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:10/16/2014)... synthesis of recent research findings to inform their management ... states. , The Ecology and Management of Moist ... of the Relevant Biophysical Science and Implications for Future ... U.S. Forest Service,s Pacific Northwest Research Station, is a ... synthesis of the large body of scientific information on ...
(Date:10/16/2014)... women experienced improvements in vaginal atrophy, with no ... after 12 weeks of daily 10 milligram (mg) ... supplement previously shown to help relieve certain menopause ... reported in a poster at the North American ... "These data documented improved vaginal epithelium, without significant ...
(Date:10/15/2014)... Life, is a non-traditional biophysics textbook and it describes ... a journey of discovery into biological systems and provides ... regulation. It is about how our genes make proteins ... billions of cells in an organism. It quantifies the ... which can be found on both large and small ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):New report synthesizes best available science on management of moist mixed-conifer forests 2S-equol supplements associated with improved measures of reproductive health in postmenopausal women 2New book about life as seen from physics 2
... increased CO2 emission, is set to change the Earth,s ... on our economy, resulting in substantial revenue declines and ... over the last two centuries have increased atmospheric CO2 ... altered ocean chemistry by acidifying surface waters. Fish levels ...
... is now shown to be important in cancer, and ... researchers from the Stem Cell Program at Children,s Hospital ... graduate student Srinivas Viswanathan, in collaboration with Richard Gregory, ... showed that the protein LIN28 regulates an important group ...
... same fungal crops for 50 million years. Each young ... when she flies away to mate and establish a new ... during nest establishment may contribute to the stability of this ... Research Institute in Gamboa, Panama. "We were struck by the ...
Cached Biology News:Who will pick up the bill? 2Stem cell protein offers a new cancer target 2
(Date:10/18/2014)... The “Human Insulin Market- by Product Type, ... Human Insulin (Rapid Acting, Long Acting, Premixed)], by ... - Forecast to 2018” provides a detailed overview ... market trends, and strategies impacting the global human ... of the revenue and share analysis. , The ...
(Date:10/18/2014)... (PRWEB) October 18, 2014 The Asia-Pacific ... concerned market in Asia-Pacific with analysis and forecast of ... and is expected to reach $51,362.6 million by 2018, ... , Browse through the TOC of the Asia-Pacific hardware ... in-depth analysis provided. This also provides a glimpse of ...
(Date:10/18/2014)... 18, 2014 According to a new ... Well Type - Global Trends & Forecasts up till ... billion in 2011. This value is expected to increase ... 2017, with 10% CAGR during the same period. North ... production market in terms of hydraulic horse power supplied ...
(Date:10/17/2014)... through the looking-glass to Wonderland, mirrors in the real ... including a new class of mirror that works like ... Optical Society,s (OSA) new high-impact journal Optica ... a new type of mirror that forgoes a familiar ... using an unusual magnetic property of a non-metallic metamaterial. ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Medical Human Insulin Market Is Expected to Reach $42 billion by 2019 - New Research Report by MarketsandMarkets 2Medical Human Insulin Market Is Expected to Reach $42 billion by 2019 - New Research Report by MarketsandMarkets 3Medical Human Insulin Market Is Expected to Reach $42 billion by 2019 - New Research Report by MarketsandMarkets 4Medical Human Insulin Market Is Expected to Reach $42 billion by 2019 - New Research Report by MarketsandMarkets 5The Asia-Pacific hardware encryption display market is expected to reach $51,362.6 million by 2018 - New Report by MicroMarket Monitor 2The Asia-Pacific hardware encryption display market is expected to reach $51,362.6 million by 2018 - New Report by MicroMarket Monitor 3Hydraulic Fracturing Market Projected To Reach $64 Billion by 2017 - New Report by MarketsandMarkets 2Hydraulic Fracturing Market Projected To Reach $64 Billion by 2017 - New Report by MarketsandMarkets 3Hydraulic Fracturing Market Projected To Reach $64 Billion by 2017 - New Report by MarketsandMarkets 4Magnetic mirrors enable new technologies by reflecting light in uncanny ways 2Magnetic mirrors enable new technologies by reflecting light in uncanny ways 3Magnetic mirrors enable new technologies by reflecting light in uncanny ways 4
... 13 , - Announce Winners of ... Elsevier, the world,s leading research publisher of ... Institutions announced,today winners of the first annual ... to recognize outstanding young scientists and researchers,in ...
... driving now includes personalized ... progress tracking, ... shipping InSight Version 1.1 for Windows.,This new release includes enhancements that ... are making as they progress,through the software, providing a highly personalized ...
... SAN DIEGO, Nov. 13 Ambrx Inc. ... ARX201, the company,s,long-acting human growth hormone (hGH) analogue ... factor I (IGF-I) levels,while delivering an acceptable safety ... The results of this trial support further,evaluation of ...
Cached Biology Technology:Elsevier and the Association of Southeast Asian Institutions 2Elsevier and the Association of Southeast Asian Institutions 3Elsevier and the Association of Southeast Asian Institutions 4Posit Science(R) Corporation Announces the Release of InSight(TM) 1.1 2Clinical Data Show Long-Acting Human Growth Hormone ARX201 is Safe and Well Tolerated 2Clinical Data Show Long-Acting Human Growth Hormone ARX201 is Safe and Well Tolerated 3