Cooperative transport in a potassium ion channel

Jean-Fang Gwan, Artur Baumgaertner
2007 Journal of Chemical Physics  
Our current understanding of ion permeation through the selectivity filter of the KcsA potassium channel is based on the concept of a multi-ion transport mechanism. The details of this concerted movement, however, are not well understood. In the present paper we report on molecular dynamics simulations which provides new insights. It is shown that ion translocation is based on the collective hopping of ions and water molecules which is mediated by the flexible charged carbonyl groups lining the
more » ... backbone of the pore. In particular, there is strong evidence for pairwise translocations where one ion and one water molecule form a bound state. We suggest a physical explanation of the observed phenomena employing a simple lattice model. It is argued that the water molecules can act as rectifiers during the hopping of ion-water pairs.
doi:10.1063/1.2756531 pmid:17672726 fatcat:xkyrxsemp5ghvegvz3plkaq3vm