the helical dimer (HD) and the double helix (DH). A slight decrease of the free energy barrier inside the gramicidin channel and increased diffusion at high temperatures result in an increase of current. An applied external field of 0.2V/nm along the membrane normal results in directly observable ion transport across the channels at high temperatures for both HD and DH forms. We found that higher temperatures also affect the probability distribution of hydrogen bonds, the bending angle, the distance between dimers, and the size of the pore radius for the helical dimer structure. These findings may be related to the gating of the gramicidin channel. Methanococcus jannaschii (MJ) is a methane-producing thermophile, which was discovered at a depth of 2600m in a Pacific Ocean vent in 1983. It has the ability to thrive at high temperatures and high pressures, which are unfavorable for most life forms. There have been some experiments to study its stability under extreme conditions, but still the origin of the stability of MJ is not exactly known. MJ0305 is the chloride channel protein from the thermophile MJ. After generating a structure of MJ0305 by homology modeling based on the Ecoli ClC templates, we examined the thermal stability, and the network stability from the change of network entropy calculated from the adjacency matrices of the protein. High temperatures increase the

  5. Multi-Ion Mechanism for Ion Permeation and Block in the Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator Chloride Channel

    PubMed Central

    Linsdell, Paul; Tabcharani, Joseph A.; Hanrahan, John W.

    1997-01-01

    The mechanism of Cl− ion permeation through single cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) channels was studied using the channel-blocking ion gluconate. High concentrations of intracellular gluconate ions cause a rapid, voltage-dependent block of CFTR Cl− channels by binding to a site ∼40% of the way through the transmembrane electric field. The affinity of gluconate block was influenced by both intracellular and extracellular Cl− concentration. Increasing extracellular Cl− concentration reduced intracellular gluconate affinity, suggesting that a repulsive interaction occurs between Cl− and gluconate ions within the channel pore, an effect that would require the pore to be capable of holding more than one ion simultaneously. This effect of extracellular Cl− is not shared by extracellular gluconate ions, suggesting that gluconate is unable to enter the pore from the outside. Increasing the intracellular Cl− concentration also reduced the affinity of intracellular gluconate block, consistent with competition between intracellular Cl− and gluconate ions for a common binding site in the pore. Based on this evidence that CFTR is a multi-ion pore, we have analyzed Cl− permeation and gluconate block using discrete-state models with multiple occupancy. Both two- and three-site models were able to reproduce all of the experimental data with similar accuracy, including the dependence of blocker affinity on external Cl− (but not gluconate) ions and the dependence of channel conductance on Cl− concentration. The three-site model was also able to predict block by internal and external thiocyanate (SCN−) ions and anomalous mole fraction behavior seen in Cl−/SCN− mixtures. PMID:9379169

  6. Multi-Ion mechanism for ion permeation and block in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator chloride channel.

    PubMed

    Linsdell, P; Tabcharani, J A; Hanrahan, J W

    1997-10-01

    The mechanism of Cl ion permeation through single cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) channels was studied using the channel-blocking ion gluconate. High concentrations of intracellular gluconate ions cause a rapid, voltage-dependent block of CFTR Cl channels by binding to a site approximately 40% of the way through the transmembrane electric field. The affinity of gluconate block was influenced by both intracellular and extracellular Cl concentration. Increasing extracellular Cl concentration reduced intracellular gluconate affinity, suggesting that a repulsive interaction occurs between Cl and gluconate ions within the channel pore, an effect that would require the pore to be capable of holding more than one ion simultaneously. This effect of extracellular Cl is not shared by extracellular gluconate ions, suggesting that gluconate is unable to enter the pore from the outside. Increasing the intracellular Cl concentration also reduced the affinity of intracellular gluconate block, consistent with competition between intracellular Cl and gluconate ions for a common binding site in the pore. Based on this evidence that CFTR is a multi-ion pore, we have analyzed Cl permeation and gluconate block using discrete-state models with multiple occupancy. Both two- and three-site models were able to reproduce all of the experimental data with similar accuracy, including the dependence of blocker affinity on external Cl (but not gluconate) ions and the dependence of channel conductance on Cl concentration. The three-site model was also able to predict block by internal and external thiocyanate (SCN) ions and anomalous mole fraction behavior seen in Cl/SCN mixtures. PMID:9379169

  7. Copper ion-exchanged channel waveguides optimization for optical trapping.

    PubMed

    Reshak, A H; Khor, K N; Shahimin, M M; Murad, S A Z

    2013-08-01

    Optical trapping of particles has become a powerful non-mechanical and non-destructive technique for precise particle positioning. The manipulation of particles in the evanescent field of a channel waveguide potentially allows for sorting and trapping of several particles and cells simultaneously. Channel waveguide designs can be further optimized to increase evanescent field prior to the fabrication process. This is crucial in order to make sure that the surface intensity is sufficient for optical trapping. Simulation configurations are explained in detail with specific simulation flow. Discussion on parameters optimization; physical geometry, optical polarization and wavelength is included in this paper. The effect of physical, optical parameters and beam spot size on evanescent field has been thoroughly discussed. These studies will continue toward the development of a novel copper ion-exchanged waveguide as a method of particle sorting, with biological cell propulsion studies presently underway. PMID:23726859

  8. Optimal Estimation of Ion-Channel Kinetics from Macroscopic Currents

    PubMed Central

    Zeng, Xuhui; Yao, Jing; Yuchi, Ming; Ding, Jiuping

    2012-01-01

    Markov modeling provides an effective approach for modeling ion channel kinetics. There are several search algorithms for global fitting of macroscopic or single-channel currents across different experimental conditions. Here we present a particle swarm optimization(PSO)-based approach which, when used in combination with golden section search (GSS), can fit macroscopic voltage responses with a high degree of accuracy (errors within 1%) and reasonable amount of calculation time (less than 10 hours for 20 free parameters) on a desktop computer. We also describe a method for initial value estimation of the model parameters, which appears to favor identification of global optimum and can further reduce the computational cost. The PSO-GSS algorithm is applicable for kinetic models of arbitrary topology and size and compatible with common stimulation protocols, which provides a convenient approach for establishing kinetic models at the macroscopic level. PMID:22536358

  9. Investigation of Semiconductor Surface Structure by Transmission Ion Channeling.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lyman, Paul Francis

    The primary thrust of this dissertation is the investigation of the composition and structure of two important surface systems on Si, and the study of how this structure evolves under the influence of ion bombardment or film growth. I have studied the initial stages of oxidation of Si immediately following removal of a surface oxide by an HF etch. I have also studied the structure of Ge deposited on clean Si(100) at low temperatures. These systems are of considerable technological interest, but were chosen because they naturally pose fundamental questions regarding physical and chemical processes at surfaces. In the study of the oxidation of Si, I have focused on the influence of the bombarding ion beam in altering the structure and composition of the surface layer. Thus, the system then provides a natural vehicle to study ion-induced chemistry. In the study of low-temperature growth of Ge, I have focused on the structure of the Ge layer and the evolution of that structure upon further deposition or upon heating. This simple system is a model one for observing strained semiconductor heteroepitaxial growth. The primary probe for these studies was transmission channeling of MeV ions. The sensitivity of this technique to correlations between the substrate and an overlayer allowed us to make the following observations. The O, Si and H bound in the thin oxide formed after an HF etch and H_2O rinse occupy preferred positions with respect to the Si matrix. Upon ion bombardment, the O further reacts with the Si (the reaction proceeds linearly with the ion fluence) and the portion of the H that is uncorrelated to the substrate is preferentially desorbed. For the case of Ge growth on Si(100)-(2 x 1) at room temperature, a substantial fraction of the Ge films is strained to occupy sites having the lattice constant of the Si substrate (pseudomorphic growth). A model for film growth is proposed in which pseudomorphic domains constitute roughly half of the Ge films up to a

  10. Acid-sensing ion channels interact with and inhibit BK K+ channels

    PubMed Central

    Petroff, Elena Yermolaieva; Price, Margaret P.; Snitsarev, Vladislav; Gong, Huiyu; Korovkina, Victoria; Abboud, Francois M.; Welsh, Michael J.

    2008-01-01

    Acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs) are neuronal non-voltage-gated cation channels that are activated when extracellular pH falls. They contribute to sensory function and nociception in the peripheral nervous system, and in the brain they contribute to synaptic plasticity and fear responses. Some of the physiologic consequences of disrupting ASIC genes in mice suggested that ASIC channels might modulate neuronal function by mechanisms in addition to their H+-evoked opening. Within ASIC channel's large extracellular domain, we identified sequence resembling that in scorpion toxins that inhibit K+ channels. Therefore, we tested the hypothesis that ASIC channels might inhibit K+ channel function by coexpressing ASIC1a and the high-conductance Ca2+- and voltage-activated K+ (BK) channel. We found that ASIC1a associated with BK channels and inhibited their current. Reducing extracellular pH disrupted the association and relieved the inhibition. BK channels, in turn, altered the kinetics of ASIC1a current. In addition to BK, ASIC1a inhibited voltage-gated Kv1.3 channels. Other ASIC channels also inhibited BK, although acidosis-dependent relief of inhibition varied. These results reveal a mechanism of ion channel interaction and reciprocal regulation. Finding that a reduced pH activated ASIC1a and relieved BK inhibition suggests that extracellular protons may enhance the activity of channels with opposing effects on membrane voltage. The wide and varied expression patterns of ASICs, BK, and related K+ channels suggest broad opportunities for this signaling system to alter neuronal function. PMID:18287010