A practical guide to solving the structure of an ion channel protein

Authored by: Rahman Tahmina , A. Doyle Declan

Handbook of Ion Channels

Print publication date:  February  2015
Online publication date:  February  2015

Print ISBN: 9781466551404
eBook ISBN: 9781466551428
Adobe ISBN:

10.1201/b18027-13

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Abstract

Ion channels are some of the most structurally dynamic proteins in our bodies. This property is largely due to their function—to control the flow of ions (charged particles) across a biological membrane. As most ions are small charged particles, they can be transported over a short time frame (Hille 2001). This rapid transport produces a dilemma in that ion movement must be closely regulated, opening and closing the channel’s main gate precisely and quickly in order to prevent dissipation of the ionic gradient and ultimately cell death. This has important consequences on the way we think of ion channels and how we may manipulate them.

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