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:9/30/2014)... do seedless watermelon, salmon, and strawberries all have in ... two sets of chromosomes and are diploid, these organisms ... sets of chromosomesseedless watermelon and salmon have 3 and ... While this might seem surprising, in fact most ... first discovered over a century ago, but only recently, ...
(Date:9/30/2014)... A team of environmental scientists and engineers, led ... awarded a three-year, $5.25 million grant from the ... Competitive Research to make a direct positive impact ... remediation and disposal of radioactive contaminants. , "Understanding ... adequately dealing with environmental aspects of nuclear technologies ...
(Date:9/30/2014)... is available in German . ... the most expensive foods in the world. Because they grow ... But the distinctive smell of truffles is not only of ... under the direction of the Goethe University Frankfurt have discovered ... soil bacteria which are trapped inside truffle fruiting bodies. , ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Gene doubling shapes the world: Instant speciation, biodiversity, and the root of our existence 2Gene doubling shapes the world: Instant speciation, biodiversity, and the root of our existence 3Gene doubling shapes the world: Instant speciation, biodiversity, and the root of our existence 4Researchers get $5.25 million to advance nuclear technologies in South Carolina 2On the trail of the truffle flavor 2
... The biggest ever single UK public investment in bioenergy ... main funding agency for the biosciences the Biotechnology ... 27M BBSRC Sustainable Bioenergy Centre has been launched to ... and emerging UK sustainable bioenergy sector and to ...
... Switzerland, Jan. 26 SVOX, the leading provider ... the Professional,Speech Processing Group of Siemens AG, according ... speech technology-related IP of Siemens AG developed,over 25 ... more than 60 patent families. The majority of ...
... Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) announced today the discovery of ... time, they reported that their discovery suggests the presence ... in which these and possibly other small RNAs are ... project called ENCODE, also provided information concerning the biological ...
Cached Biology News:Biggest ever public investment in bioenergy to help provide clean, green and sustainable fuels 2SVOX Acquires Speech Processing Unit of Siemens AG, Expands Into Speech Recognition and Speech Dialog 2CSHL scientists find a new class of small RNAs and define its function 2CSHL scientists find a new class of small RNAs and define its function 3
(Date:10/1/2014)... San Francisco, California (PRWEB) October 01, 2014 ... grant from the National Science Foundation to expand their ... approaches to build and modify DNA. The Small Business ... help commercialize the “j5” technology under exclusive license from ... the Joint BioEnergy Institute , an LBNL laboratory ...
(Date:10/1/2014)... , October 1, 2014 ... software invited to engage around the theme, ,Commercial Opportunities ...   Elsevier , a ... and services, will host a gathering of some of ... and trends impacting healthcare today and in the future. ...
(Date:9/30/2014)... This news release is available in German . ... at the Technische Universitt Mnchen (TUM) have demonstrated a ... Their experiments show that future computer chips could be ... transistors. As the main enabling technology of the semiconductor ... fundamental limits, the TUM researchers and collaborators at the ...
(Date:9/30/2014)... YORK , Sept. 30, 2014 ... and segments with highest potential revenues Do you ... updated report gives you revenue predictions for those ... For those therapies you find financial data, R&D ... analysis you get sales forecasts to 2024 at ...
Breaking Biology Technology:TeselaGen Receives $750k NSF SBIR Phase II Award 2TeselaGen Receives $750k NSF SBIR Phase II Award 3Elsevier Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Economics Conference 2014 To Convene Industry Leaders to Discuss Top Healthcare Business Issues 2Elsevier Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Economics Conference 2014 To Convene Industry Leaders to Discuss Top Healthcare Business Issues 3A new dimension for integrated circuits: 3-D nanomagnetic logic 2A new dimension for integrated circuits: 3-D nanomagnetic logic 3Biosimilars and Follow-On Biologics: World Industry and Market Prospects 2014-2024 2Biosimilars and Follow-On Biologics: World Industry and Market Prospects 2014-2024 3Biosimilars and Follow-On Biologics: World Industry and Market Prospects 2014-2024 4Biosimilars and Follow-On Biologics: World Industry and Market Prospects 2014-2024 5
... made of clay and a bit of high-grade plastic draws oil ... lab tests show that oil absorbed can be squeezed back out ... the material, called an aerogel, believe it will effectively clean up ... and roadways, rivers and oceans. , The EPA estimates that 10 ...
... Feb. 4, 2010 -- Four Oak Ridge National Laboratory ... five-year research grants as part of the Department of ... million program, funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment ... to support exceptional researchers during the crucial early career ...
... , , IPSWICH, Mass. ... to the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, New England Biolabs is ... England Biolabs as one of its suppliers for next-generation sequencing ... "We are extremely pleased that the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, ...
Cached Biology Technology:New material absorbs, conserves oil 24 ORNL researchers selected for Recovery Act early career funds 24 ORNL researchers selected for Recovery Act early career funds 3Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute to use NEBNext(TM) DNA Sample Preparation Reagents from New England Biolabs for Next Generation Sequencing 2
Request Info...
Our original highly-purified, robust Taq Polymerase which delivers consistently high yields and minimal background...
Recombinant DNA polymerase from Thermus aquaticus expressed in E. coli; 5 units/L; 1 tube of 1, 000 units enzyme/tube w/Buffer II and MgCl2...
Taq DNA Polymerase (T. aquaticus), 4 x 250 units. For PCR and other procedures requiring DNA polymerase activity at elevated temperatures. Category: Nucleotides & Enzymes & Biochemicals, Modifying En...
Biology Products: