Advances in Physics: X (Jan 2022)

Experimental challenges in ion channel research: uncovering basic principles of permeation and gating in potassium channels

  • Joao Luis Carvalho-de-Souza,
  • Andrea Saponaro,
  • C. A. Z. Bassetto,
  • Oliver Rauh,
  • Indra Schroeder,
  • Fabio Franciolini,
  • Luigi Catacuzzeno,
  • Francisco Bezanilla,
  • Gerhard Thiel,
  • Anna Moroni

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 7, no. 1


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Biological ion channels precisely control the flow of ions across membranes in response to a range of physical and chemical stimuli. With their ability of transporting ions in a highly selective manner and of integrating regulatory cues, they are a source of inspiration for the construction of solid-state nanopores as sensors or switches for practical applications. Here, we summarize recent advancements in understanding the mechanisms of ion permeation and gating in channel proteins with a focus on the elementary steps of ion transport through the pore and on non-canonical modes of intramolecular communication between peripheral sensory domains and the central channel pore.