Ion channels

Ion channels are integral membrane protein assemblies that modulate the flow of ions into and out of a cell or organelle, leading to generation of electrical signals. Opening (gating) of ion channels can occur upon stimulation with ligands such as second messengers, voltage, temperature and mechanical stress. The directionality of channels is dictated by the electrochemical gradient.

Latest Research and Reviews

  • Reviews |

    Ion channels are attractive therapeutic targets for a wide range of diseases, but achieving sufficient selectivity with small-molecule drugs can be challenging. In this Review, Wulff and colleagues discuss strategies to selectively modulate ion channel function using biologics — namely, antibodies and venom-derived peptides — highlighting opportunities, hurdles and future directions for the field.

    • Heike Wulff
    • , Palle Christophersen
    • , Paul Colussi
    • , K. George Chandy
    •  & Vladimir Yarov-Yarovoy
  • Research |

    Zinc is important for normal immunity but its mechanistic actions are poorly understood. Hambleton and colleagues identify defects in Zn2+ transport that underpin a novel human immunodeficiency characterized by loss of mature B cells.

    • Consuelo Anzilotti
    • , David J. Swan
    • , Bertrand Boisson
    • , Mukta Deobagkar-Lele
    • , Catarina Oliveira
    • , Pauline Chabosseau
    • , Karin R. Engelhardt
    • , Xijin Xu
    • , Rui Chen
    • , Luis Alvarez
    • , Rolando Berlinguer-Palmini
    • , Katherine R. Bull
    • , Eleanor Cawthorne
    • , Adam P. Cribbs
    • , Tanya L. Crockford
    • , Tarana Singh Dang
    • , Amy Fearn
    • , Emma J. Fenech
    • , Sarah J. de Jong
    • , B. Christoffer Lagerholm
    • , Cindy S. Ma
    • , David Sims
    • , Bert van den Berg
    • , Yaobo Xu
    • , Andrew J. Cant
    • , Gary Kleiner
    • , T. Ronan Leahy
    • , M. Teresa de la Morena
    • , Jennifer M. Puck
    • , Ralph S. Shapiro
    • , Mirjam van der Burg
    • , J. Ross Chapman
    • , John C. Christianson
    • , Benjamin Davies
    • , John A. McGrath
    • , Stefan Przyborski
    • , Mauro Santibanez Koref
    • , Stuart G. Tangye
    • , Andreas Werner
    • , Guy A. Rutter
    • , Sergi Padilla-Parra
    • , Jean-Laurent Casanova
    • , Richard J. Cornall
    • , Mary Ellen Conley
    •  & Sophie Hambleton
    Nature Immunology 20, 350-361
  • Reviews |

    Transient receptor potential (TRP) channels are a family of 28 nonselective cationic channels that are heterogeneously expressed in different regions and cell types of the heart. In this Review, the authors summarize the various physiological and pathological cardiac processes in which TRP channels are involved.

    • Thomas Hof
    • , Sébastien Chaigne
    • , Alice Récalde
    • , Laurent Sallé
    • , Fabien Brette
    •  & Romain Guinamard
  • Research | | open

    Allostery is a fundamental principle of protein regulation that remains challenging to engineer. Here authors screen human Inward Rectifier K + Channel Kir2.1 for permissibility to domain insertions and propose that differential permissibility is a metric of latent allosteric capacity in Kir2.1.

    • Willow Coyote-Maestas
    • , Yungui He
    • , Chad L. Myers
    •  & Daniel Schmidt
  • Research | | open

    Spontaneous activity shifts at constant experimental conditions are widespread among ion channels but the molecular origins are poorly understood. Here, using solid-state NMR and MD simulations, the authors reveal that modal gating shifts in K + channels are caused by large shifts in the channel dynamics which perturb the selectivity filter.

    • Shehrazade Jekhmane
    • , João Medeiros-Silva
    • , Jing Li
    • , Felix Kümmerer
    • , Christoph Müller-Hermes
    • , Marc Baldus
    • , Benoît Roux
    •  & Markus Weingarth

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