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Ion channels are formed by specific proteins embedded in the cell membrane and provide pathways for fast and controlled flow of selected ions down their electrochemical gradient. This activity generates action potentials in nerves, muscles and other excitable cells, and forms the basis of all movement, sensation and thought processes in living beings. While(More)
The mechanisms underlying transport of ions across the potassium channel are examined using electrostatic calculations and three-dimensional Brownian dynamics simulations. We first build open-state configurations of the channel with molecular dynamics simulations, by pulling the transmembrane helices outward until the channel attains the desired interior(More)
Using the experimentally determined KcsA structure as a template, we propose a plausible explanation for the diversity of potassium channels seen in nature. A simplified model of KcsA is constructed from its atomic resolution structure by smoothing out the protein-water boundary and representing the atoms forming the channel protein as a homogeneous, low(More)
We investigate the validity of continuum electrostatics in the gramicidin A channel using a recently determined high-resolution structure. The potential and electric field acting on ions in and around the channel are computed by solving Poisson's equation. These are then used in Brownian dynamics simulations to obtain concentration profiles and the current(More)
We demonstrated previously that the two continuum theories widely used in modeling biological ion channels give unreliable results when the radius of the conduit is less than two Debye lengths. The reason for this failure is the neglect of surface charges on the protein wall induced by permeating ions. Here we attempt to improve the accuracy of the(More)
The conduction properties of the voltage-gated potassium channel Kv1.3 and its modes of interaction with several polypeptide venoms are examined using Brownian dynamics simulations and molecular dynamics calculations. Employing an open-state homology model of Kv1.3, we first determine current-voltage and current-concentration curves and ascertain that(More)
We use the well-known structural and functional properties of the gramicidin A channel to test the appropriateness of force fields commonly used in molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of ion channels. For this purpose, the high-resolution structure of the gramicidin A dimer is embedded in a dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine bilayer, and the potential of mean(More)
Brownian dynamics (BD) simulations provide a practical method for the calculation of ion channel conductance from a given structure. There has been much debate about the implementation of reservoir boundaries in BD simulations in recent years, with claims that the use of improper boundaries could have large effects on the calculated conductance values. Here(More)
We have developed a three-dimensional model of the alpha1 homomeric glycine receptor by using Brownian dynamics simulations to account for its observed physiological properties. The model channel contains a large external vestibule and a shallow internal vestibule, connected by a narrow, cylindrical selectivity filter. Three rings of charged residues from(More)
Scorpion β-toxins bind to the voltage-sensing domain of voltage-gated sodium (NaV) channels and trap the voltage-sensing domain in the activated state. Two structurally similar β-toxins from scorpions, Css4 and Cn2, selectively target different subtypes of mammalian NaV channels. While the receptor site on the channels is known, the functional surface of(More)