Navigation Links
Solving the puzzle of the BK ion channel
Date:6/23/2010

an answer, published in the June 24 issue of the journal Neuron.

It turns out that the mutation makes part of the channel more rigid, altering its dynamics in a way that makes it easier to toggle it open. This is the first time, says Cui, that protein dynamics have been implicated in the functioning of an ion channel.

Ion channels

Life itself depends on ion channels, the tiny pores in our cells that open on cue, letting charged atoms rush in or out. These influxes and effluxes create the electrical signals that make our eyes blink or our ribs expand to draw breath.

But because the channels are tiny and stuck in the greasy cell membrane, they are hard to study. Their existence wasn't even confirmed until the 1970s. Working out the structure and function of a single ion channel (there are more than 300 types) earned researchers a Nobel Prize as recently as 2003.

Nerve impulses are actually changes in the electrical potential across a nerve cell's membrane. The traveling wave of electrical excitation, known as an action potential, is orchestrated by the synchronized opening and closing of ion channels.

At rest, cells are slightly more negative (a matter of millivolts) inside than they are outside. An action potential starts when sodium channels open, allowing positively charged sodium atoms to rush into the cell, reversing the polarization of the membrane.

The sodium channels then automatically close and potassium channels open, repolarizing the membrane by allowing positively charged potassium ions to flood out of the cell.

What the BK channel does

One of the BK channel's functions is to allow a nerve to adapt to constant stimulation by becoming less responsive. This loss of sensitivity is what allows us, for example, to ignore the constant pressure of our clothing.

Ion channels are gated, or triggered, in a variety of ways. Voltage-gated channels respond to the vol
'/>"/>

Contact: Diana Lutz
dlutz@wustl.edu
314-935-5272
Washington University in St. Louis
Source:Eurekalert  

Page: 1 2 3 4 5

Related biology news :

1. Brains problem-solving function at work when we daydream
2. Bowman Global Change says public engagement critical to solving climate crisis
3. Fossils and layers: Solving the terrane puzzle of the North American cordillera
4. Solving an avian scourge could also provide benefits to human health
5. New tool for resolving fisheries conflicts
6. Magnetic snakes control fluids, gravity-defying droplets, and solving a dragonfly mystery
7. McGill team discovers a piece of the puzzle for individualized cancer therapy via gene silencing
8. Key piece of puzzle sheds light on function of ribosomes
9. CSHL scientists harness logic of Sudoku math puzzle to vastly enhance genome-sequencing capability
10. New piece found in the puzzle of epigenetics
11. Biologists devise unifying framework to explain evolutionary puzzles
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Solving the puzzle of the BK ion channel
(Date:7/24/2014)... Neiker-Tecnalia is currently conducting research into the potato genes ... characterised by a reduction in rainfall and increased extremes ... the most resistant genes in order to create new ... conditions.The research is also seeking to find out how ... of greater drought and higher and lower temperatures. , ...
(Date:7/24/2014)... Expanding on his work with a new drug that successfully ... of Houston has received a $250,000 grant to expand his ... effort to treat a wider range of autoimmune diseases., Chandra ... biomedical Engineering at UH, previously published a study in Arthritis ... that successfully treated lupus in mice and reduced the number ...
(Date:7/24/2014)... gut that has gone undetected by scientists for decades. ... State University has found that more than half the ... named crAssphage, which infects one of the most common ... of bacteria is thought to be connected with obesity, ... in Nature Communications ., Robert A. Edwards, a ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Neiker-Tecnalia is researching the potato genes that best adapt to climate change 2Biomedical engineer looks at new applications for novel lupus drug 2Biomedical engineer looks at new applications for novel lupus drug 3Newly discovered gut virus lives in half the world's population 2Newly discovered gut virus lives in half the world's population 3
... it erupts, drawing to it immune system cells that fight ... often leaving behind a mark or a scar. A ... there is a defect in the resolution response the ... or hardening of the arteries can result, said researchers at ...
... Malaria and dengue fever will be the early targets ... disease. The University of Queensland (UQ) and ... the research after Queensland Premier Anna Bligh announced $650,000 ... June 18. "Detection of the pathogens of ...
... 2008): Despite recent controversies over crop-based biofuels, biotechnology offers ... sustainable world, with applications as diverse as new sources ... and high quality agricultural products with better production economics. ... sustainable, they must be not only good for society ...
Cached Biology News:Failure to bridle inflammation spurs atherosclerosis 2Biotechnology key to developing sustainable industries says international panel 2Biotechnology key to developing sustainable industries says international panel 3
(Date:7/24/2014)... SAN DIEGO , July 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ ... company, announced today the appointment of Adam ... (COO). Cypher Genomics provides rapid and comprehensive annotation ... discovery and clinical reporting. "Cypher,s technology ... to improve healthcare by enhancing diagnostic accuracy, optimizing ...
(Date:7/23/2014)... 2014 Lyfebulb, the International Pemphigus Pemphigoid ... NASDAQ OMX First North Premier, Stockholm ... a collaboration to increase awareness of unmet needs ... event attended by more than sixty patients, physicians, ... health and wellness company dedicated to serving the ...
(Date:7/23/2014)... have made great strides in saving China,s endangered national ... over 65 giant panda reserves that have been established ... just 1596 pandas remain in the wild. , ... save the panda by improving genetic diversity, avoid inbreeding ... how are these high-profile programs doing so far? , ...
(Date:7/23/2014)... /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Think Drinks are a neuroscience-backed drink regimen ... They are the first functional focus beverage to give ... alternative to the temporary fix associated with energy drinks. ... 29, 2014, with hopes to raise $50,000 over the ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140723/129697 Think Drinks were ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Cypher Genomics Announces the Appointment of Adam Simpson as President and COO to Advance Transformative Genome Interpretation Technology 2Cypher Genomics Announces the Appointment of Adam Simpson as President and COO to Advance Transformative Genome Interpretation Technology 3Innovative Collaboration To Increase Awareness Of Bullous Pemphigoid, A Rare Autoimmune Disease Of The Skin 2Innovative Collaboration To Increase Awareness Of Bullous Pemphigoid, A Rare Autoimmune Disease Of The Skin 3Innovative Collaboration To Increase Awareness Of Bullous Pemphigoid, A Rare Autoimmune Disease Of The Skin 4Innovative Collaboration To Increase Awareness Of Bullous Pemphigoid, A Rare Autoimmune Disease Of The Skin 5truBrain Neuroscientists To Launch More Effective, Healthier Alternative To Energy Drinks On Indiegogo 2
... Institute (VBI) at Virginia Tech have compiled a series ... to design, develop and manage next-generation databases of biological ... parts is essential if methods developed in other fields ... successful, this approach will result in significant productivity gains ...
... (SACRAMENTO, Calif.) UC Davis Cancer Center physicians today released ... Agent Orange have greatly increased risks of prostate cancer and ... the disease as compared to those who were not exposed. ... published in the September 15 issue of the journal ...
... May Minimize Viral Transmission, Including Norovirus , ... impact public health by minimizing the transmission of ... care providers. The researchers from the University ... University, Raleigh report their findings in the August ...
Cached Biology Technology:Tips on how to build a better home for biological parts 2Tips on how to build a better home for biological parts 3Exposure to Agent Orange linked to prostate cancer in Vietnam veterans 2Tips from the journals of the American Society for Microbiology 2Tips from the journals of the American Society for Microbiology 3Tips from the journals of the American Society for Microbiology 4
This CLS number is a new product number, created to easily match Cornings product number. If showing no availability yet, please order under the old Sigma-Aldrich number (F1676) or contact customer s...
Mouse monoclonal [YPF19] to Yersinia pestis F1 antigen ( Abpromise for all tested applications)....
... CLS number is a new product ... product number. If showing no availability ... Sigma-Aldrich number (E6152) or contact customer ... H diam. 11.25 6.40 ...
... three Adept CE 4100 high pressure dual ... in one microlitre increaments. The ground ... added flexibility. The WaveQuest provides ... detection and provides superior stability . ...
Biology Products: