Covalent dimers of alamethicin form conducting structures with gating properties that permit measurement of current-voltage (I-V) relationships during the lifetime of a single channel. These I-V curves demonstrate that the alamethicin channel is a rectifier that passes current preferentially, with voltages of the same sign as that of the voltage that… (More)
The peptide alamethicin forms channels with a variety of conductance states. Selective stabilization of a particular state should simplify the task of understanding conductance in terms of channel structure. We synthesized two different covalent dimers of alamethicin in which peptides were linked at their C-terminal ends by flexible tethers. Both dimeric… (More)
A tetra-ortho-chloro substituted azobenzene unit was incorporated into a photoswitchable tethered ligand for ionotropic glutamate receptors. This compound confers the modified protein with the unusual optical responses of the substituted azo scaffold permitting channel opening with yellow and red light and channel closing with blue light.
The peptide alamethicin provides a system for engineering ion channel charge selectivity. To define alamethicin charge selectivity experimentally, we measured single-channel current-voltage relationships in KCl gradients using covalently linked peptide dimers. Two factors were found to contribute to the charge selectivity of these channels: (i) the ionic… (More)
The peptide alamethicin self-assembles to form helix bundle ion channels in membranes. Previous macroscopic measurements have shown that these channels are mildly cation-selective. Models indicate that a source of cation selectivity is a zone of partial negative charge toward the C-terminal end of the peptide. We synthesized an alamethicin derivative with a… (More)
Alamethicin channels are prototypical helix bundles that may serve as tractable models for more complex protein ion channels. Solid-phase peptide synthesis of alamethicin analogues using FMOC-amino acid fluorides followed by chemical dimerization of these peptides facilitates structure-function studies of particular channel states in bilayer membranes.… (More)
We have synthesized a novel thiol reagent, 2-[(methylsulfonyl)thio]ethyl [N-(N,N-dimethylamino)ethyl]carbamate (MTSAC), that contains a carbamate functional group as well as a (positively charged) terminal amino group. The carbamate C-N bond isomerizes on a millisecond time scale and significantly alters the three-dimensional shape of the reagent. The… (More)
A membrane potential is shown to be established in phosphatidylcholine/cholesterol unilamellar vesicles using valinomycin in conjunction with a potassium ion gradient; this potential is monitored using the externally added fluorescent dye Safranine O. In the same system, transmembrane calcium fluxes are then detected using the (internally trapped)… (More)