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The screw-helical voltage gating of ion channels
University of Cambridge.
Karolinska Institute.
1999 (English)In: Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Biological Sciences, ISSN 0962-8452, E-ISSN 1471-2954, Vol. 266, no 1421, 843-852 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

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.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Royal Society , 1999. Vol. 266, no 1421, 843-852 p.
Keyword [en]
screw helix; sodium channel; potassium channel; calcium channel; voltage gating
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-59767ISI: 79970900013PubMedID: 10343407OAI: diva2:353387
Available from: 2010-09-27 Created: 2010-09-24 Last updated: 2010-10-26

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Elinder, Fredrik
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