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Sample records for ion channels ion

  1. Cardiac ion channels

    PubMed Central

    Priest, Birgit T; McDermott, Jeff S

    2015-01-01

    Ion channels are critical for all aspects of cardiac function, including rhythmicity and contractility. Consequently, ion channels are key targets for therapeutics aimed at cardiac pathophysiologies such as atrial fibrillation or angina. At the same time, off-target interactions of drugs with cardiac ion channels can be the cause of unwanted side effects. This manuscript aims to review the physiology and pharmacology of key cardiac ion channels. The intent is to highlight recent developments for therapeutic development, as well as elucidate potential mechanisms for drug-induced cardiac side effects, rather than present an in-depth review of each channel subtype. PMID:26556552

  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.

  3. Mechanically Activated Ion Channels

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Mechanotransduction, the conversion of physical forces into biochemical signals, is an essential component of numerous physiological processes including not only conscious senses of touch and hearing, but also unconscious senses such as blood pressure regulation. 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

  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. Ion channels in microbes.

    PubMed

    Martinac, Boris; Saimi, Yoshiro; Kung, Ching

    2008-10-01

    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. Although 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.

  6. Cholesterol and Ion Channels

    PubMed Central

    Levitan, Irena; Fang, Yun; Rosenhouse-Dantsker, Avia; Romanenko, Victor

    2010-01-01

    A variety of ion channels, including members of all major ion channel families, have been shown to be regulated by changes in the level of membrane cholesterol and partition into cholesterol-rich membrane domains. In general, several types of cholesterol effects have been described. The most common effect is suppression of channel activity by an increase in membrane cholesterol, an effect that was described for several types of inwardly-rectifying K+ channels, voltage-gated K+ channels, Ca+2 sensitive K+ channels, voltage-gated Na+ channels, N-type voltage-gated Ca+2 channels and volume-regulated anion channels. In contrast, several types of ion channels, such as epithelial amiloride-sensitive Na+ channels and Transient Receptor Potential channels, as well as some of the types of inwardly-rectifying and voltage-gated K+ channels were shown to be inhibited by cholesterol depletion. Cholesterol was also shown to alter the kinetic properties and current-voltage dependence of several voltage-gated channels. Finally, maintaining membrane cholesterol level is required for coupling ion channels to signalling cascades. In terms of the mechanisms, three general mechanisms have been proposed: (i) specific interactions between cholesterol and the channel protein, (ii) changes in the physical properties of the membrane bilayer and (iii) maintaining the scaffolds for protein-protein interactions. The goal of this review is to describe systematically the role of cholesterol in regulation of the major types of ion channels and to discuss these effects in the context of the models proposed. PMID:20213557

  7. Ion channels in inflammation.

    PubMed

    Eisenhut, Michael; Wallace, Helen

    2011-04-01

    Most physical illness in vertebrates involves inflammation. Inflammation causes disease by fluid shifts across cell membranes and cell layers, changes in muscle function and generation of pain. These disease processes can be explained by changes in numbers or function of ion channels. Changes in ion channels have been detected in diarrhoeal illnesses, pyelonephritis, allergy, acute lung injury and systemic inflammatory response syndromes involving septic shock. The key role played by changes in ion transport is directly evident in inflammation-induced pain. Expression or function of all major categories of ion channels like sodium, chloride, calcium, potassium, transient receptor potential, purinergic receptor and acid-sensing ion channels can be influenced by cyto- and chemokines, prostaglandins, leukotrienes, histamine, ATP, reactive oxygen species and protons released in inflammation. Key pathways in this interaction are cyclic nucleotide, phosphoinositide and mitogen-activated protein kinase-mediated signalling, direct modification by reactive oxygen species like nitric oxide, ATP or protons and disruption of the cytoskeleton. Therapeutic interventions to modulate the adverse and overlapping effects of the numerous different inflammatory mediators on each ion transport system need to target adversely affected ion transport systems directly and locally.

  8. 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

  9. Ion channels in plants

    PubMed Central

    Baluška, František; Mancuso, Stefano

    2013-01-01

    In his recent opus magnum review paper published in the October issue of Physiology Reviews, Rainer Hedrich summarized the field of plant ion channels.1 He started from the earliest electric recordings initiated by Charles Darwin of carnivorous Dionaea muscipula,1,2 known as Venus flytrap, and covered the topic extensively up to the most recent discoveries on Shaker-type potassium channels, anion channels of SLAC/SLAH families, and ligand-activated channels of glutamate receptor-like type (GLR) and cyclic nucleotide-gated channels (CNGC).1 PMID:23221742

  10. 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).

  11. Ion channels in the RPE.

    PubMed

    Wimmers, Sönke; Karl, Mike O; Strauss, Olaf

    2007-05-01

    In close interaction with photoreceptors, the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) plays an essential role for visual function. The analysis of RPE functions, specifically ion channel functions, provides a basis to understand many degenerative diseases of the retina. The invention of the patch-clamp technique significantly improved the knowledge of ion channel structure and function, which enabled a new understanding of cell physiology and patho-physiology of many diseases. In this review, ion channels identified in the RPE will be described in terms of their specific functional role in RPE physiology. The RPE expresses voltage- and ligand-gated K(+), Cl(-), and Ca(2+)-conducting channels. K(+) and Cl(-) channels are involved in transepithelial ion transport and volume regulation. Voltage-dependent Ca(2+) channels act as regulators of secretory activity, and ligand-gated cation channels contribute to RPE function by providing driving forces for ion transport or by influencing intracellular Ca(2+) homoeostasis. Collectively, activity of these ion channels determines the physiology of the RPE and its interaction with photoreceptors. Furthermore, changes in ion channel function, such as mutations in ion channel genes or a changed regulation of ion channel activity, have been shown to lead to degenerative diseases of the retina. Increasing knowledge about the properties of RPE ion channels has not only provided a new understanding of RPE function but has also provided greater understanding of RPE function in health and disease.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Agonist-activated ion channels

    PubMed Central

    Colquhoun, David

    2006-01-01

    This paper looks at ion channels as an example of the pharmacologist's stock in trade, the action of an agonist on a receptor to produce a response. Looked at in this way, ion channels have been helpful because they are still the only system which is simple enough for quantitative investigation of transduction mechanisms. A short history is given of attempts to elucidate what happens between the time when agonist first binds, and the time when the channel opens. PMID:16402101

  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. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Ion Channels in Brain Metastasis

    PubMed Central

    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

  20. Hydrophobic Gating in Ion Channels

    PubMed Central

    Aryal, Prafulla; Sansom, Mark S.P.; Tucker, Stephen J.

    2016-01-01

    Biological ion channels are nanoscale transmembrane pores. When water and ions are enclosed within the narrow confines of a sub-nanometer hydrophobic pore, they exhibit behavior not evident from macroscopic descriptions. At this nanoscopic level, the unfavorable interaction between the lining of a hydrophobic pore and water may lead to liquid-vapor oscillations. The resultant transient vapor state is ‘dewetted’ i.e. effectively devoid of water molecules within all, or part of the pore, thus leading to an energetic barrier to ion conduction. This process, termed ‘hydrophobic gating’, was first observed in molecular dynamics simulations of model nanopores, where the principles underlying hydrophobic gating (i.e. changes in diameter, polarity, or transmembrane voltage) have now been extensively validated. Computational, structural and functional studies now indicate that biological ion channels may also exploit hydrophobic gating to regulate ion flow within their pores. Here we review the evidence for this process, and propose that this unusual behavior of water represents an increasingly important element in understanding the relationship between ion channel structure and function. PMID:25106689

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Ferritin Protein Nanocage Ion Channels

    PubMed Central

    Tosha, Takehiko; Behera, Rabindra K.; Ng, Ho-Leung; Bhattasali, Onita; Alber, Tom; Theil, Elizabeth C.

    2012-01-01

    Ferritin protein nanocages, self-assembled from four-α-helix bundle subunits, use Fe2+ and oxygen to synthesize encapsulated, ferric oxide minerals. Ferritin minerals are iron concentrates stored for cell growth. Ferritins are also antioxidants, scavenging Fenton chemistry reactants. Channels for iron entry and exit consist of helical hairpin segments surrounding the 3-fold symmetry axes of the ferritin nanocages. We now report structural differences caused by amino acid substitutions in the Fe2+ ion entry and exit channels and at the cytoplasmic pores, from high resolution (1.3–1.8 Å) protein crystal structures of the eukaryotic model ferritin, frog M. Mutations that eliminate conserved ionic or hydrophobic interactions between Arg-72 and Asp-122 and between Leu-110 and Leu-134 increase flexibility in the ion channels, cytoplasmic pores, and/or the N-terminal extensions of the helix bundles. Decreased ion binding in the channels and changes in ordered water are also observed. Protein structural changes coincide with increased Fe2+ exit from dissolved, ferric minerals inside ferritin protein cages; Fe2+ exit from ferritin cages depends on a complex, surface-limited process to reduce and dissolve the ferric mineral. High concentrations of bovine serum albumin or lysozyme (protein crowders) to mimic the cytoplasm restored Fe2+ exit in the variants to wild type. The data suggest that fluctuations in pore structure control gating. The newly identified role of the ferritin subunit N-terminal extensions in gating Fe2+ exit from the cytoplasmic pores strengthens the structural and functional analogies between ferritin ion channels in the water-soluble protein assembly and membrane protein ion channels gated by cytoplasmic N-terminal peptides. PMID:22362775

  4. 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.

  5. Sensing pressure with ion channels.

    PubMed

    Nilius, Bernd; Honoré, Eric

    2012-08-01

    Opening of stretch-activated ion channels (SACs) is the earliest event occurring in mechanosensory transduction. The molecular identity of mammalian SACs has long remained a mystery. Only very recently, Piezo1 and Piezo2 have been shown to be essential components of distinct SACs and moreover, purified Piezo1 forms cationic channels when reconstituted into artificial bilayers. In line with these findings, dPiezo was demonstrated to act in the Drosophila mechanical nociception pathway. Finally, the 3D structure of the two-pore domain potassium channel (K(2P)), TRAAK [weakly inward rectifying K⁺ channel (TWIK)-related arachidonic acid stimulated K⁺ channel], has recently been solved, providing valuable information about pharmacology, selectivity and gating mechanisms of stretch-activated K⁺ channels (SAKs). These recent findings allow a better understanding of the molecular basis of molecular and cellular mechanotransduction. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Ion channels in analgesia research.

    PubMed

    Rosenbaum, Tamara; Simon, Sidney A; Islas, Leon D

    2010-01-01

    Several recent techniques have allowed us to pinpoint the receptors responsible for the detection of nociceptive stimuli. Among these receptors, ion channels play a fundamental role in the recognition and transduction of stimuli that can cause pain. During the last decade, compelling evidence has been gathered on the role of the TRPV1 channel in inflammatory and neuropathic states. Activation of TRPV1 in nociceptive neurons results in the release of neuropeptides and transmitters, leading to the generation of action potentials that will be sent to higher CNS areas, where they will often be perceived as pain. Its activation will also evoke the peripheral release of pro-inflammatory compounds that may sensitize other neurons to physical, thermal, or chemical stimuli. For these reasons, and because its continuous activation causes analgesia, TRPV1 is now considered a viable drug target for clinical use in the management of pain. Using the TRPV1 channel as an example, here we describe some basic biophysical approaches used to study the properties of ion channels involved in pain and in analgesia.

  9. Functional ion channels in stem cells

    PubMed Central

    Li, Gui-Rong; Deng, Xiu-Ling

    2011-01-01

    Bioelectrical signals generated by ion channels play crucial roles in excitation genesis and impulse conduction in excitable cells as well as in cell proliferation, migration and apoptosis in proliferative cells. Recent studies have demonstrated that multiple ion channels are heterogeneously present in different stem cells; however, patterns and phenotypes of ion channels are species- and/or origin-dependent. This editorial review focuses on the recent findings related to the expression of functional ion channels and the roles of these channels in regulation of cell proliferation in stem cells. Additional effort is required in the future to clarify the ion channel expression in different types of stem cells; special attention should be paid to the relationship between ion channels and stem cell proliferation, migration and differentiation. PMID:21607133

  10. 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

  11. 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. © The Author(s) 2016. Published by Oxford University Press.

  12. Atomic absorption spectroscopy in ion channel screening.

    PubMed

    Stankovich, Larisa; Wicks, David; Despotovski, Sasko; Liang, Dong

    2004-10-01

    This article examines the utility of atomic absorption spectroscopy, in conjunction with cold flux assays, to ion channel screening. The multiplicity of ion channels that can be interrogated using cold flux assays and atomic absorption spectroscopy is summarized. The importance of atomic absorption spectroscopy as a screening tool is further elaborated upon by providing examples of the relevance of ion channels to various physiological processes and targeted diseases.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Ion channels as targets for cancer therapy

    PubMed Central

    Li, Minghua; Xiong, Zhi-Gang

    2011-01-01

    Cancer is a leading cause of death in the world. Conventional treatments have severe side effects and low survival rate. It is important to discover new targets and therapeutic strategies to improve the clinical outcomes of cancer patients. Ion channels are specialized membrane proteins that play important roles in various physiological processes. Recent studies have shown that abnormal expression and/or activity of a number of ion channels e.g. voltage-gated K+, Na+, Ca2+ channels, TRP channels, and epithelial Na+/degenerin family of ion channels, are involved in the growth/proliferation, migration and/or invasion of cancer cells. In this review, we summarize the present knowledge about the roles of different ion channels in the development of cancer. PMID:21760973

  16. 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.

  17. Tracing the roots of ion channels.

    PubMed

    Jan, L Y; Jan, Y N

    1992-05-29

    Two sets of recent findings draw our attention to questions concerning the origin of ion channels. First, there is sequence similarity among five classes of channels: voltage-gated channels, a putative Ca(2+)-activated K+ channel, cyclic nucleotide-gated cation channels, a putative Ca2+ channel for phosphoinositide-mediated Ca2+ entry, and a plant K+ channel/transporter. Like voltage-gated K+ channels, the most recently identified members of the superfamily share the basic design of one set of six potential membrane-spanning segments plus the H5 sequence; as such, they may resemble more closely the ancestral channel, which is likely to predate the separation of the animal and plant kingdoms. Second, several members of the ABC superfamily function as ion channels, even though they were previously known as transporters or enzymes. Did some ancestral enzymes subsequently acquire channel/transporter function? Or could it be the other way around? Aside from evolutionary considerations, enzymes and ion channels can no longer be treated as separate and nonoverlapping groups of proteins. When one molecule exhibits both functions, there are interesting mechanistic questions: How might the enzyme activity such as ATP hydrolysis be coupled to activation/regulation of the intrinsic channel activity? How might interactions between the permeant ions and the channel pore in turn regulate the enzymatic function of the same molecule? It seems possible that the latter is an extension of the observed coupling between permeant ions and the gating machinery of an ion channel (Swenson and Armstrong, 1981). Finally, the potential cross-regulation between channel activity and enzyme activity within the same molecule offers many intriguing possibilities for the integration of different cellular functions.

  18. 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

  19. Arachidonic acid and ion channels: an update

    PubMed Central

    Meves, H

    2008-01-01

    Arachidonic acid (AA), a polyunsaturated fatty acid with four double bonds, has multiple actions on living cells. Many of these effects are mediated by an action of AA or its metabolites on ion channels. During the last 10 years, new types of ion channels, transient receptor potential (TRP) channels, store-operated calcium entry (SOCE) channels and non-SOCE channels have been studied. This review summarizes our current knowledge about the effects of AA on TRP and non-SOCE channels as well as classical ion channels. It aims to distinguish between effects of AA itself and effects of AA metabolites. Lipid mediators are of clinical interest because some of them (for example, leukotrienes) play a role in various diseases, others (such as prostaglandins) are targets for pharmacological therapeutic intervention. PMID:18552881

  20. Discovery of functional antibodies targeting ion channels.

    PubMed

    Wilkinson, Trevor C I; Gardener, Matthew J; Williams, Wendy A

    2015-04-01

    Ion channels play critical roles in physiology and disease by modulation of cellular functions such as electrical excitability, secretion, cell migration, and gene transcription. Ion channels represent an important target class for drug discovery that has been largely addressed, to date, using small-molecule approaches. A significant opportunity exists to target these channels with antibodies and alternative formats of biologics. Antibodies display high specificity and affinity for their target antigen, and they have the potential to target ion channels very selectively. Nevertheless, isolating antibodies to this target class is challenging due to the difficulties in expression and purification of ion channels in a format suitable for antibody drug discovery in addition to the complexity of screening for function. In this article, we will review the current state of ion channel biologics discovery and the progress that has been made. We will also highlight the challenges in isolating functional antibodies to these targets and how these challenges may be addressed. Finally, we also illustrate successful approaches to isolating functional monoclonal antibodies targeting ion channels by way of a number of case studies drawn from recent publications. © 2014 Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening.

  1. Ion channels and the hallmarks of cancer.

    PubMed

    Prevarskaya, Natalia; Skryma, Roman; Shuba, Yaroslav

    2010-03-01

    Plasma membrane (PM) ion channels contribute to virtually all basic cellular processes and are also involved in the malignant phenotype of cancer cells. Here, we review the role of ion channels in cancer in the context of their involvement in the defined hallmarks of cancer: 1) self-sufficiency in growth signals, 2) insensitivity to antigrowth signals, 3) evasion of programmed cell death (apoptosis), 4) limitless replicative potential, 5) sustained angiogenesis and 6) tissue invasion and metastasis. Recent studies have indicated that the contribution of specific ion channels to these hallmarks varies for different types of cancer. Therefore, to determine the importance of ion channels as targets for cancer diagnosis and treatment their expression, function and regulation must be assessed for each cancer.

  2. Natural Products and Ion Channel Pharmacology

    PubMed Central

    Teichert, Russell W.; Olivera, Baldomero M.

    2014-01-01

    An accelerated rate of natural-product discovery is critical for the future of ion channel pharmacology. For the full potential of natural products to be realized, an interdisciplinary initiative is required that combines chemical ecology and ion channel physiology. A prime source of future drug leads targeted to ion channels is the vast assortment of compounds that mediate biotic interactions in the marine environment. Many animals have evolved a chemical strategy to change the behavior of their prey, predators or competitors, which appears to require a large set of ion-channel targeted compounds acting in concert. Some of these compounds (e.g. Ziconotide (Prialt)) have already found important biomedical applications. The elucidation of molecular mechanisms mediating biotic interactions should yield a rich stream of potent and selective natural products for the drug pipeline. PMID:21426200

  3. Clustered Ion Channels and Action Potentials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zeng, Shangyou; Shuai, Jianwei; Jung, Peter

    2002-03-01

    It is known that even in unmyelinated neurons the ion channels relevant for action potential generation are in many cases spatially clustered. We study the consequences of spatial clustering of the ion channels for the generation and propagation of action potentials. In particular we report on the frequency and temporal coherence of spontaneous spikes generated by clusters of various sizes and on cluster-cluster synchronization along an axon. For the channel dynamics, we are using a stochastic Hodgkin-Huxley model supplemented by synaptic noise. The axon is modeled by an one dimensional cable equation.

  4. Ion channels and transporters in metastasis.

    PubMed

    Stock, Christian; Schwab, Albrecht

    2015-10-01

    An elaborate interplay between ion channels and transporters, components of the cytoskeleton, adhesion molecules, and signaling cascades provides the basis for each major step of the metastatic cascade. Ion channels and transporters contribute to cell motility by letting through or transporting ions essential for local Ca2+, pH and--in cooperation with water permeable aquaporins--volume homeostasis. Moreover, in addition to the actual ion transport they, or their auxiliary subunits, can display non-conducting activities. They can exert kinase activity in order to phosphorylate cytoskeletal constituents or their associates. They can become part of signaling processes by permeating Ca2+, by generating local pH-nanodomains or by being final downstream effectors. A number of channels and transporters are found at focal adhesions, interacting directly or indirectly with proteins of the extracellular matrix, with integrins or with components of the cytoskeleton. We also include the role of aquaporins in cell motility. They drive the outgrowth of lamellipodia/invadopodia or control the number of β1 integrins in the plasma membrane. The multitude of interacting ion channels and transporters (called transportome) including the associated signaling events holds great potential as therapeutic target(s) for anticancer agents that are aimed at preventing metastasis. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Membrane channels and transporters in cancers.

  5. Inherited ion channel diseases: a brief review.

    PubMed

    Lieve, Krystien V V; Wilde, Arthur A M

    2015-10-01

    Ion channelopathies are diseases caused by dysfunctional ion channels that may lead to sudden death. These diseases can be either acquired or inherited. The main phenotypes observed in patients carrying these heritable arrhythmia syndromes are congenital long QT syndrome, Brugada syndrome, catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia, and short QT syndrome. In the recent years, tremendous progress has been made in the recognition, mechanisms, and treatment of these diseases. The goal of this review is to provide an overview of the main phenotypes, genetic underpinnings, risk stratification, and treatment options for these so-called cardiac ion channelopathies.

  6. Flufenamic acid as an ion channel modulator

    PubMed Central

    Guinamard, Romain; Simard, Christophe; Negro, Christopher Del

    2014-01-01

    Flufenamic acid has been known since the 1960s to have anti-inflammatory properties attributable to the reduction of prostaglandin synthesis. Thirty years later, flufenamic acid appeared to be an ion channel modulator. Thus, while its use in medicine diminished, its use in ionic channel research expanded. Flufenamic acid commonly affects non-selective cation channels and chloride channels, but also modulates potassium, calcium and sodium channels with effective concentrations ranging from 10-6 M in TRPM4 channel inhibition to 10-3 M in two-pore outwardly rectifying potassium channel activation. Because flufenamic acid effects develop and reverse rapidly, it is a convenient and widely used tool. However, given the broad spectrum of its targets, experimental results have to be interpreted cautiously. Here we provide an overview of ion channels targeted by flufenamic acid to aid in interpreting its effects at the molecular, cellular, and systems levels. If it is used with good practices, flufenamic acid remains a useful tool for ion channel research. Understanding the targets of FFA may help reevaluate its physiological impacts and revive interest in its therapeutic potential. PMID:23356979

  7. Alcohol intoxication: Ion channels and genetics

    SciTech Connect

    Harris, A.R.; Allan, A.M. )

    1989-04-01

    Acute in vitro exposure to ethanol and other intoxicant-anesthetics activates {gamma}-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-stimulated chloride channels and inhibits voltage-dependent calcium and sodium channels of isolated brain membranes. The question of whether these neurochemical actions are responsible for intoxication in vivo has been addressed using animal populations displaying genetic differences in sensitivity to alcohol and benzodiazepine intoxication. These genetic approaches include inbred strains, selected lines, recombinant inbred strains, and heterogeneous stocks. Genetic differences in ion channel function provide strong evidence for a role of the GABA-stimulated chloride channel in ethanol and benzodiazepine intoxication; the role of calcium and sodium channels is less clear.

  8. Ion channels regulating mast cell biology.

    PubMed

    Ashmole, I; Bradding, P

    2013-05-01

    Mast cells play a central role in the pathophysiology of asthma and related allergic conditions. Mast cell activation leads to the degranulation of preformed mediators such as histamine and the secretion of newly synthesised proinflammatory mediators such as leukotrienes and cytokines. Excess release of these mediators contributes to allergic disease states. An influx of extracellular Ca2+ is essential for mast cell mediator release. From the Ca2+ channels that mediate this influx, to the K+ , Cl- and transient receptor potential channels that set the cell membrane potential and regulate Ca2+ influx, ion channels play a critical role in mast cell biology. In this review we provide an overview of our current knowledge of ion channel expression and function in mast cells with an emphasis on how channels interact to regulate Ca2+ signalling.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Amplification of electromagnetic signals by ion channels.

    PubMed Central

    Galvanovskis, J; Sandblom, J

    1997-01-01

    Cells may respond to the exposure of low-frequency electromagnetic fields with changes in cell division, ion influx, chemical reaction rates, etc. The chain of events leading to such responses is difficult to study, mainly because of extremely small energies associated with low-frequency fields, usually much smaller than the thermal noise level. However, the presence of stochastic systems (for instance, ion channels) provides a basis for signal amplification, and could therefore, despite the low signal-to-noise ratio of the primary response, lead to the transmission of weak signals along the signaling pathways of cells. We have explored this possibility for an ion channel model, and we present a theory, based on the formalism of stochastically driven processes, that relates the time averages of the ion channel currents to the amplitude and frequency of the applied signal. It is concluded from this theory that the signal-to-noise ratio increases with the number of channels, the magnitude of the rate constants, and the frequency response of the intracellular sensing system (for instance, a calcium oscillator). The amplification properties of the stochastic system are further deduced from numerical simulations carried out on the model, which consists of multiple identical two-state channels, and the behavior for different parameters is examined. Numerical estimates of the parameters show that under optimum conditions, even very weak low-frequency electromagnetic signals (<100 Hz and down to 100 microT) may be detected in a cellular system with a large number of ion channels. PMID:9414219

  13. Examination of Ion Channel Protein Orientation in Supported Lipid Bilayers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shinozaki, Youichi; Sumitomo, Koji; Tanaka, Aya; Kasai, Nahoko; Torimitsu, Keiichi

    2011-10-01

    We investigated techniques for regulating the orientation of ion channel-type membrane proteins reconstituted in lipid bilayers. Free ion channel proteins aligned their long axis parallel to the substrate. In contrast, immunochemical and atomic force microscopy images revealed that ion channels reconstituted in supported lipid bilayers oriented upward, with their long axis perpendicular to the substrate. Our data demonstrates that the reconstitution of ion channels into planar lipid bilayers by rupturing small unilamellar proteoliposomes is a promising way of aligning ion channels upward in a membrane and of obtaining ion channels with controlled functions.

  14. Acid-Sensing Ion Channels and Pain.

    PubMed

    Gu, Qihai; Lee, Lu-Yuan

    2010-05-11

    Pathophysiological conditions such as inflammation, ischemia, infection and tissue injury can all evoke pain, and each is accompanied by local acidosis. Acid sensing ion channels (ASICs) are proton-gated cation channels expressed in both central and peripheral nervous systems. Increasing evidence suggests that ASICs represent essential sensors for tissue acidosis-related pain. This review provides an update on the role of ASICs in pain sensation and discusses their therapeutic potential for pain management.

  15. 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.

  16. Quantum Interference and Selectivity through Biological Ion Channels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salari, Vahid; Naeij, Hamidreza; Shafiee, Afshin

    2017-01-01

    The mechanism of selectivity in ion channels is still an open question in biology for more than half a century. Here, we suggest that quantum interference can be a solution to explain the selectivity mechanism in ion channels since interference happens between similar ions through the same size of ion channels. In this paper, we simulate two neighboring ion channels on a cell membrane with the famous double-slit experiment in physics to investigate whether there is any possibility of matter-wave interference of ions via movement through ion channels. Our obtained decoherence timescales indicate that the quantum states of ions can only survive for short times, i.e. ≈100 picoseconds in each channel and ≈17–53 picoseconds outside the channels, giving the result that the quantum interference of ions seems unlikely due to environmental decoherence. However, we discuss our results and raise few points, which increase the possibility of interference.

  17. Quantum Interference and Selectivity through Biological Ion Channels

    PubMed Central

    Salari, Vahid; Naeij, Hamidreza; Shafiee, Afshin

    2017-01-01

    The mechanism of selectivity in ion channels is still an open question in biology for more than half a century. Here, we suggest that quantum interference can be a solution to explain the selectivity mechanism in ion channels since interference happens between similar ions through the same size of ion channels. In this paper, we simulate two neighboring ion channels on a cell membrane with the famous double-slit experiment in physics to investigate whether there is any possibility of matter-wave interference of ions via movement through ion channels. Our obtained decoherence timescales indicate that the quantum states of ions can only survive for short times, i.e. ≈100 picoseconds in each channel and ≈17–53 picoseconds outside the channels, giving the result that the quantum interference of ions seems unlikely due to environmental decoherence. However, we discuss our results and raise few points, which increase the possibility of interference. PMID:28134331

  18. Radiative electron capture by channeled ions

    SciTech Connect

    Pitarke, J.M. . Zientzi Fakultatea); Ritchie, R.H. Tennessee Univ., Knoxville, TN . Dept. of Physics)

    1989-01-01

    Considerable experimental data have been accumulated relative to the emission of photons accompanying electron capture by swift, highly stripped atoms penetrating crystalline matter under channeling conditions. Recent data suggest that the photon energies may be less than that expected from simple considerations of transitions from the valence band of the solid to hydrogenic states on the moving ion. We have studied theoretically the impact parameter dependence of the radiative electron capture (REC) process, the effect of the ion's wake and the effect of capture from inner shells of the solid on the photon emission probability, using a statistical approach. Numerical comparisons of our results with experiment are made. 13 refs., 6 figs.

  19. Carbon-based ion and molecular channels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sint, Kyaw; Wang, Boyang; Kral, Petr

    2008-03-01

    We design ion and molecular channels based on layered carboneous materials, with chemically-functionalized pore entrances. Our molecular dynamics simulations demonstrate that these ultra-narrow pores, with diameters around 1 nm, are highly selective to the charges and sizes of the passing (Na^+ and Cl^-) ions and short alkanes. We demonstrate that the molecular flows through these pores can be easily controlled by electrical and mechanical means. These artificial pores could be integrated in fluidic nanodevices and lab-on-a-chip techniques with numerous potential applications. [1] Kyaw Sint, Boyang Wang and Petr Kral, submitted. [2] Boyang Wang and Petr Kral, JACS 128, 15984 (2006).

  20. Studying mechanosensitive ion channels using liposomes.

    PubMed

    Martinac, Boris; Rohde, Paul R; Battle, Andrew R; Petrov, Evgeny; Pal, Prithwish; Foo, Alexander Fook; Vásquez, Valeria; Huynh, Thuan; Kloda, Anna

    2010-01-01

    Mechanosensitive (MS) ion channels are the primary molecular transducers of mechanical force into electrical and/or chemical intracellular signals in living cells. They have been implicated in innumerable mechanosensory physiological processes including touch and pain sensation, hearing, blood pressure control, micturition, cell volume regulation, tissue growth, or cellular turgor control. Much of what we know about the basic physical principles underlying the conversion of mechanical force acting upon membranes of living cells into conformational changes of MS channels comes from studies of MS channels reconstituted into artificial liposomes. Using bacterial MS channels as a model, we have shown by reconstituting these channels into liposomes that there is a close relationship between the physico-chemical properties of the lipid bilayer and structural dynamics bringing about the function of these channels.

  1. Mechanosensitive Ion Channels in Cardiovascular Physiology.

    PubMed

    Teng, Jinfeng; Loukin, Steve; Kung, Ching

    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.

  2. 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

  3. Tuning Photochromic Ion Channel Blockers

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Photochromic channel blockers provide a conceptually simple and convenient way to modulate neuronal activity with light. We have recently described a family of azobenzenes that function as tonic blockers of Kv channels but require UV-A light to unblock and need to be actively switched by toggling between two different wavelengths. We now introduce red-shifted compounds that fully operate in the visible region of the spectrum and quickly turn themselves off in the dark. Furthermore, we have developed a version that does not block effectively in the dark-adapted state, can be switched to a blocking state with blue light, and reverts to the inactive state automatically. Photochromic blockers of this type could be useful for the photopharmacological control of neuronal activity under mild conditions. PMID:22860175

  4. Spiking synchronization of ion channel clusters on an axon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zeng, Shangyou; Tang, Yi; Jung, Peter

    2007-07-01

    Ion channels are distributed in clusters in squid giant axons, rat retinal nerve fiber layers, pyramidal cell dendrites of Apteronotus, etc. Ion channel clusters along the unmyelinated axon generate spontaneous spiking due to ion channel noise. Ion channel clusters are coupled by the axonal cable, and spontaneous spiking of each ion channel cluster can be synchronized. This paper considers the spiking synchronization of two ion channel clusters coupled by an axon. It is shown that axonal parameters affect the spiking synchronization exponentially and ion channel clusters have maximal spiking synchronization when they have the same size. It is further shown that there is an optimal length of the ion channel clusters with maximal spiking synchronization and the optimal length accords with the length of the node of Ranvier in the myelinated axon.

  5. 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.

  6. Channeling technique to make nanoscale ion beams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Biryukov, V. M.; Bellucci, S.; Guidi, V.

    2005-04-01

    Particle channeling in a bent crystal lattice has led to an efficient instrument for beam steering at accelerators [Biryukov et al., Crystal Channeling and its Application at High Energy Accelerators, Springer, Berlin, 1997], demonstrated from MeV to TeV energies. In particular, crystal focusing of high-energy protons to micron size has been demonstrated at IHEP with the results well in match with Lindhard (critical angle) prediction. Channeling in crystal microstructures has been proposed as a unique source of a microbeam of high-energy particles [Bellucci et al., Phys. Rev. ST Accel. Beams 6 (2003) 033502]. Channeling in nanostructures (single-wall and multi-wall nanotubes) offers the opportunities to produce ion beams on nanoscale. Particles channeled in a nanotube (with typical diameter of about 1 nm) are trapped in two dimensions and can be steered (deflected, focused) with the efficiency similar to that of crystal channeling or better. This technique has been a subject of computer simulations, with experimental efforts under way in several high-energy labs, including IHEP. We present the theoretical outlook for making channeling-based nanoscale ion beams and report the experience with crystal-focused microscale proton beams.

  7. Vacuolar ion channels in the liverwort Marchantia polymorpha: influence of ion channel inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Koselski, Mateusz; Trebacz, Kazimierz; Dziubinska, Halina

    2017-05-01

    Potassium-permeable slow activating vacuolar channels (SV) and chloride-permeable channels in the vacuole of the liverwort Marchantia polymorpha were characterized in respect to calcium dependence, selectivity, and pharmacology. The patch-clamp method was used in the study of ion channel activity in the vacuoles from the liverwort Marchantia polymorpha. The whole-vacuole recordings allowed simultaneous observation of two types of currents-predominant slow activated currents recorded at positive voltages and fast activated currents recorded at negative voltages. Single-channel recordings carried out in the gradient of KCl indicated that slow activated currents were carried by potassium-permeable slowly activating vacuolar channels (SV) and fast activated currents-by chloride-permeable channels. Both types of the channels were dependent in an opposite way on calcium, since elimination of this ion from the cytoplasmic side caused inhibition of SV channels, but the open probability of chloride-permeable channels even increased. The dependence of the activity of both channels on different types of ion channel inhibitors was studied. SV channels exhibited different sensitivity to potassium channel inhibitors. These channels were insensitive to 3 mM Ba(2+), but were blocked by 3 mM tetraethyl ammonium (TEA). Moreover, the activity of the channels was modified in a different way by calcium channel inhibitors. 200 µM Gd(3+) was an effective blocker, but 50 µM ruthenium red evoked bursts of the channel activity resulting in an increase in the open probability. Different effectiveness of anion channel inhibitors was observed in chloride-permeable channels. After the application of 100 µM Zn(2+), a decrease in the open probability was recorded but the channels were still active. 50 µM DIDS was more effective, as it completely blocked the channels.

  8. Ion channels and anti-cancer immunity.

    PubMed

    Panyi, Gyorgy; Beeton, Christine; Felipe, Antonio

    2014-03-19

    The outcome of a malignant disease depends on the efficacy of the immune system to destroy cancer cells. Key steps in this process, for example the generation of a proper Ca(2+) signal induced by recognition of a specific antigen, are regulated by various ion channel including voltage-gated Kv1.3 and Ca(2+)-activated KCa3.1 K(+) channels, and the interplay between Orai and STIM to produce the Ca(2+)-release-activated Ca(2+) (CRAC) current required for T-cell proliferation and function. Understanding the immune cell subset-specific expression of ion channels along with their particular function in a given cell type, and the role of cancer tissue-dependent factors in the regulation of operation of these ion channels are emerging questions to be addressed in the fight against cancer disease. Answering these questions might lead to a better understanding of the immunosuppression phenomenon in cancer tissue and the development of drugs aimed at skewing the distribution of immune cell types towards killing of the tumour cells.

  9. Ion beam irradiated optical channel waveguides

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bányász, I.; Rajta, I.; Nagy, G. U. L.; Zolnai, Z.; Havranek, V.; Pelli, S.; Veres, M.; Himics, L.; Berneschi, S.; Nunzi-Conti, G.; Righini, G. C.

    2014-03-01

    Nowadays, in the modern optical communications systems, channel waveguides represent the core of many active and passive integrated devices, such as amplifiers, lasers, couplers and splitters. Different materials and fabrication processes were investigated in order to achieve the aforementioned optoelectronic circuits with low costs and high performance and reproducibility. Nevertheless, the 2D guiding structures fabrication continues to be a challenging task in some of optical materials due to their susceptibility to mechanical and/or chemical damages which can occur during the different steps of the fabrication process. Here we report on channel waveguides demonstration in erbium doped Tungsten - Tellurite (Er3+:TeO2-WO3) glasses and BGO crystals by means of a masked ion beam and/or direct writing processes performed at different energy MeV and ions species. The evidence of the waveguides formation was investigated by microscopy techniques and micro Raman spectroscopy.

  10. Simulations of ion current in realistic models of ion channels: the KcsA potassium channel.

    PubMed

    Burykin, A; Schutz, C N; Villá, J; Warshel, A

    2002-05-15

    Realistic studies of ion current in biologic channels present a major challenge for computer simulation approaches. All-atom molecular dynamics simulations involve serious time limitations that prevent their use in direct evaluation of ion current in channels with significant barriers. The alternative use of Brownian dynamics (BD) simulations can provide the current for simplified macroscopic models. However, the time needed for accurate calculations of electrostatic energies can make BD simulations of ion current expensive. The present work develops an approach that overcomes some of the above challenges and allows one to simulate ion currents in models of biologic channels. Our method provides a fast and reliable estimate of the energetics of the system by combining semimacroscopic calculations of the self-energy of each ion and an implicit treatment of the interactions between the ions, as well as the interactions between the ions and the protein-ionizable groups. This treatment involves the use of the semimacroscopic version of the protein dipole Langevin dipole (PDLD/S) model in its linear response approximation (LRA) implementation, which reduces the uncertainties about the value of the protein "dielectric constant." The resulting free energy surface is used to generate the forces for on-the-fly BD simulations of the corresponding ion currents. Our model is examined in a preliminary simulation of the ion current in the KcsA potassium channel. The complete free energy profile for a single ion transport reflects reasonable energetics and captures the effect of the protein-ionized groups. This calculated profile indicates that we are dealing with the channel in its closed state. Reducing the barrier at the gate region allows us to simulate the ion current in a reasonable computational time. Several limiting cases are examined, including those that reproduce the observed current, and the nature of the productive trajectories is considered. The ability to simulate

  11. Calcium homeostasis modulator (CALHM) ion channels

    PubMed Central

    Tanis, Jessica E.; Taruno, Akiyuki

    2017-01-01

    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 Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]o). In the presence of physiological [Ca2+]o (~1.5 mM), CALHM1 and CLHM-1 are closed at resting membrane potentials but can be opened by strong de-polarizations. Reducing [Ca2+]o increases channel open probability, enabling channel activation at negative membrane potentials. Together, voltage and Ca2+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 trans-membrane 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 Ca2+ 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 [Ca2+]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 neuro-transmitter 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 Ca2+o-gated ion channel, permeable to large cations and anions, that plays important roles in physiology. PMID:26603282

  12. 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.

  13. Voltage-Gated Lipid Ion Channels

    PubMed Central

    Blicher, Andreas; Heimburg, Thomas

    2013-01-01

    Synthetic lipid membranes can display channel-like ion conduction events even in the absence of proteins. We show here that these events are voltage-gated with a quadratic voltage dependence as expected from electrostatic theory of capacitors. To this end, we recorded channel traces and current histograms in patch-experiments on lipid membranes. We derived a theoretical current-voltage relationship for pores in lipid membranes that describes the experimental data very well when assuming an asymmetric membrane. We determined the equilibrium constant between closed and open state and the open probability as a function of voltage. The voltage-dependence of the lipid pores is found comparable to that of protein channels. Lifetime distributions of open and closed events indicate that the channel open distribution does not follow exponential statistics but rather power law behavior for long open times. PMID:23823188

  14. Metal interactions with voltage- and receptor-activated ion channels.

    PubMed Central

    Vijverberg, H P; Oortgiesen, M; Leinders, T; van Kleef, R G

    1994-01-01

    Effects of Pb and several other metal ions on various distinct types of voltage-, receptor- and Ca-activated ion channels have been investigated in cultured N1E-115 mouse neuroblastoma cells. Experiments were performed using the whole-cell voltage clamp and single-channel patch clamp techniques. External superfusion of nanomolar to submillimolar concentrations of Pb causes multiple effects on ion channels. Barium current through voltage-activated Ca channels is blocked by micromolar concentrations of Pb, whereas voltage-activated Na current appears insensitive. Neuronal type nicotinic acetylcholine receptor-activated ion current is blocked by nanomolar concentrations of Pb and this block is reversed at micromolar concentrations. Serotonin 5-HT3 receptor-activated ion current is much less sensitive to Pb. In addition, external superfusion with micromolar concentrations of Pb as well as of Cd and aluminum induces inward current, associated with the direct activation of nonselective cation channels by these metal ions. In excised inside-out membrane patches of neuroblastoma cells, micromolar concentrations of Ca activate small (SK) and big (BK) Ca-activated K channels. Internally applied Pb activates SK and BK channels more potently than Ca, whereas Cd is approximately equipotent to Pb with respect to SK channel activation, but fails to activate BK channels. The results show that metal ions cause distinct, selective effects on the various types of ion channels and that metal ion interaction sites of ion channels may be highly selective for particular metal ions. PMID:7531139

  15. 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

  16. Ion Concentration-Dependent Ion Conduction Mechanism of a Voltage-Sensitive Potassium Channel

    PubMed Central

    Kasahara, Kota; Shirota, Matsuyuki; Kinoshita, Kengo

    2013-01-01

    Voltage-sensitive potassium ion channels are essential for life, but the molecular basis of their ion conduction is not well understood. In particular, the impact of ion concentration on ion conduction has not been fully studied. We performed several micro-second molecular dynamics simulations of the pore domain of the Kv1.2 potassium channel in KCl solution at four different ion concentrations, and scrutinized each of the conduction events, based on graphical representations of the simulation trajectories. As a result, we observed that the conduction mechanism switched with different ion concentrations: at high ion concentrations, potassium conduction occurred by Hodgkin and Keynes' knock-on mechanism, where the association of an incoming ion with the channel is tightly coupled with the dissociation of an outgoing ion, in a one-step manner. On the other hand, at low ion concentrations, ions mainly permeated by a two-step association/dissociation mechanism, in which the association and dissociation of ions were not coupled, and occurred in two distinct steps. We also found that this switch was triggered by the facilitated association of an ion from the intracellular side within the channel pore and by the delayed dissociation of the outermost ion, as the ion concentration increased. PMID:23418558

  17. Contribution of mechanosensitive ion channels to somatosensation.

    PubMed

    Sharif-Naeini, Reza

    2015-01-01

    Mechanotransduction, the conversion of a mechanical stimulus into an electrical signal, is a central mechanism to several physiological functions in mammals. It relies on the function of mechanosensitive ion channels (MSCs). Although the first single-channel recording from MSCs dates back to 30 years ago, the identity of the genes encoding MSCs has remained largely elusive. Because these channels have an important role in the development of mechanical hypersensitivity, a better understanding of their function may lead to the identification of selective inhibitors and generate novel therapeutic pathways in the treatment of chronic pain. Here, I will describe our current understanding of the role MSCs may play in somatosensation and the potential candidate genes proposed to encode them.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Transportation behavior of alkali ions through a cell membrane ion channel. A quantum chemical description of a simplified isolated model.

    PubMed

    Billes, Ferenc; Mohammed-Ziegler, Ildikó; Mikosch, Hans

    2012-08-01

    Quantum chemical model calculations were carried out for modeling the ion transport through an isolated ion channel of a cell membrane. An isolated part of a natural ion channel was modeled. The model channel was a calixarene derivative, hydrated sodium and potassium ions were the models of the transported ion. The electrostatic potential of the channel and the energy of the channel-ion system were calculated as a function of the alkali ion position. Both attractive and repulsive ion-channel interactions were found. The calculations - namely the dependence of the system energy and the atomic charges of the water molecules with respect to the position of the alkali ion in the channel - revealed the molecular-structural background of the potassium selectivity of this artificial ion channel. It was concluded that the studied ion channel mimics real biological ion channel quite well.

  2. 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.

  3. Trails of kilovolt ions created by subsurface channeling.

    PubMed

    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+ 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Structure and selectivity in bestrophin ion channels

    DOE PAGES

    Yang, Tingting; Liu, Qun; Kloss, Brian; ...

    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

  9. Ion channels: molecular targets of neuroactive insecticides.

    PubMed

    Raymond-Delpech, Valérie; Matsuda, Kazuhiko; Sattelle, Benedict M; Rauh, James J; Sattelle, David B

    2005-11-01

    Many of the insecticides in current use act on molecular targets in the insect nervous system. Recently, our understanding of these targets has improved as a result of the complete sequencing of an insect genome, i.e., Drosophila melanogaster. Here we examine the recent work, drawing on genetics, genomics and physiology, which has provided evidence that specific receptors and ion channels are targeted by distinct chemical classes of insect control agents. The examples discussed include, sodium channels (pyrethroids, p,p'-dichlorodiphenyl-trichloroethane (DDT), dihydropyrazoles and oxadiazines); nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (cartap, spinosad, imidacloprid and related nitromethylenes/nitroguanidines); gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors (cyclodienes, gamma-BHC and fipronil) and L-glutamate receptors (avermectins). Finally, we have examined the molecular basis of resistance to these molecules, which in some cases involves mutations in the molecular target, and we also consider the future impact of molecular genetic technologies in our understanding of the actions of neuroactive insecticides.

  10. 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.

  11. Ion channels of the mammalian urethra

    PubMed Central

    Kyle, Barry D

    2014-01-01

    The mammalian urethra is a muscular tube responsible for ensuring that urine remains in the urinary bladder until urination. In order to prevent involuntary urine leakage, the urethral musculature must be capable of constricting the urethral lumen to an extent that exceeds bladder intravesicular pressure during the urine-filling phase. The main challenge in anti-incontinence treatments involves selectively-controlling the excitability of the smooth muscles in the lower urinary tract. Almost all strategies to battle urinary incontinence involve targeting the bladder and as a result, this tissue has been the focus for the majority of research and development efforts. There is now increasing recognition of the value of targeting the urethral musculature in the treatment and management of urinary incontinence. Newly-identified and characterized ion channels and pathways in the smooth muscle of the urethra provides a range of potential therapeutic targets for the treatment of urinary incontinence. This review provides a summary of the current state of knowledge of the ion channels discovered in urethral smooth muscle cells that regulate their excitability. PMID:25483582

  12. 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

  13. Stochastic theory of ion movement in channels with single-ion occupancy. Application to sodium permeation of gramicidin channels.

    PubMed Central

    Jakobsson, E; Chiu, S W

    1987-01-01

    The electrodiffusion equations were solved for the one-ion channel both by the analytical method due to Levitt and also by Brownian dynamic simulations. For both types of calculations equilibration of ion distribution between the bath and the ends of the channel was assumed. Potential profiles were found that give good fits to published data on Na+ permeation of gramicidin channels. The data were best fit by profiles that have no relative energy maximum at the mouth of the channel. This finding suggests that alignment of waters or channel charged groups inside the channel in response to an ion's approach may provide an energetically favorable situation for entry sufficient to overcome the energy required for removing bulk waters of hydration. An alternative possibility is that the barrier to ion entry is situated outside the region restricted to single-ion occupancy. Replacement of valine with more polar amino acids at the No. 1 location was found to correspond to a deepening of the potential minima near the channel mouths, an increase in height of the central barrier to ion translocation across the channel, and possibly a reduction in the mobility of the ion-water complex in the channel. The Levitt theory was extended to calculate passage times for ions to cross the channel and the blocking effects of ions that entered the channel but didn't cross. These quantities were also calculated by the Brownian dynamics method. PMID:2440492

  14. Potassium channels as multi-ion single-file pores

    PubMed Central

    1978-01-01

    A literature review reveals many lines of evidence that both delayed rectifier and inward rectifier potassium channels are multi-ion pores. These include unidirectional flux ratios given by the 2--2.5 power of the electrochemical activity ratio, very steeply voltage-dependent block with monovalent blocking ions, relief of block by permeant ions added to the side opposite from the blocking ion, rectification depending on E--EK, and a minimum in the reversal potential or conductance as external K+ ions are replaced by an equivalent concentration of T1+ ions. We consider a channel with a linear sequence of energy barriers and binding sites. The channel can be occupied by more than one ion at a time, and ions hop in single file into vacant sites with rate constants that depend on barrier heights, membrane potential, and interionic repulsion. Such multi-ion models reproduce qualitatively the special flux properties of potassium channels when the barriers for hopping out of the pore are larger than for hopping between sites within the pore and when there is repulsion between ions. These conditions also produce multiple maxima in the conductance-ion activity relationship. In agreement with Armstrong's hypothesis (1969. J. Gen. Physiol. 54:553--575), inward rectification may be understood in terms of block by an internal blocking cation. Potassium channels must have at least three sites and often contain at least two ions at a time. PMID:722275

  15. Acid-sensing ion channels under hypoxia.

    PubMed

    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.

  16. 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

  17. Optical control of an ion channel gate

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    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

  18. [Preeclampsia, cellular migration and ion channels].

    PubMed

    Del Mónaco, Silvana M; Marino, Gabriela; Assef, Yanina; Kotsias, Basilio A

    2008-01-01

    The syncytiotrophoblast acts in human placenta as a transporting barrier regulating the transference of nutrients, solutes and water between maternal and fetal blood. This transepithelial transport involves movement of Na+ and its contribution to the osmotic pressure is an important determinant of the extracellular fluid volume. ENaC is a channel that mediates entry of Na+ from the luminal fluid into the cells in many reabsorbing epithelia; it is aldosterone, vasopressin, insulin and catecholamine-inducible, modulated by estrogens and progesterone and blocked by amiloride and its analogs. Multiple proteases are involved in the proteolytic processing and activation of ENaC subunits and aldosterone alters the protease-protease inhibitors balance. ENaC is also expressed in human placenta; although its function is not well known, the Na+ conductive properties may participate in electrolyte and extracellular volume homeostasis. The activity of ENaC channels and other ion channels and transporters is regulated by the state of actin filaments; on the other hand, changes in volume influence the actin cytoskeleton. Thus, there is an interaction between ENaC and components of the apical membrane cytoskeleton. In addition to their role in cellular homeostasis and electrical properties, Na+ currents through ENaC and other sodium channels are involved in cell migration, well documented in normal and cancer cells. In this work we presented evidences supporting the hypothesis that ENaC channels are required for the migration of BeWo cells, a human hormone-synthesizing trophoblastic cell line that express the three subunits of the ENaC channels. BeWo cell line has also been used as a model to investigate the placental transport mechanisms.

  19. Self-organized enhancement of conductivity in biological ion channels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tindjong, R.; Kaufman, I.; Luchinsky, D. G.; McClintock, P. V. E.; Khovanov, I.; Eisenberg, R. S.

    2013-10-01

    We discuss an example of self-organization in a biological system. It arises from long-range ion-ion interactions, and it leads us to propose a new kind of enhanced conduction in ion channels. The underlying mechanism involves charge fluctuations near the channel mouth, amplified by the mismatch between the relative permittivities of water and the protein of the channel walls. We use Brownian dynamics simulations to show that, as in conventional ‘knock on’ permeation, these interactions can strongly enhance the channel current; but unlike the conventional mechanism, the enhancement occurs without the instigating bath ion entering the channel. The transition between these two mechanisms is clearly demonstrated, emphasizing their distinction. A simple model accurately reproduces the observed phenomena. We point out that electrolyte plus protein of low relative permittivity are universal in living systems, so that long-range ion-ion correlations of the kind considered must be common.

  20. Pre-formed plasma channels for ion beam fusion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peterson, R. R.; Olson, C. L.

    1997-04-01

    The transport of driver ions to the target in an IFE power plant is an important consideration in IFE target chamber design. Pre-formed laser-guided plasma discharge channels have been considered for light ions because they reduce the beam microdivergence constraints, allow long transport lengths, and require a target chamber fill gas that can help protect the target chamber from the target explosion. Here, pre-formed plasma discharge channels are considered for heavy ion transport. The channel formation parameters are similar to those for light ions. The allowable ion power per channel is limited by the onset of plasma instabilities and energy loss due to a reverse emf from the rapid channel expansion driven by the ion beam.

  1. United in diversity: mechanosensitive ion channels in plants.

    PubMed

    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.

  2. 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

  3. Hierarchical approach to predicting permeation in ion channels.

    PubMed Central

    Mashl, R J; Tang, Y; Schnitzer, J; Jakobsson, E

    2001-01-01

    A hierarchical computational strategy combining molecular modeling, electrostatics calculations, molecular dynamics, and Brownian dynamics simulations is developed and implemented to compute electrophysiologically measurable properties of the KcsA potassium channel. Models for a series of channels with different pore sizes are developed from the known x-ray structure, using insights into the gating conformational changes as suggested by a variety of published experiments. Information on the pH dependence of the channel gating is incorporated into the calculation of potential profiles for K(+) ions inside the channel, which are then combined with K(+) ion mobilities inside the channel, as computed by molecular dynamics simulations, to provide inputs into Brownian dynamics simulations for computing ion fluxes. The open model structure has a conductance of approximately 110 pS under symmetric 250 mM K(+) conditions, in reasonable agreement with experiments for the largest conducting substate. The dimensions of this channel are consistent with electrophysiologically determined size dependence of quaternary ammonium ion blocking from the intracellular end of this channel as well as with direct structural evidence that tetrabutylammonium ions can enter into the interior cavity of the channel. Realistic values of Ussing flux ratio exponents, distribution of ions within the channel, and shapes of the current-voltage and current-concentration curves are obtained. The Brownian dynamics calculations suggest passage of ions through the selectivity filter proceeds by a "knock-off" mechanism involving three ions, as has been previously inferred from functional and structural studies of barium ion blocking. These results suggest that the present calculations capture the essential nature of K(+) ion permeation in the KcsA channel and provide a proof-of-concept for the integrated microscopic/mesoscopic multitiered approach for predicting ion channel function from structure, which

  4. Pore architecture and ion sites in acid-sensing ion channels and P2X receptors.

    PubMed

    Gonzales, Eric B; Kawate, Toshimitsu; Gouaux, Eric

    2009-07-30

    Acid-sensing ion channels are proton-activated, sodium-selective channels composed of three subunits, and are members of the superfamily of epithelial sodium channels, mechanosensitive and FMRF-amide peptide-gated ion channels. These ubiquitous eukaryotic ion channels have essential roles in biological activities as diverse as sodium homeostasis, taste and pain. Despite their crucial roles in biology and their unusual trimeric subunit stoichiometry, there is little knowledge of the structural and chemical principles underlying their ion channel architecture and ion-binding sites. Here we present the structure of a functional acid-sensing ion channel in a desensitized state at 3 A resolution, the location and composition of the approximately 8 A 'thick' desensitization gate, and the trigonal antiprism coordination of caesium ions bound in the extracellular vestibule. Comparison of the acid-sensing ion channel structure with the ATP-gated P2X(4) receptor reveals similarity in pore architecture and aqueous vestibules, suggesting that there are unanticipated yet common structural and mechanistic principles.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Ions channels/transporters and chloroplast regulation.

    PubMed

    Finazzi, Giovanni; Petroutsos, Dimitris; Tomizioli, Martino; Flori, Serena; Sautron, Emeline; Villanova, Valeria; Rolland, Norbert; Seigneurin-Berny, Daphné

    2015-07-01

    Ions play fundamental roles in all living cells and their gradients are often essential to fuel transports, to regulate enzyme activities and to transduce energy within and between cells. Their homeostasis is therefore an essential component of the cell metabolism. Ions must be imported from the extracellular matrix to their final subcellular compartments. Among them, the chloroplast is a particularly interesting example because there, ions not only modulate enzyme activities, but also mediate ATP synthesis and actively participate in the building of the photosynthetic structures by promoting membrane-membrane interaction. In this review, we first provide a comprehensive view of the different machineries involved in ion trafficking and homeostasis in the chloroplast, and then discuss peculiar functions exerted by ions in the frame of photochemical conversion of absorbed light energy.

  8. 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%.

  9. 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.

  10. Cnidarian Toxins Acting on Voltage-Gated Ion Channels

    PubMed Central

    Messerli, Shanta M.; Greenberg, Robert M.

    2006-01-01

    Voltage-gated ion channels generate electrical activity in excitable cells. As such, they are essential components of neuromuscular and neuronal systems, and are targeted by toxins from a wide variety of phyla, including the cnidarians. Here, we review cnidarian toxins known to target voltage-gated ion channels, the specific channel types targeted, and, where known, the sites of action of cnidarian toxins on different channels.

  11. Engineered ion channels as emerging tools for chemical biology.

    PubMed

    Mayer, Michael; Yang, Jerry

    2013-12-17

    Over the last 25 years, researchers have developed exogenously expressed, genetically engineered, semi-synthetic, and entirely synthetic ion channels. These structures have sufficient fidelity to serve as unique tools that can reveal information about living organisms. One of the most exciting success stories is optogenetics: the use of light-gated channels to trigger action potentials in specific neurons combined with studies of the response from networks of cells or entire live animals. Despite this breakthrough, the use of molecularly engineered ion channels for studies of biological systems is still in its infancy. Historically, researchers studied ion channels in the context of their own function in single cells or in multicellular signaling and regulation. Only recently have researchers considered ion channels and pore-forming peptides as responsive tools to report on the chemical and physical changes produced by other biochemical processes and reactions. This emerging class of molecular probes has a number of useful characteristics. For instance, these structures can greatly amplify the signal of chemical changes: the binding of one molecule to a ligand-gated ion channel can result in flux of millions of ions across a cell membrane. In addition, gating occurs on sub-microsecond time scales, resulting in fast response times. Moreover, the signal is complementary to existing techniques because the output is ionic current rather than fluorescence or radioactivity. And finally, ion channels are also localized at the membrane of cells where essential processes such as signaling and regulation take place. This Account highlights examples, mostly from our own work, of uses of ion channels and pore-forming peptides such as gramicidin in chemical biology. We discuss various strategies for preparing synthetically tailored ion channels that range from de novo designed synthetic molecules to genetically engineered or simply exogenously expressed or reconstituted wild

  12. Circadian regulation of ion channels and their functions

    PubMed Central

    Ko, Gladys Y.-P.; Shi, Liheng; Ko, Michael L.

    2010-01-01

    Ion channels are the gatekeepers to neuronal excitability. Retinal neurons of vertebrates and invertebrates, neurons of the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of vertebrates, and pinealocytes of non-mammalian vertebrates display daily rhythms in their activities. The interlocking transcription–translation feedback loops with specific post-translational modulations within individual cells form the molecular clock, the basic mechanism that maintains the autonomic ~24-h rhythm. The molecular clock regulates downstream output signaling pathways that further modulate activities of various ion channels. Ultimately, it is the circadian regulation of ion channel properties that govern excitability and behavior output of these neurons. In this review, we focus on the recent development of research in circadian neurobiology mainly from 1980 forward. We will emphasize the circadian regulation of various ion channels, including cGMP-gated cation channels, various voltage-gated calcium and potassium channels, Na+/K+-ATPase, and a long-opening cation channel. The cellular mechanisms underlying the circadian regulation of these ion channels and their functions in various tissues and organisms will also be discussed. Despite the magnitude of chronobiological studies in recent years, the circadian regulation of ion channels still remains largely unexplored. Through more investigation and understanding of the circadian regulation of ion channels, the future development of therapeutic strategies for the treatment of sleep disorders, cardiovascular diseases, and other illnesses linked to circadian misalignment will benefit. PMID:19549279

  13. Flow-activated ion channels in vascular endothelium.

    PubMed

    Gautam, Mamta; Gojova, Andrea; Barakat, Abdul I

    2006-01-01

    The ability of vascular endothelial cells (ECs) to respond to fluid mechanical forces associated with blood flow is essential for flow-mediated vasoregulation and arterial wall remodeling. Abnormalities in endothelial responses to flow also play a role in the development of atherosclerosis. Although our understanding of the endothelial signaling pathways stimulated by flow has greatly increased over the past two decades, the mechanisms by which ECs sense flow remain largely unknown. Activation of flow-sensitive ion channels is among the fastest known endothelial responses to flow; therefore, these ion channels have been proposed as candidate flow sensors. This review focuses on: 1) describing the various types of flow-sensitive ion channels that have been reported in ECs, 2) discussing the implications of activation of these ion channels for endothelial function, and 3) proposing candidate mechanisms for activation of flow-sensitive ion channels.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    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+ channel selectivity filters. Combined with single channel electrophysiology, we show that only the channel with four ion binding sites is K+ selective, whereas those with two or three are nonselective and permeate Na+ and K+ 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+ channels is essential for highly selective and efficient permeation of K+ ions. PMID:21187421

  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. Novel screening techniques for ion channel targeting drugs

    PubMed Central

    Obergrussberger, Alison; Stölzle-Feix, Sonja; Becker, Nadine; Brüggemann, Andrea; Fertig, Niels; Möller, Clemens

    2015-01-01

    Ion channels are integral membrane proteins that regulate the flux of ions across the cell membrane. They are involved in nearly all physiological processes, and malfunction of ion channels has been linked to many diseases. Until recently, high-throughput screening of ion channels was limited to indirect, e.g. fluorescence-based, readout technologies. In the past years, direct label-free biophysical readout technologies by means of electrophysiology have been developed. Planar patch-clamp electrophysiology provides a direct functional label-free readout of ion channel function in medium to high throughput. Further electrophysiology features, including temperature control and higher-throughput instruments, are continually being developed. Electrophysiological screening in a 384-well format has recently become possible. Advances in chip and microfluidic design, as well as in cell preparation and handling, have allowed challenging cell types to be studied by automated patch clamp. Assays measuring action potentials in stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes, relevant for cardiac safety screening, and neuronal cells, as well as a large number of different ion channels, including fast ligand-gated ion channels, have successfully been established by automated patch clamp. Impedance and multi-electrode array measurements are particularly suitable for studying cardiomyocytes and neuronal cells within their physiological network, and to address more complex physiological questions. This article discusses recent advances in electrophysiological technologies available for screening ion channel function and regulation. PMID:26556400

  17. Ion Channeling Analysis of Gallium Nitride Implanted with Deuterium

    SciTech Connect

    Myers, S.M.; Wampler, W.R.

    1998-12-23

    Ion channeling and transmission electron microscopy were used to examine the microstructure of GaN implanted with deuterium (D) at high (>1 at. %) and low (< 0.1 at. %) D concentrations. At high concentrations, bubbles and basal-plane stacking faults were observed. Ion channeling showed the D was disordered relative to the GaN lattice, consistent with precipitation of D2 into bubbles. At low D concentrations, bubbles and stacking faults are absent and ion channeling shows that a large fraction of the D occupies sites near the center of the c-axis channel.

  18. Ion flow in the bath and flux interactions between channels.

    PubMed Central

    Ramanan, S V; Mesimeris, V; Brink, P R

    1994-01-01

    We present an exact solution to the linearized Nernst-Planck-Poisson equation for spherically symmetric current flow. This solution differs from Levitt's solution (Levitt, D. G. 1992. Biophys. J., Eq. A5) by its dependence on an additional parameter, which is equal to the net ion flux for monovalent ion-selective channels. For ion-selective channels, this solution may provide better boundary conditions to modelling the flow in the channel pore itself, although only at low salt concentrations. We use the solution to estimate the effects of flux interaction between closely packed channels. PMID:7518706

  19. On the Evolution of Voltage Gated Ion Channels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brenner, Michael

    2006-03-01

    This talk summarizes some ideas, calculations and data analysis/collection surrounding the structure and evolution of ion channels, in particular voltage gated sodium channels. The great advantage of ion channels is that they are individual proteins whose function has long been known and is readily inferred through voltage measurements. Their evolution can be tracked through the growing data base of sequences. Kinetic data is readily available, showing important differences between nearly identical channels. I will discuss our efforts to collate available functional data on voltage gated sodium channels into an 'ion channel property space' . We then use this dataset to infer underlying kinetic models, and to create evolutionary trees based on the function of the channels. Finally, I will discuss our endeavors to how ion channels evolved to be the way they are: Examples of questions we would like to answer include: to what extent do design principles dictate the details of the kinetic schemes of ion channels, such as (a) the symmetry of the sodium and potassium channels (or lack thereof), as reflected in their kinetic schemes ; (b) the coupling of sodium channel kinetics to potassium channel kinetics; or (c) activation/inactivation of the channels themselves.

  20. 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.

  1. Physiological and pathological functions of mechanosensitive ion channels.

    PubMed

    Gu, Yuanzheng; Gu, Chen

    2014-10-01

    Rapid sensation of mechanical stimuli is often mediated by mechanosensitve ion channels. Their opening results from conformational changes induced by mechanical forces. It leads to membrane permeation of selected ions and thereby to electrical signaling. Newly identified mechanosensitive ion channels are emerging at an astonishing rate, including some that are traditionally assigned for completely different functions. In this review, we first provide a brief overview of ion channels that are known to play a role in mechanosensation. Next, we focus on three representative ones, including the transient receptor potential channel V4 (TRPV4), Kv1.1 voltage-gated potassium (Kv) channel, and Piezo channels. Their structures, biophysical properties, expression and targeting patterns, and physiological functions are highlighted. The potential role of their mechanosensation in related diseases is further discussed. In sum, mechanosensation appears to be achieved in a variety of ways by different proteins and plays a fundamental role in the function of various organs under normal and abnormal conditions.

  2. Studying mechanosensitive ion channels with an automated patch clamp.

    PubMed

    Barthmes, Maria; Jose, Mac Donald F; Birkner, Jan Peter; Brüggemann, Andrea; Wahl-Schott, Christian; Koçer, Armağan

    2014-03-01

    Patch clamp electrophysiology is the main technique to study mechanosensitive ion channels (MSCs), however, conventional patch clamping is laborious and success and output depends on the skills of the operator. Even though automated patch systems solve these problems for other ion channels, they could not be applied to MSCs. Here, we report on activation and single channel analysis of a bacterial mechanosensitive ion channel using an automated patch clamp system. With the automated system, we could patch not only giant unilamellar liposomes but also giant Escherichia coli (E. coli) spheroplasts. The tension sensitivity and channel kinetics data obtained in the automated system were in good agreement with that obtained from the conventional patch clamp. The findings will pave the way to high throughput fundamental and drug screening studies on mechanosensitive ion channels.

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

    PubMed

    Fowler, Philip W; Abad, Enrique; Beckstein, Oliver; Sansom, Mark S P

    2013-11-12

    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.

  4. Ion transport in graphene nanofluidic channels.

    PubMed

    Xie, Quan; Xin, Fang; Park, Hyung Gyu; Duan, Chuanhua

    2016-12-01

    Carbon nanofluidic structures made of carbon nanotubes or graphene/graphene oxide have shown great promise in energy and environment applications due to the newly discovered fast and selective mass transport. However, they have yet to be utilized in nanofluidic devices for lab-on-a-chip applications because of great challenges in their fabrication and integration. Herein we report the fabrication of two-dimensional planar graphene nanochannel devices and the study of ion transport inside a graphene nanochannel array. A MEMS fabrication process that includes controlled nanochannel etching, graphene wet transfer, and vacuum anodic bonding is developed to fabricate graphene nanochannels where graphene conformally coats the channel surfaces. We observe higher ionic conductance inside the graphene nanochannels compared with silica nanochannels with the same geometries at low electrolyte concentrations (10(-6) M-10(-2) M). Enhanced electroosmotic flow due to the boundary slip at graphene surfaces is attributed to the measured higher conductance in the graphene nanochannels. Our results also suggest that the surface charge on the graphene surface, originating from the dissociation of oxygen-containing functional groups, is crucial to the enhanced electroosmotic flow inside the nanochannels.

  5. 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.

  6. Electrostatic calculations for an ion channel. I. Energy and potential profiles and interactions between ions.

    PubMed Central

    Levitt, D G

    1978-01-01

    The electrostatic energy profile of one, two, or three ions in an aqueous channel through a lipid membrane is calculated. It is shown that the previous solution to this problem (based on the assumption that the channel is infinitely long) significantly overestimates the electrostatic energy barrier. For example, for a 3-A radius pore, the energy is 16 kT for the infinite channel and 6.7 kT for an ion in the center of a channel 25 A long. The energy as a function of the position of the ion is also determined. With this energy profile, the rate of crossing the membrane (using the Nernst-Planck equation) was estimated and found to be compatible with the maximum conductance observed for the gramicidin A channel. The total electrostatic energy (as a function of position) required to place two or three ions in the channel is also calculated. The electrostatic interaction is small for two ions at opposite ends of the channel and large for any positioning of the three ions. Finally, the gradient through the channel of an applied potential is calculated. The solution to these problems is based on solving an equivalent problem in which an appropriate surface charge is placed on the boundary between the lipid and aqueous regions. The magnitude of the surface charge is obtained from the numerical solution for a system of coupled integral equations. PMID:656542

  7. Ion Channels, Cell Volume, Cell Proliferation and Apoptotic Cell Death

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lang, Florian; Gulbins, Erich; Szabo, Ildiko; Vereninov, Alexey; Huber, Stephan M.

    At some stage cell proliferation requires an increase in cell volume and a typical hallmark of apoptotic cell death is cell shrinkage. The respective alterations of cell volume are accomplished by altered regulation of ion transport including ion channels. Thus, cell proliferation and apoptosis are both paralleled by altered activity of ion channels, which play an active part in these fundamental cellular mechanisms. Activation of anion channels allows exit of Cl?, osmolyte and HCO3 ? leading to cell shrinkage and acidification of the cytosol. K+ exit through K+ channels leads to cell shrinkage and a decrease in intracellular K+ concentration. K+ channel activity is further important for maintenance of the cell membrane potential - a critical determinant of Ca2+ entry through Ca2+ channels. Cytosolic Ca2+ may both activate mechanisms required for cell proliferation and stimulate enzymes executing apoptosis. The effect of enhanced cytosolic Ca2+ activity depends on the magnitude and temporal organisation of Ca2+ entry. Moreover, a given ion channel may support both cell proliferation and apoptosis, and specific ion channel blockers may abrogate both fundamental cellular mechanisms, depending on cell type, regulatory environment and condition of the cell. Clearly, further experimental effort is needed to clarify the role of ion channels in the regulation of cell proliferation and apoptosis.

  8. 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

  9. High throughput electrophysiology: new perspectives for ion channel drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Willumsen, Niels J; Bech, Morten; Olesen, Søren-Peter; Jensen, Bo Skaaning; Korsgaard, Mads P G; Christophersen, Palle

    2003-01-01

    Proper function of ion channels is crucial for all living cells. Ion channel dysfunction may lead to a number of diseases, so-called channelopathies, and a number of common diseases, including epilepsy, arrhythmia, and type II diabetes, are primarily treated by drugs that modulate ion channels. A cornerstone in current drug discovery is high throughput screening assays which allow examination of the activity of specific ion channels though only to a limited extent. Conventional patch clamp remains the sole technique with sufficiently high time resolution and sensitivity required for precise and direct characterization of ion channel properties. However, patch clamp is a slow, labor-intensive, and thus expensive, technique. New techniques combining the reliability and high information content of patch clamping with the virtues of high throughput philosophy are emerging and predicted to make a number of ion channel targets accessible for drug screening. Specifically, genuine HTS parallel processing techniques based on arrays of planar silicon chips are being developed, but also lower throughput sequential techniques may be of value in compound screening, lead optimization, and safety screening. The introduction of new powerful HTS electrophysiological techniques is predicted to cause a revolution in ion channel drug discovery.

  10. 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.

  11. Ion Trapping with Fast-Response Ion-Selective Microelectrodes Enhances Detection of Extracellular Ion Channel Gradients

    PubMed Central

    Messerli, Mark A.; Collis, Leon P.; Smith, Peter J.S.

    2009-01-01

    Previously, functional mapping of channels has been achieved by measuring the passage of net charge and of specific ions with electrophysiological and intracellular fluorescence imaging techniques. However, functional mapping of ion channels using extracellular ion-selective microelectrodes has distinct advantages over the former methods. We have developed this method through measurement of extracellular K+ gradients caused by efflux through Ca2+-activated K+ channels expressed in Chinese hamster ovary cells. We report that electrodes constructed with short columns of a mechanically stable K+-selective liquid membrane respond quickly and measure changes in local [K+] consistent with a diffusion model. When used in close proximity to the plasma membrane (<4 μm), the ISMs pose a barrier to simple diffusion, creating an ion trap. The ion trap amplifies the local change in [K+] without dramatically changing the rise or fall time of the [K+] profile. Measurement of extracellular K+ gradients from activated rSlo channels shows that rapid events, 10–55 ms, can be characterized. This method provides a noninvasive means for functional mapping of channel location and density as well as for characterizing the properties of ion channels in the plasma membrane. PMID:19217875

  12. Surface dynamics of voltage-gated ion channels

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  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. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Large fraction of crystal directions leads to ion channeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nordlund, K.; Djurabekova, F.; Hobler, G.

    2016-12-01

    It is well established that when energetic ions are moving in crystals, they may penetrate much deeper if they happen to be directed in some specific crystal directions. This `channeling' effect is utilized for instance in certain ion beam analysis methods and has been described by analytical theories and atomistic computer simulations. However, there have been very few systematic studies of channeling in directions other than the principal low-index ones. We present here a molecular dynamics-based approach to calculate ion channeling systematically over all crystal directions, providing ion `channeling maps' that easily show in which directions channeling is expected. The results show that channeling effects can be quite significant even at energies below 1 keV, and that in many cases, significant planar channeling occurs also in a wide range of crystal directions between the low-index principal ones. In all of the cases studied, a large fraction (˜20 -60 % ) of all crystal directions show channeling. A practical implication of this is that modern experiments on randomly oriented nanostructures will have a large probability of channeling. It also means that when ion irradiations are carried out on polycrystalline samples, channeling effects on the results cannot a priori be assumed to be negligible. The maps allow for easy selection of good `nonchanneling' directions in experiments or alternatively finding wide channels for beneficial uses of channeling. We implement channeling theory to also give the fraction of channeling directions in a manner directly comparable to the simulations. The comparison shows good qualitative agreement. In particular, channeling theory is very good at predicting which channels are active at a given energy. This is true down to sub-keV energies, provided the penetration depth is not too small.

  19. Scorpion toxin peptide action at the ion channel subunit level.

    PubMed

    Housley, David M; Housley, Gary D; Liddell, Michael J; Jennings, Ernest A

    2016-10-10

    This review categorizes functionally validated actions of defined scorpion toxin (SCTX) neuropeptides across ion channel subclasses, highlighting key trends in this rapidly evolving field. Scorpion envenomation is a common event in many tropical and subtropical countries, with neuropharmacological actions, particularly autonomic nervous system modulation, causing significant mortality. The primary active agents within scorpion venoms are a diverse group of small neuropeptides that elicit specific potent actions across a wide range of ion channel classes. The identification and functional characterisation of these SCTX peptides has tremendous potential for development of novel pharmaceuticals that advance knowledge of ion channels and establish lead compounds for treatment of excitable tissue disorders. This review delineates the unique specificities of 320 individual SCTX peptides that collectively act on 41 ion channel subclasses. Thus the SCTX research field has significant translational implications for pathophysiology spanning neurotransmission, neurohumoral signalling, sensori-motor systems and excitation-contraction coupling. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Influence of planar oscillations on scattered ion energy distributions in transmission ion channeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bailes, A. A.; Seiberling, L. E.

    1999-06-01

    Utilizing the transmission ion channeling technique and a Monte Carlo simulation of the channeling of He ions in Si, we have been able to determine surface structure by comparing experimental to simulated scattered ion energy distributions. In analyzing data for {110} beam incidence, we have found that planar oscillations persist well past 2000 Å in our Monte Carlo simulations. These oscillations yield no benefit to this method of data analysis but can make analysis more difficult by the requirement for more accurate Si thickness determination.

  1. The 13th Annual Aurora Biomed Ion Channel Retreat: Three Days of Research, Technology, and Networking.

    PubMed

    Magee, Kaylee E A; Stanwood, Shawna R

    2016-03-01

    The 13th Annual Ion Channel Retreat was held by Aurora Biomed in Vancouver, Canada from July 7 to 9, 2015. The meeting showcased prominent current research including cardiac safety and pharmacology; ion channel structure, function and engineering; transporters and ion pumps; screening technologies; ion channels as disease targets; alcohol, tobacco, and ion channels; and ion channels as pain targets. This report summarizes the work presented at the retreat.

  2. 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

  3. Calculating Conductance of Ion Channels - Linking Molecular Dynamics and Electrophysiology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, Michael A.; Pohorille, Andrew

    2015-01-01

    Molecular dynamics computer simulations were combined with an electrodiffusion model to compute conduction of simple ion channels. The main assumptions of the model, and the consistency, efficiency and accuracy of the ion current calculations were tested and found satisfactory. The calculated current-voltage dependence for a synthetic peptide channel is in agreement with experiments and correctly captures the asymmetry of current with respect to applied field.

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

    Sun, Han; Li, Min

    2013-02-01

    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.

  6. Ion channels, long QT syndrome and arrhythmogenesis in ageing.

    PubMed

    Jeevaratnam, Kamalan; Chadda, Karan R; Salvage, Samantha C; Valli, Haseeb; Ahmad, Shiraz; Grace, Andrew A; Huang, Christopher L-H

    2016-12-26

    Ageing is associated with increased prevalences of both atrial and ventricular arrhythmias, reflecting disruption of the normal sequence of ion channel activation and inactivation generating the propagated cardiac action potential. Experimental models with specific ion channel genetic modifications have helped clarify the interacting functional roles of ion channels and how their dysregulation contributes to arrhythmogenic processes at the cellular and systems level. They have also investigated interactions between these ion channel abnormalities and age-related processes in producing arrhythmic tendency. Previous reviews have explored the relationships between age and loss-of-function Nav 1.5 mutations in producing arrhythmogenicity. The present review now explores complementary relationships arising from gain-of-function Nav 1.5 mutations associated with long QT3 (LQTS3). LQTS3 patients show increased risks of life-threatening ventricular arrhythmias particularly after 40 years of age consistent with such interactions between the ion channel abnormailities and ageing. In turn clinical evidence suggests that ageing is accompanied by structural, particularly fibrotic, as well as electrophysiological change. These abnormalities may result from biochemical changes producing low-grade inflammation resulting from increased production of reactive oxygen species and superoxide. Experimental studies offer further insights into the underlying mechanisms underlying these phenotypes. Thus, studies in genetically modified murine models for LQTS implicated action potential recovery processes in arrhythmogenesis resulting from functional ion channel abnormalities. In addition, ageing WT murine models demonstrated both ion channel alterations and fibrotic changes with ageing. Murine models then suggested evidence for interactions between ageing and ion channel mutations and provided insights into potential arrhythmic mechanisms inviting future exploration. This article is

  7. Ion channels in genetic and acquired forms of epilepsy

    PubMed Central

    Lerche, Holger; Shah, Mala; Beck, Heinz; Noebels, Jeff; Johnston, Dan; Vincent, Angela

    2013-01-01

    Genetic mutations causing dysfunction of both voltage- and ligand-gated ion channels make a major contribution to the cause of many different types of familial epilepsy. Key mechanisms comprise defective Na+ channels of inhibitory neurons, or GABAA receptors affecting pre- or postsynaptic GABAergic inhibition, or a dysfunction of different types of channels at axon initial segments. Many of these ion channel mutations have been modelled in mice, which has largely contributed to the understanding of where and how the ion channel defects lead to neuronal hyperexcitability. Animal models of febrile seizures or mesial temporal epilepsy have shown that dendritic K+ channels, hyperpolarization-activated cation channels and T-type Ca2+ channels play important roles in the generation of seizures. For the latter, it has been shown that suppression of their function by pharmacological mechanisms or in knock-out mice can antagonize epileptogenesis. Defects of ion channel function are also associated with forms of acquired epilepsy. Autoantibodies directed against ion channels or associated proteins, such as K+ channels, LGI1 or NMDA receptors, have been identified in epileptic disorders that can largely be included under the term limbic encephalitis which includes limbic seizures, status epilepticus and psychiatric symptoms. We conclude that ion channels and associated proteins are important players in different types of genetic and acquired epilepsies. Nevertheless, the molecular bases for most common forms of epilepsy are not yet clear, and evidence to be discussed indicates just how much more we need to understand about the complex mechanisms that underlie epileptogenesis. PMID:23090947

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Gated regulation of CRAC channel ion selectivity by STIM1

    PubMed Central

    McNally, Beth A.; Somasundaram, Agila; Yamashita, Megumi; Prakriya, Murali

    2011-01-01

    Two defining functional features of ion channels are ion selectivity and channel gating. Ion selectivity is generally considered an immutable property of the open channel structure, whereas gating involves transitions between open and closed channel states typically without changes in ion selectivity 1. In store-operated Ca2+ release-activated Ca2+ (CRAC) channels, the molecular mechanism of channel gating by the CRAC channel activator, STIM1 (stromal interaction molecule 1) remains unknown. CRAC channels are distinguished by an extraordinarily high Ca2+ selectivity and are instrumental in generating sustained [Ca2+]i elevations necessary for gene expression and effector function in many eukaryotic cells 2. Here, we probed the central features of the STIM1 gating mechanism in the CRAC channel protein, Orai1, and identified V102, a residue located in the extracellular region of the pore, as a candidate for the channel gate. Mutations at V102 produced constitutively active CRAC channels that were open even in the absence of STIM1. Unexpectedly, although STIM1-free V102 mutant channels were not Ca2+-selective, their Ca2+ selectivity was dose-dependently boosted by interactions with STIM1. Similar enhancement of Ca2+ selectivity also occurred in wild-type (WT) Orai1 channels by increasing the number of STIM1 activation domains directly tethered to Orai1 channels. Thus, exquisite Ca2+ selectivity is not an intrinsic property of CRAC channels, but rather a tunable feature bestowed on otherwise non-selective Orai1 channels by STIM1. Our results demonstrate that STIM1-mediated gating of CRAC channels occurs through an unusual mechanism wherein permeation and gating are closely coupled. PMID:22278058

  11. Ion conduction pore is conserved among potassium channels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, Zhe; Klem, Angela M.; Ramu, Yajamana

    2001-10-01

    Potassium channels, a group of specialized membrane proteins, enable K+ ions to flow selectively across cell membranes. Transmembrane K+ currents underlie electrical signalling in neurons and other excitable cells. The atomic structure of a bacterial K+ channel pore has been solved by means of X-ray crystallography. To the extent that the prokaryotic pore is representative of other K+ channels, this landmark achievement has profound implications for our general understanding of K+ channels. But serious doubts have been raised concerning whether the prokaryotic K+ channel pore does actually represent those of eukaryotes. Here we have addressed this fundamental issue by substituting the prokaryotic pore into eukaryotic voltage-gated and inward-rectifier K+ channels. The resulting chimaeras retain the respective functional hallmarks of the eukaryotic channels, which indicates that the ion conduction pore is indeed conserved among K+ channels.

  12. 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

  13. Homology modeling of transporter proteins (carriers and ion channels).

    PubMed

    Ravna, Aina Westrheim; Sylte, Ingebrigt

    2012-01-01

    Transporter proteins are divided into channels and carriers and constitute families of membrane proteins of physiological and pharmacological importance. These proteins are targeted by several currently prescribed drugs, and they have a large potential as targets for new drug development. Ion channels and carriers are difficult to express and purify in amounts for X-ray crystallography and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) studies, and few carrier and ion channel structures are deposited in the PDB database. The scarcity of atomic resolution 3D structures of carriers and channels is a problem for understanding their molecular mechanisms of action and for designing new compounds with therapeutic potentials. The homology modeling approach is a valuable approach for obtaining structural information about carriers and ion channels when no crystal structure of the protein of interest is available. In this chapter, computational approaches for constructing homology models of carriers and transporters are reviewed.

  14. Channelopathies: ion channel defects linked to heritable clinical disorders

    PubMed Central

    Felix, R.

    2000-01-01

    Electrical signals are critical for the function of neurones, muscle cells, and cardiac myocytes. Proteins that regulate electrical signalling in these cells, including voltage gated ion channels, are logical sites where abnormality might lead to disease. Genetic and biophysical approaches are being used to show that several disorders result from mutations in voltage gated ion channels. Understanding gained from early studies on the pathogenesis of a group of muscle diseases that are similar in their episodic nature (periodic paralysis) showed that these disorders result from mutations in a gene encoding a voltage gated Na+ channel. Their characterisation as channelopathies has served as a paradigm for other episodic disorders. For example, migraine headache and some forms of epilepsy have been shown to result from mutations in voltage gated Ca2+ channel genes, while long QT syndrome is known to result from mutations in either K+ or Na+ channel genes. This article reviews progress made in the complementary fields of molecular genetics and cellular electrophysiology which has led to a better understanding of voltage gated ion channelopathies in humans and mice.


Keywords: ion channel genetics; ion channel physiopathology; channelopathies; hereditary diseases PMID:11015449

  15. Hodgkin-Huxley neurons with defective and blocked ion channels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pang, James Christopher S.; Bantang, Johnrob Y.

    2015-03-01

    We utilize the original Hodgkin-Huxley (HH) model to consider the effects of defective ion channels to the temporal response of neurons. Statistics of firing rate and inter-spike interval (ISI) reveal that production of action potentials (APs) in neurons is not sensitive to changes in membrane conductance for sodium and potassium ions, as well as to the reversal potential for sodium ions, as long as the relevant parameters do not exceed 13% from their normal levels. We also found that blockage of a critical fraction of either sodium or potassium channels (dependent on constant input current) respectively limits the firing activity or increases spontaneous spiking activity of neurons. Our model may be used to guide experiment designs related to ion channel control drug development.

  16. Multiplexed four-channel rectilinear ion trap mass spectrometer.

    PubMed

    Kothari, Sameer; Song, Qingyu; Xia, Yu; Fico, Miriam; Taylor, Dennis; Amy, Jonathan W; Stafford, George; Cooks, R Graham

    2009-02-15

    A four-channel multiplexed mass spectrometer with rectilinear ion trap (RIT) mass analyzers was designed, constructed, and characterized. The system consists of four parallel atmospheric pressure ion (API) sources, four RIT mass analyzers, four sets of ion optical elements, and four conversion dynode detectors. The complete instrument is housed in a single vacuum manifold with a common vacuum system. It has a relatively small footprint, and costs and complexity were minimized and controls simplified by sharing the electronics and control modules among different channels. Each channel of the instrument can be operated in either positive or negative ion mode with a choice of ionization methods to improve the information content from an experiment. Also, the instrument is equipped with simultaneous data acquisition capabilities from all four channels, but the use of a common RF electronics system limits the degree to which the analyzer channels can be scanned independently. The instrument was characterized over the mass/charge range of 150 to 1300 Th. Mass misassignments in different ion traps because of machining and assembly tolerances were avoided by the application of supplementary direct current signals to each mass analyzer to correct mass offsets. A multiplexed automatic gain control (AGC) scheme was developed to control the ion population in each of the traps independently. These two features allow tandem mass spectrometry to be performed with an isolation window of 1 Th so trapping identical ions in all four channels. There are two principal modes of operation. In one, the same sample is analyzed in all four channels using different ionization methods to increase the information content of the analysis. In the other mode of operation, different samples are analyzed in all four channels with the same ionization method, so providing higher throughput. These capabilities were demonstrated by examining lipids produced by Escherichia coli and complex mixtures

  17. Rediscovering sperm ion channels with the patch-clamp technique

    PubMed Central

    Kirichok, Yuriy; Lishko, Polina V.

    2011-01-01

    Upon ejaculation, mammalian spermatozoa have to undergo a sequence of physiological transformations within the female reproductive tract that will allow them to reach and fertilize the egg. These include initiation of motility, hyperactivation of motility and perhaps chemotaxis toward the egg, and culminate in the acrosome reaction that permits sperm to penetrate the protective vestments of the egg. These physiological responses are triggered through the activation of sperm ion channels that cause elevations of sperm intracellular pH and Ca2+ in response to certain cues within the female reproductive tract. Despite their key role in sperm physiology and their absolute requirement for the process of fertilization, sperm ion channels remain poorly understood due to the extreme difficulty in application of the patch-clamp technique to spermatozoa. This review covers the topic of sperm ion channels in the following order: first, we discuss how the intracellular Ca2+ and pH signaling mediated by sperm ion channels controls sperm behavior during the process of fertilization. Then, we briefly cover the history of the methodology to study sperm ion channels, which culminated in the recent development of a reproducible whole-cell patch-clamp technique for mouse and human cells. We further discuss the main approaches used to patch-clamp mature mouse and human spermatozoa. Finally, we focus on the newly discovered sperm ion channels CatSper, KSper (Slo3) and HSper (Hv1), identified by the sperm patch-clamp technique. We conclude that the patch-clamp technique has markedly improved and shifted our understanding of the sperm ion channels, in addition to revealing significant species-specific differences in these channels. This method is critical for identification of the molecular mechanisms that control sperm behavior within the female reproductive tract and make fertilization possible. PMID:21642646

  18. Electrical pumping of potassium ions against an external concentration gradient in a biological ion channel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Queralt-Martín, María; García-Giménez, Elena; Aguilella, Vicente M.; Ramirez, Patricio; Mafe, Salvador; Alcaraz, Antonio

    2013-07-01

    We show experimentally and theoretically that significant currents can be obtained with a biological ion channel, the OmpF porin of Escherichia coli, using zero-average potentials as driving forces. The channel rectifying properties can be used to pump potassium ions against an external concentration gradient under asymmetric pH conditions. The results are discussed in terms of the ionic selectivity and rectification ratio of the channel. The physical concepts involved may be applied to separation processes with synthetic nanopores and to bioelectrical phenomena.

  19. Hydrogen ions control synaptic vesicle ion channel activity in Torpedo electromotor neurones.

    PubMed

    Ahdut-Hacohen, Ronit; Duridanova, Dessislava; Meiri, Halina; Rahamimoff, Rami

    2004-04-15

    During exocytosis the synaptic vesicle fuses with the surface membrane and undergoes a pH jump. When the synaptic vesicle is inside the presynaptic nerve terminal its internal pH is about 5.5 and after fusion, the inside of the vesicle comes in contact with the extracellular medium with a pH of about 7.25. We examined the effect of such pH jump on the opening of the non-specific ion channel in the synaptic vesicle membrane, in the context of the post-fusion hypothesis of transmitter release control. The vesicles were isolated from Torpedo ocellata electromotor neurones. The pH dependence of the opening of the non-specific ion channel was examined using the fused vesicle-attached configuration of the patch clamp technique. The rate of opening depends on both pH and voltage. Increasing the pH from 5.5 to 7.25 activated dramatically the non-specific ion channel of the vesicle membrane. The single channel conductance did not change significantly with the alteration in the pH, and neither did the mean channel open time. These results support the hypothesis that during partial fusion of the vesicle with the surface membrane, ion channels in the vesicle membrane open, admit ions and thus help in the ion exchange process mechanism, leading to the release of the transmitter from the intravesicular ion exchange matrix. This process may have also a pathophysiological significance in conditions of altered pH.

  20. Permeation of ions across the potassium channel: Brownian dynamics studies.

    PubMed

    Chung, S H; Allen, T W; Hoyles, M; Kuyucak, S

    1999-11-01

    The physical mechanisms underlying the transport of ions across a model potassium channel are described. The shape of the model channel corresponds closely to that deduced from crystallography. From electrostatic calculations, we show that an ion permeating the channel, in the absence of any residual charges, encounters an insurmountable energy barrier arising from induced surface charges. Carbonyl groups along the selectivity filter, helix dipoles near the oval chamber, and mouth dipoles near the channel entrances together transform the energy barrier into a deep energy well. Two ions are attracted to this well, and their presence in the channel permits ions to diffuse across it under the influence of an electric field. Using Brownian dynamics simulations, we determine the magnitude of currents flowing across the channel under various conditions. The conductance increases with increasing dipole strength and reaches its maximum rapidly; a further increase in dipole strength causes a steady decrease in the channel conductance. The current also decreases systematically when the effective dielectric constant of the channel is lowered. The conductance with the optimal choice of dipoles reproduces the experimental value when the dielectric constant of the channel is assumed to be 60. The current-voltage relationship obtained with symmetrical solutions is linear when the applied potential is less than approximately 100 mV but deviates from Ohm's law at a higher applied potential. The reversal potentials obtained with asymmetrical solutions are in agreement with those predicted by the Nernst equation. The conductance exhibits the saturation property observed experimentally. We discuss the implications of these findings for the transport of ions across the potassium channels and membrane channels in general.

  1. Ion Channels that Control Fertility in Mammalian Spermatozoa

    PubMed Central

    Navarro, Betsy; Kirichok, Yuriy; Chung, Jean-Ju; Clapham, David E.

    2015-01-01

    Whole-cell voltage clamp of mammalian spermatozoa was first achieved in 2006. This technical advance, combined with genetic deletion strategies, makes unambiguous identification of sperm ion channel currents possible. This review summarizes the ion channel currents that have been directly measured in mammalian sperm, and their physiological roles in fertilization. The predominant currents are 1) a Ca2+-selective current requiring expression of the 4 mCatSper genes, and 2) a delayed rectifier K+ current with properties most similar to mSlo3. Intracellular alkalinization activates both channels and induces hyperactivated motility. PMID:18649274

  2. Small Ion Channel Linking Molecular Simulations and Electrophysiology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pohorille, Andrzej

    2017-01-01

    Ion channels are pore-forming protein assemblies that mediate the transport of small ions across cell membranes. Otherwise, membrane bilayers would be almost impermeable to ions incapable to traverse the low dielectric constant, hydrophobic membrane core. Ion channels are ubiquitous to all life forms. In humans and other higher organisms they play the central role in conducting nerve impulses, cardiac functions, muscle contraction and apoptosis. On the other extreme of biological complexity, viral ion channels (viroporins) influence many stages of the virus infection cycle either through regulating virus replication, such as entry, assembly and release or modulating the electrochemical balance in the subcellular compartments of host cells. Ion channels were crucial components of protocells. Their emergence facilitated adaptation of nascent life to different environmental conditions. The earliest ion channels must have been much simpler than most of their modern ancestors. Viral channels are among only a few naturally occurring models to study the structure, function and evolution of primordial channels. Experimental studies of these properties are difficult and often unreliable. In principle, computational methods, and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations in particular, can aid in providing information about both the structure and the function of ion channels. However, MD suffers from its own problems, such as inability to access sufficiently long time scales or limited accuracy of force fields. It is, therefore, essential to determine the reliability of MD simulations. We propose to do so on the basis of two criteria. One is channel stability on time scales that extend for several microseconds or longer. The other is the ability to reproduce the measured ionic conductance as a function of applied voltage. If both the stability and the calculated ionic conductance are satisfactory it will greatly increase our confidence that the structure and the function of a

  3. Effect of Cytoskeletal Reagents on Stretch Activated Ion Channels

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1992-11-12

    transduction. Biophys J59: 1143-1145, 1991. 23. SACHS, F., W. SIGURDSON, A. RUKNUDIN, AND C. BOWMAN. Single- channel mechanosensitive currents. Science 253: 800... mechanosensitive ion channels . In: Advances in Comparative and Environmental Physiology, v0C, edited by F. Ito. Berlin: Springer-Verlag, 1992, p. 55-77. Report of Inventions: None 4 ...EFFECT OF CYTOSKELETAL REAGENTS ON STRETCH ACTIVATED ION CHANNELS b lfli..3-f-I’- o0*’t 6. AUTHOR(S) Dr.-Frederick Sachs DI 7. PERFORMING ORGANIZATION NAME

  4. Emerging approaches to probing ion channel structure and function.

    PubMed

    Li, Wei-Guang; Xu, Tian-Le

    2012-08-01

    Ion channels, as membrane proteins, are the sensors of the cell. They act as the first line of communication with the world beyond the plasma membrane and transduce changes in the external and internal environments into unique electrical signals to shape the responses of excitable cells. Because of their importance in cellular communication, ion channels have been intensively studied at the structural and functional levels. Here, we summarize the diverse approaches, including molecular and cellular, chemical, optical, biophysical, and computational, used to probe the structural and functional rearrangements that occur during channel activation (or sensitization), inactivation (or desensitization), and various forms of modulation. The emerging insights into the structure and function of ion channels by multidisciplinary approaches allow the development of new pharmacotherapies as well as new tools useful in controlling cellular activity.

  5. Ion channels in control of pancreatic stellate cell migration

    PubMed Central

    Storck, Hannah; Hild, Benedikt; Schimmelpfennig, Sandra; Sargin, Sarah; Nielsen, Nikolaj; Zaccagnino, Angela; Budde, Thomas; Novak, Ivana; Kalthoff, Holger; Schwab, Albrecht

    2017-01-01

    Pancreatic stellate cells (PSCs) play a critical role in the progression of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). Once activated, PSCs support proliferation and metastasis of carcinoma cells. PSCs even co-metastasise with carcinoma cells. This requires the ability of PSCs to migrate. In recent years, it has been established that almost all “hallmarks of cancer” such as proliferation or migration/invasion also rely on the expression and function of ion channels. So far, there is only very limited information about the function of ion channels in PSCs. Yet, there is growing evidence that ion channels in stromal cells also contribute to tumor progression. Here we investigated the function of KCa3.1 channels in PSCs. KCa3.1 channels are also found in many tumor cells of different origin. We revealed the functional expression of KCa3.1 channels by means of Western blot, immunofluorescence and patch clamp analysis. The impact of KCa3.1 channel activity on PSC function was determined with live-cell imaging and by measuring the intracellular Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i). KCa3.1 channel blockade or knockout prevents the stimulation of PSC migration and chemotaxis by reducing the [Ca2+]i and calpain activity. KCa3.1 channels functionally cooperate with TRPC3 channels that are upregulated in PDAC stroma. Knockdown of TRPC3 channels largely abolishes the impact of KCa3.1 channels on PSC migration. In summary, our results clearly show that ion channels are crucial players in PSC physiology and pathophysiology. PMID:27903970

  6. 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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Cocaine withdrawal and neuro-adaptations in ion channel function.

    PubMed

    Hu, Xiu-Ti

    2007-02-01

    Chronic exposure to psychostimulants induces neuro-adaptations in ion channel function of dopamine (DA)-innervated cells localized within the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and nucleus accumbens (NAc). Although neuroplasticity in ion channel function is initially found in drug-sensitized animals, it has recently been believed to underlie the withdrawal effects of cocaine, including craving that leads to relapse in human addicts. Recent studies have also revealed remarkable differences in altered ion channel activities between mPFC pyramidal neurons and medium spiny NAc neurons in cocaine-withdrawn animals. In response to psychostimulant or certain "excitatory" stimuli, increased intrinsic excitability is found in mPFC pyramidal neurons, whereas decreased excitability is observed in medium spiny NAc cells in drug-withdrawn animals compared to drug-free control animals. These changes in ion channel function are modulated by interrupted DA/Ca2+ signaling with decreased DA D2 receptor function but increased D1 receptor signaling. More importantly, they are correlated to behavioral changes in cocaine-withdrawn human addicts and sensitized animals. Based on growing evidence, researchers have proposed that cocaine-induced neuro-adaptations in ion channel activity and DA/Ca2+ signaling in mPFC pyramidal neurons and medium spiny NAc cells may be the fundamental cellular mechanism underlying the cocaine withdrawal effects observed in human addicts.

  8. 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.

  9. Influence of ion channels on the proliferation of human chondrocytes.

    PubMed

    Wohlrab, David; Lebek, Susanne; Krüger, Thomas; Reichel, Heiko

    2002-01-01

    The goal of the study was to examine connections between ion channel activity and the proliferation of human chondrocytes. Chondrocytes were isolated form human osteoarthritic knee joint cartilage. In this study the concentration-dependent influence of the ion channel modulators tetraethylammonium (TEA), 4-aminopyridine (4-AP), 4',4' diisothiocyanato-stilbene-2,2'-disulfonic acid (DIDS), 4-acetamido-4'-isothiocyano-2,2'-disulfonic acid stilbene (SITS), verapamil (vp) and lidocaine (lido) on the membrane potential and the proliferation of human chondrocytes was investigated using flow cytometry and the measurement of (3)H-thymidine incorporation as measure for the cell proliferation. The results show an effect of the used ion channel modulators causing a change of the membrane potential of human chondrocytes. The maximal measurable effects of the membrane potential were listed with 0.25 mmol/l verapamil (-18%) and 0.1 mmol/l lidocaine (+20%). When measuring DNA distribution, it became apparent that the human chondrocytes are diploid cells with a very low proliferation tendency. After 12 days culture duration, lidocaine and 4-AP cause an increase of the DNA synthesis rate being a limited effect. These results allow the conclusion of an influence of ion channel modulators on chondrocyte proliferation. To gain knowledge of the regulation of chondrocyte proliferation via ion channel modulators could serve the research of new osteoarthritis treatment concepts.

  10. Ion channels at the nucleus: electrophysiology meets the genome.

    PubMed

    Matzke, Antonius J M; Weiger, Thomas M; Matzke, Marjori

    2010-07-01

    The nuclear envelope is increasingly viewed from an electrophysiological perspective by researchers interested in signal transduction pathways that influence gene transcription and other processes in the nucleus. Here, we describe evidence for ion channels and transporters in the nuclear membranes and for possible ion gating by the nuclear pores. We argue that a systems-level understanding of cellular regulation is likely to require the assimilation of nuclear electrophysiology into molecular and biochemical signaling pathways.

  11. Dependence of the beam-channel interaction force on the radial profiles of a relativistic electron beam and an ion channel in the ion-focusing regime

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kolesnikov, E. K.; Manuilov, A. S.

    2017-02-01

    We have derived the formulas for calculating the force of the interaction of a relativistic electron beam with an ion plasma channel in the case of the beam transportation during ion focusing. The dependence of the difference in radial profiles of the beam and the ion channel on this force for different amplitudes of beam deviations from the channel symmetry axis has been studied.

  12. 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.

  13. Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes: Mimics of Biological Ion Channels.

    PubMed

    Amiri, Hasti; Shepard, Kenneth L; Nuckolls, Colin; Hernández Sánchez, Raúl

    2017-02-08

    Here we report on the ion conductance through individual, small diameter single-walled carbon nanotubes. We find that they are mimics of ion channels found in natural systems. We explore the factors governing the ion selectivity and permeation through single-walled carbon nanotubes by considering an electrostatic mechanism built around a simplified version of the Gouy-Chapman theory. We find that the single-walled carbon nanotubes preferentially transported cations and that the cation permeability is size-dependent. The ionic conductance increases as the absolute hydration enthalpy decreases for monovalent cations with similar solid-state radii, hydrated radii, and bulk mobility. Charge screening experiments using either the addition of cationic or anionic polymers, divalent metal cations, or changes in pH reveal the enormous impact of the negatively charged carboxylates at the entrance of the single-walled carbon nanotubes. These observations were modeled in the low-to-medium concentration range (0.1-2.0 M) by an electrostatic mechanism that mimics the behavior observed in many biological ion channel-forming proteins. Moreover, multi-ion conduction in the high concentration range (>2.0 M) further reinforces the similarity between single-walled carbon nanotubes and protein ion channels.

  14. Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes: Mimics of Biological Ion Channels

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    Here we report on the ion conductance through individual, small diameter single-walled carbon nanotubes. We find that they are mimics of ion channels found in natural systems. We explore the factors governing the ion selectivity and permeation through single-walled carbon nanotubes by considering an electrostatic mechanism built around a simplified version of the Gouy–Chapman theory. We find that the single-walled carbon nanotubes preferentially transported cations and that the cation permeability is size-dependent. The ionic conductance increases as the absolute hydration enthalpy decreases for monovalent cations with similar solid-state radii, hydrated radii, and bulk mobility. Charge screening experiments using either the addition of cationic or anionic polymers, divalent metal cations, or changes in pH reveal the enormous impact of the negatively charged carboxylates at the entrance of the single-walled carbon nanotubes. These observations were modeled in the low-to-medium concentration range (0.1–2.0 M) by an electrostatic mechanism that mimics the behavior observed in many biological ion channel-forming proteins. Moreover, multi-ion conduction in the high concentration range (>2.0 M) further reinforces the similarity between single-walled carbon nanotubes and protein ion channels. PMID:28103039

  15. Structural determinants of ion permeation in CRAC channels

    PubMed Central

    McNally, Beth A.; Yamashita, Megumi; Engh, Anita; Prakriya, Murali

    2009-01-01

    CRAC channels generate Ca2+ signals critical for the activation of immune cells and exhibit an intriguing pore profile distinguished by extremely high Ca2+ selectivity, low Cs+ permeability, and small unitary conductance. To identify the ion conduction pathway and gain insight into the structural bases of these permeation characteristics, we introduced cysteine residues in the CRAC channel pore subunit, Orai1, and probed their accessibility to various thiol-reactive reagents. Our results indicate that the architecture of the ion conduction pathway is characterized by a flexible outer vestibule formed by the TM1-TM2 loop, which leads to a narrow pore flanked by residues of a helical TM1 segment. Residues in TM3, and specifically, E190, a residue considered important for ion selectivity, are not close to the pore. Moreover, the outer vestibule does not significantly contribute to ion selectivity, implying that Ca2+ selectivity is conferred mainly by E106. The ion conduction pathway is sufficiently narrow along much of its length to permit stable coordination of Cd2+ by several TM1 residues, which likely explains the slow flux of ions within the restrained geometry of the pore. These results provide a structural framework to understand the unique permeation properties of CRAC channels. PMID:20018736

  16. Through the channel and around the channel: Validating and comparing microscopic approaches for the evaluation of free energy profiles for ion penetration through ion channels.

    PubMed

    Kato, Mitsunori; Warshel, Arieh

    2005-10-20

    Microscopic calculations of free energy profiles for ion transport through biological ion channels present a very serious challenge to modern simulation approaches. The main problem is due to the major convergence problems associated with the heterogeneous landscape of the electrostatic environment in ion channels and with the need to evaluate the profile associated with the transfer of the ion from bulk water to the channel environment. This problem is compounded by the lack of reliable and relevant benchmarks that can discriminate between alternative approaches. The present study is aimed at reducing the above problems by defining benchmarks that are directly relevant to ion channels and can also give converging results. This is done by constructing a series of models of a truncated gramicidin channel with different numbers of water molecules and by comparing the profiles for going around the channel and through the channel. These discriminating models are then used to validate and compare the adiabatic charging free energy perturbation (FEP) approach combined with an umbrella sampling approach (Warshel, A. J. Phys. Chem. 1982, 86, 2218) and the potential of mean force (PMF) approach used frequently in studies of ion channels. It is found that both approaches work quite well until one moves to the case of the fully solvated channel. In this limit, the PMF approach may give different results for the overall work of going through the channel and around the channel, while the FEP approach gives physically consistent results. The present benchmark also indicates that the weighted histogram analysis method (WHAM) approach does not offer a significant advantage over earlier approaches at least as much as studies of ion channels are concerned. Finally, it is concluded that the FEP approach may be more useful in evaluating the overall barrier for moving ions from water to ion channels and that in some cases it might be beneficial to use the FEP approach for selective

  17. 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

  18. Electronic capture and excitation of highly charged channeled ions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andriamonje, S.; Blank, B.; Del Moral, R.; Dufour, J. P.; Faux, L.; Fleury, A.; Pravikoff, M. S.; Röhl, C.; Chevallier, M.; Dauvergne, D.; Kirsch, R.; Poizat, J. C.; Remillieux, J.; Cohen, C.; Girard, Y.; L'Hoir, A.; Rozet, J. P.; Schmaus, D.; Vernhet, D.; Dural, J.; Rothard, H.; Toulemonde, M.; Quéré, Y.; Cue, N.

    1994-04-01

    Two aspects of heavy ion channeling are presented. The first aspect is related to the fact that channeled ions interact only with the most loosely bound target electrons. One can take benefit of this feature to study processes such as radiative electron capture (REC) and resonant transfer and excitation (RTE) in a dense quasi-free electron gas. The experimental work, performed at GANIL, devoted to these two processes is described. A possible extension to Nuclear RTE or NEEC (nuclear excitation by electron capture) studies is also described. The second aspect discussed is related to the periodicity of the potential experienced by channeled ions. We show that in a well chosen case this could lead to a significant and detectable coherent excitation of the projectile nucleus.

  19. Modification of cardiovascular ion channels by gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Telemaque, Sabine; Marsh, James D

    2009-08-01

    Delivery of genes to the heart and vasculature for therapeutic purposes is an exciting strategy that is approaching clinical reality. Abnormalities of expression or function of ion channels is central to many cardiovascular diseases and gene delivery to modify ion channels is an appealing alternative to traditional therapy with small-molecule drugs. Potential therapeutic targets include hypertrophy and heart failure, atrioventricular node modification in atrial fibrillation, ventricular tachycardia and hypertension. Numerous approaches for gene delivery are under development, including use of tissue-specific promoters in viral vectors. For other applications, such as development of biological pacemakers, cells can be transduced with pacemaker genes in vitro, and then the cells implanted within the heart. There are short-term hurdles to therapeutic gene delivery to modify cardiovascular ion channels, but in the intermediate and longer term, the outlook is promising.

  20. The 22nd Ion Channel Meeting, September 2011, France

    PubMed Central

    Goaillard, Jean-Marc; Groc, Laurent; Lévi, Sabine; Mantegazza, Massimo; Matifat, Fabrice; Morel, Jean-Luc; Baron-Forster, Anne

    2012-01-01

    The 22nd Ion Channel Meeting was organized by the French Ion Channel Society (Association Canaux Ioniques) from the 25th to the 28th of September 2011 on the French Riviera (Giens). This year again, more than one hundred researchers from France, Europe and extra-European countries gathered to present and discuss their recent advances and future challenges in the ion channels and transporters field. The scientific committee organized a plenary lecture and five thematic symposia by inviting international researchers to present their recent outstanding work on themes as diverse as muscular channelopathies, regulation of channels by extracellular matrix, receptor-channels interactions, localization and distribution of ion channels, their involvement in the cell life and death, and finally how they participate in the evolution and adaptability of cellular excitability. These presentations are summarized in this meeting report. Two sessions of oral communications selected from submitted abstracts and two poster sessions were also organized to present the ongoing work of young researchers worldwide. PMID:22647366

  1. Ion channels in human erythroblasts. Modulation by erythropoietin.

    PubMed Central

    Cheung, J Y; Elensky, M B; Brauneis, U; Scaduto, R C; Bell, L L; Tillotson, D L; Miller, B A

    1992-01-01

    To investigate the mechanism of intracellular Ca2+ ([Cai]) increase in human burst-forming unit-erythroid-derived erythroblasts by erythropoietin, we measured [Cai] with digital video imaging, cellular phosphoinositides with high performance liquid chromatography, and plasma membrane potential and currents with whole cell patch clamp. Chelation of extracellular free Ca2+ abolished [Cai] increase induced by erythropoietin. In addition, the levels of inositol-1,4,5-trisphosphate did not increase in erythropoietin-treated erythroblasts. These results indicate that in erythropoietin-stimulated cells, Ca2+ influx rather than intracellular Ca2+ mobilization was responsible for [Cai] rise. Both Ni2+ and moderately high doses of nifedipine blocked [Cai] increase, suggesting involvement of ion channels. Resting membrane potential in human erythroblasts was -10.9 +/- 1.0 mV and was not affected by erythropoietin, suggesting erythropoietin modulated a voltage-independent ion channel permeable to Ca2+. No voltage-dependent ion channel but a Ca(2+)-activated K+ channel was detected in human erythroblasts. The magnitude of erythropoietin-induced [Cai] increase, however, was insufficient to open Ca(2+)-activated K+ channels. Our data suggest erythropoietin modulated a voltage-independent ion channel permeable to Ca2+, resulting in sustained increases in [Cai]. PMID:1385476

  2. General anesthesia mediated by effects on ion channels

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Cheng; Liu, Jin; Chen, Xiang-Dong

    2012-01-01

    Although it has been more than 165 years since the first introduction of modern anesthesia to the clinic, there is surprisingly little understanding about the exact mechanisms by which general anesthetics induce unconsciousness. As a result, we do not know how general anesthetics produce anesthesia at different levels. The main handicap to understanding the mechanisms of general anesthesia is the diversity of chemically unrelated compounds including diethyl ether and halogenated hydrocarbons, gases nitrous oxide, ketamine, propofol, benzodiazepines and etomidate, as well as alcohols and barbiturates. Does this imply that general anesthesia is caused by many different mechanisms Until now, many receptors, molecular targets and neuronal transmission pathways have been shown to contribute to mechanisms of general anesthesia. Among these molecular targets, ion channels are the most likely candidates for general anesthesia, in particular γ-aminobutyric acid type A, potassium and sodium channels, as well as ion channels mediated by various neuronal transmitters like acetylcholine, amino acids amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolpropionic acid or N-methyl-D-aspartate. In addition, recent studies have demonstrated the involvement in general anesthesia of other ion channels with distinct gating properties such as hyperpolarization-activated, cyclic- nucleotide-gated channels. The main aim of the present review is to summarize some aspects of current knowledge of the effects of general anesthetics on various ion channels. PMID:24701405

  3. Physiological and Pathological Functions of Mechanosensitive Ion Channels

    PubMed Central

    Gu, Yuanzheng; Gu, Chen

    2014-01-01

    Rapid sensation of mechanical stimuli is often mediated by mechanosensitve ion channels. Their opening results from conformational changes induced by mechanical forces. It leads to membrane permeation of selected ions and thereby to electrical signaling. Newly identified mechanosensitive ion channels are emerging at an astonishing rate, including some that are traditionally assigned for completely different functions. In this review, we first provide a brief overview of ion channels that are known to play a role in mechanosensation. Next, we focus on three representative ones, including the transient receptor potential channel V4 (TRPV4), Kv1.1 voltage-gated potassium (Kv) channel, and Piezo channels. Their structures, biophysical properties, expression and targeting patterns, and physiological functions are highlighted. The potential role of their mechanosensation in related diseases is further discussed. In sum, mechanosensation appears to be achieved in a variety of ways by different proteins and plays a fundamental role in the function of various organs under normal and abnormal conditions. PMID:24532247

  4. 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. © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  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. [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.

  7. Ion transport through a T-intersection of nanofluidic channels.

    PubMed

    Daiguji, Hirofumi; Adachi, Takuma; Tatsumi, Naoya

    2008-08-01

    Ion transport through a T-intersection of two silica nanochannels (a main channel, 5-mum long and 30-nm wide, and a subchannel, 5-microm long and 15-nm wide) with a surface charge distribution was investigated based on continuum dynamics calculations. The surface charge within 250 nm of the intersection in the main channel and the entire subchannel was positive and that in the main channel outside this intersection region was negative. This nanofluidic system is analogous to a p-n-p transistor. The calculation results revealed that, by adjusting the electric potentials at the ends of the nanochannels, the ionic current could be (1) cut off, (2) regulated in the main channel, (3) diverged into the main and subchannels, (4) turned from the main channel to the subchannel, and (5) merged into the subchannel. A series connection of this nanofluidic system can therefore be used in biotechnological applications for electrophoretic separation and for sorting of ions and biomolecules.

  8. Mechanistic and therapeutic perspectives for cardiac arrhythmias: beyond ion channels.

    PubMed

    Wu, Yufei; Li, Jun; Xu, Liang; Lin, Li; Chen, Yi-Han

    2017-03-24

    Cardiac arrhythmias are among the most common causes of death in the world. Foundational studies established the critical role of ion channel disorders in arrhythmias, yet defects in ion channels themselves, such as mutations, may not account for all arrhythmias. Despite the progress made in recent decades, the antiarrhythmic drugs currently available have limited effectiveness, and the majority of these drugs can have proarrhythmic effects. This review describes novel knowledge on cellular mechanisms that cause cardiac arrhythmias, focuses on the dysfunction of subcellular organelles and intracellular logistics, and discusses potential strategies and challenges for developing novel, safe and effective treatments for arrhythmias.

  9. Mitochondrial Ion Channels: Gatekeepers of Life and Death

    PubMed Central

    O'Rourke, Brian; Cortassa, Sonia; Aon, Miguel A.

    2009-01-01

    Continuous generation of ATP by mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation is essential to maintain function in mechanically active cells such as cardiomyocytes. Emerging evidence indicates that mitochondrial ion channels activated by reactive oxygen species can induce a mitochondrial "critical" state, which can scale to cause electrical and contractile dysfunction of the cardiac cell and, ultimately, the whole heart. Here we focus on how mitochondrial ion channels participate in life-and-death decisions of the cell and discuss the challenges ahead for translating recent findings into novel therapeutic applications. PMID:16174870

  10. Ferroelectric active models of ion channels in biomembranes.

    PubMed

    Bystrov, V S; Lakhno, V D; Molchanov, M

    1994-06-21

    Ferroactive models of ion channels in the theory of biological membranes are presented. The main equations are derived and their possible solutions are shown. The estimates of some experimentally measured parameters are given. Possible physical consequences of the suggested models are listed and the possibility of their experimental finding is discussed. The functioning of the biomembrane's ion channel is qualitatively described on the basis of the suggested ferroactive models. The main directions and prospects for development of the ferroactive approach to the theory of biological membranes and their structures are indicated.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Mouse Middle Ear Ion Homeostasis Channels and Intercellular Junctions

    PubMed Central

    Morris, Lisa M.; DeGagne, Jacqueline M.; Kempton, J. Beth; Hausman, Frances; Trune, Dennis R.

    2012-01-01

    Hypothesis The middle ear contains homeostatic mechanisms that control the movement of ions and fluids similar to those present in the inner ear, and are altered during inflammation. Background The normal middle ear cavity is fluid-free and air-filled to allow for effective sound transmission. Within the inner ear, the regulation of fluid and ion movement is essential for normal auditory and vestibular function. The same ion and fluid channels active in the inner ear may have similar roles with fluid regulation in the middle ear. Methods Middle and inner ears from BALB/c mice were processed for immunohistochemistry of 10 specific ion homeostasis factors to determine if similar transport and barrier mechanisms are present in the tympanic cavity. Examination also was made of BALB/c mice middle ears after transtympanic injection with heat-killed Haemophilus influenza to determine if these channels are impacted by inflammation. Results The most prominent ion channels in the middle ear included aquaporins 1, 4 and 5, claudin 3, ENaC and Na+,K+-ATPase. Moderate staining was found for GJB2, KCNJ10 and KCNQ1. The inflamed middle ear epithelium showed increased staining due to expected cellular hypertrophy. Localization of ion channels was preserved within the inflamed middle ear epithelium. Conclusions The middle ear epithelium is a dynamic environment with intrinsic mechanisms for the control of ion and water transport to keep the middle ear clear of fluids. Compromise of these processes during middle ear disease may underlie the accumulation of effusions and suggests they may be a therapeutic target for effusion control. PMID:22720014

  14. 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.

  15. Desensitization mechanism in prokaryotic ligand-gated ion channel.

    PubMed

    Velisetty, Phanindra; Chakrapani, Sudha

    2012-05-25

    Crystal structures of Gloeobacter violaceus ligand-gated ion channel (GLIC), a proton-gated prokaryotic homologue of pentameric ligand-gated ion channel (LGIC) from G. violaceus, have provided high-resolution models of the channel architecture and its role in selective ion conduction and drug binding. However, it is still unclear which functional states of the LGIC gating scheme these crystal structures represent. Much of this uncertainty arises from a lack of thorough understanding of the functional properties of these prokaryotic channels. To elucidate the molecular events that constitute gating, we have carried out an extensive characterization of GLIC function and dynamics in reconstituted proteoliposomes by patch clamp measurements and EPR spectroscopy. We find that GLIC channels show rapid activation upon jumps to acidic pH followed by a time-dependent loss of conductance because of desensitization. GLIC desensitization is strongly coupled to activation and is modulated by voltage, permeant ions, pore-blocking drugs, and membrane cholesterol. Many of these properties are parallel to functions observed in members of eukaryotic LGIC. Conformational changes in loop C, measured by site-directed spin labeling and EPR spectroscopy, reveal immobilization during desensitization analogous to changes in LGIC and acetylcholine binding protein. Together, our studies suggest conservation of mechanistic aspects of desensitization among LGICs of prokaryotic and eukaryotic origin.

  16. Modeling ion channel dynamics through reflected stochastic differential equations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dangerfield, Ciara E.; Kay, David; Burrage, Kevin

    2012-05-01

    Ion channels are membrane proteins that open and close at random and play a vital role in the electrical dynamics of excitable cells. The stochastic nature of the conformational changes these proteins undergo can be significant, however current stochastic modeling methodologies limit the ability to study such systems. Discrete-state Markov chain models are seen as the “gold standard,” but are computationally intensive, restricting investigation of stochastic effects to the single-cell level. Continuous stochastic methods that use stochastic differential equations (SDEs) to model the system are more efficient but can lead to simulations that have no biological meaning. In this paper we show that modeling the behavior of ion channel dynamics by a reflected SDE ensures biologically realistic simulations, and we argue that this model follows from the continuous approximation of the discrete-state Markov chain model. Open channel and action potential statistics from simulations of ion channel dynamics using the reflected SDE are compared with those of a discrete-state Markov chain method. Results show that the reflected SDE simulations are in good agreement with the discrete-state approach. The reflected SDE model therefore provides a computationally efficient method to simulate ion channel dynamics while preserving the distributional properties of the discrete-state Markov chain model and also ensuring biologically realistic solutions. This framework could easily be extended to other biochemical reaction networks.

  17. A microscopic view of ion conduction through the K+ channel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bernèche, Simon; Roux, Benoît

    2003-07-01

    Recent results from x-ray crystallography and molecular dynamics free-energy simulations have revealed the existence of a number of specific cation-binding sites disposed along the narrow pore of the K+ channel from Streptomyces lividans (KcsA), suggesting that K+ ions might literally "hop" in single file from one binding site to the next as permeation proceeds. In support of this view, it was found that the ion configurations correspond to energy wells of similar depth and that ion translocation is opposed only by small energy barriers. Although such features of the multiion potential energy surface are certainly essential for achieving a high throughput rate, diffusional and dissipative dynamical factors must also be taken into consideration to understand how rapid conduction of K+ is possible. To elucidate the mechanism of ion conduction, we established a framework theory enabling the direct simulation of nonequilibrium fluxes by extending the results of molecular dynamics over macroscopically long times. In good accord with experimental measurements, the simulated maximum conductance of the channel at saturating concentration is on the order of 550 and 360 pS for outward and inward ions flux, respectively, with a unidirectional flux-ratio exponent of 3. Analysis of the ion-conduction process reveals a lack of equivalence between the cation-binding sites in the selectivity filter. molecular dynamics | Brownian dynamics | potential of mean force | membrane potential | Poisson-Boltzmann equation

  18. Ion channels and transporters in cancer. 3. Ion channels in the tumor cell-microenvironment cross talk.

    PubMed

    Arcangeli, Annarosa

    2011-10-01

    The traditional view of cancer as a collection of proliferating cells must be reconsidered, and cancer must be viewed as a "tissue" constituted by both transformed cells and a heterogeneous microenvironment, that tumor cells construct and remodel during multistep tumorigenesis. The "tumor microenvironment" (TM) is formed by mesenchymal, endothelial, and immune cells immersed in a network of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins and soluble factors. The TM strongly contributes to tumor progression, through long distance, cell-to-cell or cell-to-matrix signals, which influence different aspects of tumor cell behavior. Understanding the relationships among the different components of the cancer tissue is crucial to design and develop new therapeutic strategies. Ion channels are emerging as relevant players in the cross talk between tumor cells and their TM. Ion channels are expressed on tumor cells, as well as in the different cellular components of the TM. In all these cells, ion channels are in a strategic position to sense and transmit extracellular signals into the intracellular machinery. Often, this transmission is mediated by integrin adhesion receptors, which can be functional partners of ion channels since they form molecular complexes with the channel protein in the context of the plasma membrane. The same relevant role is exerted by ion transporters, which also contribute to determine two facets of the cancer tissue: hypoxia and the acidic extracellular pH. On the whole, it is conceivable to prospect the targeting of ion channels for new therapeutic strategies aimed at better controlling the malignant progression of the cancer tissue.

  19. 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

  20. Ion channel gates: comparative analysis of energy barriers.

    PubMed

    Tai, Kaihsu; Haider, Shozeb; Grottesi, Alessandro; Sansom, Mark S P

    2009-04-01

    The energetic profile of an ion translated along the axis of an ion channel should reveal whether the structure corresponds to a functionally open or closed state of the channel. In this study, we explore the combined use of Poisson-Boltzmann electrostatic calculations and evaluation of van der Waals interactions between ion and pore to provide an initial appraisal of the gating state of a channel. This approach is exemplified by its application to the bacterial inward rectifier potassium channel KirBac3.1, where it reveals the closed gate to be formed by a ring of leucine (L124) side chains. We have extended this analysis to a comparative survey of gating profiles, including model hydrophobic nanopores, the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor, and a number of potassium channel structures and models. This enables us to identify three gating regimes, and to show the limitation of this computationally inexpensive method. For a (closed) gate radius of 0.4 nm < R < 0.8 nm, a hydrophobic gate may be present. For a gate radius of 0.2 nm < R < 0.4 nm, both electrostatic and van der Waals interactions will contribute to the barrier height. Below R = 0.2 nm, repulsive van der Waals interactions are likely to dominate, resulting in a sterically occluded gate. In general, the method is more useful when the channel is wider; for narrower channels, the flexibility of the protein may allow otherwise-unsurmountable energetic barriers to be overcome.

  1. Ion channels in artificial bolaamphiphile membranes deposited on sensor chips: optical detection in an ion-channel-based biosensor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schalkhammer, Thomas G. M.; Weiss-Wichert, Christof; Smetazko, Michaela M.; Valina-Saba, Miriam

    1997-06-01

    Signal amplification using labels should be replaced by a technique monitoring the biochemical binding event directly. The use of a ligand coupled to an artificial gated membrane ion channel is a new promising strategy. Binding of protein- or DNA/RNA-analytes at ligand modified peptide channels results in an on/off-response of the channel current due to channel closure or distortion. The sensor consists of stable transmembrane channels with a ligand bound covalently at the peptide channel entrance, a sensor chip with a photostructurized hydrophobic polymer frame, a hydrophilic ion conducting membrane support, a lipid membrane incorporating the engineered ion channels, and a current amplifier or a sensitive fluorescence monitor. Detection of channel opening or closure can ether be obtained by directly monitoring membrane conductivity or a transient change of pH or ion concentration within the membrane compartment. This change can be induced by electrochemical or optical means and its decay is directly correlated to the permeability of the membrane. The ion concentration in the sub membrane compartment was monitored by incorporation of fluorescent indicator dyes. To obtain the stable sensor membrane the lipid layer had to be attached on a support and the floating of the second lipid membrane on top of the first one had to be prevented. Both problems do not occur using our new circular C44-C76 bolaamphiphilic lipids consisting of a long hydrophobic core region and two hydrophilic heads. Use of maleic ester-head groups enabled us to easily modify the lipids with amines, thioles, alcohols, phosphates, boronic acid as well as fluorescent dyes. The properties of these membranes were studied using LB and fluorescence techniques. Based on this detection principle miniaturized sensor chips with significantly enhanced sensitivity and large multi analyte arrays are under construction.

  2. 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

  3. Superposition properties of interacting ion channels.

    PubMed Central

    Keleshian, A M; Yeo, G F; Edeson, R O; Madsen, B W

    1994-01-01

    Quantitative analysis of patch clamp data is widely based on stochastic models of single-channel kinetics. Membrane patches often contain more than one active channel of a given type, and it is usually assumed that these behave independently in order to interpret the record and infer individual channel properties. However, recent studies suggest there are significant channel interactions in some systems. We examine a model of dependence in a system of two identical channels, each modeled by a continuous-time Markov chain in which specified transition rates are dependent on the conductance state of the other channel, changing instantaneously when the other channel opens or closes. Each channel then has, e.g., a closed time density that is conditional on the other channel being open or closed, these being identical under independence. We relate the two densities by a convolution function that embodies information about, and serves to quantify, dependence in the closed class. Distributions of observable (superposition) sojourn times are given in terms of these conditional densities. The behavior of two channel systems based on two- and three-state Markov models is examined by simulation. Optimized fitting of simulated data using reasonable parameters values and sample size indicates that both positive and negative cooperativity can be distinguished from independence. PMID:7524711

  4. From toxins targeting ligand gated ion channels to therapeutic molecules.

    PubMed

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

    2011-03-01

    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.

  5. A kinetic model of NMDA ion channel under varying noise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Rubin; Chen, Hao; Zhang, Zhikang

    2004-05-01

    It is well known that when transmitters are applied to the postsynaptic membrane, the resulting depolarization is noisy that is due to the random opening and closing of the ion channels activated by the transmitters[1]. In other words, the energy of noise is associated with changes in ion channels. On the base of these ideas, we explore a model of relationship between NMDA (n-methyl-D-aspartate) ion channels and LTP (long-term synaptic potentiation). We have proved that NMDA ion channel and calcium-dependent protein kinases, which are the triggers for the inducement of LTP, could be regarded as "molecular machines". In this system all of these molecules require energy and the energy of the system is supplied from the random motion of water molecules generated through heat energy of ATP hydrolysis[2]. So the appropriate framework to describe them comes from bioenergetics. Models of LTP previously reported are all on the macroscopic level [3-7]. Instead, we research a model at the molecular level by applying energy parameters [8].

  6. Role of Ca++ Influx via Epidermal TRP Ion Channels

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-10-01

    moisturization parameters in response to modulation of TRPV1 , 3 and 4 and TRPA1 in normal human skin as it is subjected to mechanical stress. (2) to assess...subjected it to reverse transcriptase, followed by quantitative PCR. We detected all TRP ion channels under study ( TRPV1 , TRPV3, TRPV4, TRPA1) as well as

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

    PubMed Central

    Longden, Thomas A; Hill-Eubanks, David C

    2015-01-01

    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

  8. Bubbles, Gating, and Anesthetics in Ion Channels

    PubMed Central

    Roth, Roland; Gillespie, Dirk; Nonner, Wolfgang; Eisenberg, Robert E.

    2008-01-01

    We suggest that bubbles are the bistable hydrophobic gates responsible for the on-off transitions of single channel currents. In this view, many types of channels gate by the same physical mechanism—dewetting by capillary evaporation—but different types of channels use different sensors to modulate hydrophobic properties of the channel wall and thereby trigger and control bubbles and gating. Spontaneous emptying of channels has been seen in many simulations. Because of the physics involved, such phase transitions are inherently sensitive, unstable threshold phenomena that are difficult to simulate reproducibly and thus convincingly. We present a thermodynamic analysis of a bubble gate using morphometric density functional theory of classical (not quantum) mechanics. Thermodynamic analysis of phase transitions is generally more reproducible and less sensitive to details than simulations. Anesthetic actions of inert gases—and their interactions with hydrostatic pressure (e.g., nitrogen narcosis)—can be easily understood by actions on bubbles. A general theory of gas anesthesia may involve bubbles in channels. Only experiments can show whether, or when, or which channels actually use bubbles as hydrophobic gates: direct observation of bubbles in channels is needed. Existing experiments show thin gas layers on hydrophobic surfaces in water and suggest that bubbles nearly exist in bulk water. PMID:18234836

  9. Ion channel activity in lobster skeletal muscle membrane.

    PubMed

    Worden, M K; Rahamimoff, R; Kravitz, E A

    1993-09-01

    Ion channel activity in the sarcolemmal membrane of muscle fibers is critical for regulating the excitability, and therefore the contractility, of muscle. To begin the characterization of the biophysical properties of the sarcolemmal membrane of lobster exoskeletal muscle fibers, recordings were made from excised patches of membrane from enzymatically induced muscle fiber blebs. Blebs formed as evaginations of the muscle sarcolemmal membrane and were sufficiently free of extracellular debris to allow the formation of gigaohm seals. Under simple experimental conditions using bi-ionic symmetrical recording solutions and maintained holding potentials, a variety of single channel types with conductances in the range 32-380 pS were detected. Two of these ion channel species are described in detail, both are cation channels selective for potassium. They can be distinguished from each other on the basis of their single-channel conductance and gating properties. The results suggest that current flows through a large number of ion channels that open spontaneously in bleb membranes in the absence of exogenous metabolites or hormones.

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

    PubMed

    Bicknell, Brendan A; Goodhill, Geoffrey J

    2016-09-06

    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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Bicknell, Brendan A.

    2016-01-01

    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 Ca2+ 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

  12. [Ion channel abnormalities ("channelopathies") in neurologic diseases].

    PubMed

    Masson, C

    2002-02-16

    THE ROLE OF IONIC CHANNEL DYSFUNCTION: During various neurological diseases has been evoked for many years on electro-physiological data. Molecular biology has led to great progress in neurology, and can be considered "functional" since it is surpasses the classical anatomo-clinical methods. IONIC CHANNEL DYSFUNCTION: Can be determined genetically, resulting from the mutation of a gene code of a channel sub-unit. CHANNELOPATHIES ARE RESPONSIBLE: For muscular diseases (myotonia, familial periodic paralysis, malignant hyperthermia and congenital myasthenia), but also for central nervous system disorders such as familial hemiplegic migraine, hereditary paroxystic ataxia and certain forms of Mendel's law hereditary epilepsy. ACQUIRED IONIC CHANNEL DYSFUNCTION: Resulting from auto-immune aggression is implied in diseases such as Lambert-Eaton's myasthenic syndrome and Isaac's neuromyotonia syndrome. It probably plays a part in the clinical, and particularly the sensitive expression (paresthesia and pain) of some peripheral neuropathies and certain central nervous system affections, such as multiple sclerosis.

  13. 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.

  14. The tenth annual Ion Channel Retreat, Vancouver, Canada, June 25-27, 2012.

    PubMed

    Kimlicka, Lynn; Jamieson, Ashley Lauren; Liang, Sophia; Brugger, Saranna; Liang, Dong

    2013-05-01

    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.

  15. The ninth annual Ion Channel Retreat, Vancouver, Canada, June 27-29, 2011.

    PubMed

    Brugger, Saranna; Garate, Marco; Papaianni, Gina; Volnoukhin, Maria; Zhan, Chris; Gill, Sikander; Liang, Sophia; Liang, Dong

    2011-12-01

    Nine years ago Aurora Biomed Inc. (Vancouver, Canada) committed to gathering the brightest minds and the most innovative research companies at one conference. The Ion Channel Retreat provides a podium for scientific discourse spanning a wide range of ion channel disciplines. This conference has consistently provided a venue for people to share knowledge, exchange ideas, and establish partnerships. This conference continues to expand and grow each year, demonstrating the value of such a conference. Attendees at the 2011 Ion Channel retreat presented ion channel research from 12 different countries, representing research groups located on 5 of the 7 continents. Aurora Biomed's 2011 Retreat covered a variety of topics including Ion Channels as Disease Targets, Ion Channels as Pain Targets, TRP-channels, Ion Channel Screening Technologies, Cardiac Function and Pharmacology, Cardiac Safety and Toxicology, and Structure and Function of Ion Channels.

  16. 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

  17. Theoretical Study of Ion Transport in the Gramicidin a Channel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roux, Benoi T.

    Modern techniques are used to study the permeation process of ions through the gramicidin A channel. The conformation of the gramicidin molecule is investigated experimentally in dimethylsulfoxide/acetone using the techniques of two-dimensional NMR spectroscopy. An empirical energy function is developed from ab initio calculations to represent the interaction of Li^{+}, Na^{+} and K^ {+} ions with the backbone of polypeptides; the parameters are tested in dense systems with free energy simulations. The dynamics of the gramicidin A channel dimer in the absence of water and ions is studied in the harmonic approximation by a vibrational analysis of the atomic motions relative to their equilibrium positions. The behavior of the water molecules in the channel is studied with a molecular dynamics simulation of a fully solvated Gramicidin A dimer embedded in a model membrane. the potential of mean force and the mobility of Na^{+ }, K^{+} and water are calculated in the interior of a gramicidin-like periodic poly (L,D)-alanine beta -helix. The potential of mean force of Na^ {+} ion along the axis of the gramicidin A channel is calculated with a molecular dynamics simulation of a fully solvated Gramicidin A dimer embedded in a model membrane; the gramicidin channel is modeled as a right -handed head-to-head beta-helix dimer. Binding sites are found at the extremities of the channel; no large activation energy barrier is caused by the dehydration process at the entrance of the channel. In the appendices, Statistical Mechanical theories are used to investigate the equilibrium and dynamical properties of the liquid state. A theory of aqueous solutions is used to provide an interpretation for the Born model of ion hydration at the molecular level; the Born radius of hydration is interpreted in terms of the first peak in the solute-solvent radial distribution function. We show that some proposed closures for the RISM equation of Chandler and Andersen possess no solution because

  18. A New Poisson-Nernst-Planck Model with Ion-Water Interactions for Charge Transport in Ion Channels.

    PubMed

    Chen, Duan

    2016-08-01

    In this work, we propose a new Poisson-Nernst-Planck (PNP) model with ion-water interactions for biological charge transport in ion channels. Due to narrow geometries of these membrane proteins, ion-water interaction is critical for both dielectric property of water molecules in channel pore and transport dynamics of mobile ions. We model the ion-water interaction energy based on realistic experimental observations in an efficient mean-field approach. Variation of a total energy functional of the biological system yields a new PNP-type continuum model. Numerical simulations show that the proposed model with ion-water interaction energy has the new features that quantitatively describe dielectric properties of water molecules in narrow pores and are possible to model the selectivity of some ion channels.

  19. A golden approach to ion channel inhibition☆

    PubMed Central

    Jarvis, Gavin E.; Thompson, Andrew J.

    2013-01-01

    Drugs are often used in combination and, for pharmacologists, the manner of their interactions can cast light on drug mechanisms and biological processes. Here we provide simplified descriptions of commonly used analytical methods for analysing drug combinations and describe a new and practical experimental solution to address the mechanistic question: ‘Do two channel-blocking drugs bind at the same site?’ We define two simple mathematical models that describe the effects of two channel blockers acting simultaneously at either the same (Syntopic Model) or different (Allotopic Model) binding sites within a channel pore. We find that the optimum concentrations of two drugs for distinguishing between the two models are related to the mathematical Golden Ratio. PMID:23972927

  20. Divalent ion trapping inside potassium channels of human T lymphocytes

    PubMed Central

    1989-01-01

    Using the patch-clamp whole-cell recording technique, we investigated the influence of external Ca2+, Ba2+, K+, Rb+, and internal Ca2+ on the rate of K+ channel inactivation in the human T lymphocyte-derived cell line, Jurkat E6-1. Raising external Ca2+ or Ba2+, or reducing external K+, accelerated the rate of the K+ current decay during a depolarizing voltage pulse. External Ba2+ also produced a use-dependent block of the K+ channels by entering the open channel and becoming trapped inside. Raising internal Ca2+ accelerated inactivation at lower concentrations than external Ca2+, but increasing the Ca2+ buffering with BAPTA did not affect inactivation. Raising [K+]o or adding Rb+ slowed inactivation by competing with divalent ions. External Rb+ also produced a use-dependent removal of block of K+ channels loaded with Ba2+ or Ca2+. From the removal of this block we found that under normal conditions approximately 25% of the channels were loaded with Ca2+, whereas under conditions with 10 microM internal Ca2+ the proportion of channels loaded with Ca2+ increased to approximately 50%. Removing all the divalent cations from the external and internal solution resulted in the induction of a non-selective, voltage-independent conductance. We conclude that Ca2+ ions from the outside or the inside can bind to a site at the K+ channel and thereby block the channel or accelerate inactivation. PMID:2786551

  1. Ion channels: Key elements in sea urchin sperm physiology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Darszon, Alberto; de De Latorre, Lucia; Vargas, Irma; Liévano, Arturo; Beltrán, Carmen; Santi, Celia; Labarca, Pedro; Zapata, Otilia

    1995-08-01

    Ion channels are deeply involved in sea urchin sperm activation, motility, chemotaxis and in the acrosome reaction. Unraveling ion channel function and regulation in sperm behavior has required a combination of complementary approaches since spermatozoa are very tiny cells. Planar bilayer and patch clamp techniques have allowed us to detect, for the first time, the activity of single channels in the plasma membrane of these cells. Unlike intact sperm, swollen sperm can be much more easily patch clamped and single channel activity recorded. These techniques, together with studies of membrane potential, intracellular Ca2+ and pH in whole sperm, have established the presence of K+, Ca2+, and Cl- channels in this cell. The strategies developed to study sea urchin sperm channels are applicable to mammalian spermatozoa. We recently detected a Ca2+ channel resembling one found in S. purpuratus sperm in planar bilayers containing mouse sperm plasma membranes. The presence of this Ca2+ channel in such diverse species suggests it is important in sperm function.

  2. 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

  3. Are ion channels voltage-dependent "transfer-enzymes"?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nelson, Peter Hugo

    2002-04-01

    The known structure of the KcsA channel selectivity filter is used to derive a novel ion permeation theory for K channels. The simplified model has only two adjustable parameters: a maximum ion transfer rate and a binding coefficient - that explicitly appear in the Michaelis-Menten equation governing the concentration dependence of the zero-voltage conductivity. A third parameter is the relative distance between two K+ ions in the selectivity filter of KcsA. This parameter is obtained directly from the X-ray structure [Doyle et al., Science 280 (1998) 69-77] and successfully predicts the experimentally observed voltage dependence of K+ ion permeation [Meuser et al., FEBS Lett. 462 (1999) 447-452][LeMasurier et al., J. Gen. Physiol. 118 (2001) 303-313], suggesting a quantitative relationship between the KcsA X-ray structure and its function. The same theory also successfully models all experimentally observed aspects of Cl- and SCN- permeation through GlyR and GABAR channels [Bormann et al., J. Physiol. 385 (1987) 243-286] including the so-called 'anomalous mole fraction effect'. This work is supported by NIH Post-Doctoral Fellowship GM20584.

  4. What Ion Flow along Ion Channels Can Tell us about Their Functional Activity

    PubMed Central

    Becucci, Lucia; Guidelli, Rolando

    2016-01-01

    The functional activity of channel-forming peptides and proteins is most directly verified by monitoring the flow of physiologically relevant inorganic ions, such as Na+, K+ and Cl−, along the ion channels. Electrical current measurements across bilayer lipid membranes (BLMs) interposed between two aqueous solutions have been widely employed to this end and are still extensively used. However, a major drawback of BLMs is their fragility, high sensitivity toward vibrations and mechanical shocks, and low resistance to electric fields. To overcome this problem, metal-supported tethered BLMs (tBLMs) have been devised, where the BLM is anchored to the metal via a hydrophilic spacer that replaces and mimics the water phase on the metal side. However, only mercury-supported tBLMs can measure and regulate the flow of the above inorganic ions, thanks to mercury liquid state and high hydrogen overpotential. This review summarizes the main results achieved by BLMs incorporating voltage-gated channel-forming peptides, interpreting them on the basis of a kinetic mechanism of nucleation and growth. Hg-supported tBLMs are then described, and their potential for the investigation of voltage-gated and ohmic channels is illustrated by the use of different electrochemical techniques. PMID:27983579

  5. Optimum ion channel properties in the squid giant axon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adair, Robert K.

    2004-04-01

    Evolutionary pressures are presumed to act so as to maximize the efficiency of biological systems. However, the utility of that premise is marred by the difficulties in defining and evaluating both the efficiency of systems and the character of the available variation space. Following Hodgkin and Adrian, we examine the character of voltage gated ion channels in the nonmyelinated giant axons of the squid and find that both the channel densities and channel transition rates have values that nearly optimize signal sensitivity as well as signal velocity.

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-27

    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.

  8. 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

  9. Light-controlled ion channels formed by amphiphilic small molecules regulate ion conduction via cis-trans photoisomerization.

    PubMed

    Liu, Tao; Bao, Chunyan; Wang, Haiyan; Lin, Yao; Jia, Huijuan; Zhu, Linyong

    2013-11-11

    Light-regulated ion channel-transport across lipid bilayers was realized using structurally simple azobenzene-based amphiphilic small molecules. UV or visible irradiation triggers molecular photoisomerization, which induces structural and membrane affinity changes in self-assembled channels, thus resulting in light-regulated ion transmembrane transport.

  10. 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

  11. Characterization of Multiple Ion Channels in Cultured Human Cardiac Fibroblasts

    PubMed Central

    Li, Gui-Rong; Sun, Hai-Ying; Chen, Jing-Bo; Zhou, Yuan; Tse, Hung-Fat; Lau, Chu-Pak

    2009-01-01

    Background Although fibroblast-to-myocyte electrical coupling is experimentally suggested, electrophysiology of cardiac fibroblasts is not as well established as contractile cardiac myocytes. The present study was therefore designed to characterize ion channels in cultured human cardiac fibroblasts. Methods and Findings A whole-cell patch voltage clamp technique and RT-PCR were employed to determine ion channels expression and their molecular identities. We found that multiple ion channels were heterogeneously expressed in human cardiac fibroblasts. These include a big conductance Ca2+-activated K+ current (BKCa) in most (88%) human cardiac fibroblasts, a delayed rectifier K+ current (IKDR) and a transient outward K+ current (Ito) in a small population (15 and 14%, respectively) of cells, an inwardly-rectifying K+ current (IKir) in 24% of cells, and a chloride current (ICl) in 7% of cells under isotonic conditions. In addition, two types of voltage-gated Na+ currents (INa) with distinct properties were present in most (61%) human cardiac fibroblasts. One was a slowly inactivated current with a persistent component, sensitive to tetrodotoxin (TTX) inhibition (INa.TTX, IC50 = 7.8 nM), the other was a rapidly inactivated current, relatively resistant to TTX (INa.TTXR, IC50 = 1.8 µM). RT-PCR revealed the molecular identities (mRNAs) of these ion channels in human cardiac fibroblasts, including KCa.1.1 (responsible for BKCa), Kv1.5, Kv1.6 (responsible for IKDR), Kv4.2, Kv4.3 (responsible for Ito), Kir2.1, Kir2.3 (for IKir), Clnc3 (for ICl), NaV1.2, NaV1.3, NaV1.6, NaV1.7 (for INa.TTX), and NaV1.5 (for INa.TTXR). Conclusions These results provide the first information that multiple ion channels are present in cultured human cardiac fibroblasts, and suggest the potential contribution of these ion channels to fibroblast-myocytes electrical coupling. PMID:19806193

  12. Characterization of multiple ion channels in cultured human cardiac fibroblasts.

    PubMed

    Li, Gui-Rong; Sun, Hai-Ying; Chen, Jing-Bo; Zhou, Yuan; Tse, Hung-Fat; Lau, Chu-Pak

    2009-10-06

    Although fibroblast-to-myocyte electrical coupling is experimentally suggested, electrophysiology of cardiac fibroblasts is not as well established as contractile cardiac myocytes. The present study was therefore designed to characterize ion channels in cultured human cardiac fibroblasts. A whole-cell patch voltage clamp technique and RT-PCR were employed to determine ion channels expression and their molecular identities. We found that multiple ion channels were heterogeneously expressed in human cardiac fibroblasts. These include a big conductance Ca(2+)-activated K(+) current (BK(Ca)) in most (88%) human cardiac fibroblasts, a delayed rectifier K(+) current (IK(DR)) and a transient outward K(+) current (I(to)) in a small population (15 and 14%, respectively) of cells, an inwardly-rectifying K(+) current (I(Kir)) in 24% of cells, and a chloride current (I(Cl)) in 7% of cells under isotonic conditions. In addition, two types of voltage-gated Na(+) currents (I(Na)) with distinct properties were present in most (61%) human cardiac fibroblasts. One was a slowly inactivated current with a persistent component, sensitive to tetrodotoxin (TTX) inhibition (I(Na.TTX), IC(50) = 7.8 nM), the other was a rapidly inactivated current, relatively resistant to TTX (I(Na.TTXR), IC(50) = 1.8 microM). RT-PCR revealed the molecular identities (mRNAs) of these ion channels in human cardiac fibroblasts, including KCa.1.1 (responsible for BK(Ca)), Kv1.5, Kv1.6 (responsible for IK(DR)), Kv4.2, Kv4.3 (responsible for I(to)), Kir2.1, Kir2.3 (for I(Kir)), Clnc3 (for I(Cl)), Na(V)1.2, Na(V)1.3, Na(V)1.6, Na(V)1.7 (for I(Na.TTX)), and Na(V)1.5 (for I(Na.TTXR)). These results provide the first information that multiple ion channels are present in cultured human cardiac fibroblasts, and suggest the potential contribution of these ion channels to fibroblast-myocytes electrical coupling.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Crotalphine desensitizes TRPA1 ion channels to alleviate inflammatory hyperalgesia.

    PubMed

    Bressan, Elisangela; Touska, Filip; Vetter, Irina; Kistner, Katrin; Kichko, Tatjana I; Teixeira, Nathália B; Picolo, Gisele; Cury, Yara; Lewis, Richard J; Fischer, Michael J M; Zimmermann, Katharina; Reeh, Peter W

    2016-11-01

    Crotalphine is a structural analogue to a novel analgesic peptide that was first identified in the crude venom from the South American rattlesnake Crotalus durissus terrificus. Although crotalphine's analgesic effect is well established, its direct mechanism of action remains unresolved. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of crotalphine on ion channels in peripheral pain pathways. We found that picomolar concentrations of crotalphine selectively activate heterologously expressed and native TRPA1 ion channels. TRPA1 activation by crotalphine required intact N-terminal cysteine residues and was followed by strong and long-lasting desensitization of the channel. Homologous desensitization of recombinant TRPA1 and heterologous desensitization in cultured dorsal root ganglia neurons was observed. Likewise, crotalphine acted on peptidergic TRPA1-expressing nerve endings ex vivo as demonstrated by suppression of calcitonin gene-related peptide release from the trachea and in vivo by inhibition of chemically induced and inflammatory hypersensitivity in mice. The crotalphine-mediated desensitizing effect was abolished by the TRPA1 blocker HC030031 and absent in TRPA1-deficient mice. Taken together, these results suggest that crotalphine is the first peptide to mediate antinociception selectively and at subnanomolar concentrations by targeting TRPA1 ion channels.

  16. Mechanism of Ion Permeation in Skeletal Muscle Chloride Channels

    PubMed Central

    Fahlke, Christoph; Dürr, Christine; George, Alfred L.

    1997-01-01

    Voltage-gated Cl− channels belonging to the ClC family exhibit unique properties of ion permeation and gating. We functionally probed the conduction pathway of a recombinant human skeletal muscle Cl− channel (hClC-1) expressed both in Xenopus oocytes and in a mammalian cell line by investigating block by extracellular or intracellular I− and related anions. Extracellular and intracellular I− exert blocking actions on hClC-1 currents that are both concentration and voltage dependent. Similar actions were observed for a variety of other halide (Br−) and polyatomic (SCN−, NO3−, CH3SO3−) anions. In addition, I− block is accompanied by gating alterations that differ depending on which side of the membrane the blocker is applied. External I− causes a shift in the voltage-dependent probability that channels exist in three definable kinetic states (fast deactivating, slow deactivating, nondeactivating), while internal I− slows deactivation. These different effects on gating properties can be used to distinguish two functional ion binding sites within the hClC-1 pore. We determined KD values for I− block in three distinct kinetic states and found that binding of I− to hClC-1 is modulated by the gating state of the channel. Furthermore, estimates of electrical distance for I− binding suggest that conformational changes affecting the two ion binding sites occur during gating transitions. These results have implications for understanding mechanisms of ion selectivity in hClC-1, and for defining the intimate relationship between gating and permeation in ClC channels. PMID:9348327

  17. Targeting ion channels in leukemias: a new challenge for treatment.

    PubMed

    Arcangeli, A; Pillozzi, S; Becchetti, A

    2012-01-01

    Leukemias, as other cancers, bear several genetic alterations of tumor-related genes, such as point mutations, translocations, epigenetic modifications, often accompanied by gene amplification or inactivation. The identification of tumor-related genes provides considerable insight into the biology of leukemias and opens the way to more specific pharmacological treatments. These genes comprise several ion channels and pumps, as the transport mechanisms associated with volume control, proliferation and apoptosis are often altered in cancers. In leukemic cells, such changes are observed as early as the stem cell stage. Ion channels can regulate other malignant features, such as lack of differentiation, increased migratory and invasive phenotype and chemoresistance. The role of certain voltage-gated K(+) channels, such as K(v)11.1 (also known as hERG1) can be largely attributed to modulation of cell adhesion to the extracellular matrix (ECM). K(v)11.1 exerts pleiotropic regulatory effects by forming multiprotein membrane complexes with integrin receptors in both acute myeloid leukemias (AML) and acute lymphoblastic leukemias (ALL). By recruiting growth factor and chemokine receptors, these complexes form signaling hubs that control neoplastic progression. Work in mice shows that blocking K(v)11.1 has a protective effect in acute leukemias. Ion channels are most promising targets for anti-leukemic therapy, because of their accessibility from the extracellular side and the thorough understanding of their pharmacology. In ALL cells, K(v)11.1 inhibitors abrogate the protective effect of bone marrow stromal cells and enhance the cytotoxicity of some common antileukemic drugs. Hence, ion channel modulators could overcome chemoresistance in acute leukemias, a major hindrance to therapeutic success.

  18. Ca2+ channel blockade inhibits gallbladder ion transport.

    PubMed

    Saunders, K D; Cates, J A; Abedin, M Z; Kleinman, R; Roslyn, J J

    1990-10-01

    Recent studies suggest that cholesterol gallstone (GS) formation is characterized by altered gallbladder epithelial ion transport and increased gallbladder (GB) luminal Ca2+. Moreover, intracellular Ca2+ has been reported to be an important modulator of intestinal ion transport. The aim of the present study was to determine the effects of Ca2+ channel inhibition on GB ion transport. Prairie dog GBs were mounted in a Ussing chamber and bathed in warm oxygenated Ringer's solution, and short-circuit current (Isc), transepithelial potential difference (Vms), and tissue resistance (Rt) were recorded. Following stabilization, the mucosal surfaces of the GBs were exposed to 1 or 0.1 mM verapamil (VER). Effects on Isc were apparent within 10 sec with nadir values reached in 5 +/- 1 min. Profound (76%) inhibition of Isc was seen with 1 mM verapamil exposure (26 +/- 6 microA.cm-2) as compared to baseline values (170 +/- 6 microA.cm-2) (P less than 0.001). Verapamil exposure (1 mM) also led to a marked inhibition of Vms (P less than 0.001, vs baseline) and a significant increase in Rt (P less than 0.05 vs baseline). Similar trends were seen using 0.1 mM verapamil (Isc nadir 133 +/- 13 microA.cm-2). Verapamil-induced effects on gallbladder electrophysiology were largely reversible (75-90% recovery of baseline Isc after tissue washing). These data suggest that (1) verapamil induces rapid but reversible inhibition of ion transport and (2) Ca2+ channel blockade inhibits ion transport in a dose-dependent fashion. We would propose that intracellular Ca2+ may be a regulator of GB ion transport.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Ligand-Gated Ion Channels: Permeation and Activation1

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lynch, Joseph W.; Barry, Peter H.

    Ligand-gated ion channels (LGICs) are fast-responding channels in which the receptor, which binds the activating molecule (the ligand), and the ion channel are part of the same nanomolecular protein complex. This chapter will describe the properties and functions of the nicotinic acetylcholine LGIC superfamily, which play a critical role in the fast chemical transmission of electrical signals between nerve cells at synapses and between nerve and muscle cells at endplates. All the processing functions of the brain and the resulting behavioral output depend on chemical transmission across such neuronal interconnections. To describe the properties of the channels of this LGIC superfamily,we will mainly use two examples of this family of channels: the excitatory nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) and the inhibitory glycine receptor (GlyR) channels. In the chemical transmission of electrical signals, the arrival of an electrical signal at the synaptic terminal of a nerve causes the release of a chemical signal—a neurotransmitter molecule (the ligand, also referred to as the agonist). The neurotransmitter rapidly diffuses across the very narrow 20-40 nm synaptic gap between the cells and binds to the LGIC receptors in the membrane of the target (postsynaptic) cell and generates a new electrical signal in that cell (e.g., Kandel et al., 2000). How this chemical signal is converted into an electrical one depends on the fundamental properties of LGICs and the ionic composition of the postsynaptic cell and its external solution.

  3. Gating at the selectivity filter of ion channels that conduct Na+ and K+ ions.

    PubMed

    Furini, Simone; Domene, Carmen

    2011-10-05

    The NaK channel is a cation selective channel with similar permeability for K(+) and Na(+). The available crystallographic structure of wild-type (WT) NaK is usually associated with a conductive state of the channel. Here, potential of mean force for complete conduction events of Na(+) and K(+) ions through NaK show that: i), large energy barriers prevent the passage of ions through the WT NaK structure, ii), the barriers are correlated to the presence of a hydrogen bond between Asp-66 and Asn-68, and iii), the structure of NaK mutated to mimic cyclic nucleotide-gated channels conducts Na(+) and K(+). These results support the hypothesis that the filter of cation selective channels can adopt at least two different structures: a conductive one, represented by the x-ray structures of the NaK-CNG chimeras, and a closed one, represented by the x-ray structures of the WT NaK. Copyright © 2011 Biophysical Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Gating at the Selectivity Filter of Ion Channels that Conduct Na+ and K+ Ions

    PubMed Central

    Furini, Simone; Domene, Carmen

    2011-01-01

    The NaK channel is a cation selective channel with similar permeability for K+ and Na+. The available crystallographic structure of wild-type (WT) NaK is usually associated with a conductive state of the channel. Here, potential of mean force for complete conduction events of Na+ and K+ ions through NaK show that: i), large energy barriers prevent the passage of ions through the WT NaK structure, ii), the barriers are correlated to the presence of a hydrogen bond between Asp-66 and Asn-68, and iii), the structure of NaK mutated to mimic cyclic nucleotide-gated channels conducts Na+ and K+. These results support the hypothesis that the filter of cation selective channels can adopt at least two different structures: a conductive one, represented by the x-ray structures of the NaK-CNG chimeras, and a closed one, represented by the x-ray structures of the WT NaK. PMID:21961588

  5. Non-Equilibrium Dynamics Contribute to Ion Selectivity in the KcsA Channel

    PubMed Central

    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

  6. 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.

  7. Microstructured apertures in planar glass substrates for ion channel research.

    PubMed

    Fertig, Niels; George, Michael; Klau, Michèle; Meyer, Christine; Tilke, Armin; Sobotta, Constanze; Blick, Robert H; Behrends, Jan C

    2003-01-01

    We have developed planar glass chip devices for patch clamp recording. Glass has several key advantages as a substrate for planar patch clamp devices. It is a good dielectric, is well-known to interact strongly with cell membranes and is also a relatively in-expensive material. In addition, it is optically neutral. However, microstructuring processes for glass are less well established than those for silicon-based substrates. We have used ion-track etching techniques to produce micron-sized apertures into borosilicate and quartz-glass coverslips. These apertures, which can be easily produced in arrays, have been used for high resolution recording of single ion channels as well as for whole-cell current recordings from mammalian cell lines. An additional attractive application that is greatly facilitated by the combination of planar geometry with the optical neutrality of the substrate is single-molecule fluorescence recording with simultaneous single-channel measurements.

  8. Ion channels and drug transporters as targets for anthelmintics

    PubMed Central

    Greenberg, Robert M.

    2014-01-01

    Infections with parasitic helminths such as schistosomes and soil-transmitted nematodes are hugely prevalent and responsible for a major portion of the global health and economic burdens associated with neglected tropical diseases. In addition, many of these parasites infect livestock and plants used in agriculture, resulting in further impoverishment. Treatment and control of these pathogens rely on anthelmintic drugs, which are few in number, and against which drug resistance can develop rapidly. The neuromuscular system of the parasite, and in particular, the ion channels and associated receptors underlying excitation and signaling, have proven to be outstanding targets for anthelmintics. This review will survey the different ion channels found in helminths, focusing on their unique characteristics and pharmacological sensitivities. It will also briefly review the literature on helminth multidrug efflux that may modulate parasite susceptibility to anthelmintics and may prove useful targets for new or repurposed agents that can enhance parasite drug susceptibility and perhaps overcome drug resistance. PMID:25554739

  9. The screw-helical voltage gating of ion channels.

    PubMed Central

    Keynes, R D; Elinder, F

    1999-01-01

    In the voltage-gated ion channels of every animal, whether they are selective for K+, Na+ or Ca2+, the voltage sensors are the S4 transmembrane segments carrying four to eight positive charges always separated by two uncharged residues. It is proposed that they move across the membrane in a screw-helical fashion in a series of three or more steps that each transfer a single electronic charge. The unit steps are stabilized by ion pairing between the mobile positive charges and fixed negative charges, of which there are invariably two located near the inner ends of segments S2 and S3 and a third near the outer end of either S2 or S3. Opening of the channel involves three such steps in each domain. PMID:10343407

  10. Ion channels and drug transporters as targets for anthelmintics.

    PubMed

    Greenberg, Robert M

    2014-12-01

    Infections with parasitic helminths such as schistosomes and soil-transmitted nematodes are hugely prevalent and responsible for a major portion of the global health and economic burdens associated with neglected tropical diseases. In addition, many of these parasites infect livestock and plants used in agriculture, resulting in further impoverishment. Treatment and control of these pathogens rely on anthelmintic drugs, which are few in number, and against which drug resistance can develop rapidly. The neuromuscular system of the parasite, and in particular, the ion channels and associated receptors underlying excitation and signaling, have proven to be outstanding targets for anthelmintics. This review will survey the different ion channels found in helminths, focusing on their unique characteristics and pharmacological sensitivities. It will also briefly review the literature on helminth multidrug efflux that may modulate parasite susceptibility to anthelmintics and may prove useful targets for new or repurposed agents that can enhance parasite drug susceptibility and perhaps overcome drug resistance.

  11. The role of synaptic ion channels in synaptic plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Voglis, Giannis; Tavernarakis, Nektarios

    2006-01-01

    The nervous system receives a large amount of information about the environment through elaborate sensory routes. Processing and integration of these wide-ranging inputs often results in long-term behavioural alterations as a result of past experiences. These relatively permanent changes in behaviour are manifestations of the capacity of the nervous system for learning and memory. At the cellular level, synaptic plasticity is one of the mechanisms underlying this process. Repeated neural activity generates physiological changes in the nervous system that ultimately modulate neuronal communication through synaptic transmission. Recent studies implicate both presynaptic and postsynaptic ion channels in the process of synapse strength modulation. Here, we review the role of synaptic ion channels in learning and memory, and discuss the implications and significance of these findings towards deciphering the molecular biology of learning and memory. PMID:17077866

  12. The structure and regulation of magnesium selective ion channels.

    PubMed

    Payandeh, Jian; Pfoh, Roland; Pai, Emil F

    2013-11-01

    The magnesium ion (Mg(2+)) is the most abundant divalent cation within cells. In man, Mg(2+)-deficiency is associated with diseases affecting the heart, muscle, bone, immune, and nervous systems. Despite its impact on human health, little is known about the molecular mechanisms that regulate magnesium transport and storage. Complete structural information on eukaryotic Mg(2+)-transport proteins is currently lacking due to associated technical challenges. The prokaryotic MgtE and CorA magnesium transport systems have recently succumbed to structure determination by X-ray crystallography, providing first views of these ubiquitous and essential Mg(2+)-channels. MgtE and CorA are unique among known membrane protein structures, each revealing a novel protein fold containing distinct arrangements of ten transmembrane-spanning α-helices. Structural and functional analyses have established that Mg(2+)-selectivity in MgtE and CorA occurs through distinct mechanisms. Conserved acidic side-chains appear to form the selectivity filter in MgtE, whereas conserved asparagines coordinate hydrated Mg(2+)-ions within the selectivity filter of CorA. Common structural themes have also emerged whereby MgtE and CorA sense and respond to physiologically relevant, intracellular Mg(2+)-levels through dedicated regulatory domains. Within these domains, multiple primary and secondary Mg(2+)-binding sites serve to staple these ion channels into their respective closed conformations, implying that Mg(2+)-transport is well guarded and very tightly regulated. The MgtE and CorA proteins represent valuable structural templates to better understand the related eukaryotic SLC41 and Mrs2-Alr1 magnesium channels. Herein, we review the structure, function and regulation of MgtE and CorA and consider these unique proteins within the expanding universe of ion channel and transporter structural biology.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Automated ion channel screening: patch clamping made easy.

    PubMed

    Farre, Cecilia; Stoelzle, Sonja; Haarmann, Claudia; George, Michael; Brüggemann, Andrea; Fertig, Niels

    2007-04-01

    Efficient high resolution techniques are required for screening efforts and research targeting ion channels. The conventional patch clamp technique, a high resolution but low efficiency technique, has been established for 25 years. Recent advances have opened up new possibilities for automated patch clamping. This new technology meets the need of drug developers for higher throughput and facilitates new experimental approaches in ion channel research. Specifically, Nanion's electrophysiology workstations, the Port-a-Patch and the Patchliner, have been successfully introduced as high-quality automated patch clamp platforms for industry as well as academic users. Both platforms give high quality patch clamp recordings, capable of true giga-seals and stable recordings, accessible to the user without the need for years of practical training. They also offer sophisticated experimental possibilities, such as accurate and fast ligand application, temperature control and internal solution exchange. This article describes the chip-based patch clamp technology and its usefulness in ion channel drug screening and academic research.

  16. Regulation of lysosomal ion homeostasis by channels and transporters

    PubMed Central

    Xiong, Jian; Zhu, Michael X.

    2016-01-01

    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+, Ca2+, 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

  17. Vacuolar ion channels: Roles in plant nutrition and signalling.

    PubMed

    Isayenkov, Stanislav; Isner, Jean Charles; Maathuis, Frans J M

    2010-05-17

    Vacuoles play various roles in many physiologically relevant processes in plants. Some of the more prominent are turgor provision, the storage of minerals and nutrients, and cellular signalling. To fulfil these functions a complement of membrane transporters is present at the tonoplast. Prolific patch clamp studies have shown that amongst these, both selective and non-selective ion channels participate in turgor regulation, nutrient storage and signalling. This article reviews the physiological roles, expression patterns and structure function properties of plant vacuolar anion and cation channels that are gated by voltage and ligands.

  18. Acid-sensing ion channels in pain and disease.

    PubMed

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

    2013-07-01

    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.

  19. Ion-channeling analysis of boron clusters in silicon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Selen, L. J. M.; Janssen, F. J. J.; van IJzendoorn, L. J.; de Voigt, M. J. A.; Theunissen, M. J. J.; Smulders, P. J. M.; Eijkemans, T. J.

    2001-11-01

    We have measured axially channeled Rutherford backscattering spectra of Si1-xGex nanofilms in silicon(001). A step in the yield of the host crystal was found for off-normal axes at the depth of the nanofilm. The step was measured as a function of the angle between the incoming beam and the [011] axis and shows two maxima. It is found that Monte Carlo simulations assuming tetragonal distortion reproduce the experimental results. A universal curve was derived which enables determination of the tetragonal distortion from ion-channeling experiments, for a given film thickness. The results are compared with XRD measurements.

  20. 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

  1. Identified ion channels in the squid nervous system.

    PubMed

    Rosenthal, J J C; Gilly, W F

    2003-01-01

    Our modern understanding of channels as discrete voltage-sensitive and ion-selective entities comes largely from a series of classical studies using the squid giant axon. This system has also been critical for understanding how transporters and synaptic transmission operate. This review outlines attempts to assign molecular identities to the extensively studied physiological properties of this system. As it turns out, this is no simple task. Molecular candidates for voltage-gated Na(+), K(+), and Ca(2+) channels, as well as ion transporters have been isolated from the squid nervous system. Both physiological and molecular approaches have been used to equate these cloned gene products with their native counterparts. In the case of the delayed rectifier K(+) conductance, the most thoroughly studied example, two major issues further complicate the equation. First, the ability of K(+) channel monomers to form heteromultimers with unique properties must be considered. Second, squid K(+) channel mRNAs are extensively edited, a process that can generate a wide variety of channel proteins from a common gene. The giant axon system is beginning to play an important role in understanding the biological relevance of this latter process. Copyright 2003 S. Karger AG, Basel

  2. Impact of intracellular ion channels on cancer development and progression.

    PubMed

    Peruzzo, Roberta; Biasutto, Lucia; Szabò, Ildikò; Leanza, Luigi

    2016-10-01

    Cancer research is nowadays focused on the identification of possible new targets in order to try to develop new drugs for curing untreatable tumors. Ion channels have emerged as "oncogenic" proteins, since they have an aberrant expression in cancers compared to normal tissues and contribute to several hallmarks of cancer, such as metabolic re-programming, limitless proliferative potential, apoptosis-resistance, stimulation of neo-angiogenesis as well as cell migration and invasiveness. In recent years, not only the plasma membrane but also intracellular channels and transporters have arisen as oncological targets and were proposed to be associated with tumorigenesis. Therefore, the research is currently focusing on understanding the possible role of intracellular ion channels in cancer development and progression on one hand and, on the other, on developing new possible drugs able to modulate the expression and/or activity of these channels. In a few cases, the efficacy of channel-targeting drugs in reducing tumors has already been demonstrated in vivo in preclinical mouse models.

  3. Ion transport through a T-intersection of nanofluidic channels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daiguji, Hirofumi; Adachi, Takuma; Tatsumi, Naoya

    2008-08-01

    Ion transport through a T-intersection of two silica nanochannels (a main channel, 5-μm long and 30-nm wide, and a subchannel, 5-μm long and 15-nm wide) with a surface charge distribution was investigated based on continuum dynamics calculations. The surface charge within 250nm of the intersection in the main channel and the entire subchannel was positive and that in the main channel outside this intersection region was negative. This nanofluidic system is analogous to a p-n-p transistor. The calculation results revealed that, by adjusting the electric potentials at the ends of the nanochannels, the ionic current could be (1) cut off, (2) regulated in the main channel, (3) diverged into the main and subchannels, (4) turned from the main channel to the subchannel, and (5) merged into the subchannel. A series connection of this nanofluidic system can therefore be used in biotechnological applications for electrophoretic separation and for sorting of ions and biomolecules.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Robust ion current oscillations under a steady electric field: An ion channel analog

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yan, Yu; Wang, Yunshan; Senapati, Satyajyoti; Schiffbauer, Jarrod; Yossifon, Gilad; Chang, Hsueh-Chia

    2016-08-01

    We demonstrate a nonlinear, nonequilibrium field-driven ion flux phenomenon, which unlike Teorell's nonlinear multiple field theory, requires only the application of one field: robust autonomous current-mass flux oscillations across a porous monolith coupled to a capillary with a long air bubble, which mimics a hydrophobic protein in an ion channel. The oscillations are driven by the hysteretic wetting dynamics of the meniscus when electro-osmotic flow and pressure driven backflow, due to bubble expansion, compete to approach zero mass flux within the monolith. Delayed rupture of the film around the advancing bubble cuts off the electric field and switches the monolith mass flow from the former to the latter. The meniscus then recedes and repairs the rupture to sustain an oscillation for a range of applied fields. This generic mechanism shares many analogs with current oscillations in cell membrane ion channel. At sufficiently high voltage, the system undergoes a state transition characterized by appearance of the ubiquitous 1 /f power spectrum.

  7. Ion selectivity in the selectivity filters of acid-sensing ion channels.

    PubMed

    Dudev, Todor; Lim, Carmay

    2015-01-19

    Sodium-selective acid sensing ion channels (ASICs), which belong to the epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) superfamily, are key players in many physiological processes (e.g. nociception, mechanosensation, cognition, and memory) and are potential therapeutic targets. Central to the ASIC's function is its ability to discriminate Na(+) among cations, which is largely determined by its selectivity filter, the narrowest part of an open pore. However, it is unclear how the ASIC discriminates Na(+) from rival cations such as K(+) and Ca(2+) and why its Na(+)/K(+) selectivity is an order of magnitude lower than that of the ENaC. Here, we show that a well-tuned balance between electrostatic and solvation effects controls ion selectivity in the ASIC1a SF. The large, water-filled ASIC1a pore is selective for Na(+) over K(+) because its backbone ligands form more hydrogen-bond contacts and stronger electrostatic interactions with hydrated Na(+) compared to hydrated K(+). It is selective for Na(+) over divalent Ca(2+) due to its relatively high-dielectric environment, which favors solvated rather than filter-bound Ca(2+). However, higher Na(+)-selectivity could be achieved in a narrow, rigid pore lined by three weak metal-ligating groups, as in the case of ENaC, which provides optimal fit and interactions for Na(+) but not for non-native ions.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Membranes with the Same Ion Channel Populations but Different Excitabilities

    PubMed Central

    Herrera-Valdez, Marco Arieli

    2012-01-01

    Electrical signaling allows communication within and between different tissues and is necessary for the survival of multicellular organisms. The ionic transport that underlies transmembrane currents in cells is mediated by transporters and channels. Fast ionic transport through channels is typically modeled with a conductance-based formulation that describes current in terms of electrical drift without diffusion. In contrast, currents written in terms of drift and diffusion are not as widely used in the literature in spite of being more realistic and capable of displaying experimentally observable phenomena that conductance-based models cannot reproduce (e.g. rectification). The two formulations are mathematically related: conductance-based currents are linear approximations of drift-diffusion currents. However, conductance-based models of membrane potential are not first-order approximations of drift-diffusion models. Bifurcation analysis and numerical simulations show that the two approaches predict qualitatively and quantitatively different behaviors in the dynamics of membrane potential. For instance, two neuronal membrane models with identical populations of ion channels, one written with conductance-based currents, the other with drift-diffusion currents, undergo transitions into and out of repetitive oscillations through different mechanisms and for different levels of stimulation. These differences in excitability are observed in response to excitatory synaptic input, and across different levels of ion channel expression. In general, the electrophysiological profiles of membranes modeled with drift-diffusion and conductance-based models having identical ion channel populations are different, potentially causing the input-output and computational properties of networks constructed with these models to be different as well. The drift-diffusion formulation is thus proposed as a theoretical improvement over conductance-based models that may lead to more

  11. Identification and characterization of a bacterial hydrosulfide ion channel

    PubMed Central

    Czyzewski, Bryan K.; Wang, Da-Neng

    2013-01-01

    Believed to have been critical to the origin of life on Earth 1, the hydrosulfide ion (HS−) and its undissociated form, hydrogen sulfide (H2S), continue to play a prominent role in physiology and cellular signaling 2. As a major metabolite in anaerobic bacterial growth, hydrogen sulfide is a product of both assimilatory and dissimilatory sulfate reduction 2–4. These pathways can reduce various oxidized sulfur compounds including sulfate, sulfite and thiosulfate. The dissimilatory sulfate reduction pathway uses this molecule as the terminal electron acceptor for anaerobic respiration, where it produces excess amounts of H2S4. The reduction of sulfite is a key intermediate step in all sulfate reduction pathways. In Clostridium and Salmonella, an inducible sulfite reductase is directly linked to the regeneration of NAD+, which has been suggested to play a role in energy production and growth, as well as in the detoxification of sulfite 3. Above a certain concentration threshold, both H2S and HS− nhibit cell growth by binding the metal centers of enzymes and cytochrome oxidase5, necessitating a release mechanism for the export of this toxic metabolite from the cell 5–9. Through a combination of genetic, biochemical and functional approaches, we have identified a hydrosulfide ion channel (HSC) in the pathogen Clostridium difficile. The HS− channel is a member of the formate-nitrite-transport (FNT) family, in which ~50 HSC genes form a third subfamily alongside those for formate (FocA) 10,11 and for nitrite (NirC) 12. In addition to HS− ions, HSC is also permeable to formate and nitrite. Such polyspecificity can be explained by the conserved ion selectivity filter observed in the HSC crystal structure. The channel has a low open probability and is tightly regulated, to avoid decoupling of the membrane proton gradient. PMID:22407320

  12. Acid-sensing ion channels in postoperative pain.

    PubMed

    Deval, Emmanuel; Noël, Jacques; Gasull, Xavier; Delaunay, Anne; Alloui, Abdelkrim; Friend, Valérie; Eschalier, Alain; Lazdunski, Michel; Lingueglia, Eric

    2011-04-20

    Iatrogenic pain consecutive to a large number of surgical procedures has become a growing health concern. The etiology and pathophysiology of postoperative pain are still poorly understood, but hydrogen ions appear to be important in this process. We have investigated the role of peripheral acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs), which form depolarizing channels activated by extracellular protons, in a rat model of postoperative pain (i.e., hindpaw skin/muscle incision). We report high levels of ASIC-type currents (∼ 77%) in sensory neurons innervating the hindpaw muscles, with a prevalence of ASIC3-like currents. The ASIC3 protein is largely expressed in lumbar DRG neurons innervating the plantar muscle, and its mRNA and protein levels are increased by plantar incision 24 h after surgery. Pharmacological inhibition of ASIC3 channels with the specific toxin APETx2 or in vivo knockdown of ASIC3 subunit by small interfering RNA led to a significant reduction of postoperative spontaneous, thermal, and postural pain behaviors (spontaneous flinching, heat hyperalgesia, and weight bearing). ASIC3 appears to have an important role in deep tissue but also affects prolonged pain evoked by skin incision alone. The specific homomeric ASIC1a blocker PcTx1 has no effect on spontaneous flinching, when applied peripherally. Together, these data demonstrate a significant role for peripheral ASIC3-containing channels in postoperative pain.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Mechanical transduction by ion channels: A cautionary tale

    PubMed Central

    Sachs, Frederick

    2016-01-01

    Mechanical transduction by ion channels occurs in all cells. The physiological functions of these channels have just begun to be elaborated, but if we focus on the upper animal kingdom, these channels serve the common sensory services such as hearing and touch, provide the central nervous system with information on the force and position of muscles and joints, and they provide the autonomic system with information about the filling of hollow organs such as blood vessels. However, all cells of the body have mechanosensitive channels (MSCs), including red cells. Most of these channels are cation selective and are activated by bilayer tension. There are also K+ selective MSCs found commonly in neurons where they may be responsible for both general anesthesia and knockout punches in the boxing ring by hyperpolarizing neurons to reduce excitability. The cationic MSCs are typically inactive under normal mechanical stress, but open under pathologic stress. The channels are normally inactive because they are shielded from stress by the cytoskeleton. The cationic MSCs are specifically blocked by the externally applied peptide GsMtx4 (aka, AT-300). This is the first drug of its class and provides a new approach to many pathologies since it is nontoxic, non-immunogenic, stable in a biological environment and has a long pharmacokinetic lifetime. Pathologies involving excessive stress are common. They produce cardiac arrhythmias, contraction in stretched dystrophic muscle, xerocytotic and sickled red cells, etc. The channels seem to function primarily as “fire alarms”, providing feedback to the cytoskeleton that a region of the bilayer is under excessive tension and needs reinforcing. The eukaryotic forms of MSCs have only been cloned in recent years and few people have experience working with them. “Newbies” need to become aware of the technology, potential artifacts, and the fundamentals of mechanics. The most difficult problem in studying MSCs is that the actual

  16. Molecular dynamics simulations of water within models of ion channels.

    PubMed

    Breed, J; Sankararamakrishnan, R; Kerr, I D; Sansom, M S

    1996-04-01

    The transbilayer pores formed by ion channel proteins contain extended columns of water molecules. The dynamic properties of such waters have been suggested to differ from those of water in its bulk state. Molecular dynamics simulations of ion channel models solvated within and at the mouths of their pores are used to investigate the dynamics and structure of intra-pore water. Three classes of channel model are investigated: a) parallel bundles of hydrophobic (Ala20) alpha-helices; b) eight-stranded hydrophobic (Ala10) antiparallel beta-barrels; and c) parallel bundles of amphipathic alpha-helices (namely, delta-toxin, alamethicin, and nicotinic acetylcholine receptor M2 helix). The self-diffusion coefficients of water molecules within the pores are reduced significantly relative to bulk water in all of the models. Water rotational reorientation rates are also reduced within the pores, particularly in those pores formed by alpha-helix bundles. In the narrowest pore (that of the Ala20 pentameric helix bundle) self-diffusion coefficients and reorientation rates of intra-pore waters are reduced by approximately an order of magnitude relative to bulk solvent. In Ala20 helix bundles the water dipoles orient antiparallel to the helix dipoles. Such dipole/dipole interaction between water and pore may explain how water-filled ion channels may be formed by hydrophobic helices. In the bundles of amphipathic helices the orientation of water dipoles is modulated by the presence of charged side chains. No preferential orientation of water dipoles relative to the pore axis is observed in the hydrophobic beta-barrel models.

  17. IBiSA_Tools: A Computational Toolkit for Ion-Binding State Analysis in Molecular Dynamics Trajectories of Ion Channels.

    PubMed

    Kasahara, Kota; Kinoshita, Kengo

    2016-01-01

    Ion conduction mechanisms of ion channels are a long-standing conundrum. Although the molecular dynamics (MD) method has been extensively used to simulate ion conduction dynamics at the atomic level, analysis and interpretation of MD results are not straightforward due to complexity of the dynamics. In our previous reports, we proposed an analytical method called ion-binding state analysis to scrutinize and summarize ion conduction mechanisms by taking advantage of a variety of analytical protocols, e.g., the complex network analysis, sequence alignment, and hierarchical clustering. This approach effectively revealed the ion conduction mechanisms and their dependence on the conditions, i.e., ion concentration and membrane voltage. Here, we present an easy-to-use computational toolkit for ion-binding state analysis, called IBiSA_tools. This toolkit consists of a C++ program and a series of Python and R scripts. From the trajectory file of MD simulations and a structure file, users can generate several images and statistics of ion conduction processes. A complex network named ion-binding state graph is generated in a standard graph format (graph modeling language; GML), which can be visualized by standard network analyzers such as Cytoscape. As a tutorial, a trajectory of a 50 ns MD simulation of the Kv1.2 channel is also distributed with the toolkit. Users can trace the entire process of ion-binding state analysis step by step. The novel method for analysis of ion conduction mechanisms of ion channels can be easily used by means of IBiSA_tools. This software is distributed under an open source license at the following URL: http://www.ritsumei.ac.jp/~ktkshr/ibisa_tools/.

  18. IBiSA_Tools: A Computational Toolkit for Ion-Binding State Analysis in Molecular Dynamics Trajectories of Ion Channels

    PubMed Central

    Kasahara, Kota; Kinoshita, Kengo

    2016-01-01

    Ion conduction mechanisms of ion channels are a long-standing conundrum. Although the molecular dynamics (MD) method has been extensively used to simulate ion conduction dynamics at the atomic level, analysis and interpretation of MD results are not straightforward due to complexity of the dynamics. In our previous reports, we proposed an analytical method called ion-binding state analysis to scrutinize and summarize ion conduction mechanisms by taking advantage of a variety of analytical protocols, e.g., the complex network analysis, sequence alignment, and hierarchical clustering. This approach effectively revealed the ion conduction mechanisms and their dependence on the conditions, i.e., ion concentration and membrane voltage. Here, we present an easy-to-use computational toolkit for ion-binding state analysis, called IBiSA_tools. This toolkit consists of a C++ program and a series of Python and R scripts. From the trajectory file of MD simulations and a structure file, users can generate several images and statistics of ion conduction processes. A complex network named ion-binding state graph is generated in a standard graph format (graph modeling language; GML), which can be visualized by standard network analyzers such as Cytoscape. As a tutorial, a trajectory of a 50 ns MD simulation of the Kv1.2 channel is also distributed with the toolkit. Users can trace the entire process of ion-binding state analysis step by step. The novel method for analysis of ion conduction mechanisms of ion channels can be easily used by means of IBiSA_tools. This software is distributed under an open source license at the following URL: http://www.ritsumei.ac.jp/~ktkshr/ibisa_tools/ PMID:27907142

  19. 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. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  20. New roles for old holes: ion channel function in aquaporin-1.

    PubMed

    Yool, Andrea J; Weinstein, Alan M

    2002-04-01

    Mammalian aquaporins are part of the diverse major intrinsic protein family of water and solute channels. Intriguing links exist in structural and functional properties between aquaporins and ion channels. A novel role for aquaporin-1 as a gated ion channel reshapes our current views of this ancient family of transmembrane channel proteins.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Two-Channel Kondo Effect Emerging from Nd Ions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hotta, Takashi

    2017-08-01

    We discuss Kondo phenomena in a seven-orbital impurity Anderson model hybridized with Γ8 conduction electrons by employing a numerical renormalization group method. In particular, we focus on the case with three local f electrons, corresponding to a Nd3+ ion. For realistic values of Coulomb interactions, spin-orbit coupling, cubic crystalline electric field potentials, and hybridization, we find a residual entropy of 0.5 log 2, a characteristic of two-channel Kondo phenomena, for the wide range of parameters of the local Γ6 ground state. This is considered to be the magnetic two-channel Kondo effect, consistent with the result from an extended s-d model constructed on the basis of the j-j coupling scheme. Finally, we briefly discuss candidates of Nd compounds to observe the two-channel Kondo effect.

  4. Ion-Ion Neutralization.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1982-05-31

    Accession No. 3. Recipient’s Catalog Number FGL -TR-82 -0202 b- /- 4. Title (and Subtitle) 5. Type of Report & Period Covered ION-ION NEUTRALIZATION Final...few years under the terms of the grant has been the detailed study of binary ion-ion neutralization reactions involving ions of atmospheric...2TT, England. 1. INTRODUCTION Binary positive-ion negative-ion mutual neutralization viz: A+ + B->C + D (1) can be an important loss process for

  5. Pipeline for the identification and classification of ion channels in parasitic flatworms.

    PubMed

    Nor, Bahiyah; Young, Neil D; Korhonen, Pasi K; Hall, Ross S; Tan, Patrick; Lonie, Andrew; Gasser, Robin B

    2016-03-16

    Ion channels are well characterised in model organisms, principally because of the availability of functional genomic tools and datasets for these species. This contrasts the situation, for example, for parasites of humans and animals, whose genomic and biological uniqueness means that many genes and their products cannot be annotated. As ion channels are recognised as important drug targets in mammals, the accurate identification and classification of parasite channels could provide major prospects for defining unique targets for designing novel and specific anti-parasite therapies. Here, we established a reliable bioinformatic pipeline for the identification and classification of ion channels encoded in the genome of the cancer-causing liver fluke Opisthorchis viverrini, and extended its application to related flatworms affecting humans. We built an ion channel identification + classification pipeline (called MuSICC), employing an optimised support vector machine (SVM) model and using the Kyoto Encyclopaedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) classification system. Ion channel proteins were first identified and grouped according to amino acid sequence similarity to classified ion channels and the presence and number of ion channel-like conserved and transmembrane domains. Predicted ion channels were then classified to sub-family using a SVM model, trained using ion channel features. Following an evaluation of this pipeline (MuSICC), which demonstrated a classification sensitivity of 95.2 % and accuracy of 70.5 % for known ion channels, we applied it to effectively identify and classify ion channels in selected parasitic flatworms. MuSICC provides a practical and effective tool for the identification and classification of ion channels of parasitic flatworms, and should be applicable to a broad range of organisms that are evolutionarily distant from taxa whose ion channels are functionally characterised.

  6. 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. © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Amiloride Docking to Acid-sensing Ion Channel-1*

    PubMed Central

    Qadri, Yawar J.; Song, Yuhua; Fuller, Catherine M.; Benos, Dale J.

    2010-01-01

    Amiloride is a small molecule diuretic, which has been used to dissect sodium transport pathways in many different systems. This drug is known to interact with the epithelial sodium channel and acid-sensing ion channel proteins, as well as sodium/hydrogen antiporters and sodium/calcium exchangers. The exact structural basis for these interactions has not been elucidated as crystal structures of these proteins have been challenging to obtain, though some involved residues and domains have been mapped. This work examines the interaction of amiloride with acid-sensing ion channel-1, a protein whose structure is available using computational and experimental techniques. Using molecular docking software, amiloride and related molecules were docked to model structures of homomeric human ASIC-1 to generate potential interaction sites and predict which analogs would be more or less potent than amiloride. The predictions made were experimentally tested using whole-cell patch clamp. Drugs previously classified as NCX or NHE inhibitors are shown to also inhibit hASIC-1. Potential docking sites were re-examined against experimental data to remove spurious interaction sites. The voltage sensitivity of inhibitors was also examined. Using the aggregated data from these computational and experimental experiments, putative interaction sites for amiloride and hASIC-1 have been defined. Future work will experimentally verify these interaction sites, but at present this should allow for virtual screening of drug libraries at these putative interaction sites. PMID:20048170

  8. 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

  9. 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

  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. [Role of voltage-dependent ion channels in epileptogenesis].

    PubMed

    Ricard-Mousnier, B; Couraud, F

    1993-10-01

    The aim of this review is to gather information in favour of the involvement of voltage-dependent ion channels in epileptogenesis. Although, up to now, no study has shown that epilepsy is accompanied by a modification in the activity to these channels, the recently acquired knowledge of their physiology allows to presume would favor their involvement in epileptogenesis. The results from electrophysiological studies are as follows: a persistent sodium current increases neuronal excitability whereas potassium currents have an inhibitory role. In particular, calcium-dependent potassium current are involved in the post-hyperpolarization phases which follows PDS. Calcium currents are also involved in the genesis of the "bursting pacemaker" activity displayed by the neurons presumed to be inducers of the epileptic activity. Biochemical data has shown that as a consequence of epileptic activity, sodium and calcium channels are down regulated. This down-regulation could be a way to reduces neuronal hyperexcitability. Pharmacological data demonstrate the drugs which activate calcium channels or which inhibit potassium channels have a convusilvant effect. On the contrary, agents which block calcium or sodium channels or which properties. Among the latter ones, some antiepileptic drugs can be found. In summary situations which lead to increase in calcium and sodium currents and/or to an inhibition in potassium currents are potentially epileptogenic.

  12. Acid-sensing ion channels in gastrointestinal function.

    PubMed

    Holzer, Peter

    2015-07-01

    Gastric acid is of paramount importance for digestion and protection from pathogens but, at the same time, is a threat to the integrity of the mucosa in the upper gastrointestinal tract and may give rise to pain if inflammation or ulceration ensues. Luminal acidity in the colon is determined by lactate production and microbial transformation of carbohydrates to short chain fatty acids as well as formation of ammonia. The pH in the oesophagus, stomach and intestine is surveyed by a network of acid sensors among which acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs) and acid-sensitive members of transient receptor potential ion channels take a special place. In the gut, ASICs (ASIC1, ASIC2, ASIC3) are primarily expressed by the peripheral axons of vagal and spinal afferent neurons and are responsible for distinct proton-gated currents in these neurons. ASICs survey moderate decreases in extracellular pH and through these properties contribute to a protective blood flow increase in the face of mucosal acid challenge. Importantly, experimental studies provide increasing evidence that ASICs contribute to gastric acid hypersensitivity and pain under conditions of gastritis and peptic ulceration but also participate in colonic hypersensitivity to mechanical stimuli (distension) under conditions of irritation that are not necessarily associated with overt inflammation. These functional implications and their upregulation by inflammatory and non-inflammatory pathologies make ASICs potential targets to manage visceral hypersensitivity and pain associated with functional gastrointestinal disorders. This article is part of the Special Issue entitled 'Acid-Sensing Ion Channels in the Nervous System'.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

    Peralta, Francisco Andrés; Huidobro-Toro, Juan Pablo

    2016-07-02

    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.

  16. 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

  17. Estimation of ion channel kinetics from fluctuations of macroscopic currents.

    PubMed

    Moffatt, Luciano

    2007-07-01

    For single channel recordings, the maximum likelihood estimation (MLE) of kinetic rates and conductance is well established. A direct extrapolation of this method to macroscopic currents is computationally prohibitive: it scales as a power of the number of channels. An approximated MLE that ignored the local time correlation of the data has been shown to provide estimates of the kinetic parameters. In this article, an improved approximated MLE that takes into account the local time correlation is proposed. This method estimates the channel kinetics using both the time course and the random fluctuations of the macroscopic current generated by a homogeneous population of ion channels under white noise. It allows arbitrary kinetic models and stimulation protocols. The application of the proposed algorithm to simulated data from a simple three-state model on nonstationary conditions showed reliable estimates of all the kinetic constants, the conductance and the number of channels, and reliable values for the standard error of those estimates. Compared to the previous approximated MLE, it reduces by a factor of 10 the amount of data needed to secure a given accuracy and it can even determine the kinetic rates in macroscopic stationary conditions.

  18. Estimation of Ion Channel Kinetics from Fluctuations of Macroscopic Currents

    PubMed Central

    Moffatt, Luciano

    2007-01-01

    For single channel recordings, the maximum likelihood estimation (MLE) of kinetic rates and conductance is well established. A direct extrapolation of this method to macroscopic currents is computationally prohibitive: it scales as a power of the number of channels. An approximated MLE that ignored the local time correlation of the data has been shown to provide estimates of the kinetic parameters. In this article, an improved approximated MLE that takes into account the local time correlation is proposed. This method estimates the channel kinetics using both the time course and the random fluctuations of the macroscopic current generated by a homogeneous population of ion channels under white noise. It allows arbitrary kinetic models and stimulation protocols. The application of the proposed algorithm to simulated data from a simple three-state model on nonstationary conditions showed reliable estimates of all the kinetic constants, the conductance and the number of channels, and reliable values for the standard error of those estimates. Compared to the previous approximated MLE, it reduces by a factor of 10 the amount of data needed to secure a given accuracy and it can even determine the kinetic rates in macroscopic stationary conditions. PMID:17416622

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Strain tensors in layer systems by precision ion channeling measurements

    SciTech Connect

    Trinkaus, H.; Buca, D.; Hollaender, B.; Minamisawa, R. A.; Mantl, S.; Hartmann, J. M.

    2010-06-15

    A powerful method for analyzing general strain states in layer systems is the measurement of changes in the ion channeling directions. We present a systematic derivation and compilation of the required relations between the strain induced angle changes and the components of the strain tensor for general crystalline layer systems of reduced symmetry compared to the basic (cubic) crystal. It is shown that, for the evaluation of channeling measurements, virtually all layers of interest may be described as being 'pseudo-orthorhombic'. The commonly assumed boundary conditions and the effects of surface misorientations on them are discussed. Asymmetric strain relaxation in layers of reduced symmetry is attributed to a restriction in the slip system of the dislocations inducing it. The results are applied to {l_brace}110{r_brace}SiGe/Si layer systems.

  2. Acid-sensing ion channels: trafficking and pathophysiology.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Wei-Zheng; Liu, Di-Shi; Xu, Tian-Le

    2014-01-01

    Acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs) are proton-gated cation channels that are widely expressed in both the peripheral and central nervous systems. ASICs contribute to a variety of pathophysiological conditions that involve tissue acidosis, such as ischemic stroke, epileptic seizures and multiple sclerosis. Although much progress has been made in researching the structure-function relationship and pharmacology of ASICs, little is known about the trafficking of ASICs and its contribution to ASIC function. The recent identification of the mechanism of membrane insertion and endocytosis of ASIC1a highlights the emerging role of ASIC trafficking in regulating its pathophysiological functions. In this review, we summarize the recent advances and discuss future directions on this topic.

  3. Patch electrode glass composition affects ion channel currents.

    PubMed

    Furman, R E; Tanaka, J C

    1988-02-01

    The influence of patch electrode glass composition on macroscopic IV relations in inside-out patches of the cGMP-activated ion channel from rod photoreceptors was examined for a soda lime glass, a Kovar sealing glass, a borosilicate glass, and several soft lead glasses. In several glasses the shape or magnitude of the currents changed as the concentration of EGTA or EDTA was increased from 200 microM to 10 mM. The changes in IV response suggest that, at low concentrations of chelator, divalent cations are released from the electrode glass and interact with the cGMP-activated channel. Possible mechanisms are discussed to explain the observations, and several comments are made concerning the choice of a glass for patching.

  4. 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. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Interaction of a polar molecule with an ion channel

    SciTech Connect

    Levadny, V.; Aguilella, V.M.; Aguilella-Arzo, M.; Belaya, M.

    2004-10-01

    The binding of a polar macromolecule to a large ion channel is studied theoretically, paying special attention to the influence of external conditions (applied voltage and ion strength of solution). The molecule behavior in bound state is considered as random thermal fluctuations within a limited fraction of its phase space. The mean duration of molecule binding (residence time {tau}{sub r}) is represented as the mean first passage time to reach the boundary of that restricted domain. By invoking the adiabatic approximation we reduce the problem to one dimension with the angle between macromolecule dipole and channel axes being the key variable of the problem. The model accounts for experimental measurements of {tau}{sub r} for the antibiotic Ampicillin within the bacterial porin OmpF of Escherichia coli. By assuming that the electrical interaction between Ampicillin dipole and OmpF ionizable groups affects the fluctuations, we find that the biased residence time-voltage dependence observed in experiments is the result of the strong transversal electric field in OmpF constriction with a tilt {approx}30 deg. aside the cis side.

  6. Ion channels induced by the prion protein: mediators of neurotoxicity.

    PubMed

    Solomon, Isaac H; Biasini, Emiliano; Harris, David A

    2012-01-01

    Prion diseases comprise a group of rapidly progressive and invariably fatal neurodegenerative disorders for which there are no effective treatments. While conversion of the cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) to a β-sheet rich isoform (PrP(Sc) ) is known to be a critical event in propagation of infectious prions, the identity of the neurotoxic form of PrP and its mechanism of action remain unclear. Insights into this mechanism have been provided by studying PrP molecules harboring deletions and point mutations in the conserved central region, encompassing residues 105-125. When expressed in transgenic mice, PrP deleted for these residues (Δ105-125) causes a spontaneous neurodegenerative illness that is reversed by co-expression of wild-type PrP. In cultured cells, Δ105-125 PrP confers hypersensitivity to certain cationic antibiotics and induces spontaneous ion channel activity that can be recorded by electrophysiological techniques. We have utilized these drug-hypersensitization and current-inducing activities to identify which PrP domains and subcellular locations are required for toxicity. We present an ion channel model for the toxicity of Δ105-125 PrP and related mutants and speculate how a similar mechanism could mediate PrP(Sc)-associated toxicity. Therapeutic regimens designed to inhibit prion-induced toxicity, as well as formation of PrP(Sc) , may prove to be the most clinically beneficial.

  7. Computational studies of transport in ion channels using metadynamics.

    PubMed

    Furini, Simone; Domene, Carmen

    2016-07-01

    Molecular dynamics simulations have played a fundamental role in numerous fields of science by providing insights into the structure and dynamics of complex systems at the atomistic level. However, exhaustive sampling by standard molecular dynamics is in most cases computationally prohibitive, and the time scales accessible remain significantly shorter than many biological processes of interest. In particular, in the study of ion channels, realistic models to describe permeation and gating require accounting for large numbers of particles and accurate interaction potentials, which severely limits the length of the simulations. To overcome such limitations, several advanced methods have been proposed among which is metadynamics. In this algorithm, an external bias potential to accelerate sampling along selected collective variables is introduced. This bias potential discourages visiting regions of the configurational space already explored. In addition, the bias potential provides an estimate of the free energy as a function of the collective variables chosen once the simulation has converged. In this review, recent contributions of metadynamics to the field of ion channels are discussed, including how metadynamics has been used to search for transition states, predict permeation pathways, treat conformational flexibility that underlies the coupling between gating and permeation, or compute free energy of permeation profiles. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Membrane Proteins edited by J.C. Gumbart and Sergei Noskov.

  8. Interaction of a polar molecule with an ion channel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levadny, V.; Aguilella, V. M.; Aguilella-Arzo, M.; Belaya, M.

    2004-10-01

    The binding of a polar macromolecule to a large ion channel is studied theoretically, paying special attention to the influence of external conditions (applied voltage and ion strength of solution). The molecule behavior in bound state is considered as random thermal fluctuations within a limited fraction of its phase space. The mean duration of molecule binding (residence time τr ) is represented as the mean first passage time to reach the boundary of that restricted domain. By invoking the adiabatic approximation we reduce the problem to one dimension with the angle between macromolecule dipole and channel axes being the key variable of the problem. The model accounts for experimental measurements of τr for the antibiotic Ampicillin within the bacterial porin OmpF of Escherichia coli. By assuming that the electrical interaction between Ampicillin dipole and OmpF ionizable groups affects the fluctuations, we find that the biased residence time-voltage dependence observed in experiments is the result of the strong transversal electric field in OmpF constriction with a tilt ˜30° aside the cis side.

  9. Stoichiometry for drug potentiation of a pentameric ion channel

    PubMed Central

    daCosta, Corrie J. B.; Sine, Steven M.

    2013-01-01

    Drug modulation of ion channels is a powerful means to alter physiological responses for therapeutic benefit, yet the structural bases of modulation remain poorly understood. Here we study potentiation of nicotinic α7 acetylcholine receptors, which are emerging drug targets in several neurological disorders. α7 receptors are ligand-gated ion channels composed of five identical subunits, each bearing a site for the potentiating drug PNU-120596 (PNU). How the individual subunits contribute to PNU potentiation is not known. Taking advantage of a PNU-resistant mutant, we generated receptors composed of normal and PNU-resistant subunits and tagged one of the subunits with conductance mutations to report subunit stoichiometry. We then used patch clamp recording to monitor PNU potentiation of single α7 receptors with defined stoichiometry in real time. We find that potentiation depends steeply on the number of PNU-resistant subunits and that four, and possibly five, subunits must be sensitive to PNU for potentiation to occur. Thus, by monitoring the activity of every possible subunit combination, our findings predict that at the macroscopic level, PNU potentiation is highly cooperative. PMID:23576748

  10. Glutamate Receptor Ion Channels: Structure, Regulation, and Function

    PubMed Central

    Wollmuth, Lonnie P.; McBain, Chris J.; Menniti, Frank S.; Vance, Katie M.; Ogden, Kevin K.; Hansen, Kasper B.; Yuan, Hongjie; Myers, Scott J.; Dingledine, Ray

    2010-01-01

    The mammalian ionotropic glutamate receptor family encodes 18 gene products that coassemble to form ligand-gated ion channels containing an agonist recognition site, a transmembrane ion permeation pathway, and gating elements that couple agonist-induced conformational changes to the opening or closing of the permeation pore. Glutamate receptors mediate fast excitatory synaptic transmission in the central nervous system and are localized on neuronal and non-neuronal cells. These receptors regulate a broad spectrum of processes in the brain, spinal cord, retina, and peripheral nervous system. Glutamate receptors are postulated to play important roles in numerous neurological diseases and have attracted intense scrutiny. The description of glutamate receptor structure, including its transmembrane elements, reveals a complex assembly of multiple semiautonomous extracellular domains linked to a pore-forming element with striking resemblance to an inverted potassium channel. In this review we discuss International Union of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology glutamate receptor nomenclature, structure, assembly, accessory subunits, interacting proteins, gene expression and translation, post-translational modifications, agonist and antagonist pharmacology, allosteric modulation, mechanisms of gating and permeation, roles in normal physiological function, as well as the potential therapeutic use of pharmacological agents acting at glutamate receptors. PMID:20716669

  11. Emerging models of glutamate receptor ion channel structure and function.

    PubMed

    Mayer, Mark L

    2011-10-12

    Excitatory synaptic transmission in the brain is mediated by ligand-gated ion channels (iGluRs) activated by glutamate. Distinct from other neurotransmitter receptors, the extracellular domains of iGluRs are loosely packed assemblies with two clearly distinct layers, each of which has both local and global 2-fold axes of symmetry. By contrast, the iGluR transmembrane segments have 4-fold symmetry and share a conserved pore loop architecture found in tetrameric voltage-gated ion channels. The striking layered architecture of iGluRs revealed by the 3.6 Å resolution structure of an AMPA receptor homotetramer likely arose from gene fusion events that occurred early in evolution. Although this modular design has greatly facilitated biophysical and structural studies on individual iGluR domains, and suggested conserved mechanisms for iGluR gating, recent work is beginning to reveal unanticipated diversity in the structure, allosteric regulation, and assembly of iGluR subtypes.

  12. Acid-Sensing Ion Channels in Gastrointestinal Function

    PubMed Central

    Holzer, Peter

    2015-01-01

    Gastric acid is of paramount importance for digestion and protection from pathogens but, at the same time, is a threat to the integrity of the mucosa in the upper gastrointestinal tract and may give rise to pain if inflammation or ulceration ensues. Luminal acidity in the colon is determined by lactate production and microbial transformation of carbohydrates to short chain fatty acids as well as formation of ammonia. The pH in the oesophagus, stomach and intestine is surveyed by a network of acid sensors among which acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs) and acid-sensitive members of transient receptor potential ion channels take a special place. In the gut, ASICs (ASIC1, ASIC2, ASIC3) are primarily expressed by the peripheral axons of vagal and spinal afferent neurons and are responsible for distinct proton-gated currents in these neurons. ASICs survey moderate decreases in extracellular pH and through these properties contribute to a protective blood flow increase in the face of mucosal acid challenge. Importantly, experimental studies provide increasing evidence that ASICs contribute to gastric acid hypersensitivity and pain under conditions of gastritis and peptic ulceration but also participate in colonic hypersensitivity to mechanical stimuli (distension) under conditions of irritation that are not necessarily associated with overt inflammation. These functional implications and their upregulation by inflammatory and non-inflammatory pathologies make ASICs potential targets to manage visceral hypersensitivity and pain associated with functional gastrointestinal disorders. PMID:25582294

  13. A role for ion channels in perivascular glioma invasion

    PubMed Central

    Thompson, Emily G.

    2017-01-01

    Malignant gliomas are devastating tumors, frequently killing those diagnosed in little over a year. The profuse infiltration of glioma cells into healthy tissue surrounding the main tumor mass is one of the major obstacles limiting the improvement of patient survival. Migration along the abluminal side of blood vessels is one of the salient features of glioma cell invasion. Invading glioma cells are attracted to the vascular network, in part by the neuro-peptide bradykinin, where glioma cells actively modify the gliovascular interface and undergo volumetric alterations to navigate the confined space. Critical to these volume modifications is a proposed hydrodynamic model that involves the flux of ions in and out of the cell, followed by osmotically obligated water. Ion and water channels expressed by the glioma cell are essential in this model of invasion and make opportune therapeutic targets. Lastly, there is growing evidence that vascular-associated glioma cells are able to control the vascular tone, presumably to free up space for invasion and growth. The unique mechanisms that enable perivascular glioma invasion may offer critical targets for therapeutic intervention in this devastating disease. Indeed, a chloride channel-blocking peptide has already been successfully tested in human clinical trials. PMID:27424110

  14. The nature of ion and water barrier crossings in a simulated ion channel.

    PubMed Central

    Chiu, S. W.; Novotny, J. A.; Jakobsson, E.

    1993-01-01

    state of matter" characteristic of the channel contents appears to have some properties typical of the solid and some typical of the liquid state. The magnitude of the local friction and nature of the ion solvation are similar to the liquid state, but the periodicities of structure, free energy, and dynamics are somewhat solid-like. The alignment of water dipoles in the channel bears some resemblance to the orientational ordering of a nematic liquid crystal, but unlike a nematic liquid crystal, the waters have a degree of translational order as well. Thus, the "channel state" is not adequately described by analogy to either the solid or liquid states or to liquid crystals but must be dealt with as its own characteristic type of condensed matter. PMID:7679301

  15. Viral dependence on cellular ion channels - an emerging anti-viral target?

    PubMed

    Hover, Samantha; Foster, Becky; Barr, John; Mankouri, Jamel

    2017-01-22

    The broad range of cellular functions governed by ion channels represents an attractive target for viral manipulation. Indeed, modulation of host cell ion channel activity by viral proteins is being increasingly identified as an important virus-host interaction. Recent examples have demonstrated that virion entry, virus-egress and the maintenance of a cellular environment conducive to virus persistence are in part, dependent on virus manipulation of ion channel activity. Most excitingly, evidence has emerged that targeting ion channels pharmacologically can impede virus lifecycles. Here we discuss current examples of virus-ion channel interactions and the potential of targeting ion channel function as a new, pharmacologically safe and broad ranging anti-viral therapeutic strategy.

  16. Mapping the function of neuronal ion channels in model and experiment

    PubMed Central

    Podlaski, William F; Seeholzer, Alexander; Groschner, Lukas N; Miesenböck, Gero; Ranjan, Rajnish; Vogels, Tim P

    2017-01-01

    Ion channel models are the building blocks of computational neuron models. Their biological fidelity is therefore crucial for the interpretation of simulations. However, the number of published models, and the lack of standardization, make the comparison of ion channel models with one another and with experimental data difficult. Here, we present a framework for the automated large-scale classification of ion channel models. Using annotated metadata and responses to a set of voltage-clamp protocols, we assigned 2378 models of voltage- and calcium-gated ion channels coded in NEURON to 211 clusters. The IonChannelGenealogy (ICGenealogy) web interface provides an interactive resource for the categorization of new and existing models and experimental recordings. It enables quantitative comparisons of simulated and/or measured ion channel kinetics, and facilitates field-wide standardization of experimentally-constrained modeling. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.22152.001 PMID:28267430

  17. Ankyrin-based Cellular Pathways for Cardiac Ion Channel and Transporter Targeting and Regulation

    PubMed Central

    Cunha, Shane R.; Mohler, Peter J.

    2010-01-01

    The coordinate activities of ion channels and transporters regulate myocyte membrane excitability and normal cardiac function. Dysfunction in cardiac ion channel and transporter function may result in cardiac arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death. While the past fifteen years have linked defects in ion channel biophysical properties with human disease, more recent findings illustrate that ion channel and transporter localization within cardiomyocytes is equally critical for normal membrane excitability and tissue function. Ankyrins are a family of multifunctional adapter proteins required for the expression, membrane localization, and regulation of select cardiac ion channels and transporters. Notably, loss of ankyrin expression in mice, and ankyrin loss-of-function in humans is now associated with defects in myocyte excitability and cardiac physiology. Here, we provide an overview of the roles of ankyrin polypeptides in cardiac physiology, as well as review other recently identified pathways required for the membrane expression and regulation of key cardiac ion channels and transporters. PMID:20934528

  18. Mapping the function of neuronal ion channels in model and experiment.

    PubMed

    Podlaski, William F; Seeholzer, Alexander; Groschner, Lukas N; Miesenböck, Gero; Ranjan, Rajnish; Vogels, Tim P

    2017-03-06

    Ion channel models are the building blocks of computational neuron models. Their biological fidelity is therefore crucial for the interpretation of simulations. However, the number of published models, and the lack of standardization, make the comparison of ion channel models with one another and with experimental data difficult. Here, we present a framework for the automated large-scale classification of ion channel models. Using annotated metadata and responses to a set of voltage-clamp protocols, we assigned 2378 models of voltage- and calcium-gated ion channels coded in NEURON to 211 clusters. The IonChannelGenealogy (ICGenealogy) web interface provides an interactive resource for the categorization of new and existing models and experimental recordings. It enables quantitative comparisons of simulated and/or measured ion channel kinetics, and facilitates field-wide standardization of experimentally-constrained modeling.

  19. Time-Dependent Ion Diode Physics and Ion Beam Transport in Stabilized Plasma Channels.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1981-01-31

    pro- duce cylindrical and ballistically focussed ion beams. These diodes consist of a conducting anode which is pulsed positive, typically to one half... flashover of the foil from charge-accumulation, and u.v. ionization fromi the electron pinch. NUNN" PINCHED-BEAM ION DIODE £14, Anode Foil Hollow...time history are shown, along with a biased probe measurement of the ion current pulse . For the case of a conducting 25 micron aluminum anode

  20. Validation of an atomic absorption rubidium ion efflux assay for KCNQ/M-channels using the ion Channel Reader 8000.

    PubMed

    Wang, Kewei; McIlvain, Beal; Tseng, Eugene; Kowal, Dianne; Jow, Flora; Shen, Ru; Zhang, Howard; Shan, Qin Jennifer; He, Lan; Chen, Diana; Lu, Qiang; Dunlop, John

    2004-10-01

    M-channels (M-current), encoded by KCNQ2/3 K(+) channel genes, have emerged as novel drug targets for a number of neurological disorders. The lack of direct high throughput assays combined with the low throughput of conventional electrophysiology (EP) has impeded rapid screening and evaluation of K(+)-channel modulators. Development of a sensitive and efficient assay for the direct measurement of M-current activity is critical for identifying novel M-channel modulators and subsequent investigation of their therapeutic potential. Using a stable CHO cell line expressing rat KCNQ2/3 K(+) channels confirmed by EP, we have developed and validated a nonradioactive rubidium (Rb(+)) efflux assay in a 96-well plate format. The Rb(+) efflux assay directly measures the activity of functional channels by atomic absorption spectroscopy using the automated Ion Channel Reader (ICR) 8000. The stimulated Rb(+) efflux from KCNQ2/3-expressing cells was blocked by the channel blockers XE991 and linopirdine with IC(50) values of 0.15 microM and 1.3 microM, respectively. Twelve compounds identified as KCNQ2/3 openers were further assessed in this assay, and their EC(50) values were compared with those obtained with EP. A higher positive correlation coefficient between these two assays (r = 0.60) was observed than that between FlexStation membrane potential and EP assays (r = 0.23). To simplify the assay and increase the throughput, we demonstrate that EC(50) values obtained by measuring Rb(+) levels in the supernatant are as robust and consistent as those obtained from the ratio of Rb(+) in supernatant/lysate. By measuring the supernatant only, the throughput of ICR8000 in an eight-point titration is estimated to be 40 compounds per day, which is suitable for a secondary confirmation assay.

  1. Structural and Thermodynamic Properties of Selective Ion Binding in a K+ Channel

    PubMed Central

    Lockless, Steve W; Zhou, Ming; MacKinnon, Roderick

    2007-01-01

    Thermodynamic measurements of ion binding to the Streptomyces lividans K+ channel were carried out using isothermal titration calorimetry, whereas atomic structures of ion-bound and ion-free conformations of the channel were characterized by x-ray crystallography. Here we use these assays to show that the ion radius dependence of selectivity stems from the channel's recognition of ion size (i.e., volume) rather than charge density. Ion size recognition is a function of the channel's ability to adopt a very specific conductive structure with larger ions (K+, Rb+, Cs+, and Ba2+) bound and not with smaller ions (Na+, Mg2+, and Ca2+). The formation of the conductive structure involves selectivity filter atoms that are in direct contact with bound ions as well as protein atoms surrounding the selectivity filter up to a distance of 15 Å from the ions. We conclude that ion selectivity in a K+ channel is a property of size-matched ion binding sites created by the protein structure. PMID:17472437

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  3. Multiple Scales in the Simulation of Ion Channels and Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Eisenberg, Bob

    2010-01-01

    Computation of living processes creates great promise for the everyday life of mankind and great challenges for physical scientists. Simulations molecular dynamics have great appeal to biologists as a natural extension of structural biology. Once a biologist sees a structure, she/he wants to see it move. Molecular biology has shown that a small number of atoms, sometimes even one messenger ion, like Ca2+, can control biological function on the scale of cells, organs, tissues, and organisms. Enormously concentrated ions—at number densities of ~20 M—in protein channels and enzymes are responsible for many of the characteristics of living systems, just as highly concentrated ions near electrodes are responsible for many of the characteristics of electrochemical systems. Here we confront the reality of the scale differences of ions. We show that the scale differences needed to simulate all the atoms of biological cells are 107 in linear dimension, 1021 in three dimensions, 109 in resolution, 1011 in time, and 1013 in particle number (to deal with concentrations of Ca2+). These scales must be dealt with simultaneously if the simulation is to deal with most biological functions. Biological function extends across all of them, all at once in most cases. We suggest a computational approach using explicit multiscale analysis instead of implicit simulation of all scales. The approach is based on an energy variational principle EnVarA introduced by Chun Liu to deal with complex fluids. Variational methods deal automatically with multiple interacting components and scales. When an additional component is added to the system, the resulting Euler Lagrange field equations change form automatically—by algebra alone—without additional unknown parameters. Multifaceted interactions are solutions of the resulting equations. We suggest that ionic solutions should be viewed as complex fluids with simple components. Highly concentrated solutions—dominated by interactions of

  4. The Monte-Carlo Simulation of the Permeability of K Ion Channels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    An, Hai-Long; Zhan, Yong; Liu, Jin-Wei; Zhang, Su-Hua; Zhao, Tong-Jun

    In this paper, by introducing the collision model of the K ion channel, the maximum value of ions inward the channel per second, the average velocity of ions in the channels and the average time of every ion passing through the channel are obtained. Moreover they are reconciled with the experimental data. Base on the experimental data, the empiristic potential function is deduced. With the Monte-Carlo simulation, the curve of average velocity versus time and average displacement versus time are calculated by resolving the over-damping Langevin equation with Gaussian-white noise. They are according with the experimental dada well.

  5. Ion channel expression patterns in glioblastoma stem cells with functional and therapeutic implications for malignancy

    PubMed Central

    Pollak, Julia; Rai, Karan G.; Funk, Cory C.; Arora, Sonali; Lee, Eunjee; Zhu, Jun; Price, Nathan D.; Paddison, Patrick J.; Ramirez, Jan-Marino; Rostomily, Robert C.

    2017-01-01

    Ion channels and transporters have increasingly recognized roles in cancer progression through the regulation of cell proliferation, migration, and death. Glioblastoma stem-like cells (GSCs) are a source of tumor formation and recurrence in glioblastoma multiforme, a highly aggressive brain cancer, suggesting that ion channel expression may be perturbed in this population. However, little is known about the expression and functional relevance of ion channels that may contribute to GSC malignancy. Using RNA sequencing, we assessed the enrichment of ion channels in GSC isolates and non-tumor neural cell types. We identified a unique set of GSC-enriched ion channels using differential expression analysis that is also associated with distinct gene mutation signatures. In support of potential clinical relevance, expression of selected GSC-enriched ion channels evaluated in human glioblastoma databases of The Cancer Genome Atlas and Ivy Glioblastoma Atlas Project correlated with patient survival times. Finally, genetic knockdown as well as pharmacological inhibition of individual or classes of GSC-enriched ion channels constrained growth of GSCs compared to normal neural stem cells. This first-in-kind global examination characterizes ion channels enriched in GSCs and explores their potential clinical relevance to glioblastoma molecular subtypes, gene mutations, survival outcomes, regional tumor expression, and experimental responses to loss-of-function. Together, the data support the potential biological and therapeutic impact of ion channels on GSC malignancy and provide strong rationale for further examination of their mechanistic and therapeutic importance. PMID:28264064

  6. Ion channel expression patterns in glioblastoma stem cells with functional and therapeutic implications for malignancy.

    PubMed

    Pollak, Julia; Rai, Karan G; Funk, Cory C; Arora, Sonali; Lee, Eunjee; Zhu, Jun; Price, Nathan D; Paddison, Patrick J; Ramirez, Jan-Marino; Rostomily, Robert C

    2017-01-01

    Ion channels and transporters have increasingly recognized roles in cancer progression through the regulation of cell proliferation, migration, and death. Glioblastoma stem-like cells (GSCs) are a source of tumor formation and recurrence in glioblastoma multiforme, a highly aggressive brain cancer, suggesting that ion channel expression may be perturbed in this population. However, little is known about the expression and functional relevance of ion channels that may contribute to GSC malignancy. Using RNA sequencing, we assessed the enrichment of ion channels in GSC isolates and non-tumor neural cell types. We identified a unique set of GSC-enriched ion channels using differential expression analysis that is also associated with distinct gene mutation signatures. In support of potential clinical relevance, expression of selected GSC-enriched ion channels evaluated in human glioblastoma databases of The Cancer Genome Atlas and Ivy Glioblastoma Atlas Project correlated with patient survival times. Finally, genetic knockdown as well as pharmacological inhibition of individual or classes of GSC-enriched ion channels constrained growth of GSCs compared to normal neural stem cells. This first-in-kind global examination characterizes ion channels enriched in GSCs and explores their potential clinical relevance to glioblastoma molecular subtypes, gene mutations, survival outcomes, regional tumor expression, and experimental responses to loss-of-function. Together, the data support the potential biological and therapeutic impact of ion channels on GSC malignancy and provide strong rationale for further examination of their mechanistic and therapeutic importance.

  7. ModFossa: A library for modeling ion channels using Python.

    PubMed

    Ferneyhough, Gareth B; Thibealut, Corey M; Dascalu, Sergiu M; Harris, Frederick C

    2016-06-01

    The creation and simulation of ion channel models using continuous-time Markov processes is a powerful and well-used tool in the field of electrophysiology and ion channel research. While several software packages exist for the purpose of ion channel modeling, most are GUI based, and none are available as a Python library. In an attempt to provide an easy-to-use, yet powerful Markov model-based ion channel simulator, we have developed ModFossa, a Python library supporting easy model creation and stimulus definition, complete with a fast numerical solver, and attractive vector graphics plotting.

  8. Fe(2+) substrate transport through ferritin protein cage ion channels influences enzyme activity and biomineralization.

    PubMed

    Behera, Rabindra K; Torres, Rodrigo; Tosha, Takehiko; Bradley, Justin M; Goulding, Celia W; Theil, Elizabeth C

    2015-09-01

    Ferritins, complex protein nanocages, form internal iron-oxy minerals (Fe2O3·H2O), by moving cytoplasmic Fe(2+) through intracage ion channels to cage-embedded enzyme (2Fe(2+)/O2 oxidoreductase) sites where ferritin biomineralization is initiated. The products of ferritin enzyme activity are diferric oxy complexes that are mineral precursors. Conserved, carboxylate amino acid side chains of D127 from each of three cage subunits project into ferritin ion channels near the interior ion channel exits and, thus, could direct Fe(2+) movement to the internal enzyme sites. Ferritin D127E was designed and analyzed to probe properties of ion channel size and carboxylate crowding near the internal ion channel opening. Glu side chains are chemically equivalent to, but longer by one -CH2 than Asp, side chains. Ferritin D127E assembled into normal protein cages, but diferric peroxo formation (enzyme activity) was not observed, when measured at 650 nm (DFP λ max). The caged biomineral formation, measured at 350 nm in the middle of the broad, nonspecific Fe(3+)-O absorption band, was slower. Structural differences (protein X-ray crystallography), between ion channels in wild type and ferritin D127E, which correlate with the inhibition of ferritin D127E enzyme activity include: (1) narrower interior ion channel openings/pores; (2) increased numbers of ion channel protein-metal binding sites, and (3) a change in ion channel electrostatics due to carboxylate crowding. The contributions of ion channel size and structure to ferritin activity reflect metal ion transport in ion channels are precisely regulated both in ferritin protein nanocages and membranes of living cells.

  9. An efficient approach for the prediction of ion channels and their subfamilies.

    PubMed

    Tiwari, Arvind Kumar; Srivastava, Rajeev

    2015-10-01

    Ion channels are integral membrane proteins that are responsible for controlling the flow of ions across the cell. There are various biological functions that are performed by different types of ion channels. Therefore for new drug discovery it is necessary to develop a novel computational intelligence techniques based approach for the reliable prediction of ion channels families and their subfamilies. In this paper random forest based approach is proposed to predict ion channels families and their subfamilies by using sequence derived features. Here, seven feature vectors are used to represent the protein sample, including amino acid composition, dipeptide composition, correlation features, composition, transition and distribution and pseudo amino acid composition. The minimum redundancy and maximum relevance feature selection is used to find the optimal number of features for improving the prediction performance. The proposed method achieved an overall accuracy of 100%, 98.01%, 91.5%, 93.0%, 92.2%, 78.6%, 95.5%, 84.9%, MCC values of 1.00, 0.92, 0.88, 0.88, 0.90, 0.79, 0.91, 0.81 and ROC area values of 1.00, 0.99, 0.99, 0.99, 0.99, 0.95, 0.99 and 0.96 using 10-fold cross validation to predict the ion channels and non-ion channels, voltage gated ion channels and ligand gated ion channels, four subfamilies (calcium, potassium, sodium and chloride) of voltage gated ion channels, and four subfamilies of ligand gated ion channels and predict subfamilies of voltage gated calcium, potassium, sodium and chloride ion channels respectively. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Insight toward epithelial Na+ channel mechanism revealed by the acid-sensing ion channel 1 structure.

    PubMed

    Stockand, James D; Staruschenko, Alexander; Pochynyuk, Oleh; Booth, Rachell E; Silverthorn, Dee U

    2008-09-01

    The epithelial Na(+) channel/degenerin (ENaC/DEG) protein family includes a diverse group of ion channels, including nonvoltage-gated Na(+) channels of epithelia and neurons, and the acid-sensing ion channel 1 (ASIC1). In mammalian epithelia, ENaC helps regulate Na(+) and associated water transport, making it a critical determinant of systemic blood pressure and pulmonary mucosal fluidity. In the nervous system, ENaC/DEG proteins are related to sensory transduction. While the importance and physiological function of these ion channels are established, less is known about their structure. One hallmark of the ENaC/DEG channel family is that each channel subunit has only two transmembrane domains connected by an exceedingly large extracellular loop. This subunit structure was recently confirmed when Jasti and colleagues determined the crystal structure of chicken ASIC1, a neuronal acid-sensing ENaC/DEG channel. By mapping ENaC to the structural coordinates of cASIC1, as we do here, we hope to provide insight toward ENaC structure. ENaC, like ASIC1, appears to be a trimeric channel containing 1alpha, 1beta, and 1gamma subunit. Heterotrimeric ENaC and monomeric ENaC subunits within the trimer possibly contain many of the major secondary, tertiary, and quaternary features identified in cASIC1 with a few subtle but critical differences. These differences are expected to have profound effects on channel behavior. In particular, they may contribute to ENaC insensitivity to acid and to its constitutive activity in the absence of time- and ligand-dependent inactivation. Experiments resulting from this comparison of cASIC1 and ENaC may help clarify unresolved issues related to ENaC architecture, and may help identify secondary structures and residues critical to ENaC function.

  11. Targeting Ion Channels: An Important Therapeutic Implication in Gastrointestinal Dysmotility in Patients With Spinal Cord Injury

    PubMed Central

    Radulovic, Miroslav; Anand, Preeti; Korsten, Mark A; Gong, Bing

    2015-01-01

    Gastrointestinal (GI) dysmotility is a severe, and common complication in patients with spinal cord injury (SCI). Current therapeutic methods using acetylcholine analogs or laxative agents have unwanted side effects, besides often fail to have desired effect. Various ion channels such as ATP-sensitive potassium (KATP) channel, calcium ions (Ca2+)-activated potassium ions (K+) channels, voltage-sensitive Ca2+ channels and chloride ion (Cl−) channels are abundantly expressed in GI tissues, and play an important role in regulating GI motility. The release of neurotransmitters from the enteric nerve terminal, innervating GI interstitial cells of Cajal (ICC), and smooth muscle cells (SMC), causes inactivation of K+ and Cl− channels, increasing Ca2+ influx into cytoplasm, resulting in membrane depolarization and smooth muscle contraction. Thus, agents directly regulating ion channels activity either in ICC or in SMC may affect GI peristalsis and would be potential therapeutic target for the treatment of GI dysmotility with SCI. PMID:26424038

  12. Ion channel diversity, channel expression and function in the choroid plexuses

    PubMed Central

    Millar, Ian D; Bruce, Jason IE; Brown, Peter D

    2007-01-01

    Knowledge of the diversity of ion channel form and function has increased enormously over the last 25 years. The initial impetus in channel discovery came with the introduction of the patch clamp method in 1981. Functional data from patch clamp experiments have subsequently been augmented by molecular studies which have determined channel structures. Thus the introduction of patch clamp methods to study ion channel expression in the choroid plexus represents an important step forward in our knowledge understanding of the process of CSF secretion. Two K+ conductances have been identified in the choroid plexus: Kv1 channel subunits mediate outward currents at depolarising potentials; Kir 7.1 carries an inward-rectifying conductance at hyperpolarising potentials. Both K+ channels are localised at the apical membrane where they may contribute to maintenance of the membrane potential while allowing the recycling of K+ pumped in by Na+-K+ ATPase. Two anion conductances have been identified in choroid plexus. Both have significant HCO3- permeability, and may play a role in CSF secretion. One conductance exhibits inward-rectification and is regulated by cyclic AMP. The other is carried by an outward-rectifying channel, which is activated by increases in cell volume. The molecular identity of the anion channels is not known, nor is it clear whether they are expressed in the apical or basolateral membrane. Recent molecular evidence indicates that choroid plexus also expresses the non-selective cation channels such as transient receptor potential channels (TRPV4 and TRPM3) and purinoceptor type 2 (P2X) receptor operated channels. In conclusion, good progress has been made in identifying the channels expressed in the choroid plexus, but determining the precise roles of these channels in CSF secretion remains a challenge for the future. PMID:17883837

  13. Plasma Channel Transport for Heavy Ion Fusion: Investigation of Beam Transport, Channel Initiation and Stability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tauschwitz, Andreas; Niemann, Christoph; Penache, Dan; Birkner, Richard; Hoffmann, Dieter H. H.; Kobloch, Renate; Neff, Stefan; Presura, Radu; Ponce, Dave; Rosmej, Frank; Yu, Simon

    2002-12-01

    For final beam transport in an IFE reactor three alternatives are mainly discussed. These are neutralized ballistic transport, self-pinched transport, and plasma channel transport. Discharge plasma channels were investigated in the recent years at GSI Darmstadt and at LBNL Berkeley in a number of experiments. Different initiation mechanisms for gas discharges of up to 60 kA were studied and compared. In the Berkeley experiments laser ionization of organic vapors in a buffer gas was used to initiate and direct the discharge while at GSI laser gas heating and ion beam induced gas ionization were tested as initiation mechanisms. Measurements of temperature, electron density, gas density, and magnetic field distribution in the channels are compared with results of beam transport experiments at the GSI UNILAC accelerator and with MHD simulations of the 1D-fluidcode CYCLOPS, which was developed in Berkeley. Good agreement between plasma diagnostics results, measured ion optical properties and MHD simulations was found. Parameters that are required for a reactor application are a discharge current of 50 kA, a channel diameter below 1 cm, a pointing stability better than 500 μm, and MHD stability for more than 10 μs. These parameters have been demonstrated in the recent experiments. The results imply that transport channels work with sufficient stability, reproducibility and ion optical properties in a wide pressure range and for various discharge gases.

  14. Properties of cytotoxic peptide-formed ion channels.

    PubMed

    Kourie, J I; Shorthouse, A A

    2000-06-01

    Cytotoxic peptides are relatively small cationic molecules such as those found 1) in venoms, e.g., melittin in bee, scorpion toxins in scorpion, pilosulin 1 in jumper ant, and lycotoxin I and II in wolf spider; 2) in skin secretions (e.g., magainin I and II from Xenopus laevis, dermaseptin from frog, antimicrobials from carp) and cells of the immune system (e.g., insect, scorpion, and mammalian defensins and cryptdins); 3) as autocytotoxicity peptides, e.g., amylin cytotoxic to pancreatic beta-cells, prion peptide fragment 106-126 [PrP-(106-126)], and amyloid beta-protein (AbetaP) cytotoxic to neurons; and 4) as designed synthetic peptides based on the sequences and properties of naturally occurring cytotoxic peptides. The small cytotoxic peptides are composed of beta-sheets, e.g., mammalian defensins, AbetaP, amylin, and PrP-(106-126), whereas the larger cytotoxic peptides have several domains composed of both alpha-helices and beta-sheets stabilized by cysteine bonds, e.g., scorpion toxins, scorpion, and insect defensins. Electrophysiological and molecular biology techniques indicate that these structures modify cell membranes via 1) interaction with intrinsic ion transport proteins and/or 2) formation of ion channels. These two nonexclusive mechanisms of action lead to changes in second messenger systems that further augment the abnormal electrical activity and distortion of the signal transduction causing cell death.

  15. An accurate and efficient empirical approach for calculating the dielectric self-energy and ion-ion pair potential in continuum models of biological ion channels.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Mary Hongying; Coalson, Rob D

    2005-01-13

    This paper presents empirical formulas for calculating the dielectric self-energy and ion-ion pair interactions in cylindrical ion channels. The proposed approach can be extended to more complex channel structures, for example, (i) a "straight" channel with variable radius and (ii) a "curved" channel with constant radius. For calibration purposes, we compare results obtained based on the approximate effective potentials developed herein to exact electrostatic calculations obtained via the algorithm of Graf et al.: the agreement is satisfactory. A dynamic lattice Monte Carlo (DLMC) technique is used to further assess the accuracy and efficiency of the proposed empirical potentials. The concentration profiles and current-voltage curves produced with our simple empirical energy formulas are in excellent agreement with numerical results obtained using the algorithm of Graf et al., which calculates all relevant electrostatic forces exactly. The use of effective ion-ion potentials greatly reduces the computer memory required to perform DLMC ion permeation simulations in dielectrically inhomogeneous environments, thus enabling treatment of larger systems than can be handled by numerically exact techniques.

  16. Computational Tools for Interpreting Ion Channel pH-Dependence.

    PubMed

    Sazanavets, Ivan; Warwicker, Jim

    2015-01-01

    Activity in many biological systems is mediated by pH, involving proton titratable groups with pKas in the relevant pH range. Experimental analysis of pH-dependence in proteins focusses on particular sidechains, often with mutagenesis of histidine, due to its pKa near to neutral pH. The key question for algorithms that predict pKas is whether they are sufficiently accurate to effectively narrow the search for molecular determinants of pH-dependence. Through analysis of inwardly rectifying potassium (Kir) channels and acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs), mutational effects on pH-dependence are probed, distinguishing between groups described as pH-coupled or pH-sensor. Whereas mutation can lead to a shift in transition pH between open and closed forms for either type of group, only for pH-sensor groups does mutation modulate the amplitude of the transition. It is shown that a hybrid Finite Difference Poisson-Boltzmann (FDPB) - Debye-Hückel continuum electrostatic model can filter mutation candidates, providing enrichment for key pH-coupled and pH-sensor residues in both ASICs and Kir channels, in comparison with application of FDPB alone.

  17. Computational Tools for Interpreting Ion Channel pH-Dependence

    PubMed Central

    Sazanavets, Ivan; Warwicker, Jim

    2015-01-01

    Activity in many biological systems is mediated by pH, involving proton titratable groups with pKas in the relevant pH range. Experimental analysis of pH-dependence in proteins focusses on particular sidechains, often with mutagenesis of histidine, due to its pKa near to neutral pH. The key question for algorithms that predict pKas is whether they are sufficiently accurate to effectively narrow the search for molecular determinants of pH-dependence. Through analysis of inwardly rectifying potassium (Kir) channels and acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs), mutational effects on pH-dependence are probed, distinguishing between groups described as pH-coupled or pH-sensor. Whereas mutation can lead to a shift in transition pH between open and closed forms for either type of group, only for pH-sensor groups does mutation modulate the amplitude of the transition. It is shown that a hybrid Finite Difference Poisson-Boltzmann (FDPB) – Debye-Hückel continuum electrostatic model can filter mutation candidates, providing enrichment for key pH-coupled and pH-sensor residues in both ASICs and Kir channels, in comparison with application of FDPB alone. PMID:25915903

  18. Receptor for protons: First observations on Acid Sensing Ion Channels.

    PubMed

    Krishtal, Oleg

    2015-07-01

    The history of ASICs began in 1980 with unexpected observation. The concept of highly selective Na(+) current gated by specific receptors for protons was not easily accepted. It took 16 years to get these receptor/channels cloned and start a new stage in their investigation. "The receptor for protons" became ASIC comprising under this name a family of receptor/channels ubiquitous for mammalian nervous system, both peripheral and central. The role of ASICs as putative nociceptors was suggested almost immediately after their discovery. This role subsequently was proven in many forms of pain-related phenomena. Many other functions of ASICs have been also found or primed for speculations both in physiology and in disease. Despite the width of field and strength of efforts, numerous basic questions are to be answered before we understand how the local changes in pH in the nervous tissue transform into electric and messenger signaling via ASICs as transducers. This article is part of the Special Issue entitled 'Acid-Sensing Ion Channels in the Nervous System'. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  19. Transient receptor potential melastatin 1 (TRPM1) is an ion-conducting plasma membrane channel inhibited by zinc ions.

    PubMed

    Lambert, Sachar; Drews, Anna; Rizun, Oleksandr; Wagner, Thomas F J; Lis, Annette; Mannebach, Stefanie; Plant, Sandra; Portz, Melanie; Meissner, Marcel; Philipp, Stephan E; Oberwinkler, Johannes

    2011-04-08

    TRPM1 is the founding member of the melastatin subgroup of transient receptor potential (TRP) proteins, but it has not yet been firmly established that TRPM1 proteins form ion channels. Consequently, the biophysical and pharmacological properties of these proteins are largely unknown. Here we show that heterologous expression of TRPM1 proteins induces ionic conductances that can be activated by extracellular steroid application. However the current amplitudes observed were too small to enable a reliable biophysical characterization. We overcame this limitation by modifying TRPM1 channels in several independent ways that increased the similarity to the closely related TRPM3 channels. The resulting constructs produced considerably larger currents after overexpression. We also demonstrate that unmodified TRPM1 and TRPM3 proteins form functional heteromultimeric channels. With these approaches, we measured the divalent permeability profile and found that channels containing the pore of TRPM1 are inhibited by extracellular zinc ions at physiological concentrations, in contrast to channels containing only the pore of TRPM3. Applying these findings to pancreatic β cells, we found that TRPM1 proteins do not play a major role in steroid-activated currents of these cells. The inhibition of TRPM1 by zinc ions is primarily due to a short stretch of seven amino acids present only in the pore region of TRPM1 but not of TRPM3. Combined, our data demonstrate that TRPM1 proteins are bona fide ion-conducting plasma membrane channels. Their distinct biophysical properties allow a reliable identification of endogenous TRPM1-mediated currents.

  20. Universal scalings for laser acceleration of electrons in ion channels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khudik, Vladimir; Arefiev, Alexey; Zhang, Xi; Shvets, Gennady

    2016-10-01

    We analytically investigate the acceleration of electrons undergoing betatron oscillations in an ion channel, driven by a laser beam propagating with superluminal (or luminal) phase velocity. The universal scalings for the maximum attainable electron energy are found for arbitrary laser and plasma parameters by deriving a set of dimensionless equations for paraxial ultra-relativistic electron motion. One of our analytic predictions is the emergence of forbidden zones in the electrons' phase space. For an individual electron, these give rise to a threshold-type dependence of the final energy gain on the laser intensity. The universal scalings are also generalized to the resonant laser interaction with the third harmonic of betatron motion and to the case when the laser beam is circularly polarized.

  1. TRPV4 ion channel as important cell sensors.

    PubMed

    Shibasaki, Koji

    2016-12-01

    This review provides a summary of the physiological significance of the TRPV4 ion channel. Although TRPV4 was initially characterized as an osmosensor, we found that TRPV4 can also act as a thermosensor or a mechanosensor in brain neurons or epithelial cells in the urinary bladder. Here, we summarize the newly characterized functions of TRPV4, including the research progress that has been made toward our understanding of TRPV4 physiology, and discuss other recent data pertaining to TRPV4. It is thought that TRPV4 may be an important drug target based on its broad expression patterns and important physiological functions. Possible associations between diseases and TRPV4 are also discussed.

  2. Bayesian restoration of ion channel records using hidden Markov models.

    PubMed

    Rosales, R; Stark, J A; Fitzgerald, W J; Hladky, S B

    2001-03-01

    Hidden Markov models have been used to restore recorded signals of single ion channels buried in background noise. Parameter estimation and signal restoration are usually carried out through likelihood maximization by using variants of the Baum-Welch forward-backward procedures. This paper presents an alternative approach for dealing with this inferential task. The inferences are made by using a combination of the framework provided by Bayesian statistics and numerical methods based on Markov chain Monte Carlo stochastic simulation. The reliability of this approach is tested by using synthetic signals of known characteristics. The expectations of the model parameters estimated here are close to those calculated using the Baum-Welch algorithm, but the present methods also yield estimates of their errors. Comparisons of the results of the Bayesian Markov Chain Monte Carlo approach with those obtained by filtering and thresholding demonstrate clearly the superiority of the new methods.

  3. The Ion Channel TRPA1 Is Required for Chronic Itch

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, Sarah R.; Nelson, Aislyn M.; Batia, Lyn; Morita, Takeshi; Estandian, Daniel; Owens, David M.; Lumpkin, Ellen A.; Bautista, Diana M.

    2013-01-01

    Chronic itch is a debilitating condition that affects one in 10 people. Little is known about the molecules that mediate chronic itch in primary sensory neurons and skin. We demonstrate that the ion channel TRPA1 is required for chronic itch. Using a mouse model of chronic itch, we show that scratching evoked by impaired skin barrier is abolished in TRPA1-deficient animals. This model recapitulates many of the pathophysiological hallmarks of chronic itch that are observed in prevalent human diseases such as atopic dermatitis and psoriasis, including robust scratching, extensive epidermal hyperplasia, and dramatic changes in gene expression in sensory neurons and skin. Remarkably, TRPA1 is required for both transduction of chronic itch signals to the CNS and for the dramatic skin changes triggered by dry-skin-evoked itch and scratching. These data suggest that TRPA1 regulates both itch transduction and pathophysiological changes in the skin that promote chronic itch. PMID:23719797

  4. Cytoskeletal Basis of Ion Channel Function in Cardiac Muscle

    PubMed Central

    Vatta, Matteo; Faulkner, Georgine

    2009-01-01

    Summary The heart is a force-generating organ that responds to self-generated electrical stimuli from specialized cardiomyocytes. This function is modulated by sympathetic and parasympathetic activity. In order to contract and accommodate the repetitive morphological changes induced by the cardiac cycle, cardiomyocytes depend on their highly evolved and specialized cytoskeletal apparatus. Defects in components of the cytoskeleton, in the long term, affect the ability of the cell to compensate at both functional and structural levels. In addition to the structural remodeling, the myocardium becomes increasingly susceptible to altered electrical activity leading to arrhythmogenesis. The development of arrhythmias secondary to structural remodeling defects has been noted, although the detailed molecular mechanisms are still elusive. Here I will review the current knowledge of the molecular and functional relationships between the cytoskeleton and ion channels and, I will discuss the future impact of new data on molecular cardiology research and clinical practice. PMID:19774097

  5. Brownian dynamics study of ion transport in the vestibule of membrane channels.

    PubMed

    Li, S C; Hoyles, M; Kuyucak, S; Chung, S H

    1998-01-01

    Brownian dynamics simulations have been carried out to study the transport of ions in a vestibular geometry, which offers a more realistic shape for membrane channels than cylindrical tubes. Specifically, we consider a torus-shaped channel, for which the analytical solution of Poisson's equation is possible. The system is composed of the toroidal channel, with length and radius of the constricted region of 80 A and 4 A, respectively, and two reservoirs containing 50 sodium ions and 50 chloride ions. The positions of each of these ions executing Brownian motion under the influence of a stochastic force and a systematic electric force are determined at discrete time steps of 50 fs for up to 2.5 ns. All of the systematic forces acting on an ion due to the other ions, an external electric field, fixed charges in the channel protein, and the image charges induced at the water-protein boundary are explicitly included in the calculations. We find that the repulsive dielectric force arising from the induced surface charges plays a dominant role in channel dynamics. It expels an ion from the vestibule when it is deliberately put in it. Even in the presence of an applied electric potential of 100 mV, an ion cannot overcome this repulsive force and permeate the channel. Only when dipoles of a favorable orientation are placed along the sides of the transmembrane segment can an ion traverse the channel under the influence of a membrane potential. When the strength of the dipoles is further increased, an ion becomes detained in a potential well, and the driving force provided by the applied field is not sufficient to drive the ion out of the well. The trajectory of an ion navigating across the channel mostly remains close to the central axis of the pore lumen. Finally, we discuss the implications of these findings for the transport of ions across the membrane.

  6. Molecular biology and biophysical properties of ion channel gating pores.

    PubMed

    Moreau, Adrien; Gosselin-Badaroudine, Pascal; Chahine, Mohamed

    2014-11-01

    The voltage sensitive domain (VSD) is a pivotal structure of voltage-gated ion channels (VGICs) and plays an essential role in the generation of electrochemical signals by neurons, striated muscle cells, and endocrine cells. The VSD is not unique to VGICs. Recent studies have shown that a VSD regulates a phosphatase. Similarly, Hv1, a voltage-sensitive protein that lacks an apparent pore domain, is a self-contained voltage sensor that operates as an H⁺ channel. VSDs are formed by four transmembrane helices (S1-S4). The S4 helix is positively charged due to the presence of arginine and lysine residues. It is surrounded by two water crevices that extend into the membrane from both the extracellular and intracellular milieus. A hydrophobic septum disrupts communication between these water crevices thus preventing the permeation of ions. The septum is maintained by interactions between the charged residues of the S4 segment and the gating charge transfer center. Mutating the charged residue of the S4 segment allows the water crevices to communicate and generate gating pore or omega pore. Gating pore currents have been reported to underlie several neuronal and striated muscle channelopathies. Depending on which charged residue on the S4 segment is mutated, gating pores are permeant either at depolarized or hyperpolarized voltages. Gating pores are cation selective and seem to converge toward Eisenmann's first or second selectivity sequences. Most gating pores are blocked by guanidine derivatives as well as trivalent and quadrivalent cations. Gating pores can be used to study the movement of the voltage sensor and could serve as targets for novel small therapeutic molecules.

  7. Relevance of Viroporin Ion Channel Activity on Viral Replication and Pathogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Nieto-Torres, Jose L.; Verdiá-Báguena, Carmina; Castaño-Rodriguez, Carlos; Aguilella, Vicente M.; Enjuanes, Luis

    2015-01-01

    Modification of host-cell ionic content is a significant issue for viruses, as several viral proteins displaying ion channel activity, named viroporins, have been identified. Viroporins interact with different cellular membranes and self-assemble forming ion conductive pores. In general, these channels display mild ion selectivity, and, eventually, membrane lipids play key structural and functional roles in the pore. Viroporins stimulate virus production through different mechanisms, and ion channel conductivity has been proved particularly relevant in several cases. Key stages of the viral cycle such as virus uncoating, transport and maturation are ion-influenced processes in many viral species. Besides boosting virus propagation, viroporins have also been associated with pathogenesis. Linking pathogenesis either to the ion conductivity or to other functions of viroporins has been elusive for a long time. This article summarizes novel pathways leading to disease stimulated by viroporin ion conduction, such as inflammasome driven immunopathology. PMID:26151305

  8. Relevance of Viroporin Ion Channel Activity on Viral Replication and Pathogenesis.

    PubMed

    Nieto-Torres, Jose L; Verdiá-Báguena, Carmina; Castaño-Rodriguez, Carlos; Aguilella, Vicente M; Enjuanes, Luis

    2015-07-03

    Modification of host-cell ionic content is a significant issue for viruses, as several viral proteins displaying ion channel activity, named viroporins, have been identified. Viroporins interact with different cellular membranes and self-assemble forming ion conductive pores. In general, these channels display mild ion selectivity, and, eventually, membrane lipids play key structural and functional roles in the pore. Viroporins stimulate virus production through different mechanisms, and ion channel conductivity has been proved particularly relevant in several cases. Key stages of the viral cycle such as virus uncoating, transport and maturation are ion-influenced processes in many viral species. Besides boosting virus propagation, viroporins have also been associated with pathogenesis. Linking pathogenesis either to the ion conductivity or to other functions of viroporins has been elusive for a long time. This article summarizes novel pathways leading to disease stimulated by viroporin ion conduction, such as inflammasome driven immunopathology.

  9. Signal transduction and ion channels in guard cells.

    PubMed Central

    MacRobbie, E A

    1998-01-01

    Our understanding of the signalling mechanisms involved in the process of stomatal closure is reviewed. Work has concentrated on the mechanisms by which abscisic acid (ABA) induces changes in specific ion channels at both the plasmalemma and the tonoplast, leading to efflux of both K+ and anions at both membranes, requiring four essential changes. For each we need to identify the specific channels concerned, and the detailed signalling chains by which each is linked through signalling intermediates to ABA. There are two global changes that are identified following ABA treatment: an increase in cytoplasmic pH and an increase in cytoplasmic Ca2+, although stomata can close without any measurable global increase in cytoplasmic Ca2+. There is also evidence for the importance of several protein phosphatases and protein kinases in the regulation of channel activity. At the plasmalemma, loss of K+ requires depolarization of the membrane potential into the range at which the outward K+ channel is open. ABA-induced activation of a non-specific cation channel, permeable to Ca2+, may contribute to the necessary depolarization, together with ABA-induced activation of S-type anion channels in the plasmalemma, which are then responsible for the necessary anion efflux. The anion channels are activated by Ca2+ and by phosphorylation, but the precise mechanism of their activation by ABA is not yet clear. ABA also up-regulates the outward K+ current at any given membrane potential; this activation is Ca(2+)-independent and is attributed to the increase in cytoplasmic pH, perhaps through the marked pH-sensitivity of protein phosphatase type 2C. Our understanding of mechanisms at the tonoplast is much less complete. A total of two channels, both Ca(2+)-activated, have been identified which are capable of K+ efflux; these are the voltage-independent VK channel specific to K+, and the slow vacuolar (SV) channel which opens only at non-physiological tonoplast potentials (cytoplasm

  10. Light-Activated Ion Channels for Remote Control of Neural Activity

    PubMed Central

    Chambers, James J.; Kramer, Richard H.

    2009-01-01

    Light-activated ion channels provide a new opportunity to precisely and remotely control neuronal activity for experimental applications in neurobiology. In the past few years, several strategies have arisen that allow light to control ion channels and therefore neuronal function. Light-based triggers for ion channel control include caged compounds, which release active neurotransmitters when photolyzed with light, and natural photoreceptive proteins, which can be expressed exogenously in neurons. More recently, a third type of light trigger has been introduced: a photoisomerizable tethered ligand that directly controls ion channel activity in a light-dependent manner. Beyond the experimental applications for light-gated ion channels, there may be clinical applications in which these light-sensitive ion channels could prove advantageous over traditional methods. Electrodes for neural stimulation to control disease symptoms are invasive and often difficult to reposition between cells in tissue. Stimulation by chemical agents is difficult to constrain to individual cells and has limited temporal accuracy in tissue due to diffusional limitations. In contrast, ion channels that can be directly activated with light allow control with unparalleled spatial and temporal precision. The goal of this chapter is to describe light-regulated ion channels and how they have been tailored to control different aspects of neural activity, and how to use these channels to manipulate and better understand development, function, and plasticity of neurons and neural circuits. PMID:19195553

  11. Structure, function and translational relevance of aquaporin dual water and ion channels

    PubMed Central

    Yool, Andrea J; Campbell, Ewan M

    2012-01-01

    Aquaporins have been assumed to be selective for water alone, and aquaglyceroporins are accepted as carrying water and small uncharged solutes including glycerol. This review presents an expanded view of aquaporins as channels with more complex mechanisms of regulation and diverse repertoires of substrate permeabilities than were originally appreciated in the early establishment of the field. The role of aquaporins as dual water and gated ion channels is likely to have physiological and potentially translational relevance, and can be evaluated with newly developed molecular and pharmacological tools. Ion channel activity has been shown for Aquaporins -0, -1, and -6, Drosphila Big Brain, and plant Nodulin-26. Although the concept of ion channel function in aquaporins remains controversial, research advances are beginning to define not only the ion channel function but also the detailed molecular mechanisms that govern and mediate the multifunctional capabilities. With regard to physiological relevance, the adaptive benefit of expression of ion channel activity in aquaporins, implied by amino acid sequence conservation of the ion channel gating domains, suggests they provide more than water or glycerol and solute transport. Dual ion and water channels are of interest for understanding the modulation of transmembrane fluid gradients, volume regulation, and possible signal transduction in tissues expressing classes of aquaporins that have the dual function capability. Other aquaporin classes might be found in future work to have ion channel activities, pending identification of the possible signaling pathways that could govern activation. PMID:22342689

  12. Lipid agonism: The PIP2 paradigm of ligand-gated ion channels.

    PubMed

    Hansen, Scott B

    2015-05-01

    The past decade, membrane signaling lipids emerged as major regulators of ion channel function. However, the molecular nature of lipid binding to ion channels remained poorly described due to a lack of structural information and assays to quantify and measure lipid binding in a membrane. How does a lipid-ligand bind to a membrane protein in the plasma membrane, and what does it mean for a lipid to activate or regulate an ion channel? How does lipid binding compare to activation by soluble neurotransmitter? And how does the cell control lipid agonism? This review focuses on lipids and their interactions with membrane proteins, in particular, ion channels. I discuss the intersection of membrane lipid biology and ion channel biophysics. A picture emerges of membrane lipids as bona fide agonists of ligand-gated ion channels. These freely diffusing signals reside in the plasma membrane, bind to the transmembrane domain of protein, and cause a conformational change that allosterically gates an ion channel. The system employs a catalog of diverse signaling lipids ultimately controlled by lipid enzymes and raft localization. I draw upon pharmacology, recent protein structure, and electrophysiological data to understand lipid regulation and define inward rectifying potassium channels (Kir) as a new class of PIP2 lipid-gated ion channels.

  13. The distribution and targeting of neuronal voltage-gated ion channels.

    PubMed

    Lai, Helen C; Jan, Lily Y

    2006-07-01

    Voltage-gated ion channels have to be at the right place in the right number to endow individual neurons with their specific character. Their biophysical properties together with their spatial distribution define the signalling characteristics of a neuron. Improper channel localization could cause communication defects in a neuronal network. This review covers recent studies of mechanisms for targeting voltage-gated ion channels to axons and dendrites, including trafficking, retention and endocytosis pathways for the preferential localization of particular ion channels. We also discuss how the spatial localization of these channels might contribute to the electrical excitability of neurons, and consider the need for future work in this emerging field.

  14. Active membrane having uniform physico-chemically functionalized ion channels

    DOEpatents

    Gerald, II, Rex E; Ruscic, Katarina J; Sears, Devin N; Smith, Luis J; Klingler, Robert J; Rathke, Jerome W

    2012-09-24

    The present invention relates to a physicochemically-active porous membrane for electrochemical cells that purports dual functions: an electronic insulator (separator) and a unidirectional ion-transporter (electrolyte). The electrochemical cell membrane is activated for the transport of ions by contiguous ion coordination sites on the interior two-dimensional surfaces of the trans-membrane unidirectional pores. One dimension of the pore surface has a macroscopic length (1 nm-1000 .mu.m) and is directed parallel to the direction of an electric field, which is produced between the cathode and the anode electrodes of an electrochemical cell. The membrane material is designed to have physicochemical interaction with ions. Control of the extent of the interactions between the ions and the interior pore walls of the membrane and other materials, chemicals, or structures contained within the pores provides adjustability of the ionic conductivity of the membrane.

  15. A Grand Canonical Monte Carlo-Brownian dynamics algorithm for simulating ion channels.

    PubMed Central

    Im, W; Seefeld, S; Roux, B

    2000-01-01

    A computational algorithm based on Grand Canonical Monte Carlo (GCMC) and Brownian Dynamics (BD) is described to simulate the movement of ions in membrane channels. The proposed algorithm, GCMC/BD, allows the simulation of ion channels with a realistic implementation of boundary conditions of concentration and transmembrane potential. The method is consistent with a statistical mechanical formulation of the equilibrium properties of ion channels (; Biophys. J. 77:139-153). The GCMC/BD algorithm is illustrated with simulations of simple test systems and of the OmpF porin of Escherichia coli. The approach provides a framework for simulating ion permeation in the context of detailed microscopic models. PMID:10920012

  16. Ion-water and ion-polypeptide correlations in a gramicidin-like channel. A molecular dynamics study.

    PubMed Central

    Jordan, P C

    1990-01-01

    This work describes a molecular dynamics study of ion-water and ion-polypeptide correlation in a model gramicidin-like channel (the polyglycine analogue) based upon interaction between polarizable, multipolar groups. The model suggests that the vicinity of the dimer junction and of the ethanolamine tail are regions of unusual flexibility. Cs+ binds weakly in the mouth of the channel: there it coordinates five water molecules and the #11CO group with which it interacts strongly and is ideally aligned. In the channel interior it is generally pentacoordinate; at the dimer junction, because of increased channel flexibility, it again becomes essentially hexacoordinate. The ion is also strongly coupled to the #13 CO but not to either #9 or #15, consistent with 13C NMR data. Water in the channel interior is strikingly different from bulk water; it has a much lower mean dipole moment. This correlates with our observation (which differs from that of previous studies) that water-water angular correlations do not persist within the channel, a result independent of ion occupancy or ionic polarity. In agreement with streaming potential measurements, there are seven single file water molecules associated with Cs+ permeation; one of these is always in direct contact with bulk water. At the mouth of an ion-free channel, there is a pattern of dipole moment alteration among the polar groups. Due to differential interaction with water, exo-carbonyls have unusually large dipole moments whereas those of the endo-carbonyls are low. The computed potential of mean force for CS+ translocation is qualitatively reasonable. However, it only exhibits a weakly articulated binding site and it does not quantitatively account for channel energetics. Correction for membrane polarization reduces, but does not eliminate, these problems. PMID:1705448

  17. Screen-based identification and validation of four new ion channels as regulators of renal ciliogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Slaats, Gisela G.; Wheway, Gabrielle; Foletto, Veronica; Szymanska, Katarzyna; van Balkom, Bas W. M.; Logister, Ive; Den Ouden, Krista; Keijzer-Veen, Mandy G.; Lilien, Marc R.; Knoers, Nine V.; Johnson, Colin A.; Giles, Rachel H.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT To investigate the contribution of ion channels to ciliogenesis, we carried out a small interfering RNA (siRNA)-based reverse genetics screen of all ion channels in the mouse genome in murine inner medullary collecting duct kidney cells. This screen revealed four candidate ion channel genes: Kcnq1, Kcnj10, Kcnf1 and Clcn4. We show that these four ion channels localize to renal tubules, specifically to the base of primary cilia. We report that human KCNQ1 Long QT syndrome disease alleles regulate renal ciliogenesis; KCNQ1-p.R518X, -p.A178T and -p.K362R could not rescue ciliogenesis after Kcnq1-siRNA-mediated depletion in contrast to wild-type KCNQ1 and benign KCNQ1-p.R518Q, suggesting that the ion channel function of KCNQ1 regulates ciliogenesis. In contrast, we demonstrate that the ion channel function of KCNJ10 is independent of its effect on ciliogenesis. Our data suggest that these four ion channels regulate renal ciliogenesis through the periciliary diffusion barrier or the ciliary pocket, with potential implication as genetic contributors to ciliopathy pathophysiology. The new functional roles of a subset of ion channels provide new insights into the disease pathogenesis of channelopathies, which might suggest future therapeutic approaches. PMID:26546361

  18. Disease-associated changes in the expression of ion channels, ion receptors, ion exchangers and Ca{sup 2+}-handling proteins in heart hypertrophy

    SciTech Connect

    Zwadlo, Carolin; Borlak, Juergen . E-mail: borlak@item.fraunhofer.de

    2005-09-15

    The molecular pathology of cardiac hypertrophy is multifactorial with transcript regulation of ion channels, ion exchangers and Ca{sup 2+}-handling proteins being speculative. We therefore investigated disease-associated changes in gene expression of various ion channels and their receptors as well as ion exchangers, cytoskeletal proteins and Ca{sup 2+}-handling proteins in normotensive and spontaneously hypertensive (SHR) rats. We also compared experimental findings with results from hypertrophic human hearts, previously published (Borlak, J., and Thum, T., 2003. Hallmarks of ion channel gene expression in end-stage heart failure. FASEB J. 17, 1592-1608). We observed significant (P < 0.05) induction in transcript level of ATP-driven ion exchangers (Atp1A1, NCX-1, SERCA2a), ion channels (L-type Ca{sup 2+}-channel, K{sub ir}3.4, Na{sub v}1.5) and RyR-2 in hypertrophic hearts, while gene expression was repressed in diseased human hearts. Further, the genes coding for calreticulin and calmodulin, PMCA 1 and 4 as well as {alpha}-skeletal actin were significantly (P < 0.05) changed in hypertrophic human heart, but were unchanged in hypertrophic left ventricles of the rat heart. Notably, transcript level of {alpha}- and {beta}-MHC, calsequestrin, K{sub ir}6.1 (in the right ventricle only), phospholamban as well as troponin T were repressed in both diseased human and rat hearts. Our study enabled an identification of disease-associated candidate genes. Their regulation is likely to be the result of an imbalance between pressure load/stretch force and vascular tonus and the observed changes may provide a rational for the rhythm disturbances observed in patients with cardiac hypertrophy.

  19. Functional ion channels in human pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells: Voltage-dependent cation channels

    PubMed Central

    Firth, Amy L.; Remillard, Carmelle V.; Platoshyn, Oleksandr; Fantozzi, Ivana; Ko, Eun A.; Yuan, Jason X.-J.

    2011-01-01

    The activity of voltage-gated ion channels is critical for the maintenance of cellular membrane potential and generation of action potentials. In turn, membrane potential regulates cellular ion homeostasis, triggering the opening and closing of ion channels in the plasma membrane and, thus, enabling ion transport across the membrane. Such transmembrane ion fluxes are important for excitation–contraction coupling in pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells (PASMC). Families of voltage-dependent cation channels known to be present in PASMC include voltage-gated K+ (Kv) channels, voltage-dependent Ca2+-activated K+ (Kca) channels, L- and T- type voltage-dependent Ca2+ channels, voltage-gated Na+ channels and voltage-gated proton channels. When cells are dialyzed with Ca2+-free K+- solutions, depolarization elicits four components of 4-aminopyridine (4-AP)-sensitive Kvcurrents based on the kinetics of current activation and inactivation. In cell-attached membrane patches, depolarization elicits a wide range of single-channel K+ currents, with conductances ranging between 6 and 290 pS. Macroscopic 4-AP-sensitive Kv currents and iberiotoxin-sensitive Kca currents are also observed. Transcripts of (a) two Na+ channel α-subunit genes (SCN5A and SCN6A), (b) six Ca2+ channel α–subunit genes (α1A, α1B, α1X, α1D, α1Eand α1G) and many regulatory subunits (α2δ1, β1-4, and γ6), (c) 22 Kv channel α–subunit genes (Kv1.1 - Kv1.7, Kv1.10, Kv2.1, Kv3.1, Kv3.3, Kv3.4, Kv4.1, Kv4.2, Kv5.1, Kv 6.1-Kv6.3, Kv9.1, Kv9.3, Kv10.1 and Kv11.1) and three Kv channel β-subunit genes (Kvβ1-3) and (d) four Kca channel α–subunit genes (Sloα1 and SK2-SK4) and four Kca channel β-subunit genes (Kcaβ1-4) have been detected in PASMC. Tetrodotoxin-sensitive and rapidly inactivating Na+ currents have been recorded with properties similar to those in cardiac myocytes. In the presence of 20 mM external Ca2+, membrane depolarization from a holding potential of -100 mV elicits a rapidly

  20. Cardiac ion channel gene mutations in sudden infant death syndrome.

    PubMed

    Otagiri, Tesshu; Kijima, Kazuki; Osawa, Motoki; Ishii, Kuniaki; Makita, Naomasa; Matoba, Ryoji; Umetsu, Kazuo; Hayasaka, Kiyoshi

    2008-11-01

    Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is multifactorial and may result from the interaction of a number of environmental, genetic, and developmental factors. We studied three major genes causing long QT syndrome in 42 Japanese SIDS victims and found five mutations, KCNQ1-K598R, KCNH2-T895M, SCN5A-F532C, SCN5A-G1084S, and SCN5A-F1705S, in four cases; one case had both KCNH2-T895M and SCN5A-G1084S. All mutations were novel except for SCN5A-F532C, which was previously detected in an arrhythmic patient. Heterologous expression study revealed significant changes in channel properties of KCNH2-T895M, SCN5A-G1084S, and SCN5A-F1705S, but did not in KCNQ1-K598R and SCN5A-F532C. Our data suggests that nearly 10% of SIDS victims in Japan have mutations of the cardiac ion channel genes similar to in other countries.

  1. Ion Channel Gene Expression in Lung Adenocarcinoma: Potential Role in Prognosis and Diagnosis

    PubMed Central

    Ko, Jae-Hong; Gu, Wanjun; Lim, Inja; Bang, Hyoweon; Ko, Eun A.; Zhou, Tong

    2014-01-01

    Ion channels are known to regulate cancer processes at all stages. The roles of ion channels in cancer pathology are extremely diverse. We systematically analyzed the expression patterns of ion channel genes in lung adenocarcinoma. First, we compared the expression of ion channel genes between normal and tumor tissues in patients with lung adenocarcinoma. Thirty-seven ion channel genes were identified as being differentially expressed between the two groups. Next, we investigated the prognostic power of ion channel genes in lung adenocarcinoma. We assigned a risk score to each lung adenocarcinoma patient based on the expression of the differentially expressed ion channel genes. We demonstrated that the risk score effectively predicted overall survival and recurrence-free survival in lung adenocarcinoma. We also found that the risk scores for ever-smokers were higher than those for never-smokers. Multivariate analysis indicated that the risk score was a significant prognostic factor for survival, which is independent of patient age, gender, stage, smoking history, Myc level, and EGFR/KRAS/ALK gene mutation status. Finally, we investigated the difference in ion channel gene expression between the two major subtypes of non-small cell lung cancer: adenocarcinoma and squamous-cell carcinoma. Thirty ion channel genes were identified as being differentially expressed between the two groups. We suggest that ion channel gene expression can be used to improve the subtype classification in non-small cell lung cancer at the molecular level. The findings in this study have been validated in several independent lung cancer cohorts. PMID:24466154

  2. Ion channel gene expression in lung adenocarcinoma: potential role in prognosis and diagnosis.

    PubMed

    Ko, Jae-Hong; Gu, Wanjun; Lim, Inja; Bang, Hyoweon; Ko, Eun A; Zhou, Tong

    2014-01-01

    Ion channels are known to regulate cancer processes at all stages. The roles of ion channels in cancer pathology are extremely diverse. We systematically analyzed the expression patterns of ion channel genes in lung adenocarcinoma. First, we compared the expression of ion channel genes between normal and tumor tissues in patients with lung adenocarcinoma. Thirty-seven ion channel genes were identified as being differentially expressed between the two groups. Next, we investigated the prognostic power of ion channel genes in lung adenocarcinoma. We assigned a risk score to each lung adenocarcinoma patient based on the expression of the differentially expressed ion channel genes. We demonstrated that the risk score effectively predicted overall survival and recurrence-free survival in lung adenocarcinoma. We also found that the risk scores for ever-smokers were higher than those for never-smokers. Multivariate analysis indicated that the risk score was a significant prognostic factor for survival, which is independent of patient age, gender, stage, smoking history, Myc level, and EGFR/KRAS/ALK gene mutation status. Finally, we investigated the difference in ion channel gene expression between the two major subtypes of non-small cell lung cancer: adenocarcinoma and squamous-cell carcinoma. Thirty ion channel genes were identified as being differentially expressed between the two groups. We suggest that ion channel gene expression can be used to improve the subtype classification in non-small cell lung cancer at the molecular level. The findings in this study have been validated in several independent lung cancer cohorts.

  3. Biophysics, pathophysiology, and pharmacology of ion channel gating pores

    PubMed Central

    Moreau, Adrien; Gosselin-Badaroudine, Pascal; Chahine, Mohamed

    2014-01-01

    Voltage sensor domains (VSDs) are a feature of voltage gated ion channels (VGICs) and voltage sensitive proteins. They are composed of four transmembrane (TM) segments (S1–S4). Currents leaking through VSDs are called omega or gating pore currents. Gating pores are caused by mutations of the highly conserved positively charged amino acids in the S4 segment that disrupt interactions between the S4 segment and the gating charge transfer center (GCTC). The GCTC separates the intracellular and extracellular water crevices. The disruption of S4–GCTC interactions allows these crevices to communicate and create a fast activating and non-inactivating alternative cation-selective permeation pathway of low conductance, or a gating pore. Gating pore currents have recently been shown to cause periodic paralysis phenotypes. There is also increasing evidence that gating pores are linked to several other familial diseases. For example, gating pores in Nav1.5 and Kv7.2 channels may underlie mixed arrhythmias associated with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) phenotypes and peripheral nerve hyperexcitability (PNH), respectively. There is little evidence for the existence of gating pore blockers. Moreover, it is known that a number of toxins bind to the VSD of a specific domain of Na+ channels. These toxins may thus modulate gating pore currents. This focus on the VSD motif opens up a new area of research centered on developing molecules to treat a number of cell excitability disorders such as epilepsy, cardiac arrhythmias, and pain. The purpose of the present review is to summarize existing knowledge of the pathophysiology, biophysics, and pharmacology of gating pore currents and to serve as a guide for future studies aimed at improving our understanding of gating pores and their pathophysiological roles. PMID:24772081

  4. Acid stress mediated adaptive divergence in ion channel function during embryogenesis in Rana arvalis

    PubMed Central

    Shu, Longfei; Laurila, Anssi; Räsänen, Katja

    2015-01-01

    Ion channels and pumps are responsible for ion flux in cells, and are key mechanisms mediating cellular function. Many environmental stressors, such as salinity and acidification, are known to severely disrupt ionic balance of organisms thereby challenging fitness of natural populations. Although ion channels can have several vital functions during early life-stages (e.g. embryogenesis), it is currently not known i) how developing embryos maintain proper intracellular conditions when exposed to environmental stress and ii) to what extent environmental stress can drive intra-specific divergence in ion channels. Here we studied the moor frog, Rana arvalis, from three divergent populations to investigate the role of different ion channels and pumps for embryonic survival under acid stress (pH 4 vs 7.5) and whether populations adapted to contrasting acidities differ in the relative role of different ion channel/pumps. We found that ion channels that mediate Ca2+ influx are essential for embryonic survival under acidic pH, and, intriguingly, that populations differ in calcium channel function. Our results suggest that adaptive divergence in embryonic acid stress tolerance of amphibians may in part be mediated by Ca2+ balance. We suggest that ion flux may mediate adaptive divergence of natural populations at early life-stages in the face of environmental stress. PMID:26381453

  5. Organic toxins as tools to understand ion channel mechanisms and structure.

    PubMed

    Morales-Lázaro, Sara Luz; Hernández-García, Enrique; Serrano-Flores, Barbara; Rosenbaum, Tamara

    2015-01-01

    Ion channels constitute a varied class of membrane proteins with pivotal roles in cellular physiology and that are fundamental for neuronal signaling, hormone secretion and muscle contractility. Hence, it is not unanticipated that toxins from diverse organisms have evolved to modulate the activity of ion channels. For instance, animals such as cone snails, scorpions, spiders and snakes use toxins to immobilize and capture their prey by affecting ion channel function. This is a beautiful example of an evolutionary process that has led to the development of an injection apparatus from predators and to the existence of toxins with high affinity and specificity for a given target. Toxins have been used in the field of ion channel biophysics for several decades to gain insight into the gating mechanisms and the structure of ion channels. Through the use of these peptides, much has been learned about the ion conduction pathways, voltage-sensing mechanisms, pore sizes, kinetics, inactivation processes, etc. This review examines an assortment of toxins that have been used to study different ion channels and describes some key findings about the structure-function relationships in these proteins through the details of the toxin-ion channel interactions.

  6. Simulation of charge transport in ion channels and nanopores with anisotropic permittivity

    PubMed Central

    Mashl, R. Jay; Lee, Kyu Il; Jakobsson, Eric; Ravaioli, Umberto

    2010-01-01

    Ion channels are part of nature's solution for regulating biological environments. Every ion channel consists of a chain of amino acids carrying a strong and sharply varying permanent charge, folded in such a way that it creates a nanoscopic aqueous pore spanning the otherwise mostly impermeable membranes of biological cells. These naturally occurring proteins are particularly interesting to device engineers seeking to understand how such nanoscale systems realize device-like functions. Availability of high-resolution structural information from X-ray crystallography, as well as large-scale computational resources, makes it possible to conduct realistic ion channel simulations. In general, a hierarchy of simulation methodologies is needed to study different aspects of a biological system like ion channels. Biology Monte Carlo (BioMOCA), a three-dimensional coarse-grained particle ion channel simulator, offers a powerful and general approach to study ion channel permeation. BioMOCA is based on the Boltzmann Transport Monte Carlo (BTMC) and Particle-Particle-Particle-Mesh (P3M) methodologies developed at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In this paper we briefly discuss the various approaches to simulating ion flow in channel systems that are currently being pursued by the biophysics and engineering communities, and present the effect of having anisotropic dielectric constants on ion flow through a number of nanopores with different effective diameters. PMID:20445807

  7. From foe to friend: using animal toxins to investigate ion channel function

    PubMed Central

    Salvatierra, Juan; Wagner, Jordan; Klint, Julie K; King, Glenn F; Olivera, Baldomero M; Bosmans, Frank

    2014-01-01

    Ion channels are vital contributors to cellular communication in a wide range of organisms, a distinct feature that renders this ubiquitous family of membrane-spanning proteins a prime target for toxins found in animal venom. For many years, the unique properties of these naturally-occurring molecules have enabled researchers to probe the structural and functional features of ion channels and to define their physiological roles in normal and diseased tissues. To illustrate their considerable impact on the ion channel field, this review will highlight fundamental insights into toxin-channel interactions as well as recently developed toxin screening methods and practical applications of engineered toxins. PMID:25088688

  8. Potassium ions in the cavity of a KcsA channel model.

    PubMed

    Yao, Zhenwei; Qiao, Baofu; Olvera de la Cruz, Monica

    2013-12-01

    The high rate of ion flux and selectivity of potassium channels has been attributed to the conformation and dynamics of the ions in the filter which connects the channel cavity and the extracellular environment. The cavity serves as the reservoir for potassium ions diffusing from the intracellular medium. The cavity is believed to decrease the dielectric barrier for the ions to enter the filter. We study here the equilibrium and dynamic properties of potassium ions entering the water-filled cavity of a KcsA channel model. Atomistic molecular dynamics simulations that are supplemented by electrostatic calculations reveal the important role of water molecules and the partially charged protein helices at the bottom of the cavity in overcoming the energy barrier and stabilizing the potassium ion in the cavity. We further show that the average time for a potassium ion to enter the cavity is much shorter than the conduction rate of a potassium passing through the filter, and this time duration is insensitive over a wide range of the membrane potential. The conclusions drawn from the study of the channel model are applicable in generalized contexts, including the entry of ions in artificial ion channels and other confined geometries.

  9. Potassium ions in the cavity of a KcsA channel model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yao, Zhenwei; Qiao, Baofu; Olvera de la Cruz, Monica

    2013-12-01

    The high rate of ion flux and selectivity of potassium channels has been attributed to the conformation and dynamics of the ions in the filter which connects the channel cavity and the extracellular environment. The cavity serves as the reservoir for potassium ions diffusing from the intracellular medium. The cavity is believed to decrease the dielectric barrier for the ions to enter the filter. We study here the equilibrium and dynamic properties of potassium ions entering the water-filled cavity of a KcsA channel model. Atomistic molecular dynamics simulations that are supplemented by electrostatic calculations reveal the important role of water molecules and the partially charged protein helices at the bottom of the cavity in overcoming the energy barrier and stabilizing the potassium ion in the cavity. We further show that the average time for a potassium ion to enter the cavity is much shorter than the conduction rate of a potassium passing through the filter, and this time duration is insensitive over a wide range of the membrane potential. The conclusions drawn from the study of the channel model are applicable in generalized contexts, including the entry of ions in artificial ion channels and other confined geometries.

  10. Unraveling the mechanism of selective ion transport in hydrophobic subnanometer channels.

    PubMed

    Li, Hui; Francisco, Joseph S; Zeng, Xiao Cheng

    2015-09-01

    Recently reported synthetic organic nanopore (SONP) can mimic a key feature of natural ion channels, i.e., selective ion transport. However, the physical mechanism underlying the K(+)/Na(+) selectivity for the SONPs is dramatically different from that of natural ion channels. To achieve a better understanding of the selective ion transport in hydrophobic subnanometer channels in general and SONPs in particular, we perform a series of ab initio molecular dynamics simulations to investigate the diffusivity of aqua Na(+) and K(+) ions in two prototype hydrophobic nanochannels: (i) an SONP with radius of 3.2 Å, and (ii) single-walled carbon nanotubes (CNTs) with radii of 3-5 Å (these radii are comparable to those of the biological potassium K(+) channels). We find that the hydration shell of aqua Na(+) ion is smaller than that of aqua K(+) ion but notably more structured and less yielding. The aqua ions do not lower the diffusivity of water molecules in CNTs, but in SONP the diffusivity of aqua ions (Na(+) in particular) is strongly suppressed due to the rugged inner surface. Moreover, the aqua Na(+) ion requires higher formation energy than aqua K(+) ion in the hydrophobic nanochannels. As such, we find that the ion (K(+) vs. Na(+)) selectivity of the (8, 8) CNT is ∼20× higher than that of SONP. Hence, the (8, 8) CNT is likely the most efficient artificial K(+) channel due in part to its special interior environment in which Na(+) can be fully solvated, whereas K(+) cannot. This work provides deeper insights into the physical chemistry behind selective ion transport in nanochannels.

  11. Unraveling the mechanism of selective ion transport in hydrophobic subnanometer channels

    PubMed Central

    Li, Hui; Francisco, Joseph S.; Zeng, Xiao Cheng

    2015-01-01

    Recently reported synthetic organic nanopore (SONP) can mimic a key feature of natural ion channels, i.e., selective ion transport. However, the physical mechanism underlying the K+/Na+ selectivity for the SONPs is dramatically different from that of natural ion channels. To achieve a better understanding of the selective ion transport in hydrophobic subnanometer channels in general and SONPs in particular, we perform a series of ab initio molecular dynamics simulations to investigate the diffusivity of aqua Na+ and K+ ions in two prototype hydrophobic nanochannels: (i) an SONP with radius of 3.2 Å, and (ii) single-walled carbon nanotubes (CNTs) with radii of 3–5 Å (these radii are comparable to those of the biological potassium K+ channels). We find that the hydration shell of aqua Na+ ion is smaller than that of aqua K+ ion but notably more structured and less yielding. The aqua ions do not lower the diffusivity of water molecules in CNTs, but in SONP the diffusivity of aqua ions (Na+ in particular) is strongly suppressed due to the rugged inner surface. Moreover, the aqua Na+ ion requires higher formation energy than aqua K+ ion in the hydrophobic nanochannels. As such, we find that the ion (K+ vs. Na+) selectivity of the (8, 8) CNT is ∼20× higher than that of SONP. Hence, the (8, 8) CNT is likely the most efficient artificial K+ channel due in part to its special interior environment in which Na+ can be fully solvated, whereas K+ cannot. This work provides deeper insights into the physical chemistry behind selective ion transport in nanochannels. PMID:26283377

  12. New expression profiles of voltage-gated ion channels in arteries exposed to high blood pressure.

    PubMed

    Cox, Robert H; Rusch, Nancy J

    2002-01-01

    The diameters of small arteries and arterioles are tightly regulated by the dynamic interaction between Ca(2+) and K(+) channels in the vascular smooth muscle cells. Calcium influx through voltage-gated Ca(2+) channels induces vasoconstriction, whereas the opening of K(+) channels mediates hyperpolarization, inactivation of voltage-gated Ca(2+) channels, and vasodilation. Three types of voltage-sensitive ion channels have been highly implicated in the regulation of resting vascular tone. These include the L-type Ca(2+) (Ca(L)) channels, voltage-gated K(+) (K(V)) channels, and high-conductance voltage- and Ca(2+)-sensitive K(+) (BK(Ca)) channels. Recently, abnormal expression profiles of these ion channels have been identified as part of the pathogenesis of arterial hypertension and other vasospastic diseases. An increasing number of studies suggest that high blood pressure may trigger cellular signaling cascades that dynamically alter the expression profile of arterial ion channels to further modify vascular tone. This article will briefly review the properties of Ca(L), K(V), and BK(Ca) channels, present evidence that their expression profile is altered during systemic hypertension, and suggest potential mechanisms by which the signal of elevated blood pressure may result in altered ion channel expression. A final section will discuss emerging concepts and opportunities for the development of new vasoactive drugs, which may rely on targeting disease-specific changes in ion channel expression as a mechanism to lower vascular tone during hypertensive diseases.

  13. Entropy driven insulator-metal crossover in ion channels and water filled nanopores

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Jingshan; Kamenev, Alex; Shklovskii, Boris; Larkin, Anatony

    2006-03-01

    We consider ion transport of an ion channel in a lipid membrane or a water filled nanopore in silicon films [1]. It is known that due to the large ratio of dielectric constants of water (80) and lipid (2), the electric lines of an ion in the channel are squeezed. This should lead to a large electrostatic self-energy barrier for Ohmic resistance [2]. Nevertheless biological channels are well transparent at least for some selected ions. To address this paradox, we study reduction of the electrostatic barrier by a finite concentration of salt in water and/or by immobile charges on the internal channel walls. We show that both types of charges reduce the barrier, leading to insulator-metal crossover resembling metal-insulator transition in excited gas or in doped semiconductors. But here entropy plays the role of quantum mechanics. Evolution of ion channels took into account biological concentration of monovalent salt, and more importantly, made some channels charged from inside to reduce electrostatic barrier for a given sign of ions (cation/anion selectivity). We also show that in the channel with negative wall charges fractionalization of divalent Ca ions into monovalent excitations leads to good Ca-Vs.-Na selectivity of Ca channels. [1] A. Kamenev, J. Zhang, A. I. Larkin, B. I. Shklovskii, Physica A 359, 129 (2006); J. Zhang, A. Kamenev, B. I. Shklovskii, Phys. Rev. Lett. 95, 148101 (2005); cond-mat/0510327. [2] A. Parsegian, Nature 221, 844 (1969).

  14. Mitochondrial Ion Channels/Transporters as Sensors and Regulators of Cellular Redox Signaling

    PubMed Central

    Ryu, Shin-Young; Jhun, Bong Sook; Hurst, Stephen

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Significance: Mitochondrial ion channels/transporters and the electron transport chain (ETC) serve as key sensors and regulators for cellular redox signaling, the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and nitrogen species (RNS) in mitochondria, and balancing cell survival and death. Although the functional and pharmacological characteristics of mitochondrial ion transport mechanisms have been extensively studied for several decades, the majority of the molecular identities that are responsible for these channels/transporters have remained a mystery until very recently. Recent Advances: Recent breakthrough studies uncovered the molecular identities of the diverse array of major mitochondrial ion channels/transporters, including the mitochondrial Ca2+ uniporter pore, mitochondrial permeability transition pore, and mitochondrial ATP-sensitive K+ channel. This new information enables us to form detailed molecular and functional characterizations of mitochondrial ion channels/transporters and their roles in mitochondrial redox signaling. Critical Issues: Redox-mediated post-translational modifications of mitochondrial ion channels/transporters and ETC serve as key mechanisms for the spatiotemporal control of mitochondrial ROS/RNS generation. Future Directions: Identification of detailed molecular mechanisms for redox-mediated regulation of mitochondrial ion channels will enable us to find novel therapeutic targets for many diseases that are associated with cellular redox signaling and mitochondrial ion channels/transporters. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 21, 987–1006. PMID:24180309

  15. Mechanistic Insights into the Modulation of Voltage-Gated Ion Channels by Inhalational Anesthetics.

    PubMed

    Covarrubias, Manuel; Barber, Annika F; Carnevale, Vincenzo; Treptow, Werner; Eckenhoff, Roderic G

    2015-11-17

    General anesthesia is a relatively safe medical procedure, which for nearly 170 years has allowed life saving surgical interventions in animals and people. However, the molecular mechanism of general anesthesia continues to be a matter of importance and debate. A favored hypothesis proposes that general anesthesia results from direct multisite interactions with multiple and diverse ion channels in the brain. Neurotransmitter-gated ion channels and two-pore K+ channels are key players in the mechanism of anesthesia; however, new studies have also implicated voltage-gated ion channels. Recent biophysical and structural studies of Na+ and K+ channels strongly suggest that halogenated inhalational general anesthetics interact with gates and pore regions of these ion channels to modulate function. Here, we review these studies and provide a perspective to stimulate further advances.

  16. Mechanistic Insights into the Modulation of Voltage-Gated Ion Channels by Inhalational Anesthetics

    PubMed Central

    Covarrubias, Manuel; Barber, Annika F.; Carnevale, Vincenzo; Treptow, Werner; Eckenhoff, Roderic G.

    2015-01-01

    General anesthesia is a relatively safe medical procedure, which for nearly 170 years has allowed life saving surgical interventions in animals and people. However, the molecular mechanism of general anesthesia continues to be a matter of importance and debate. A favored hypothesis proposes that general anesthesia results from direct multisite interactions with multiple and diverse ion channels in the brain. Neurotransmitter-gated ion channels and two-pore K+ channels are key players in the mechanism of anesthesia; however, new studies have also implicated voltage-gated ion channels. Recent biophysical and structural studies of Na+ and K+ channels strongly suggest that halogenated inhalational general anesthetics interact with gates and pore regions of these ion channels to modulate function. Here, we review these studies and provide a perspective to stimulate further advances. PMID:26588560

  17. Selectivity and permeation of alkali metal ions in K+-channels.

    PubMed

    Furini, Simone; Domene, Carmen

    2011-06-24

    Ion conduction in K(+)-channels is usually described in terms of concerted movements of K(+) progressing in a single file through a narrow pore. Permeation is driven by an incoming ion knocking on those ions already inside the protein. A fine-tuned balance between high-affinity binding and electrostatic repulsive forces between permeant ions is needed to achieve efficient conduction. While K(+)-channels are known to be highly selective for K(+) over Na(+), some K(+) channels conduct Na(+) in the absence of K(+). Other ions are known to permeate K(+)-channels with a more moderate preference and unusual conduction features. We describe an extensive computational study on ion conduction in K(+)-channels rendering free energy profiles for the translocation of three different alkali ions and some of their mixtures. The free energy maps for Rb(+) translocation show at atomic level why experimental Rb(+) conductance is slightly lower than that of K(+). In contrast to K(+) or Rb(+), external Na(+) block K(+) currents, and the sites where Na(+) transport is hindered are characterized. Translocation of K(+)/Na(+) mixtures is energetically unfavorable owing to the absence of equally spaced ion-binding sites for Na(+), excluding Na(+) from a channel already loaded with K(+). Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Ion Channels in Plant Bioenergetic Organelles, Chloroplasts and Mitochondria: From Molecular Identification to Function.

    PubMed

    Carraretto, Luca; Teardo, Enrico; Checchetto, Vanessa; Finazzi, Giovanni; Uozumi, Nobuyuki; Szabo, Ildiko

    2016-03-07

    Recent technical advances in electrophysiological measurements, organelle-targeted fluorescence imaging, and organelle proteomics have pushed the research of ion transport a step forward in the case of the plant bioenergetic organelles, chloroplasts and mitochondria, leading to the molecular identification and functional characterization of several ion transport systems in recent years. Here we focus on channels that mediate relatively high-rate ion and water flux and summarize the current knowledge in this field, focusing on targeting mechanisms, proteomics, electrophysiology, and physiological function. In addition, since chloroplasts evolved from a cyanobacterial ancestor, we give an overview of the information available about cyanobacterial ion channels and discuss the evolutionary origin of chloroplast channels. The recent molecular identification of some of these ion channels allowed their physiological functions to be studied using genetically modified Arabidopsis plants and cyanobacteria. The view is emerging that alteration of chloroplast and mitochondrial ion homeostasis leads to organelle dysfunction, which in turn significantly affects the energy metabolism of the whole organism. Clear-cut identification of genes encoding for channels in these organelles, however, remains a major challenge in this rapidly developing field. Multiple strategies including bioinformatics, cell biology, electrophysiology, use of organelle-targeted ion-sensitive probes, genetics, and identification of signals eliciting specific ion fluxes across organelle membranes should provide a better understanding of the physiological role of organellar channels and their contribution to signaling pathways in plants in the future.

  19. Measurement of Ion Energy Distribution in Magnetized ICP using Multi-channel Ion Energy Analyzer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Woohyun; Kim, Hyuk; Kim, Jiwon; Cheong, Hee Woon; Koo, Il Gyo; Lee, Soojin; Seong, Hyo-Seong; Whang, Ki-Woong

    2013-09-01

    In plasma etch processes, the flux and energy of ions incident on the substrate are the important parameters that control the etch profile and the etch rate. In this regard, retarding field Ion Energy Analyzer (IEA) has been developed and applied to plasma etch. As the size of wafer and etch chamber increase, simultaneous measurement at multi points in radial and poloidal direction becomes important. For this purpose, Plasma lab in Seoul National University and SEMES jointly developed an IEA that can measure the ion energy distributions at five positions in 6-inch wafer at the same time. The IEA is composed of 4 mesh grids (floating, electron repelling, discriminator, secondary electron retarding) and one metal layer (Ion collector). We used a remote controllable voltage source and DAC to supply the stepwise wave form to discriminator voltage source. We used the developed IEA to measure the radial and polodial uniformity of energy distribution of ions incident on the substrate with the change of bias power, gas pressure and bias power frequency. This was supported by SEMES cooperative research project.

  20. Dynamics of ponderomotive ion acceleration in a laser-plasma channel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kovalev, V. F.; Bychenkov, V. Yu.

    2015-04-01

    Analytical solution to the Cauchy problem for the kinetic equation describing the radial acceleration of ions under the action of the ponderomotive force of a laser beam undergoing guided propagation in transparent plasma is constructed. Spatial and temporal dependences of the ion distribution function and the integral ion characteristics, such as the density, average velocity, and energy spectrum, are obtained for an axisymmetric laser-plasma channel. The formation of a density peak near the channel boundary and the effect of ion flow breaking for a quasi-stationary laser beam are described analytically.

  1. Quantum decoherence time scales for ionic superposition states in ion channels.

    PubMed

    Salari, V; Moradi, N; Sajadi, M; Fazileh, F; Shahbazi, F

    2015-03-01

    There are many controversial and challenging discussions about quantum effects in microscopic structures in neurons of the brain and their role in cognitive processing. In this paper, we focus on a small, nanoscale part of ion channels which is called the "selectivity filter" and plays a key role in the operation of an ion channel. Our results for superposition states of potassium ions indicate that decoherence times are of the order of picoseconds. This decoherence time is not long enough for cognitive processing in the brain, however, it may be adequate for quantum superposition states of ions in the filter to leave their quantum traces on the selectivity filter and action potentials.

  2. Quantum decoherence time scales for ionic superposition states in ion channels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salari, V.; Moradi, N.; Sajadi, M.; Fazileh, F.; Shahbazi, F.

    2015-03-01

    There are many controversial and challenging discussions about quantum effects in microscopic structures in neurons of the brain and their role in cognitive processing. In this paper, we focus on a small, nanoscale part of ion channels which is called the "selectivity filter" and plays a key role in the operation of an ion channel. Our results for superposition states of potassium ions indicate that decoherence times are of the order of picoseconds. This decoherence time is not long enough for cognitive processing in the brain, however, it may be adequate for quantum superposition states of ions in the filter to leave their quantum traces on the selectivity filter and action potentials.

  3. Stochastic Ion Channel Gating in Dendritic Neurons: Morphology Dependence and Probabilistic Synaptic Activation of Dendritic Spikes

    PubMed Central

    Nolan, Matthew F.

    2010-01-01

    Neuronal activity is mediated through changes in the probability of stochastic transitions between open and closed states of ion channels. While differences in morphology define neuronal cell types and may underlie neurological disorders, very little is known about influences of stochastic ion channel gating in neurons with complex morphology. We introduce and validate new computational tools that enable efficient generation and simulation of models containing stochastic ion channels distributed across dendritic and axonal membranes. Comparison of five morphologically distinct neuronal cell types reveals that when all simulated neurons contain identical densities of stochastic ion channels, the amplitude of stochastic membrane potential fluctuations differs between cell types and depends on sub-cellular location. For typical neurons, the amplitude of membrane potential fluctuations depends on channel kinetics as well as open probability. Using a detailed model of a hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neuron, we show that when intrinsic ion channels gate stochastically, the probability of initiation of dendritic or somatic spikes by dendritic synaptic input varies continuously between zero and one, whereas when ion channels gate deterministically, the probability is either zero or one. At physiological firing rates, stochastic gating of dendritic ion channels almost completely accounts for probabilistic somatic and dendritic spikes generated by the fully stochastic model. These results suggest that the consequences of stochastic ion channel gating differ globally between neuronal cell-types and locally between neuronal compartments. Whereas dendritic neurons are often assumed to behave deterministically, our simulations suggest that a direct consequence of stochastic gating of intrinsic ion channels is that spike output may instead be a probabilistic function of patterns of synaptic input to dendrites. PMID:20711353

  4. A Change in the Ion Selectivity of Ligand-Gated Ion Channels Provides a Mechanism to Switch Behavior

    PubMed Central

    Alkema, Mark J.

    2015-01-01

    Behavioral output of neural networks depends on a delicate balance between excitatory and inhibitory synaptic connections. However, it is not known whether network formation and stability is constrained by the sign of synaptic connections between neurons within the network. Here we show that switching the sign of a synapse within a neural circuit can reverse the behavioral output. The inhibitory tyramine-gated chloride channel, LGC-55, induces head relaxation and inhibits forward locomotion during the Caenorhabditis elegans escape response. We switched the ion selectivity of an inhibitory LGC-55 anion channel to an excitatory LGC-55 cation channel. The engineered cation channel is properly trafficked in the native neural circuit and results in behavioral responses that are opposite to those produced by activation of the LGC-55 anion channel. Our findings indicate that switches in ion selectivity of ligand-gated ion channels (LGICs) do not affect network connectivity or stability and may provide an evolutionary and a synthetic mechanism to change behavior. PMID:26348462

  5. Nicotine effect on cardiovascular system and ion channels.

    PubMed

    Hanna, Salma Toma

    2006-03-01

    Smoking is a leading cause of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, myocardial infarction, and stroke. Nicotine is one of the components of cigarette smoke. Nicotine effects on the cardiovascular system reflect the activity of the nicotine receptors centrally and on peripheral autonomic ganglia. It has been found that cigarette smoke extract-induced contraction of porcine coronary arteries is related to superoxide anion-mediated degradation of nitric oxide. Treatment of rabbit aortas with an oxygen free radicals scavenger attenuated cigarette smoke impairment of arterial relaxation. Treatment of smokers with vitamin C, an antioxidant, improved impaired endothelium-dependent reactivity of large peripheral arteries. Thus it appears that chronic smoking and acute exposure to cigarette smoke extract may alter endothelium-dependent reactivity via the production of oxygen derived free radicals. This review discusses the effects of nicotine on resistance arterioles, compliance arteries, smooth muscle cells, and ion channels in the cardiovascular system. We discuss studies performed on humans, nicotine-exposed animals, and cell cultures yielding varying and inconsistent results that may be due to differences in experimental design, species, and the dose of exposure. Nicotine exposure appears to induce a combination of free radical production, vascular wall adhesion, and a reduction of fibrinolytic activity in the plasma.

  6. An acid-sensing ion channel that detects ischemic pain.

    PubMed

    Naves, L A; McCleskey, E W

    2005-11-01

    Ischemic pain occurs when there is insufficient blood flow for the metabolic needs of an organ. The pain of a heart attack is the prototypical example. Multiple compounds released from ischemic muscle likely contribute to this pain by acting on sensory neurons that innervate muscle. One such compound is lactic acid. Here, we show that ASIC3 (acid-sensing ion channel #3) has the appropriate expression pattern and physical properties to be the detector of this lactic acid. In rats, it is expressed only in sensory neurons and then only on a minority (approximately 40%) of these. Nevertheless, it is expressed at extremely high levels on virtually all dorsal root ganglion sensory neurons that innervate the heart. It is extraordinarily sensitive to protons (Hill slope 4, half-activating pH 6.7), allowing it to readily respond to the small changes in extracellular pH (from 7.4 to 7.0) that occur during muscle ischemia. Moreover, both extracellular lactate and extracellular ATP increase the sensitivity of ASIC3 to protons. This final property makes ASIC3 a "coincidence detector" of three molecules that appear during ischemia, thereby allowing it to better detect acidosis caused by ischemia than other forms of systemic acidosis such as hypercapnia.

  7. Phylogenomics of Ligand-Gated Ion Channels Predicts Monepantel Effect

    PubMed Central

    Rufener, Lucien; Keiser, Jennifer; Kaminsky, Ronald; Mäser, Pascal; Nilsson, Daniel

    2010-01-01

    The recently launched veterinary anthelmintic drench for sheep (Novartis Animal Health Inc., Switzerland) containing the nematocide monepantel represents a new class of anthelmintics: the amino-acetonitrile derivatives (AADs), much needed in view of widespread resistance to the classical drugs. Recently, it was shown that the ACR-23 protein in Caenorhabditis elegans and a homologous protein, MPTL-1 in Haemonchus contortus, are potential targets for AAD action. Both proteins belong to the DEG-3 subfamily of acetylcholine receptors, which are thought to be nematode-specific, and different from those targeted by the imidazothiazoles (e.g. levamisole). Here we provide further evidence that Cel-ACR-23 and Hco-MPTL-1-like subunits are involved in the monepantel-sensitive phenotype. We performed comparative genomics of ligand-gated ion channel genes from several nematodes and subsequently assessed their sensitivity to anthelmintics. The nematode species in the Caenorhabditis genus, equipped with ACR-23/MPTL-1-like receptor subunits, are sensitive to monepantel (EC50<1.25 µM), whereas the related nematodes Pristionchus pacificus and Strongyloides ratti, which lack an ACR-23/MPTL-1 homolog, are insensitive (EC50>43 µM). Genome sequence information has long been used to identify putative targets for therapeutic intervention. We show how comparative genomics can be applied to predict drug sensitivity when molecular targets of a compound are known or suspected. PMID:20838602

  8. A biosensor that uses ion-channel switches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cornell, B. A.; Braach-Maksvytis, V. L. B.; King, L. G.; Osman, P. D. J.; Raguse, B.; Wieczorek, L.; Pace, R. J.

    1997-06-01

    Biosensors are molecular sensors that combine a biological recognition mechanism with a physical transduction technique. They provide a new class of inexpensive, portable instrument that permit sophisticated analytical measurements to be undertaken rapidly at decentralized locations. However, the adoption of biosensors for practical applications other than the measurement of blood glucose is currently limited by the expense, insensitivity and inflexibility of the available transduction methods. Here we describe the development of a biosensing technique in which the conductance of a population of molecular ion channels is switched by the recognition event. The approach mimics biological sensory functions and can be used with most types of receptor, including antibodies and nucleotides. The technique is very flexible and even in its simplest form it is sensitive to picomolar concentrations of proteins. The sensor is essentially an impedance element whose dimensions can readily be reduced to become an integral component of a microelectronic circuit. It may be used in a wide range of applications and in complex media, including blood. These uses might include cell typing, the detection of large proteins, viruses, antibodies, DNA, electrolytes, drugs, pesticides and other low-molecular-weight compounds.

  9. Unconventional secretory processing diversifies neuronal ion channel properties

    PubMed Central

    Hanus, Cyril; Geptin, Helene; Tushev, Georgi; Garg, Sakshi; Alvarez-Castelao, Beatriz; Sambandan, Sivakumar; Kochen, Lisa; Hafner, Anne-Sophie; Langer, Julian D; Schuman, Erin M

    2016-01-01

    N-glycosylation – the sequential addition of complex sugars to adhesion proteins, neurotransmitter receptors, ion channels and secreted trophic factors as they progress through the endoplasmic reticulum and the Golgi apparatus – is one of the most frequent protein modifications. In mammals, most organ-specific N-glycosylation events occur in the brain. Yet, little is known about the nature, function and regulation of N-glycosylation in neurons. Using imaging, quantitative immunoblotting and mass spectrometry, we show that hundreds of neuronal surface membrane proteins are core-glycosylated, resulting in the neuronal membrane displaying surprisingly high levels of glycosylation profiles that are classically associated with immature intracellular proteins. We report that while N-glycosylation is generally required for dendritic development and glutamate receptor surface expression, core-glycosylated proteins are sufficient to sustain these processes, and are thus functional. This atypical glycosylation of surface neuronal proteins can be attributed to a bypass or a hypo-function of the Golgi apparatus. Core-glycosylation is regulated by synaptic activity, modulates synaptic signaling and accelerates the turnover of GluA2-containing glutamate receptors, revealing a novel mechanism that controls the composition and sensing properties of the neuronal membrane. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.20609.001 PMID:27677849

  10. Cancer as a channelopathy: ion channels and pumps in tumor development and progression.

    PubMed

    Litan, Alisa; Langhans, Sigrid A

    2015-01-01

    Increasing evidence suggests that ion channels and pumps not only regulate membrane potential, ion homeostasis, and electric signaling in excitable cells but also play important roles in cell proliferation, migration, apoptosis and differentiation. Consistent with a role in cell signaling, channel proteins and ion pumps can form macromolecular complexes with growth factors, and cell adhesion and other signaling molecules. And while cancer is still not being cataloged as a channelopathy, as the non-traditional roles of ion pumps and channels are being recognized, it is increasingly being suggested that ion channels and ion pumps contribute to cancer progression. Cancer cell migration requires the regulation of adhesion complexes between migrating cells and surrounding extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins. Cell movement along solid surfaces requires a sequence of cell protrusions and retractions that mainly depend on regulation of the actin cytoskeleton along with contribution of microtubules and molecular motor proteins such as mysoin. This process is triggered and modulated by a combination of environmental signals, which are sensed and integrated by membrane receptors, including integrins and cadherins. Membrane receptors transduce these signals into downstream signaling pathways, often involving the Rho GTPase protein family. These pathways regulate the cytoskeletal rearrangements necessary for proper timing of adhesion, contraction and detachment of cells in order to find their way through extracellular spaces. Migration and adhesion involve continuous modulation of cell motility, shape and volume, in which ion channels and pumps play major roles. Research on cancer cells suggests that certain ion channels may be involved in aberrant tumor growth and channel inhibitors often lead to growth arrest. This review will describe recent research into the role of ion pumps and ion channels in cell migration and adhesion, and how they may contribute to tumor development.

  11. Target promiscuity and heterogeneous effects of tarantula venom peptides affecting Na+ and K+ ion channels.

    PubMed

    Redaelli, Elisa; Cassulini, Rita Restano; Silva, Deyanira Fuentes; Clement, Herlinda; Schiavon, Emanuele; Zamudio, Fernando Z; Odell, George; Arcangeli, Annarosa; Clare, Jeffrey J; Alagón, Alejandro; de la Vega, Ricardo C Rodríguez; Possani, Lourival D; Wanke, Enzo

    2010-02-05

    Venom-derived peptide modulators of ion channel gating are regarded as essential tools for understanding the molecular motions that occur during the opening and closing of ion channels. In this study, we present the characterization of five spider toxins on 12 human voltage-gated ion channels, following observations about the target promiscuity of some spider toxins and the ongoing revision of their "canonical" gating-modifying mode of action. The peptides were purified de novo from the venom of Grammostola rosea tarantulas, and their sequences were confirmed by Edman degradation and mass spectrometry analysis. Their effects on seven tetrodotoxin-sensitive Na(+) channels, the three human ether-à-go-go (hERG)-related K(+) channels, and two human Shaker-related K(+) channels were extensively characterized by electrophysiological techniques. All the peptides inhibited ion conduction through all the Na(+) channels tested, although with distinctive patterns. The peptides also affected the three pharmaceutically relevant hERG isoforms differently. At higher concentrations, all peptides also modified the gating of the Na(+) channels by shifting the activation to more positive potentials, whereas more complex effects were recorded on hERG channels. No effects were evident on the two Shaker-related K(+) channels at concentrations well above the IC(50) value for the affected channels. Given the sequence diversity of the tested peptides, we propose that tarantula toxins should be considered both as multimode and target-promiscuous ion channel modulators; both features should not be ignored when extracting mechanistic interpretations about ion channel gating. Our observations could also aid in future structure-function studies and might help the development of novel ion channel-specific drugs.

  12. Target Promiscuity and Heterogeneous Effects of Tarantula Venom Peptides Affecting Na+ and K+ Ion Channels*

    PubMed Central

    Redaelli, Elisa; Cassulini, Rita Restano; Silva, Deyanira Fuentes; Clement, Herlinda; Schiavon, Emanuele; Zamudio, Fernando Z.; Odell, George; Arcangeli, Annarosa; Clare, Jeffrey J.; Alagón, Alejandro; de la Vega, Ricardo C. Rodríguez; Possani, Lourival D.; Wanke, Enzo

    2010-01-01

    Venom-derived peptide modulators of ion channel gating are regarded as essential tools for understanding the molecular motions that occur during the opening and closing of ion channels. In this study, we present the characterization of five spider toxins on 12 human voltage-gated ion channels, following observations about the target promiscuity of some spider toxins and the ongoing revision of their “canonical” gating-modifying mode of action. The peptides were purified de novo from the venom of Grammostola rosea tarantulas, and their sequences were confirmed by Edman degradation and mass spectrometry analysis. Their effects on seven tetrodotoxin-sensitive Na+ channels, the three human ether-à-go-go (hERG)-related K+ channels, and two human Shaker-related K+ channels were extensively characterized by electrophysiological techniques. All the peptides inhibited ion conduction through all the Na+ channels tested, although with distinctive patterns. The peptides also affected the three pharmaceutically relevant hERG isoforms differently. At higher concentrations, all peptides also modified the gating of the Na+ channels by shifting the activation to more positive potentials, whereas more complex effects were recorded on hERG channels. No effects were evident on the two Shaker-related K+ channels at concentrations well above the IC50 value for the affected channels. Given the sequence diversity of the tested peptides, we propose that tarantula toxins should be considered both as multimode and target-promiscuous ion channel modulators; both features should not be ignored when extracting mechanistic interpretations about ion channel gating. Our observations could also aid in future structure-function studies and might help the development of novel ion channel-specific drugs. PMID:19955179

  13. Controlled fabrication of ion track nanowires and channels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spohr, Reimar; Zet, Cristian; Eberhard Fischer, Bernd; Kiesewetter, Helge; Apel, Pavel; Gunko, Igor; Ohgai, Takeshi; Westerberg, Lars

    2010-03-01

    We describe a system for fabricating prescribed numbers of ion track nanochannels and nanowires from a few hundred down to one. It consists of two parts: first, a mobile tape transport system, which, in connection with an ion beam from a heavy-ion accelerator (nuclear charge Z above 18 and specific energy between 1 and 10 MeV/nucleon) tuned down to low flux density by means of defocusing and a set of sensitive fluorescence screens, can fabricate a series of equidistant irradiation spots on a tape, whereby each spot corresponds to a preset number of ion tracks. The tape transport system uses films of 36 mm width and thicknesses between 5 and 100 μm. The aiming precision of the system depends on the diameter of the installed beam-defining aperture, which is between 50 and 500 μm. The distance between neighboring irradiation spots on the tape is variable and typically set to 25 mm. After reaching the preset number of ion counts the irradiation is terminated, the tape is marked and moved to the next position. The irradiated frames are punched out to circular membranes with the irradiation spot in the center. The second part of the setup is a compact conductometric system with 10 picoampere resolution consisting of a computer controlled conductometric cell, sealing the membrane hermetically between two chemically inert half-chambers containing electrodes and filling/flushing openings, and is encased by an electrical shield and a thermal insulation. The ion tracks can be etched to a preset diameter and the system can be programmed to electroreplicate nanochannels in a prescribed sequence of magnetic/nonmagnetic metals, alloys or semiconductors. The goal of our article is to make the scientific community aware of the special features of single-ion fabrication and to demonstrate convincingly the significance of controlled etching and electro-replication.

  14. Interactions of guanidinium ions with sodium channels in frog myelinated nerve fibre.

    PubMed Central

    Benoit, E; Dubois, J M

    1987-01-01

    1. The effects of external guanidinium ions on fast and slow inactivating currents flowing through sodium channels of the frog myelinated nerve fibre (Benoit, Corbier & Dubois, 1985) were analysed under voltage-clamp conditions. 2. When external sodium ions were partially replaced by guanidinium ions, the fast inactivating current was preferentially reduced and was absent in a solution containing guanidinium ions as the only external permeant cations. The inactivation time constants of both fast and slow currents were not significantly modified by the replacement of sodium ions by guanidinium ions. 3. Substitution of guanidinium ions for all sodium ions shifted the steady-state inactivation curve of the slow inactivating current towards positive voltages. 4. The voltage dependence of the activation of fast and slow inactivating currents was shifted towards positive voltages by guanidinium ions. Moreover, the activation-voltage curve of the slow inactivating current, which was biphasic under control conditions, was monophasic when guanidinium ions were substituted for all sodium ions. 5. Whereas the slow inactivating current could be carried by guanidinium ions, these cations were not only impermeant through the sodium channels which give rise to the fast inactivating current but also blocked this type of channel with an apparent dissociation constant of 49 mM. 6. It is concluded that guanidinium appears to be an efficient tool for further separating the two types of inactivating current and studying the properties of the slow inactivating current. These results are consistent with the suggestion that there are two types of sodium channels, fast and slow, with guanidinium ions being permeant only through the slow ones. PMID:2451015

  15. Hypoxia-Dependent Reactive Oxygen Species Signaling in the Pulmonary Circulation: Focus on Ion Channels

    PubMed Central

    Veit, Florian; Pak, Oleg; Brandes, Ralf P.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Significance: An acute lack of oxygen in the lung causes hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction, which optimizes gas exchange. In contrast, chronic hypoxia triggers a pathological vascular remodeling causing pulmonary hypertension, and ischemia can cause vascular damage culminating in lung edema. Recent Advances: Regulation of ion channel expression and gating by cellular redox state is a widely accepted mechanism; however, it remains a matter of debate whether an increase or a decrease in reactive oxygen species (ROS) occurs under hypoxic conditions. Ion channel redox regulation has been described in detail for some ion channels, such as Kv channels or TRPC6. However, in general, information on ion channel redox regulation remains scant. Critical Issues and Future Directions: In addition to the debate of increased versus decreased ROS production during hypoxia, we aim here at describing and deciphering why different oxidants, under different conditions, can cause both activation and inhibition of channel activity. While the upstream pathways affecting channel gating are often well described, we need a better understanding of redox protein modifications to be able to determine the complexity of ion channel redox regulation. Against this background, we summarize the current knowledge on hypoxia-induced ROS-mediated ion channel signaling in the pulmonary circulation. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 22, 537–552 PMID:25545236

  16. Ion channels or aquaporins as novel molecular targets in gastric cancer.

    PubMed

    Xia, Jianling; Wang, Hongqiang; Li, Shi; Wu, Qinghui; Sun, Li; Huang, Hongxiang; Zeng, Ming

    2017-03-06

    Gastric cancer (GC) is a common disease with few effective treatment choices and poor prognosis, and has the second-highest mortality rates among all cancers worldwide. Dysregulation and/or malfunction of ion channels or aquaporins (AQPs) are common in various human cancers. Furthermore, ion channels are involved in numerous important aspects of the tumor aggressive phonotype, such as proliferation, cell cycle, apoptosis, motility, migration, and invasion. Indeed, by localizing in the plasma membrane, ion channels or AQPs can sense and respond to extracellular environment changes; thus, they play a crucial role in cell signaling and cancer progression. These findings have expanded a new area of pharmaceutical exploration for various types of cancer, including GC. The involvement of multiple ion channels, such as voltage-gated potassium and sodium channels, intracellular chloride channels, 'transient receptor potential' channels, and AQPs, which have been shown to facilitate the pathogenesis of other tumors, also plays a role in GC. In this review, an overview of ion channel and aquaporin expression and function in carcinogenesis of GC is presented. Studies of ion channels or AQPs will advance our understanding of the molecular genesis of GC and may identify novel and effective targets for the clinical application of GC.

  17. Molecular mechanism of ATP binding and ion channel activation in P2X receptors

    SciTech Connect

    Hattori, Motoyuki; Gouaux, Eric

    2012-10-24

    P2X receptors are trimeric ATP-activated ion channels permeable to Na{sup +}, K{sup +} and Ca{sup 2+}. The seven P2X receptor subtypes are implicated in physiological processes that include modulation of synaptic transmission, contraction of smooth muscle, secretion of chemical transmitters and regulation of immune responses. Despite the importance of P2X receptors in cellular physiology, the three-dimensional composition of the ATP-binding site, the structural mechanism of ATP-dependent ion channel gating and the architecture of the open ion channel pore are unknown. Here we report the crystal structure of the zebrafish P2X4 receptor in complex with ATP and a new structure of the apo receptor. The agonist-bound structure reveals a previously unseen ATP-binding motif and an open ion channel pore. ATP binding induces cleft closure of the nucleotide-binding pocket, flexing of the lower body {beta}-sheet and a radial expansion of the extracellular vestibule. The structural widening of the extracellular vestibule is directly coupled to the opening of the ion channel pore by way of an iris-like expansion of the transmembrane helices. The structural delineation of the ATP-binding site and the ion channel pore, together with the conformational changes associated with ion channel gating, will stimulate development of new pharmacological agents.

  18. Highly Sensitive and Patchable Pressure Sensors Mimicking Ion-Channel-Engaged Sensory Organs.

    PubMed

    Chun, Kyoung-Yong; Son, Young Jun; Han, Chang-Soo

    2016-04-26

    Biological ion channels have led to much inspiration because of their unique and exquisite operational functions in living cells. Specifically, their extreme and dynamic sensing abilities can be realized by the combination of receptors and nanopores coupled together to construct an ion channel system. In the current study, we demonstrated that artificial ion channel pressure sensors inspired by nature for detecting pressure are highly sensitive and patchable. Our ion channel pressure sensors basically consisted of receptors and nanopore membranes, enabling dynamic current responses to external forces for multiple applications. The ion channel pressure sensors had a sensitivity of ∼5.6 kPa(-1) and a response time of ∼12 ms at a frequency of 1 Hz. The power consumption was recorded as less than a few μW. Moreover, a reliability test showed stability over 10 000 loading-unloading cycles. Additionally, linear regression was performed in terms of temperature, which showed no significant variations, and there were no significant current variations with humidity. The patchable ion channel pressure sensors were then used to detect blood pressure/pulse in humans, and different signals were clearly observed for each person. Additionally, modified ion channel pressure sensors detected complex motions including pressing and folding in a high-pressure range (10-20 kPa).

  19. Making channeling visible: keV noble gas ion trails on Pt(111)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Redinger, A.; Standop, S.; Rosandi, Y.; Urbassek, H. M.; Michely, T.

    2011-01-01

    The impact of argon and xenon noble gas ions on Pt(111) in grazing incidence geometry are studied through direct comparison of scanning tunneling microscopy images and molecular dynamics simulations. The energy range investigated is 1-15 keV and the angles of incidence with respect to the surface normal are between 78.5° and 88°. The focus of the paper is on events where ions gently enter the crystal at steps and are guided in channels between the top most layers of the crystal. The trajectories of the subsurface channeled ions are visible as trails of surface damage. The mechanism of trail formation is analyzed using simulations and analytical theory. Significant differences between Xe+ and Ar+ projectiles in damage, in the onset energy of subsurface channeling as well as in ion energy dependence of trail length and appearance are traced back to the projectile and ion energy dependence of the stopping force. The asymmetry of damage production with respect to the ion trajectory direction is explained through the details of the channel shape and subchannel structure as calculated from the continuum approximation of the channel potential. Measured and simulated channel switching in directions normal and parallel to the surface as well as an increase of ions entering into channels from the perfect surface with increasing angles of incidence are discussed.

  20. Ion permeation of AQP6 water channel protein. Single channel recordings after Hg2+ activation.

    PubMed

    Hazama, Akihiro; Kozono, David; Guggino, William B; Agre, Peter; Yasui, Masato

    2002-08-09

    Aquaporin-6 (AQP6) has recently been identified as an intracellular vesicle water channel with anion permeability that is activated by low pH or HgCl2. Here we present direct evidence of AQP6 channel gating using patch clamp techniques. Cell-attached patch recordings of AQP6 expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes indicated that AQP6 is a gated channel with intermediate conductance (49 picosiemens in 100 mm NaCl) induced by 10 microm HgCl2. Current-voltage relationships were linear, and open probability was fairly constant at any given voltage, indicating that Hg2+-induced AQP6 conductance is voltage-independent. The excised outside-out patch recording revealed rapid activation of AQP6 channels immediately after application of 10 microm HgCl2. Reduction of both Na+ and Cl- concentrations from 100 to 30 mm did not shift the reversal potential of the Hg2+-induced AQP6 current, suggesting that Na+ is as permeable as Cl-. The Na+ permeability of Hg2+-induced AQP6 current was further demonstrated by 22Na+ influx measurements. Site-directed mutagenesis identified Cys-155 and Cys-190 residues as the sites of Hg2+ activation both for water permeability and ion conductance. The Hill coefficient from the concentration-response curve for Hg2+-induced conductance was 1.1 +/- 0.3. These data provide the first evidence of AQP6 channel gating at a single-channel level and suggest that each monomer contains the pore region for ions based on the number of Hg2+-binding sites and the kinetics of Hg2+-activation of the channel.

  1. Promotion of Water Channels for Enhanced Ion Transport in 14 nm Diameter Carbon Nanotubes.

    PubMed

    Sheng, Jiadong; Zhu, Qi; Zeng, Xian; Yang, Zhaohui; Zhang, Xiaohua

    2017-03-29

    Ion transport plays an important role in solar-to-electricity conversion, drug delivery, and a variety of biological processes. Carbon nanotube (CNT) is a promising material as an ion transporter in the applications of the mimicking of natural ion channels, desalination, and energy harvesting. Here, we demonstrate a unique, enhanced ion transport through a vertically aligned multiwall CNT membrane after the application of an electric potential across CNT membranes. Interestingly, electrowetting arising from the application of an electric potential is critical for the enhancement of overall ion transport rate through CNT membranes. The wettability of a liquid with high surface tension on the interior channel walls of CNTs increases during an electric potential treatment and promotes the formation of water channels in CNTs. The formation of water channels in CNTs induces an increase in overall ion diffusion through CNT membranes. This phenomenon is also related to a decrease in the charge transfer resistance of CNTs (Rct) after an electric potential is applied. Correspondingly, the enhanced ion flow rate gives rise to an enhancement in the capacitive performance of CNT based membranes. Our observations might have profound impact on the development of CNT based energy storage devices as well as artificial ion channels.

  2. Coarse Grained Model for Exploring Voltage Dependent Ion Channels

    PubMed Central

    Dryga, Anatoly; Chakrabarty, Suman; Vicatos, Spyridon; Warshel, Arieh

    2011-01-01

    The relationship between the membrane voltage and the gating of voltage activated ion channels and other systems have been a problem of great current interest. Unfortunately, reliable molecular simulations of external voltage effects present a major challenge, since meaningful converging microscopic simulations are not yet available and macroscopic treatments involve major uncertainties in terms of the dielectric used and other key features. This work extends our coarse grained (CG) model to simulations of membrane/protein systems under external potential. Special attention has been devoted to a consistent modeling of the effect of external potential due to the electrodes, emphasizing semimacroscopic description of the electrolytes in the solution regions between the membranes and the electrodes, as well as the coupling between the combined potential from the electrodes and electrolytes, and the protein ionization states. We also provide a clear connection to microscopic treatment of the electrolytes and thus can explore possible conceptual problems that are hard to resolve by other current approaches. For example, we obtain a clear description of the charge distribution in the entire electrolyte system, including near the electrodes in membrane/electrodes systems (where continuum models do not seem to provide the relevant results). Furthermore, the present treatment provides an insight on the distribution of the electrolyte charges before and after equilibration across the membrane, and thus on the nature of the gating charge. The different aspects of the model have been carefully validated by considering problems ranging for the simple Debye-Huckel, Gouy-Chapman models to the evaluation of the electrolyte distribution between two electrodes, as well as the effect of extending the simulation system by periodic replicas. Overall the clear connection to microscopic descriptions combined with the power of the CG modeling seems to offer a powerful tool for exploring

  3. Dynamic State Transitions in the Nervous System: From Ion Channels to Neurons to Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Århem, Peter; Braun, Hans A.; Huber, Martin T.; Liljenström, Hans

    The following sections are included: * Introduction * Ion channels: The microscopic scale * The variety of ion channels * Channel kinetics * Neurons: The mesoscopic scale * The feedback loops between membrane potential and ion currents * Neuron models: Concepts and examples * Impulse pattern modulation by ion channel densities * Oscillatory patterns * Irregular patterns * Impulse pattern modulation by subthreshold oscillations * The cold receptor model * Deterministic patterns and noise induced state-transitions on temperature scaling * Neuronal networks: The oscopic scale * Random channel events cause network state transitions * A hippocampal neural network model * Simulating noise-induced state transitions * Functional significance of oscopic neurodynamics * Conclusions * Appendix A: Computation of the neuron models * Hippocampal neuron model * The cold receptor model * Appendix B: Neural network model * References

  4. Relevance of quantum mechanics on some aspects of ion channel function.

    PubMed

    Roy, Sisir; Llinás, Rodolfo

    2009-06-01

    Mathematical modeling of ionic diffusion along K ion channels indicates that such diffusion is oscillatory, at the weak non-Markovian limit. This finding leads us to derive a Schrödinger-Langevin equation for this kind of system within the framework of stochastic quantization. The Planck's constant is shown to be relevant to the Lagrangian action at the level of a single ion channel. This sheds new light on the issue of applicability of quantum formalism to ion channel dynamics and to the physical constraints of the selectivity filter.

  5. Ion channels in gastrointestinal smooth muscle and interstitial cells of Cajal.

    PubMed

    Lyford, Gregory L; Farrugia, Gianrico

    2003-12-01

    A requirement for normal gastrointestinal motility is the tight regulation of ion channels expressed in interstitial cells of Cajal and smooth muscle. Interstitial cells of Cajal generate the slow wave and amplify neuronal signals; smooth muscle functions as the final effector organ. Recent advances in our understanding of the expression and mechano-regulation of these different subtypes of ion channels have allowed the development of hypotheses on how ion channels transduce a variety of inputs into electrical signals that directly or indirectly regulate gastrointestinal motor activity.

  6. Localization and Targeting of Voltage-Gated Ion Channels in Mammalian Central Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Vacher, Helene; Mohapatra, Durga P.; Trimmer, James S.

    2008-01-01

    The intrinsic electrical properties and the synaptic input-output relationships of neurons are governed by the action of voltage-dependent ion channels. The localization of specific population of ion channels with distinct functional properties at discrete sites in neurons dramatically impacts excitability and synaptic transmission. Molecular cloning studies have revealed a large family of genes encoding voltage-dependent ion channel principal and auxiliary subunits, most of which are expressed in mammalian central neurons. Much recent effort has focused on determining which of these subunits co-assemble into native neuronal channel complexes, and the cellular and subcellular distributions of these complexes, as a crucial step in understanding the contribution of these channels to specific aspects of neuronal function. Here we review progress made on recent studies aimed at determining the cellular and subcellular distribution of specific ion channel subunits in mammalian brain neurons using in situ hybridization, and immunohistochemistry. We also discuss the repertoire of ion channel subunits in specific neuronal compartments and implications for neuronal physiology. Finally, we discuss the emerging mechanisms for determining the discrete subcellular distributions observed for many neuronal ion channels. PMID:18923186

  7. Ion transport in the gramicidin channel: molecular dynamics study of single and double occupancy.

    PubMed Central

    Roux, B; Prod'hom, B; Karplus, M

    1995-01-01

    The structural and thermodynamic factors responsible for the singly and doubly occupied saturation states of the gramicidin channel are investigated with molecular dynamics simulations and free energy perturbation methods. The relative free energy of binding of all of the five common cations Li+, Na+, K+, Rb+, and Cs+ is calculated in the singly and doubly occupied channel and in bulk water. The atomic system, which includes the gramicidin channel, a model membrane made of neutral Lennard-Jones particles and 190 explicit water molecules to form the bulk region, is similar to the one used in previous work to calculate the free energy profile of a Na+ ion along the axis of the channel. In all of the calculations, the ions are positioned in the main binding sites located near the entrances of the channel. The calculations reveal that the doubly occupied state is relatively more favorable for the larger ions. Thermodynamic decomposition is used to show that the origin of the trend observed in the calculations is due to the loss of favorable interactions between the ion and the single file water molecules inside the channel. Small ions are better solvated by the internal water molecules in the singly occupied state than in the doubly occupied state; bigger ions are solvated almost as well in both occupation states. Water-channel interactions play a role in the channel response. The observed trends are related to general thermodynamical properties of electrolyte solutions. Images FIGURE 2 PMID:7538804

  8. TRPP2 ion channels: Critical regulators of organ morphogenesis in health and disease.

    PubMed

    Busch, Tilman; Köttgen, Michael; Hofherr, Alexis

    2017-09-01

    Ion channels control the membrane potential and mediate transport of ions across membranes. Archetypical physiological functions of ion channels include processes such as regulation of neuronal excitability, muscle contraction, or transepithelial ion transport. In that regard, transient receptor potential ion channel polycystin 2 (TRPP2) is remarkable, because it controls complex morphogenetic processes such as the establishment of properly shaped epithelial tubules and left-right-asymmetry of organs. The fascinating question of how an ion channel regulates morphogenesis has since captivated the attention of scientists in different disciplines. Four loosely connected key insights on different levels of biological complexity ranging from protein to whole organism have framed our understanding of TRPP2 physiology: 1) TRPP2 is a non-selective cation channel; 2) TRPP2 is part of a receptor-ion channel complex; 3) TRPP2 localizes to primary cilia; and 4) TRPP2 is required for organ morphogenesis. In this review, we will discuss the current knowledge in these key areas and highlight some of the challenges ahead. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  9. Big Potassium (BK) ion channels in biology, disease and possible targets for cancer immunotherapy

    PubMed Central

    Ge, Lisheng; Hoa, Neil T.; Wilson, Zechariah; Arismendi-Morillo, Gabriel; Kong, Xia-Tang; Tajhya, Rajeev B.; Beeton, Christine; Jadus, Martin R.

    2017-01-01

    The Big Potassium (BK) ion channel is commonly known by a variety of names (Maxi-K, KCNMA1, slo, Stretch-activated potassium channels, KCa1.1). Each name reflects a different physical property displayed by this single ion channel. This transmembrane channel is found on nearly every cell type of the body and has its own distinctive roles for that tissue type. The BKα channel contains the pore that releases potassium ions from intracellular stores. This ion channel is found on the cell membrane, endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi and mitochondria. Complex splicing pathways produce different isoforms. The BKα channels can be phosphorylated, palmitoylated and myristylated. BK is composed of a homo-tetramer that interacts with β and γ chains. These accessory proteins provide a further modulating effect on the functions of BKα channels. BK channels play important roles in cell division and migration. In this review, we will focus on the biology of BK channels, especially its role, and that it has in the immune response towards cancer. Recent proteomic studies have linked BK channels with various proteins. Some of these interactions offer further insight into the role that BK channels have with cancers, especially with brain tumors. This review shows that BK channels have a complex interplay with intracellular components of cancer cells and still have plenty of secrets to be discovered. PMID:25027630

  10. Evolution of voltage-gated ion channels at the emergence of Metazoa.

    PubMed

    Moran, Yehu; Barzilai, Maya Gur; Liebeskind, Benjamin J; Zakon, Harold H

    2015-02-15

    Voltage-gated ion channels are large transmembrane proteins that enable the passage of ions through their pore across the cell membrane. These channels belong to one superfamily and carry pivotal roles such as the propagation of neuronal and muscular action potentials and the promotion of neurotransmitter secretion in synapses. In this review, we describe in detail the current state of knowledge regarding the evolution of these channels with a special emphasis on the metazoan lineage. We highlight the contribution of the genomic revolution to the understanding of ion channel evolution and for revealing that these channels appeared long before the appearance of the first animal. We also explain how the elucidation of channel selectivity properties and function in non-bilaterian animals such as cnidarians (sea anemones, corals, jellyfish and hydroids) can contribute to the study of channel evolution. Finally, we point to open questions and future directions in this field of research. © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  11. Nasal Potential Difference Measurements to Assess CFTR Ion Channel Activity

    PubMed Central

    Clancy, Jean-Paul; Wilschanski, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Nasal potential difference is used to measure the voltage across the nasal epithelium, which results from transepithelial ion transport and reflects in part CFTR function. The electrophysiologic abnormality in cystic fibrosis was first described 30 years ago and correlates with features of the CF phenotype. NPD is an important in vivo research and diagnostic tool, and is used to assess the efficacy of new treatments such as gene therapy and ion transport modulators. This chapter will elaborate on the electrophysiological principles behind the test, the equipment required, the methods, and the analysis of the data. PMID:21594779

  12. Channeling of fusion alpha-particle power using minority ion catalysis.

    PubMed

    Zhmoginov, A I; Fisch, N J

    2011-10-21

    Maintaining fuel ions hotter than electrons would greatly facilitate controlled nuclear fusion. The parameter range for achieving this temperature disparity is shown here to be enhanced by catalyzing the α-channeling effect (wave-induced simultaneous expulsion and cooling of α particles) through minority-ion heating. Specifically, a wave can extract energy from hot α particles and transfer it to colder minority ions, which act as a catalyst, eventually forwarding the energy to still colder fuel ions through collisions. In comparison with the traditional α-channeling mechanism, the requirements are thereby relaxed on the waves that accomplish the α channeling, which no longer have to interact simultaneously with α particles and fuel ions. Numerical simulations illustrate how the new scheme may increase, for example, the effective fusion reactivity of mirror-confined plasmas. © 2011 American Physical Society

  13. Channeling of Fusion Alpha-Particle Power Using Minority Ion Catalysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhmoginov, A. I.; Fisch, N. J.

    2011-10-01

    Maintaining fuel ions hotter than electrons would greatly facilitate controlled nuclear fusion. The parameter range for achieving this temperature disparity is shown here to be enhanced by catalyzing the α-channeling effect (wave-induced simultaneous expulsion and cooling of α particles) through minority-ion heating. Specifically, a wave can extract energy from hot α particles and transfer it to colder minority ions, which act as a catalyst, eventually forwarding the energy to still colder fuel ions through collisions. In comparison with the traditional α-channeling mechanism, the requirements are thereby relaxed on the waves that accomplish the α channeling, which no longer have to interact simultaneously with α particles and fuel ions. Numerical simulations illustrate how the new scheme may increase, for example, the effective fusion reactivity of mirror-confined plasmas.

  14. Ion binding properties and structure stability of the NaK channel.

    PubMed

    Shen, Rong; Guo, Wanlin

    2009-05-01

    Ion distribution in the selectivity filter and ion-water and ion-protein interactions of NaK channel are systematically investigated by all-atom molecular dynamics simulations, with the tetramer channel protein being embedded in a solvated phospholipid bilayer. Analysis of the simulation results indicates that K(+) ions prefer to bind within the sites formed by two adjacent planes of oxygen atoms from the selectivity filter, while Na(+) ions are inclined to bind to a single plane of four oxygen atoms. At the same time, both K(+) and Na(+) ions can diffuse in the vestibule, accompanying with movements of the water molecules confined in a complex formed by the vestibule together with four small grottos connecting to it. As a result, K(+) ions show a wide range of coordination numbers (6-8), while Na(+) ions display a constant coordination number of approximately 6 in the selectivity filter, which may result in the loss of selectivity of NaK. It is also found that a Ca(2+) can bind at the extracellular site as reported in the crystal structure in a partially hydrated state, or at a higher site in a full hydration state. Furthermore, the carbonyl group of Asp66 can reorient to point towards the center pore when an ion exists in the vestibule, while that of Gly65 always aligns tangentially to the channel axis, as in the crystallographic structures.

  15. Cardiac Mechano-Gated Ion Channels and Arrhythmias

    PubMed Central

    Peyronnet, Remi; Nerbonne, Jeanne M.; Kohl, Peter

    2015-01-01

    Mechanical forces will have been omnipresent since the origin of life, and living organisms have evolved mechanisms to sense, interpret and respond to mechanical stimuli. The cardiovascular system in general, and the heart in particular, are exposed to constantly changing mechanical signals, including stretch, compression, bending, and shear. The heart adjusts its performance to the mechanical environment, modifying electrical, mechanical, metabolic, and structural properties over a range of time scales. Many of the underlying regulatory processes are encoded intra-cardially, and are thus maintained even in heart transplant recipients. Although mechano-sensitivity of heart rhythm has been described in the medical literature for over a century, its molecular mechanisms are incompletely understood. Thanks to modern biophysical and molecular technologies, the roles of mechanical forces in cardiac biology are being explored in more detail, and detailed mechanisms of mechano-transduction have started to emerge. Mechano-gated ion channels are cardiac mechano-receptors. They give rise to mechano-electric feedback, thought to contribute to normal function, disease development, and, potentially, therapeutic interventions. In this review, we focus on acute mechanical effects on cardiac electrophysiology, explore molecular candidates underlying observed responses, and discuss their pharmaceutical regulation. From this, we identify open research questions and highlight emerging technologies that may help in addressing them. Cardiac electrophysiology is acutely affected by the heart’s mechanical environment. Mechano-electric feedback affects excitability, conduction, and electrical load, and remains an underestimated player in arrhythmogenesis. The utility of therapeutic interventions targeting acute mechano-electrical transduction is an open field worthy of further study. PMID:26838316

  16. Transient Receptor Potential Ion Channels Control Thermoregulatory Behaviour in Reptiles

    PubMed Central

    Seebacher, Frank; Murray, Shauna A.

    2007-01-01

    Biological functions are governed by thermodynamics, and animals regulate their body temperature to optimise cellular performance and to avoid harmful extremes. The capacity to sense environmental and internal temperatures is a prerequisite for the evolution of thermoregulation. However, the mechanisms that enable ectothermic vertebrates to sense heat remain unknown. The recently discovered thermal characteristics of transient receptor potential ion channels (TRP) render these proteins suitable to act as temperature sensors. Here we test the hypothesis that TRPs are present in reptiles and function to control thermoregulatory behaviour. We show that the hot-sensing TRPV1 is expressed in a crocodile (Crocodylus porosus), an agamid (Amphibolurus muricatus) and a scincid (Pseudemoia entrecasteauxii) lizard, as well as in the quail and zebrafinch (Coturnix chinensis and Poephila guttata). The TRPV1 genes from all reptiles form a unique clade that is delineated from the mammalian and the ancestral Xenopus sequences by an insertion of two amino acids. TRPV1 and the cool-sensing TRPM8 are expressed in liver, muscle (transversospinalis complex), and heart tissues of the crocodile, and have the potential to act as internal thermometer and as external temperatures sensors. Inhibition of TRPV1 and TRPM8 in C. porosus abolishes the typically reptilian shuttling behaviour between cooling and heating environments, and leads to significantly altered body temperature patterns. Our results provide the proximate mechanism of thermal selection in terrestrial ectotherms, which heralds a fundamental change in interpretation, because TRPs provide the mechanism for a tissue-specific input into the animals' thermoregulatory response. PMID:17356692

  17. New light on ion channel imaging by total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy.

    PubMed

    Yamamura, Hisao; Suzuki, Yoshiaki; Imaizumi, Yuji

    2015-05-01

    Ion channels play pivotal roles in a wide variety of cellular functions; therefore, their physiological characteristics, pharmacological responses, and molecular structures have been extensively investigated. However, the mobility of an ion channel itself in the cell membrane has not been examined in as much detail. A total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscope allows fluorophores to be imaged in a restricted region within an evanescent field of less than 200 nm from the interface of the coverslip and plasma membrane in living cells. Thus the TIRF microscope is useful for selectively visualizing the plasmalemmal surface and subplasmalemmal zone. In this review, we focused on a single-molecule analysis of the dynamic movement of ion channels in the plasma membrane using TIRF microscopy. We also described two single-molecule imaging techniques under TIRF microscopy: fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) for the identification of molecules that interact with ion channels, and subunit counting for the determination of subunit stoichiometry in a functional channel. TIRF imaging can also be used to analyze spatiotemporal Ca(2+) events in the subplasmalemma. Single-molecule analyses of ion channels and localized Ca(2+) signals based on TIRF imaging provide beneficial pharmacological and physiological information concerning the functions of ion channels.

  18. Existence of efficient divalent metal ion-catalyzed and inefficient divalent metal ion-independent channels in reactions catalyzed by a hammerhead ribozyme

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Jing-Min; Zhou, De-Min; Takagi, Yasuomi; Kasai, Yasuhiro; Inoue, Atsushi; Baba, Tadashi; Taira, Kazunari

    2002-01-01

    The hammerhead ribozyme is generally accepted as a well characterized metalloenzyme. However, the precise nature of the interactions of the RNA with metal ions remains to be fully defined. Examination of metal ion-catalyzed hammerhead reactions at limited concentrations of metal ions is useful for evaluation of the role of metal ions, as demonstrated in this study. At concentrations of Mn2+ ions from 0.3 to 3 mM, addition of the ribozyme to the reaction mixture under single-turnover conditions enhances the reaction with the product reaching a fixed maximum level. Further addition of the ribozyme inhibits the reaction, demonstrating that a certain number of divalent metal ions is required for proper folding and also for catalysis. At extremely high concentrations, monovalent ions, such as Na+ ions, can also serve as cofactors in hammerhead ribozyme-catalyzed reactions. However, the catalytic efficiency of monovalent ions is extremely low and, thus, high concentrations are required. Furthermore, addition of monovalent ions to divalent metal ion-catalyzed hammerhead reactions inhibits the divalent metal ion-catalyzed reactions, suggesting that the more desirable divalent metal ion–ribozyme complexes are converted to less desirable monovalent metal ion–ribozyme complexes via removal of divalent metal ions, which serve as a structural support in the ribozyme complex. Even though two channels appear to exist, namely an efficient divalent metal ion-catalyzed channel and an inefficient monovalent metal ion-catalyzed channel, it is clear that, under physiological conditions, hammerhead ribozymes are metalloenzymes that act via the significantly more efficient divalent metal ion-dependent channel. Moreover, the observed kinetic data are consistent with Lilley’s and DeRose’s two-phase folding model that was based on ground state structure analyses. PMID:12034824

  19. Nanoscale-Targeted Patch-Clamp Recordings of Functional Presynaptic Ion Channels

    PubMed Central

    Novak, Pavel; Gorelik, Julia; Vivekananda, Umesh; Shevchuk, Andrew I.; Ermolyuk, Yaroslav S.; Bailey, Russell J.; Bushby, Andrew J.; Moss, Guy W.J.; Rusakov, Dmitri A.; Klenerman, David; Kullmann, Dimitri M.; Volynski, Kirill E.; Korchev, Yuri E.

    2013-01-01

    Summary Direct electrical access to presynaptic ion channels has hitherto been limited to large specialized terminals such as the calyx of Held or hippocampal mossy fiber bouton. The electrophysiology and ion-channel complement of far more abundant small synaptic terminals (≤1 μm) remain poorly understood. Here we report a method based on superresolution scanning ion conductance imaging of small synapses in culture at approximately 100–150 nm 3D resolution, which allows presynaptic patch-clamp recordings in all four configurations (cell-attached, inside-out, outside-out, and whole-cell). Using this technique, we report presynaptic recordings of K+, Na+, Cl−, and Ca2+ channels. This semiautomated approach allows direct investigation of the distribution and properties of presynaptic ion channels at small central synapses. Video Abstract PMID:24050398

  20. Coupling mechanical forces to electrical signaling: molecular motors and the intracellular transport of ion channels.

    PubMed

    Barry, Joshua; Gu, Chen

    2013-04-01

    Proper localization of various ion channels is fundamental to neuronal functions, including postsynaptic potential plasticity, dendritic integration, action potential initiation and propagation, and neurotransmitter release. Microtubule-based forward transport mediated by kinesin motors plays a key role in placing ion channel proteins to correct subcellular compartments. PDZ- and coiled-coil-domain proteins function as adaptor proteins linking ionotropic glutamate and GABA receptors to various kinesin motors, respectively. Recent studies show that several voltage-gated ion channel/transporter proteins directly bind to kinesins during forward transport. Three major regulatory mechanisms underlying intracellular transport of ion channels are also revealed. These studies contribute to understanding how mechanical forces are coupled to electrical signaling and illuminating pathogenic mechanisms in neurodegenerative diseases.

  1. Ion channel regulation of intracellular calcium and airway smooth muscle function.

    PubMed

    Perez-Zoghbi, Jose F; Karner, Charlotta; Ito, Satoru; Shepherd, Malcolm; Alrashdan, Yazan; Sanderson, Michael J

    2009-10-01

    Airway hyper-responsiveness associated with asthma is mediated by airway smooth muscle cells (SMCs) and has a complicated etiology involving increases in cell contraction and proliferation and the secretion of inflammatory mediators. Although these pathological changes are diverse, a common feature associated with their regulation is a change in intracellular Ca(2+) concentration ([Ca(2+)](i)). Because the [Ca(2+)](i) itself is a function of the activity and expression of a variety of ion channels, in both the plasma membrane and sarcoplasmic reticulum of the SMC, the modification of this ion channel activity may predispose airway SMCs to hyper-responsiveness. Our objective is to review how ion channels determine the [Ca(2+)](i) and influence the function of airway SMCs and emphasize the potential of ion channels as sites for therapeutic approaches to asthma.

  2. Electromagnetic dispersion characteristics of a high energy electron beam guided with an ion channel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jixiong, Xiao; Zhong, Zeng; Zhijiang, Wang; Donghui, Xia; Changhai, Liu

    2017-02-01

    Taking self-fields into consideration, dispersion properties of two types of electromagnetic modes for a high energy electron beam guided with an ion channel are investigated by using the linear perturbation theory. The dependences of the dispersion frequencies of electromagnetic waves on the electron beam radius, betatron frequency and boundary current are revealed. It is found that the electron beam radius and betatron frequency have different influences on the electromagnetic waves dispersion behavior by compared with the previous works. As the boundary current is taken into account, the TM modes will have two branches and a low-frequency branch emerged as the new branch in strong ion channel case. This new branch has similar dispersion behavior to the betatron modes. For TE modes, there are two branches and they have different dispersion behaviors in strong ion channel case. However, in weak ion channel case, the dispersion behaviors for both of the low frequency and high frequency branches are similar.

  3. Physiology and pathophysiology of the epithelial barrier of the female reproductive tract: role of ion channels.

    PubMed

    Chan, Hsiao Chang; Chen, Hui; Ruan, Yechun; Sun, Tingting

    2012-01-01

    The epithelium lining the female reproductive tract forms a selectively permeable barrier that is responsible for creating an optimal luminal fluid microenvironment essential to the success of various reproductive events. The selective permeability of the epithelial barrier to various ions is provided by the gating of epithelial ion channels, which work together with an array of other ion transporters to drive fluid movement across the epithelium. Thus, the luminal fluid is fine-tuned by the selective barrier with tight regulation of the epithelial ion channels. This chapter discusses the role of epithelial ion channels in regulating the epithelial barrier function and thus the fluid volume and ionic composition of the female reproductive tract; physiological factors regulating the ion channels and the importance of the regulation in various reproductive events such as sperm transport and capacitation, embryo development and implantation. Disturbance of the fluid microenvironment due to defects or abnormal regulation of these ion channels and dysregulated epithelial barrier function in a number of pathological conditions, such as ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, hydrosalpinx and infertility, are also discussed.

  4. [A new phenomenon induced by ion conformational interaction in biomembrane channels].

    PubMed

    Vaĭnreb, G E; Kharkianen, V N

    1995-01-01

    In several experimental studies it has been observed that when the ion flow approaches zero one of the conduction sublevels disappears irrespective of how the controlling parameters are changed. It is explained by the fact that the bistable regime in the ion channel appears only when the difference of the electrochemical potentials exceeds the threshold level, and such systems can function only in strongly now-equilibrium conditions. We describe the conformational mobility of the ion channel structure in terms of stochastic differential equations. It allows us to study behaviour of the ion channel, that is, volt-ampere characteristics, and kinetic parameters such as the lifetime and probability of the open state, ect. Ion-conformational interaction is taken into account based on experimental data. It is demonstrated that in some cases this interaction plays a decisive role in functioning of ion channels, since it is what causes emergence of discrete conduction levels. Such channels are described in the frame of the synergistic approach, which is characterised by the monostable regime of functioning near the equilibrium state, whereas bistability is possible only when the ion flow exceeds the threshold value.

  5. Analytical solutions of Poisson's equation for realistic geometrical shapes of membrane ion channels.

    PubMed Central

    Kuyucak, S; Hoyles, M; Chung, S H

    1998-01-01

    Analytical solutions of Poisson's equations satisfying the Dirichlet boundary conditions for a toroidal dielectric boundary are presented. The electric potential computed anywhere in the toroidal conduit by the analytical method agrees with the value derived from an iterative numerical method. We show that three different channel geometries, namely, bicone, catenary, and toroid, give similar potential profiles as an ion traverses along their central axis. We then examine the effects of dipoles in the toroidal channel wall on the potential profile of ions passing through the channel. The presence of dipoles eliminates the barrier for one polarity of ion, while raising the barrier for ions of the opposite polarity. We also examine how a uniform electric field from an external source is affected by the protein boundary and a mobile charge. The channel distorts the field, reducing it in the vestibules, and enhancing it in the constricted segment. The presence of an ion in one vestibule effectively excludes ions of the same polarity from that vestibule, but has little effect in the other vestibule. Finally, we discuss how the solutions we provide here may be utilized to simulate a system containing a channel and many interacting ions. PMID:9449306

  6. Unanticipated parallels in architecture and mechanism between ATP-gated P2X receptors and acid sensing ion channels

    PubMed Central

    Baconguis, Isabelle; Hattori, Motoyuki; Gouaux, Eric

    2013-01-01

    Summary ATP-gated P2X receptors and acid-sensing ion channels are cation-selective, trimeric ligand-gated ion channels unrelated in amino acid sequence. Nevertheless, initial crystal structures of the P2X4 receptor and acid-sensing ion channel 1a in resting/closed and in non conductive/desensitized conformations, respectively, revealed common elements of architecture. Recent structures of both channels have revealed the ion channels in open conformations. Here we focus on common elements of architecture, conformational change and ion permeation, emphasizing general principles of structure and mechanism in P2X receptors and in acid-sensing ion channels and showing how these two sequence-disparate families of ligand-gated ion channel harbor unexpected similarities when viewed through a structural lens. PMID:23628284

  7. Gasotransmitter Regulation of Ion Channels: A Key Step in O2 Sensing By the Carotid Body

    PubMed Central

    Prabhakar, Nanduri R.

    2014-01-01

    Carotid bodies detect hypoxia in arterial blood, translating this stimulus into physiological responses via the CNS. It is long established that ion channels are critical to this process. More recent evidence indicates that gasotransmitters exert powerful influences on O2 sensing by the carotid body. Here, we review current understanding of hypoxia-dependent production of gasotransmitters, how they regulate ion channels in the carotid body, and how this impacts carotid body function. PMID:24382871

  8. Physiologic and pathophysiologic consequences of altered sialylation and glycosylation on ion channel function.

    PubMed

    Baycin-Hizal, Deniz; Gottschalk, Allan; Jacobson, Elena; Mai, Sunny; Wolozny, Daniel; Zhang, Hui; Krag, Sharon S; Betenbaugh, Michael J

    2014-10-17

    Voltage-gated ion channels are transmembrane proteins that regulate electrical excitability in cells and are essential components of the electrically active tissues of nerves, muscle and the heart. Potassium channels are one of the largest subfamilies of voltage sensitive channels and are among the most-studied of the voltage-gated ion channels. Voltage-gated channels can be glycosylated and changes in the glycosylation pattern can affect ion channel function, leading to neurological and neuromuscular disorders and congenital disorders of glycosylation (CDG). Alterations in glycosylation can also be acquired and appear to play a role in development and aging. Recent studies have focused on the impact of glycosylation and sialylation on ion channels, particularly for voltage-gated potassium and sodium channels. The terminal step of sialylation often affects channel activation and inactivation kinetics. The presence of sialic acids on O or N-glycans can alter the gating mechanism and cause conformational changes in the voltage-sensing domains due to sialic acid's negative charges. This manuscript will provide an overview of sialic acids, potassium and sodium channel function, and the impact of sialylation on channel activation and deactivation.

  9. Regulation of photosynthesis by ion channels in cyanobacteria and higher plants.

    PubMed

    Checchetto, Vanessa; Teardo, Enrico; Carraretto, Luca; Formentin, Elide; Bergantino, Elisabetta; Giacometti, Giorgio Mario; Szabo, Ildiko

    2013-12-01

    Photosynthesis converts light energy into chemical energy, and supplies ATP and NADPH for CO2 fixation into carbohydrates and for the synthesis of several compounds which are essential for autotrophic growth. Oxygenic photosynthesis takes place in thylakoid membranes of chloroplasts and photosynthetic prokaryote cyanobacteria. An ancestral photoautotrophic prokaryote related to cyanobacteria has been proposed to give rise to chloroplasts of plants and algae through an endosymbiotic event. Indeed, photosynthetic complexes involved in the electron transport coupled to H(+) translocation and ATP synthesis are similar in higher plants and cyanobacteria. Furthermore, some of the protein and solute/ion conducting machineries also share common structure and function. Electrophysiological and biochemical evidence support the existence of ion channels in the thylakoid membrane in both types of organisms. By allowing specific ion fluxes across thylakoid membranes, ion channels have been hypothesized to either directly or indirectly regulate photosynthesis, by modulating the proton motive force. Recent molecular identification of some of the thylakoid-located channels allowed to obtain genetic proof in favor of such hypothesis. Furthermore, some ion channels of the envelope membrane in chloroplasts have also been shown to impact on this light-driven process. Here we give an overview of thylakoid/chloroplast located ion channels of higher plants and of cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803. We focus on channels shown to be implicated in the regulation of photosynthesis and discuss the possible mechanisms of action.

  10. Involvement of ion channels and transporters in carcinoma angiogenesis and metastasis.

    PubMed

    Martial, Sonia

    2016-05-01

    Angiogenesis is a finely tuned process, which is the result of the equilibrium between pro- and antiangiogenic factors. In solid tumor angiogenesis, the balance is highly in favor of the production of new, but poorly functional blood vessels, initially intended to provide growing tumors with nutrients and oxygen. Among the numerous proteins involved in tumor development, several types of ion channels are overexpressed in tumor cells, as well as in stromal and endothelial cells. Ion channels thus actively participate in the different hallmarks of cancer, especially in tumor angiogenesis and metastasis. Indeed, from their strategic localization in the plasma membrane, ion channels are key operators of cell signaling, as they sense and respond to environmental changes. This review aims to decipher how ion channels of different families are intricately involved in the fundamental angiogenesis and metastasis hallmarks, which lead from a nascent tumor to systemic dissemination. An overview of the possible use of ion channels as therapeutic targets will also be given, showing that ion channel inhibitors or specific antibodies may provide effective tools, in the near future, in the treatment of carcinomas. Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society.

  11. Ion Channels in Native Chloroplast Membranes: Challenges and Potential for Direct Patch-Clamp Studies

    PubMed Central

    Pottosin, Igor; Dobrovinskaya, Oxana

    2015-01-01

    Photosynthesis without any doubt depends on the activity of the chloroplast ion channels. The thylakoid ion channels participate in the fine partitioning of the light-generated proton-motive force (p.m.f.). By regulating, therefore, luminal pH, they affect the linear electron flow and non-photochemical quenching. Stromal ion homeostasis and signaling, on the other hand, depend on the activity of both thylakoid and envelope ion channels. Experimentally, intact chloroplasts and swollen thylakoids were proven to be suitable for direct measurements of the ion channels activity via conventional patch-clamp technique; yet, such studies became infrequent, although their potential is far from being exhausted. In this paper we wish to summarize existing challenges for direct patch-clamping of native chloroplast membranes as well as present available results on the activity of thylakoid Cl− (ClC?) and divalent cation-permeable channels, along with their tentative roles in the p.m.f. partitioning, volume regulation, and stromal Ca2+ and Mg2+ dynamics. Patch-clamping of the intact envelope revealed both large-conductance porin-like channels, likely located in the outer envelope membrane and smaller conductance channels, more compatible with the inner envelope location. Possible equivalent model for the sandwich-like arrangement of the two envelope membranes within the patch electrode will be discussed, along with peculiar properties of the fast-activated cation channel in the context of the stromal pH control. PMID:26733887

  12. On the estimation of cooperativity in ion channel kinetics: activation free energy and kinetic mechanism of Shaker K+ channel.

    PubMed

    Banerjee, Kinshuk; Das, Biswajit; Gangopadhyay, Gautam

    2013-04-28

    In this paper, we have explored generic criteria of cooperative behavior in ion channel kinetics treating it on the same footing with multistate receptor-ligand binding in a compact theoretical framework. We have shown that the characterization of cooperativity of ion channels in terms of the Hill coefficient violates the standard Hill criteria defined for allosteric cooperativity of ligand binding. To resolve the issue, an alternative measure of cooperativity is proposed here in terms of the cooperativity index that sets a unified criteria for both the systems. More importantly, for ion channel this index can be very useful to describe the cooperative kinetics as it can be readily determined from the experimentally measured ionic current combined with theoretical modelling. We have analyzed the correlation between the voltage value and slope of the voltage-activation curve at the half-activation point and consequently determined the standard free energy of activation of the ion channel using two well-established mechanisms of cooperativity, namely, Koshland-Nemethy-Filmer (KNF) and Monod-Wyman-Changeux (MWC) models. Comparison of the theoretical results for both the models with appropriate experimental data of mutational perturbation of Shaker K(+) channel supports the experimental fact that the KNF model is more suitable to describe the cooperative behavior of this class of ion channels, whereas the performance of the MWC model is unsatisfactory. We have also estimated the mechanistic performance through standard free energy of channel activation for both the models and proposed a possible functional disadvantage in the MWC scheme.

  13. Quantised transistor response to ion channels revealed by nonstationary noise analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Becker-Freyseng, C.; Fromherz, P.

    2011-11-01

    We report on the quantised response of a field-effect transistor to molecular ion channels in a biomembrane. HEK293-type cells overexpressing the Shaker B potassium channel were cultured on a silicon chip. An enhanced noise of the transistor is observed when the ion channels are activated. The analysis of the fluctuations in terms of binomial statistics identifies voltage quanta of about 1 μV on the gate. They are attributed to the channel currents that affect the gate voltage according to the Green's function of the cell-chip junction.

  14. Ion-binding properties of a K+ channel selectivity filter in different conformations.

    PubMed

    Liu, Shian; Focke, Paul J; Matulef, Kimberly; Bian, Xuelin; Moënne-Loccoz, Pierre; Valiyaveetil, Francis I; Lockless, Steve W

    2015-12-08

    K(+) channels are membrane proteins that selectively conduct K(+) ions across lipid bilayers. Many voltage-gated K(+) (KV) channels contain two gates, one at the bundle crossing on the intracellular side of the membrane and another in the selectivity filter. The gate at the bundle crossing is responsible for channel opening in response to a voltage stimulus, whereas the gate at the selectivity filter is responsible for C-type inactivation. Together, these regions determine when the channel conducts ions. The K(+) channel from Streptomyces lividians (KcsA) undergoes an inactivation process that is functionally similar to KV channels, which has led to its use as a practical system to study inactivation. Crystal structures of KcsA channels with an open intracellular gate revealed a selectivity filter in a constricted conformation similar to the structure observed in closed KcsA containing only Na(+) or low [K(+)]. However, recent work using a semisynthetic channel that is unable to adopt a constricted filter but inactivates like WT channels challenges this idea. In this study, we measured the equilibrium ion-binding properties of channels with conductive, inactivated, and constricted filters using isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC). EPR spectroscopy was used to determine the state of the intracellular gate of the channel, which we found can depend on the presence or absence of a lipid bilayer. Overall, we discovered that K(+) ion binding to channels with an inactivated or conductive selectivity filter is different from K(+) ion binding to channels with a constricted filter, suggesting that the structures of these channels are different.

  15. Setting up of a low temperature in-situ ion implantation and channeling facility at Kalpakkam

    SciTech Connect

    Sundaravel, B.; Saravanan, K.; Panigrahi, B. K.; Nair, K. G. M.

    2011-07-15

    A simple low temperature ion implantation and ion channeling facility has been set up. Low temperatures upto 70 K has been obtained on a goniometer sample holder by connecting to a continuous flow Helium cryostat with a copper braid. Charge integration is carried out with a transmission Faraday cup with 10 mm diameter aperture and four Faraday cups for performing ion implantation and an electron suppressed 1.5 mm aperture with a TEM grid of 60% beam transmission for ion beam analysis. Typical low temperature ion implantation and channeling experiments have been carried out. Stabilization at intermediate temperatures by controlling the heater at the sample holder and improvement of the achievable lowest temperature by having liquid nitrogen cooled heat shield are in progress.

  16. Ion conduction in the KcsA potassium channel analyzed with a minimal kinetic model.

    PubMed

    Mafé, Salvador; Pellicer, Julio

    2005-02-01

    We use a model by Nelson to study the current-voltage and conductance-concentration curves of bacterial potassium channel KcsA without assuming rapid ion translocation. Ion association to the channel filter is rate controlling at low concentrations, but dissociation and transport in the filter can limit conduction at high concentration for ions other than K+. The absolute values of the effective rate constants are tentative but the relative changes in these constants needed to qualitatively explain the experiments should be of significance.

  17. Ion Channels, from Fantasy to Fact in Fifty Years1

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jordan, Peter C.

    Biologists have long recognized that the transport of ions and of neutral species across cell membranes is central to physiological function. Cells rely on their biomembranes, which separate the cytoplasm from the extracellular medium, to maintain the two electrolytes at very different composition. Specialized molecules, essentially biological nanodevices, have evolved to selectively control the movement of all the major physiological species. As should be clear, there have to be at least two distinct modes of transport. To maintain the disequilibrium, there must be molecular assemblies that drive ions and other permeable species against their electrochemical potential gradients. Such devices require energy input, typically coupling a vectorial pump with a chemical reaction, the dephosphorylation of ATP (adenosine triphosphate). These enzymes (biochemical catalysts) control highly concerted, and relatively slow, process, with turnovers of ≫ 100 s¡ 1.

  18. Nanofluidic channels by anodic bonding of amorphous silicon to glass to study ion-accumulation and ion-depletion effect.

    PubMed

    Datta, Arindom; Gangopadhyay, Shubhra; Temkin, Henryk; Pu, Qiaosheng; Liu, Shaorong

    2006-01-15

    A unique phenomenon, ion-enrichment and ion-depletion effect, exists in nanofluidic channels and is observed in amorphous silicon (alpha-Si) nanochannels as shallow as 50 nm. As a voltage is applied across a nanochannel, ions are rapidly enriched at one end and depleted at the other end of the nanochannel. alpha-Si is deposited on glass by plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition and is selectively etched to form nanochannels. The depth of nanochannels is defined by the thickness of the alpha-Si layer. Low temperature anodic bonding of alpha-Si to glass was used to seal the channel with a second glass wafer. The strength of the anodic bond was optimized by the introduction of a silicon nitride adhesion promoting layer and double-sided bonding resulting from the electric field reversal. Completed channels, 50 nm in depth, 5 micron wide, and 1 mm long were completely and reliably sealed. Structures based on nanochannels 50-300 nm deep were successfully incorporated into nanofluidic devices to investigate ionic accumulation and depletion effect due to overlapping of electric double layer.

  19. Soft Wall Ion Channel in Continuum Representation with Application to Modeling Ion Currents in α-Hemolysin

    PubMed Central

    Simakov, Nikolay A.

    2010-01-01

    A soft repulsion (SR) model of short range interactions between mobile ions and protein atoms is introduced in the framework of continuum representation of the protein and solvent. The Poisson-Nernst-Plank (PNP) theory of ion transport through biological channels is modified to incorporate this soft wall protein model. Two sets of SR parameters are introduced: the first is parameterized for all essential amino acid residues using all atom molecular dynamic simulations; the second is a truncated Lennard – Jones potential. We have further designed an energy based algorithm for the determination of the ion accessible volume, which is appropriate for a particular system discretization. The effects of these models of short-range interaction were tested by computing current-voltage characteristics of the α-hemolysin channel. The introduced SR potentials significantly improve prediction of channel selectivity. In addition, we studied the effect of choice of some space-dependent diffusion coefficient distributions on the predicted current-voltage properties. We conclude that the diffusion coefficient distributions largely affect total currents and have little effect on rectifications, selectivity or reversal potential. The PNP-SR algorithm is implemented in a new efficient parallel Poisson, Poisson-Boltzman and PNP equation solver, also incorporated in a graphical molecular modeling package HARLEM. PMID:21028776

  20. Mechanism of ion permeation through a model channel: roles of energetic and entropic contributions.

    PubMed

    Sumikama, Takashi; Saito, Shinji; Ohmine, Iwao

    2013-10-28

    Mechanism of ion permeation through an anion-doped carbon nanotube (ANT), a model of ion channel, is investigated. Using this model system, many trajectory calculations are performed to obtain the potential energy profile, in addition to the free energy profile, that enables to separate the energy and the entropic contributions, along the ion permeation. It is found that the mechanism of the transport is governed by the interplay between the energetic and the entropic forces. The rate of the ion permeation can be controlled by changing the balance between these contributions with altering, for example, the charge and/or the length of ANT, which increases the rate of the ion permeation by nearly two orders of magnitude. The dominant free energy barrier at the entrance of ANT is found to be caused by the entropy bottleneck due to the narrow phase space for the exchange of a water molecule and an incoming ion.

  1. [Molecular dynamics simulations of migration of ions and molecules through the acetylcholine receptor channel].

    PubMed

    Shaĭtan, K V; Li, A; Tershkina, K B; Kirpichnikov, M P

    2007-01-01

    A dynamic model of the channel of an acetylcholine receptor in a closed state has been proposed. The channel is formed by five a-helices of subunit M2 and stabilized by the cyclic hydrocarbon (CH2)105. The migration of charged and unchanged van der Waals particles with a diameter of 7.72 A equivalent to the diameter of a hydrated sodium ion has been studied. The migration occurred by the action of external force applied to the complex along the channel axis. In the closed state, the inhibition of ions is due to two components: electrostatic interaction and steric constraints. The van der Waals channel gate is formed by residues 13'-A-Val255, B-Val261, C-Val269, D-Val255, and E-Ile264, and the negatively changed residues occurring in the upper part of the channel have a great effect on ion selectivity.

  2. Protein-Protein Interactions as New Targets for Ion Channel Drug Discovery

    PubMed Central

    Stoilova-McPhie, Svetla; Ali, Syed; Laezza, Fernanda

    2014-01-01

    Protein-protein interactions (PPI) are key molecular elements that provide the basis of signaling in virtually all cellular processes. The precision and specificity of these molecular interactions have ignited a strong interest in pursuing PPI surfaces as new targets for drug discovery, especially against ion channels in the central nervous system (CNS) where selectivity and specificity are vital for developing drugs with limited side effects. Ion channels are large transmembrane domain proteins assembled with multiple regulatory proteins binding to the intracellular portion of channels. These macromolecular complexes are difficult to isolate, purify and reconstitute, posing a significant barrier in targeting these PPI for drug discovery purposes. Here, we will provide a short overview of salient features of PPI and discuss successful studies focusing on protein-channel interactions that could inspire new drug discovery campaigns targeting ion channel complexes. PMID:25485305

  3. A molecular framework for temperature-dependent gating of ion channels

    PubMed Central

    Chowdhury, Sandipan; Jarecki, Brian W.; Chanda, Baron

    2014-01-01

    Summary Perception of heat or cold in higher organisms is mediated by specialized ion channels whose gating is exquisitely sensitive to temperature. The physicochemical underpinnings of this temperature-sensitive gating have proven difficult to parse. Here, we took a bottom-up protein design approach, and rationally engineered ion channels to activate in response to thermal stimuli. By varying amino acid polarities at sites undergoing state-dependent changes in solvation, we were able to systematically confer temperature-sensitivity to a canonical voltage-gated ion channel. Our results imply that the specific heat capacity change during channel gating is a major determinant of thermo-sensitive gating. We also show that reduction of gating charges amplifies temperature-sensitivity of designer channels which accounts for low voltage-sensitivity in all known temperature-gated ion channels. These emerging principles suggest a plausible molecular mechanism for temperature-dependent gating that reconcile how ion channels with an overall conserved transmembrane architecture may exhibit a wide range of temperature-sensing phenotypes. PMID:25156949

  4. Guiding of 4 MeV C+ and C4+ ion beams using cylindrical glass channel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Motohashi, Kenji; Miyawaki, Nobumasa; Saitoh, Yuichi; Narumi, Kazumasa; Matoba, Shiro

    2017-04-01

    To investigate how the initial charge state affects the transmission of 4 MeV C+ and C4+ ion beams through a channel, we measured the transmission probability and kinetic energy of atoms and ions that pass through a cylindrical channel in glass, such as a narrow gap between a cylindrical convex glass surface and a cylindrical concave glass surface. Kinetic energy distributions were measured at three typical observation angles φ with the cylindrical glass channel tilted at angles θ = ‑3, ‑2, ‑1, 0, 1, 2, and 3° with respect to the incident ion beam. The ion beam is guided in both initial charge states; that is, the transmission maintains the initial kinetic energy at tilt angles greater than the geometric limit. However, no marked difference in transmission appears between the two initial charge states.

  5. Mechanosensitive ion channels in interstitial cells of Cajal and smooth muscle of the gastrointestinal tract.

    PubMed

    Kraichely, R E; Farrugia, G

    2007-04-01

    Normal gastrointestinal (GI) motility is required to mix digestive enzymes and food and to move content along the GI tract. Underlying the complex motor patterns of the gut are electrical events that reflect ion flux across cell membranes. Smooth muscle electrical activity is directly influenced by GI interstitial cells of Cajal, whose rhythmic oscillations in membrane potential in part determine the excitability of GI smooth muscle and its response to neuronal input. Coordinated activity of the ion channels responsible for the conductances that underlie ion flux in both smooth muscle and interstitial cells is a requisite for normal motility. These conductances are regulated by many factors, including mechanical stress. Recent studies have revealed mechanosensitivity at the level of the ion channels, and the mechanosensor within the channel has been identified in many cases. This has led to better comprehension of the role of mechanosensitive conductances in normal physiology and will undoubtedly lead to understanding of the consequences of disturbances in these conductances.

  6. Inhibition of Sodium Ion Channel Function with Truncated Forms of Batrachotoxin.

    PubMed

    Toma, Tatsuya; Logan, Matthew M; Menard, Frederic; Devlin, A Sloan; Du Bois, J

    2016-10-19

    A novel family of small molecule inhibitors of voltage-gated sodium channels (NaVs) based on the structure of batrachotoxin (BTX), a well-known channel agonist, is described. Protein mutagenesis and electrophysiology experiments reveal the binding site as the inner pore region of the channel, analogous to BTX, alkaloid toxins, and local anesthetics. Homology modeling of the eukaryotic channel based on recent crystallographic analyses of bacterial NaVs suggests a mechanism of action for ion conduction block.

  7. Modelling and simulation of ion channels: applications to the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor.

    PubMed

    Sansom, M S; Adcock, C; Smith, G R

    1998-01-01

    Molecular dynamics simulations with experimentally derived restraints have been used to develop atomic models of M2 helix bundles forming the pore-lining domains of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor and related ligand-gated ion channels. M2 helix bundles have been used in microscopic simulations of the dynamics and energetics of water and ions within an ion channel. Translational and rotational motion of water are restricted within the pore, and water dipoles are aligned relative to the pore axis by the surrounding helix dipoles. Potential energy profiles for translation of a Na+ ion along the pore suggest that the protein and water components of the interaction energy exert an opposing effect on the ion, resulting in a relatively flat profile which favors cation permeation. Empirical conductance calculations based on a pore radius profile suggest that the M2 helix model is consistent with a single channel conductance of ca. 50 pS. Continuum electrostatics calculations indicate that a ring of glutamate residues at the cytoplasmic mouth of the alpha 7 nicotinic receptor M2 helix bundle may not be fully ionized. A simplified model of the remainder of the channel protein when added to the M2 helix bundle plays a significant role in enhancing the ion selectivity of the channel.

  8. Ion source

    DOEpatents

    Leung, Ka-Ngo; Ehlers, Kenneth W.

    1984-01-01

    A magnetic filter for an ion source reduces the production of undesired ion species and improves the ion beam quality. High-energy ionizing electrons are confined by the magnetic filter to an ion source region, where the high-energy electrons ionize gas molecules. One embodiment of the magnetic filter uses permanent magnets oriented to establish a magnetic field transverse to the direction of travel of ions from the ion source region to the ion extraction region. In another embodiment, low energy 16 eV electrons are injected into the ion source to dissociate gas molecules and undesired ion species into desired ion species.

  9. Molecular Dynamics Simulation of the Antiamoebin Ion Channel: Linking Structure and Conductance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilson, Michael A.; Wei, Chenyu; Bjelkmar, Paer; Wallace, B. A.; Pohorille, Andrew

    2011-01-01

    Molecular dynamics simulations were carried out in order to ascertain which of the potential multimeric forms of the transmembrane peptaibol channel, antiamoebin, is consistant with its measured conductance. Estimates of the conductance obtained through counting ions that cross the channel and by solving the Nernst-Planck equation yield consistent results, indicating that the motion of ions inside the channel can be satisfactorily described as diffusive.The calculated conductance of octameric channels is markedly higher than the conductance measured in single channel recordings, whereas the tetramer appears to be non-conducting. The conductance of the hexamer was estimated to be 115+/-34 pS and 74+/-20 pS, at 150 mV and 75 mV, respectively, in satisfactory agreement with the value of 90 pS measured at 75 mV. On this basis we propose that the antiamoebin channel consists of six monomers. Its pore is large enough to accommodate K(+) and Cl(-) with their first solvation shells intact. The free energy barrier encountered by K(+) is only 2.2 kcal/mol whereas Cl(-) encounters a substantially higher barrier of nearly 5 kcal/mol. This difference makes the channel selective for cations. Ion crossing events are shown to be uncorrelated and follow Poisson statistics. keywords: ion channels, peptaibols, channel conductance, molecular dynamics

  10. An asymmetric approach to modeling ion channels using finite element analysis.

    PubMed

    Siksik, M; Krishnamurthy, V

    2009-01-01

    Biological ion channels are water filled pores in the cell membrane. They regulate the flow of ions in and out of the cell. Modeling the dynamics of these channels and relating their structure to functionality is crucial in understanding the mechanisms by which they conduct. This paper proposes a novel Finite Element Method (FEM) based simulation framework for modeling of ion channels that does not assume channel symmetry. This is the first framework that allows the use of multiple dielectric constants inside such channels without assuming geometrical symmetry thus providing a more realistic model of the channel. Due to the run-time complexity of the problem, lookup tables must be constructed in memory to store pre-calculated electric potential information. The large number of elements involved in FEM and channel resolution requirements can potentially result in very large lookup tables leading to a performance "bottleneck". This paper answers the following question: Does the accuracy introduced by using an asymmetric model outweigh the inaccuracy caused by having to reduce the size and resolution of electric-field look-up tables? This paper compares the memory footprint of an ion channel simulator that assumes a symmetric channel model versus an asymmetric model. We show that currently available personal computers are sufficient for attaining reasonable levels of accuracy for both. Our results show diminishing returns in accuracy with tables sized greater than 8.5 GB for the asymmetric model.

  11. The Structure and Transport of Water and Hydrated Ions Within Hydrophobic, Nanoscale Channels

    SciTech Connect

    Holt, J K; Herberg, J L; Wu, Y; Schwegler, E; Mehta, A

    2009-06-15

    The purpose of this project includes an experimental and modeling investigation into water and hydrated ion structure and transport at nanomaterials interfaces. This is a topic relevant to understanding the function of many biological systems such as aquaporins that efficiently shuttle water and ion channels that permit selective transport of specific ions across cell membranes. Carbon nanotubes (CNT) are model nanoscale, hydrophobic channels that can be functionalized, making them artificial analogs for these biological channels. This project investigates the microscopic properties of water such as water density distributions and dynamics within CNTs using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) and the structure of hydrated ions at CNT interfaces via X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy (XAS). Another component of this work is molecular simulation, which can predict experimental measurables such as the proton relaxation times, chemical shifts, and can compute the electronic structure of CNTs. Some of the fundamental questions this work is addressing are: (1) what is the length scale below which nanoscale effects such as molecular ordering become important, (2) is there a relationship between molecular ordering and transport?, and (3) how do ions interact with CNT interfaces? These are questions of interest to the scientific community, but they also impact the future generation of sensors, filters, and other devices that operate on the nanometer length scale. To enable some of the proposed applications of CNTs as ion filtration media and electrolytic supercapacitors, a detailed knowledge of water and ion structure at CNT interfaces is critical.

  12. Proper Voltage-Dependent Ion Channel Function in Dysferlin-Deficient Cardiomyocytes.

    PubMed

    Rubi, Lena; Gawali, Vaibhavkumar S; Kubista, Helmut; Todt, Hannes; Hilber, Karlheinz; Koenig, Xaver

    2015-01-01

    Dysferlin plays a decisive role in calcium-dependent membrane repair in myocytes. Mutations in the encoding DYSF gene cause a number of myopathies, e.g. limb-girdle muscular dystrophy type 2B (LGMD2B). Besides skeletal muscle degenerative processes, dysferlin deficiency is also associated with cardiac complications. Thus, both LGMD2B patients and dysferlin-deficient mice develop a dilated cardiomyopathy. We and others have recently reported that dystrophin-deficient ventricular cardiomyocytes from mouse models of Duchenne muscular dystrophy show significant abnormalities in voltage-dependent ion channels, which may contribute to the pathophysiology in dystrophic cardiomyopathy. The aim of the present study was to investigate if dysferlin, like dystrophin, is a regulator of cardiac ion channels. By using the whole cell patch-clamp technique, we compared the properties of voltage-dependent calcium and sodium channels, as well as action potentials in ventricular cardiomyocytes isolated from the hearts of normal and dysferlin-deficient (dysf) mice. In contrast to dystrophin deficiency, the lack of dysferlin did not impair the ion channel properties and left action potential parameters unaltered. In connection with normal ECGs in dysf mice these results suggest that dysferlin deficiency does not perturb cardiac electrophysiology. Our study demonstrates that dysferlin does not regulate cardiac voltage-dependent ion channels, and implies that abnormalities in cardiac ion channels are not a universal characteristic of all muscular dystrophy types. © 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  13. The inhibition of neuronal calcium ion channels by trace levels of yttrium released from carbon nanotubes

    PubMed Central

    Jakubek, Lorin; Marangoudakis, Spiro; Raingo, Jessica; Liu, Xinyuan; Lipscombe, Diane; Hurt, Robert

    2009-01-01

    Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are used with increasing frequency in neuroengineering applications. CNT scaffolds are used to transmit electrical stimulation to cultured neurons and to control outgrowth and branching patterns of neurites. CNTs have been reported to disrupt normal neuronal function including alterations in endocytotic capability and inhibition of ion channels. Calcium ion channels regulate numerous neuronal and cellular functions including endo and exocytosis, neurite outgrowth, and gene expression. Strong CNT interactions with neuronal calcium ion channels would have profound biological implications. Here we show that physiological solutions containing CNTs inhibit neuronal voltage-gated calcium-ion channels in a dose dependent and CNT-sample-dependent manner with IC50 as low as 1.2 ug/ml. Importantly, we demonstrate that the inhibitory activity does not involve tubular graphene as previously reported, but rather very low concentrations of soluble yttrium released from the nanotube growth catalyst. Cationic yttrium potently inhibits calcium ion channel function with an inhibitory efficacy, IC50, of 0.07 ppm w/w. Because of this potency, unpurified and even some reportedly “purified” CNT samples contain sufficient bioavailable yttrium to inhibit channel function. Our results have important implications for emerging nano-neurotechnology and highlight the critical role that trace components can play in the biological response to complex nanomaterials. PMID:19698989

  14. Radio-frequency response of single pores and artificial ion channels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, H. S.; Ramachandran, S.; Stava, E.; van der Weide, D. W.; Blick, R. H.

    2011-09-01

    Intercellular communication relies on ion channels and pores in cell membranes. These protein-formed channels enable the exchange of ions and small molecules to electrically and/or chemically interact with the cells. Traditionally, recordings on single-ion channels and pores are performed in the dc regime, due to the extremely high impedance of these molecular junctions. This paper is intended as an introduction to radio-frequency (RF) recordings of single-molecule junctions in bilipid membranes. First, we demonstrate how early approaches to using microwave circuitry as readout devices for ion channel formation were realized. The second step will then focus on how to engineer microwave coupling into the high-impedance channel by making use of bio-compatible micro-coaxial lines. We then demonstrate integration of an ultra-broadband microwave circuit for the direct sampling of single α-hemolysin pores in a suspended bilipid membrane. Simultaneous direct current recordings reveal that we can monitor and correlate the RF transmission signal. This enables us to relate the open-close states of the direct current to the RF signal. Altogether, our experiments lay the ground for an RF-readout technique to perform real-time in vitro recordings of pores. The technique thus holds great promise for research and drug screening applications. The possible enhancement of sampling rates of single channels and pores by the large recording bandwidth will allow us to track the passage of single ions.

  15. Peculiarities of temperature dependent ion beam sputtering and channeling of crystalline bismuth.

    PubMed

    Langegger, Rupert; Hradil, Klaudia; Steiger-Thirsfeld, Andreas; Bertagnolli, Emmerich; Lugstein, Alois

    2014-08-01

    In this paper, we report on the surface evolution of focused ion beam treated single crystalline Bi(001) with respect to different beam incidence angles and channeling effects. 'Erosive' sputtering appears to be the dominant mechanism at room temperature (RT) and diffusion processes during sputtering seem to play only a minor role for the surface evolution of Bi. The sputtering yield of Bi(001) shows anomalous behavior when increasing the beam incidence angle along particular azimuthal angles of the specimen. The behavior of the sputtering yield could be related to channeling effects and the relevant channeling directions are identified. Dynamic annealing processes during ion irradiation retain the crystalline quality of the Bi specimen allowing ion channeling at RT. Lowering the specimen temperature to T = -188 °C reduces dynamic annealing processes and thereby disables channeling effects. Furthermore unexpected features are observed at normal beam incidence angle. Spike-like features appear during the ion beam induced erosion, whose growth directions are not determined by the ion beam but by the channeling directions of the Bi specimen.

  16. Stimulation of TRPC5 cationic channels by low micromolar concentrations of lead ions (Pb2+).

    PubMed

    Sukumar, Piruthivi; Beech, David J

    2010-02-26

    Lead toxicity is long-recognised but continues to be a major public health problem. Its effects are wide-ranging and include induction of hyper-anxiety states. In general it is thought to act by interfering with Ca(2+) signalling but specific targets are not clearly identified. Transient receptor potential canonical 5 (TRPC5) is a Ca(2+)-permeable ion channel that is linked positively to innate fear responses and unusual amongst ion channels in being stimulated by trivalent lanthanides, which include gadolinium. Here we show investigation of the effect of lead, which is a divalent ion (Pb(2+)). Intracellular Ca(2+) and whole-cell patch-clamp recordings were performed on HEK 293 cells conditionally over-expressing TRPC5 or other TRP channels. Extracellular application of Pb(2+) stimulated TRPC5 at concentrations greater than 1 microM. Control cells without TRPC5 showed little or no response to Pb(2+) and expression of other TRP channels (TRPM2 or TRPM3) revealed partial inhibition by 10 microM Pb(2+). The stimulatory effect on TRPC5 depended on an extracellular residue (E543) near the ion pore: similar to gadolinium action, E543Q TRPC5 was resistant to Pb(2+) but showed normal stimulation by the receptor agonist sphingosine-1-phosphate. The study shows that Pb(2+) is a relatively potent stimulator of the TRPC5 channel, generating the hypothesis that a function of the channel is to sense metal ion poisoning.

  17. Ion-Ion Neutralization.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1980-12-31

    ion flow tube (SIFT) experiments have been given in previous publications and so only the essential features and tho.;e detail:. specific to the present...rapidly, essentially at the gas kinetic limiting rate within the accuracy of the experimental data (1 30% on the measured rate coefficients). The...the various negative ions remained essentially invariant along the length of the plasma column. The data in Table C show that ". for all of the

  18. Electrophysiology of lead intoxication: effects on voltage-sensitive ion channels.

    PubMed

    Audesirk, G

    1993-01-01

    Neuronal function depends on the activity of a variety of voltage-sensitive, ion-specific membrane channels, including channels permeable chiefly to sodium, potassium, and calcium. The plasma membranes of many neurons contain several types of each class of channel. In general, heavy metal ions exert little effect on voltage-sensitive sodium or potassium channels, but inhibit ion flow through voltage-sensitive calcium channels (VSCC). The literature abounds with descriptions of different types of calcium channels in vertebrate neurons. These descriptions suggest that there are many physiologically and pharmacologically distinct calcium channels, some of them possibly cell-type specific. Among the heavy metals, Pb2+ is one of the most potent inhibitors of VSCC in both vertebrate and invertebrate neurons. Some heavy metals, including Ni2+ and Cd2+, are fairly selective against certain types of calcium channels. Limited evidence suggests that Pb2+ inhibits all calcium channel types within a given cell, with only minor differences in potency. However, there appear to be substantial differences among cell types in the concentration dependence of calcium channel inhibition by Pb2+. Therefore, to appreciate the range of effects of Pb2+ on calcium channels throughout the nervous system, it will be important to examine a large number of cell types. Pb2+ is highly permeable through at least some types of VSCC. Entry of Pb2+ into the neuronal cytoplasm through VSCC, followed by disturbance of intracellular functions, may be a major mechanism of Pb2+ neurotoxicity.

  19. Modeling the Influence of Ion Channels on Neuron Dynamics in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Berger, Sandra D.; Crook, Sharon M.

    2015-01-01

    Voltage gated ion channels play a major role in determining a neuron's firing behavior, resulting in the specific processing of synaptic input patterns. Drosophila and other invertebrates provide valuable model systems for investigating ion channel kinetics and their impact on firing properties. Despite the increasing importance of Drosophila as a model system, few computational models of its ion channel kinetics have been developed. In this study, experimentally observed biophysical properties of voltage gated ion channels from the fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster are used to develop a minimal, conductance based neuron model. We investigate the impact of the densities of these channels on the excitability of the model neuron. Changing the channel densities reproduces different in situ observed firing patterns and induces a switch from integrator to resonator properties. Further, we analyze the preference to input frequency and how it depends on the channel densities and the resulting bifurcation type the system undergoes. An extension to a three dimensional model demonstrates that the inactivation kinetics of the sodium channels play an important role, allowing for firing patterns with a delayed first spike and subsequent high frequency firing as often observed in invertebrates, without altering the kinetics of the delayed rectifier current. PMID:26635592

  20. Modeling the Influence of Ion Channels on Neuron Dynamics in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Berger, Sandra D; Crook, Sharon M

    2015-01-01

    Voltage gated ion channels play a major role in determining a neuron's firing behavior, resulting in the specific processing of synaptic input patterns. Drosophila and other invertebrates provide valuable model systems for investigating ion channel kinetics and their impact on firing properties. Despite the increasing importance of Drosophila as a model system, few computational models of its ion channel kinetics have been developed. In this study, experimentally observed biophysical properties of voltage gated ion channels from the fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster are used to develop a minimal, conductance based neuron model. We investigate the impact of the densities of these channels on the excitability of the model neuron. Changing the channel densities reproduces different in situ observed firing patterns and induces a switch from integrator to resonator properties. Further, we analyze the preference to input frequency and how it depends on the channel densities and the resulting bifurcation type the system undergoes. An extension to a three dimensional model demonstrates that the inactivation kinetics of the sodium channels play an important role, allowing for firing patterns with a delayed first spike and subsequent high frequency firing as often observed in invertebrates, without altering the kinetics of the delayed rectifier current.

  1. Three homologous subunits form a high affinity peptide-gated ion channel in Hydra.

    PubMed

    Dürrnagel, Stefan; Kuhn, Anne; Tsiairis, Charisios D; Williamson, Michael; Kalbacher, Hubert; Grimmelikhuijzen, Cornelis J P; Holstein, Thomas W; Gründer, Stefan

    2010-04-16

    Recently, three ion channel subunits of the degenerin (DEG)/epithelial Na(+) channel (ENaC) gene family have been cloned from the freshwater polyp Hydra magnipapillata, the Hydra Na(+) channels (HyNaCs) 2-4. Two of them, HyNaC2 and HyNaC3, co-assemble to form an ion channel that is gated by the neuropeptides Hydra-RFamides I and II. The HyNaC2/3 channel is so far the only cloned ionotropic receptor from cnidarians and, together with the related ionotropic receptor FMRFamide-activated Na(+) channel (FaNaC) from snails, the only known peptide-gated ionotropic receptor. The HyNaC2/3 channel has pore properties, like a low Na(+) selectivity and a low amiloride affinity, that are different from other channels of the DEG/ENaC gene family, suggesting that a component of the native Hydra channel might still be lacking. Here, we report the cloning of a new ion channel subunit from Hydra, HyNaC5. The new subunit is closely related to HyNaC2 and -3 and co-localizes with HyNaC2 and -3 to the base of the tentacles. Coexpression in Xenopus oocytes of HyNaC5 with HyNaC2 and -3 largely increases current amplitude after peptide stimulation and affinity of the channel to Hydra-RFamides I and II. Moreover, the HyNaC2/3/5 channel has altered pore properties and amiloride affinity, more similarly to other DEG/ENaC channels. Collectively, our results suggest that the three homologous subunits HyNaC2, -3, and -5 form a peptide-gated ion channel in Hydra that could contribute to fast synaptic transmission.

  2. Transient receptor potential melastatin 3 is a phosphoinositide-dependent ion channel.

    PubMed

    Badheka, Doreen; Borbiro, Istvan; Rohacs, Tibor

    2015-07-01

    Phosphoinositides are emerging as general regulators of the functionally diverse transient receptor potential (TRP) ion channel family. Phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PI(4,5)P2) has been reported to positively regulate many TRP channels, but in several cases phosphoinositide regulation is controversial. TRP melastatin 3 (TRPM3) is a heat-activated ion channel that is also stimulated by chemical agonists, such as pregnenolone sulfate. Here, we used a wide array of approaches to determine the effects of phosphoinositides on TRPM3. We found that channel activity in excised inside-out patches decreased over time (rundown), an attribute of PI(4,5)P2-dependent ion channels. Channel activity could be restored by application of either synthetic dioctanoyl (diC8) or natural arachidonyl stearyl (AASt) PI(4,5)P2. The PI(4,5)P2 precursor phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate (PI(4)P) was less effective at restoring channel activity. TRPM3 currents were also restored by MgATP, an effect which was inhibited by two different phosphatidylinositol 4-kinase inhibitors, or by pretreatment with a phosphatidylinositol-specific phospholipase C (PI-PLC) enzyme, indicating that MgATP acted by generating phosphoinositides. In intact cells, reduction of PI(4,5)P2 levels by chemically inducible phosphoinositide phosphatases or a voltage-sensitive 5'-phosphatase inhibited channel activity. Activation of PLC via muscarinic receptors also inhibited TRPM3 channel activity. Overall, our data indicate that TRPM3 is a phosphoinositide-dependent ion channel and that decreasing PI(4,5)P2 abundance limits its activity. As all other members of the TRPM family have also been shown to require PI(4,5)P2 for activity, our data establish PI(4,5)P2 as a general positive cofactor of this ion channel subfamily.

  3. Toxic β-Amyloid (Aβ) Alzheimer's Ion Channels: From Structure to Function and Design

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nussinov, Ruth

    2012-02-01

    Full-length amyloid beta peptides (Aβ1-40/42) form neuritic amyloid plaques in Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients and are implicated in AD pathology. Recent biophysical and cell biological studies suggest a direct mechanism of amyloid beta toxicity -- ion channel mediated loss of calcium homeostasis. Truncated amyloid beta fragments (Aβ11-42 and Aβ17-42), commonly termed as non-amyloidogenic are also found in amyloid plaques of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and in the preamyloid lesions of Down's syndrome (DS), a model system for early onset AD study. Very little is known about the structure and activity of these smaller peptides although they could be key AD and DS pathological agents. Using complementary techniques of explicit solvent molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, atomic force microscopy (AFM), channel conductance measurements, cell calcium uptake assays, neurite degeneration and cell death assays, we have shown that non-amyloidogenic Aβ9-42 and Aβ17-42 peptides form ion channels with loosely attached subunits and elicit single channel conductances. The subunits appear mobile suggesting insertion of small oligomers, followed by dynamic channel assembly and dissociation. These channels allow calcium uptake in APP-deficient cells and cause neurite degeneration in human cortical neurons. Channel conductance, calcium uptake and neurite degeneration are selectively inhibited by zinc, a blocker of amyloid ion channel activity. Thus truncated Aβ fragments could account for undefined roles played by full length Aβs and provide a novel mechanism of AD and DS pathology. The emerging picture from our large-scale simulations is that toxic ion channels formed by β-sheets are highly polymorphic, and spontaneously break into loosely interacting dynamic units (though still maintaining ion channel structures as imaged with AFM), that associate and dissociate leading to toxic ion flux. This sharply contrasts intact conventional gated ion channels that consist of tightly

  4. Model studies of the function of blockers on the small conductance potassium ion channel.

    PubMed

    Ciechanowicz-Rutkowska, M; Lewinski, K; Oleksyn, B; Stec, B

    2003-09-01

    A correlation between KI (equilibrium dissociation constants) and IC50 (concentration at 50% inhibition) inhibitors for the family of blockers of the small conductance potassium ion channels and their intrinsic characteristics like molecular mass and volume have been investigated. Most of the blockers in the family are not selective, in contrast to apamin - an 18 amino acid bee venom toxin - that is known to be a highly potent and selective blocker of these channels. Differences and similarities between the blockers have been analyzed, pointing toward the origin of their selectivity and relative potency. In conclusion, an ion channel blocking is a process controlled mainly by diffusion, in accordance with previous experimental results.

  5. Charge Fluctuations and Boundary Conditions of Biological Ion Channels: Effect on the Ionic Transition Rate

    SciTech Connect

    Tindjong, R.; McClintock, P. V. E.; Luchinsky, D. G.; Kaufman, I.; Eisenberg, R. S.

    2009-04-23

    A self-consistent solution is derived for the Poisson-Nernst-Planck (PNP) equation, valid both inside a biological ion channel and in the adjacent bulk fluid. An iterative procedure is used to match the two solutions together at the channel mouth. Charge fluctuations at the mouth are modeled as shot noise flipping the height of the potential barrier at the selectivity site. The resultant estimates of the conductivity of the ion