Colin G. Nichols

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Inwardly rectifying potassium channels conduct ions more readily in the inward than the outward direction, an essential property for normal electrical activity. Although voltage-dependent block by internal magnesium ions may underlie inward rectification in some channels, an intrinsic voltage-dependent closure of the channel plays a contributory, or even(More)
A complementary DNA encoding an ATP-regulated potassium channel has been isolated by expression cloning from rat kidney. The predicted 45K protein, which features two potential membrane-spanning helices and a proposed ATP-binding domain, represents a major departure from the basic structural design characteristic of voltage-gated and second messenger-gated(More)
Sulfonylureas are a class of drugs widely used to promote insulin secretion in the treatment of non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. These drugs interact with the sulfonylurea receptor of pancreatic beta cells and inhibit the conductance of adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-dependent potassium (KATP) channels. Cloning of complementary DNAs for the(More)
Adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-sensitive potassium (KATP) channels couple cell metabolism to electrical activity. Phosphatidylinositol phosphates (PIPs) profoundly antagonized ATP inhibition of KATP channels when applied to inside-out membrane patches. It is proposed that membrane-incorporated PIPs can bind to positive charges in the cytoplasmic region of the(More)
Voltage-gated sodium channels are vital membrane proteins essential for electrical signalling; in humans, they are key targets for the development of pharmaceutical drugs. Here we report the crystal structure of an open-channel conformation of NavMs, the bacterial channel pore from the marine bacterium Magnetococcus sp. (strain MC-1). It differs from the(More)
Glial cell-mediated potassium and glutamate homeostases play important roles in the regulation of neuronal excitability. Diminished potassium and glutamate buffering capabilities of astrocytes result in hyperexcitability of neurons and abnormal synaptic transmission. The role of the different K+ channels in maintaining the membrane potential and buffering(More)
The mechanism of inward rectification was examined in cell-attached and inside-out membrane patches from Xenopus oocytes expressing the cloned strong inward rectifier HRK1. Little or no outward current was measured in cell-attached patches. Inward currents reach their maximal value in two steps: an instantaneous phase followed by a time-dependent(More)
ATP-sensitive potassium (KATP) channels link cellular metabolism to electrical activity in nerve, muscle, and endocrine tissues. They are formed as a functional complex of two unrelated subunits-a member of the Kir inward rectifier potassium channel family, and a sulfonylurea receptor (SUR), a member of the ATP-binding cassette transporter family, which(More)
Inward rectification induced by mono- and diaminoalkane application to inside-out membrane patches was studied in Kir2.1 (IRK1) channels expressed in Xenopus oocytes. Both monoamines and diamines block Kir2.1 channels, with potency increasing as the alkyl chain length increases (from 2 to 12 methylene groups), indicating a strong hydrophobic interaction(More)