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We present a method for calculation of electric forces in biological channels, which facilitates microscopic modeling of ion transport in channels using computer simulation. The method is based on solving Poisson's equation on a grid and storing the electric potential and field for various configurations in a table. During simulations, the potential and(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 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)
We have developed a homology model of the GABA(A) receptor, using the subunit combination of alpha1beta2gamma2, the most prevalent type in the mammalian brain. The model is produced in two parts: the membrane-embedded channel domain and the extracellular N-terminal domain. The pentameric transmembrane domain model is built by modeling each subunit by(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)
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)
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)