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Ion channels

An open and shut case

Most ion channels open and close — they are 'gated' — in response to cues in their environment. A crystal structure of a Ca2+-gated K+-ion channel provides insight into how gating works.

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Figure 1: Schematic model for the gating and opening of a bacterial Ca2+-gated K+ channel, based on the new papers by MacKinnon and colleagues1,2.


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Correspondence to John P. Adelman.

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Schumacher, M., Adelman, J. An open and shut case. Nature 417, 501–502 (2002).

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