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Ion channels

Shake, rattle or roll?

Nerve transmission depends on voltage-gated ion-channel proteins, which in turn depend on the behaviour of a membrane domain called the voltage sensor. Therein lies the latest episode in a continuing story.

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Figure 1: Composition of one subunit of a voltage-dependent K+ channel.
Figure 2: Models of voltage-sensor behaviour; the voltage sensors' change from the ‘in’ to the ‘out’ position triggers pore opening.


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Blaustein, R., Miller, C. Shake, rattle or roll?. Nature 427, 499–500 (2004).

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