Journal article

Potassium channel structures: do they conform?

JM Gulbis, DA Doyle

CURRENT OPINION IN STRUCTURAL BIOLOGY | CURRENT BIOLOGY LTD | Published : 2004

Abstract

Potassium channels are signalling elements vital to vertebrate neurotransmission, and cardiac and renal function. Two inherent qualities equip them for their role in the interconversion of chemical and electrical messages: high selectivity for potassium ions and the ability to open (gate) on cue. The crystal structure of KcsA, published in 1998, explained much about potassium selectivity and high ion flux. The enormous diversity of potassium channels (some hundreds of genes in humans) may have hampered similar progress in understanding gating processes. The recent determination of several representative structures has provided us with a valuable reference for discriminating between features ..

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