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Understanding Transport through Membranes. The importance of ion transport through membranes Water is an electrically polarizable substance, which means.

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Presentation on theme: "Understanding Transport through Membranes. The importance of ion transport through membranes Water is an electrically polarizable substance, which means."— Presentation transcript:

1 Understanding Transport through Membranes

2 The importance of ion transport through membranes Water is an electrically polarizable substance, which means that its molecules rearrange in an ion’s electric field, pointing negative oxygen atoms in the direction of cations and positive hydrogen atoms towards anions. These electrically stabilizing interactions are much weaker in a less polarizable substance such as oil. Thus, an ion will tend to stay in the water on either side of a cell membrane rather than enter and cross the membrane. Yet, numerous cellular processes ranging from electrolyte transport across epithelia to electrical signal production in neurons, depend on the flow of ions across the membranes

3 Ion Channels Three basic properties of ion channels: To conduct ions rapidly Exhibit high selectivity: only certain ion species flow while others are excluded Conduction be regulated by processes known as gating, i.e. ion conduction is turned on and off in response to specific environmental stimuli

4 As a comparison, the turnover ratio (maximum number of processed substrate molecules per active site, per second) serves as a good evidence for the physical concept of pore. The turnover rates for some known carriers or active transporters are compared to those of several ion channels Ion Channels Have Very High Turnover Ratios Very few ions are needed to generate a sizable transmembrane potential in cells Also …,

5 What do we know based on molecular biology? Proposed topologyMembrane Propensity Linear Sequence

6 Unifying Themes in Ion Channel Structure Polytopic Membrane Proteins Oligomeric Arrangement With Intrinsic Symmetry Pore Size Correlates with the Number of Subunits Voltage-Dependent (Na +, K +, Ca ++ ) Glutamate Receptors Ligand-Gated (Ach, Gly, GABA, 5-HT) Mechanosensitive Connexins (Gap Junctions)

7 Structure-Function Relations in a Voltage- Dependent Channel

8 Introduction Membrane protein found in Streptomyces lividans Analogous to K + channels found in humans Selectively allows K + ions to exit cells down their concentration gradient Maintains membrane potential Regulates cell volume Modulates electrical excitability of neurons Role of K + Channel

9 Residues that interact with scorpion toxin Residues that interact with tetraethylammonium Residues that interact with K + ions Pore loop proposed to reach into the membrane and form a selectivity filter

10 Structure Exists as a homo-tetramer with 4 identical subunits Each subunit is comprised of 3 alpha helices 2 helices are membrane spanning 1 inner helix is responsible for K + selectivity

11 Crystal Structure of the Streptomyces K + Channel TM1 P-loop TM2 KcsA is a homotetramer Each subunit contains two TM segments The selectivity filter is formed by an extended structure positioned by a short tilted helix Doyle et al. 1998

12 Entryway Entryways to the channel have several negatively charged amino acid residues which increase the local concentration of cations (K + and Na + )

13 Understanding Permeation and Selectivity W + __ K + Ions are stabilized by backbone Carbonyls It is the matching of dehydration energies what determines selectivity High throughput is achieved by electrostatic repulsion between sites 1 and 2

14 Function of the Internal Pore Electrostatic barrier to entry of K + ion into lipid bilayer overcome by: - Hydration of K + ion within membrane pore -Stabilization provided by short alpha helices in the pore region of each subunit w/ negatively charged carboxyl termini pointed at K +

15 How does K + leave? 2 K + ions at close proximity in the filter propel each other This repulsion overcomes the otherwise strong interaction b/w ion and protein that allows for rapid conduction Speed of conduction approaches the theoretical limit of unrestricted diffusion (10 8 ions/ second)

16 Selectivity Filter How does K + channel distinguish K + from Na + ?  Located in narrow region of the channel  Contains Gly-Tyr-Gly AA residues  Forces K+ to lose it’s hydrating water molecules  Carbonyl oxygen's in selectivity filter stabilize K+ ions  Aromatic amino acids line the filter and act as springs to maintain appropriate channel width for K+  This favorable interaction with the filter is not possible for Na+ because Na+ is too small to make contact with all the potential oxygen ligands of the carbonyl termini of the short alpha helices

17 Selectivity Filter How does K + channel distinguish K + from Na + ? Gly residues in the TVGYG sequence have dihedrals in or near the left-handed helical region, allowing main chain carbonyls point in one direction, towards the ions along the pore. The oxygen atoms of the four sites surround K + ions as water molecules, paying for energetic costs of K + dehydration Na + ions too small for K + -sized binding site, so dehydration energy is not compensated

18 The Chloride Channel breaks the Rules! The structure of the ClC chloride channel deviates from “classical” membrane protein architectures Two-fold symmetry Helix packing is very complex ClC single channel behavior suggests a double barrel arrangement:

19 Cl Channel K Channel Anionic Selectivity Appears to be Based on Ion Stabilization by Helix Dipoles Cl - coordination site Channel entry


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