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:8/27/2014)... effective doses of the HIV drug maraviroc, a new ... completed before the drug was licensed in 2007, included ... key to removing maraviroc from the body. The current ... protein including nearly half of African-Americans end ... those who lack the protein even when given the ...
(Date:8/27/2014)... neural circuits in the brain of mice, scientists ... The research, led by Howard Hughes Medical Institute ... Technology (MIT), reveals that the connections between the ... about an experience and the part of the ... experience are malleable. , Altering those connections ...
(Date:8/27/2014)... to listen carefully to someone, the first thing we ... is stop moving altogether. This strategy helps us hear ... movements. , This interplay between movement and hearing also ... evidence has long suggested that the brain,s motor cortex, ... gives rise to our conscious perception of sound. , ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Dosage of HIV drug may be ineffective for half of African-Americans 2Researchers change the emotional association of memories 2Researchers change the emotional association of memories 3Researchers change the emotional association of memories 4Stop and listen: Study shows how movement affects hearing 2Stop and listen: Study shows how movement affects hearing 3
... ORLANDO, Fla. Soy food consumption did not ... survivors of breast cancer, according to the results of ... 2011, held April 2-6. Researchers investigated the association ... survivors, using data from a multi-institution collaborative study, the ...
... America (ESA) has selected 37 insect-science symposia for its ... http://entsoc.org/entomology2011 ). The symposia will address important ... Disorder, insect control, invasive species, medical and veterinary entomology, ... BEES AND COLONY COLLAPSE DISORDER Bee ...
... premature aging of immune cells, which may make people more ... new UCSF-led study. The findings indicate that accelerated ... is dependent upon how long someone is depressed, particularly if ... March 2011 by the journal PLoS One and ...
Cached Biology News:Soy isoflavones not a risk for breast cancer survivors 2Entomology 2011 symposia selected 2Entomology 2011 symposia selected 3Study finds link between chronic depression and accelerated immune cell aging 2Study finds link between chronic depression and accelerated immune cell aging 3
(Date:8/27/2014)... BOSTON , Aug. 27, 2014 Rhythm, ... diseases and genetic deficiencies that result in metabolic disorders, ... on Form S-1 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange ... of shares of its common stock. The number of ... the offering have not yet been determined. ...
(Date:8/27/2014)... 2014 Reportlinker.com announces that a ... its catalogue: Global Biodegradable Packaging ... http://www.reportlinker.com/p02316661/Global-Biodegradable-Packaging-Materials-Market-2014-2018.html About Biodegradable Packaging ... readily decomposed by the action of microorganisms. ... in terms of raw materials, production technology, ...
(Date:8/27/2014)... of nature,s mysteries is how plants survive impact ... the sun,s rays, while using this energy for ... in the plant,s blades quickly dissipate the energy ... quakes. Researchers at DTU Physics have now managed ... algae and bacteria contain light-absorbing proteins which play ...
(Date:8/27/2014)... , Aug. 27, 2014 Reportlinker.com ... available in its catalogue: Global Chelating ... About Chelating Agent A chelating ... covalent bonds with metal ions, thereby forming a ... some metal-ions have on chemical processes, formulations, and ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Rhythm Files Registration Statement for Proposed Initial Public Offering 2Global Biodegradable Packaging Materials Market 2014-2018 2Global Biodegradable Packaging Materials Market 2014-2018 3Global Biodegradable Packaging Materials Market 2014-2018 4Global Biodegradable Packaging Materials Market 2014-2018 5Global Biodegradable Packaging Materials Market 2014-2018 6Global Biodegradable Packaging Materials Market 2014-2018 7DTU researchers film protein quake for the first time 2Global Chelating Agents Market 2014-2018 2Global Chelating Agents Market 2014-2018 3Global Chelating Agents Market 2014-2018 4
... Alfalight , a firm that makes high-power ... has established ties with Chinese distributor Sanetronic Company ... Hong Kong. The company was founded in 1987 as ... has eight offices in China, including Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, ...
... research, nanotechnology, farm waste management and produce storage have emerged ... Transfer Award. , ,Judges for the contest have winnowed the ... The $5,000 grand prize will be presented to the winner ... in Milwaukee. , ,The finalists are: , , GHD ...
... The Joint Finance Committee rejected Governor Jim Doyle's proposal for ... The proposal, a plan to charge consumers for their music, ... several proposals turned down by the budget review panel. , ... on electronic entertainment called by some detractors the "iPod ...
Cached Biology Technology:Five remaining firms vie for Tech Transfer award 2Five remaining firms vie for Tech Transfer award 3Finance Committee rejects extra tax on Internet buys 2Finance Committee rejects extra tax on Internet buys 3
... This CLS number is a new product ... number. If showing no availability yet, please ... or contact customer service for assistance. ... Comp Dim: surface area 500 cm 2 ...
... Ideal for cell culture scale-up, these ... 10 7 - 10 9 range ... bottles or spinner flasks. • High mechanical ... leak tested prior to shipping • Certified ...
Mouse Anti-Human Killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptor, two domains, long cytoplasmic tail, 4 (KIR2DL4 Monoclonal Antibody Family: New...
Mouse monoclonal [7B9] to beta II Tubulin ( Abpromise for all tested applications). Antigen: Synthetic peptide, CEEEEGEDEA found at the c-terminus of beta II tubulin. Entrez GeneID: 10383 ...
Biology Products: