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Molecular Dynamics Simulation of the Antiamoebin Ion Channel: Linking Structure and Conductance
Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, University of California, San Francisco.
Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, University of California, San Francisco.
MS 239-4, Exobiology Branch, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffet Field, California.
Department of Crystallography, Institute of Structural and Molecular Biology, Birkbeck College, University of London.
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2011 (English)In: Biophysical Journal, ISSN 0006-3495, E-ISSN 1542-0086, Vol. 100, no 10, 2394-402 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Molecular-dynamics simulations were carried out to ascertain which of the potential multimeric forms of the transmembrane peptaibol channel, antiamoebin, is consistent with its measured conductance. Estimates of the conductance obtained through counting ions that cross the channel and by solving the Nernst-Planck equation yield consistent results, indicating that the motion of ions inside the channel can be satisfactorily described as diffusive. The calculated conductance of octameric channels is markedly higher than the conductance measured in single channel recordings, whereas the tetramer appears to be nonconducting. The conductance of the hexamer was estimated to be 115 ± 34 pS and 74 ± 20 pS, at 150 mV and 75 mV, respectively, in satisfactory agreement with the value of 90 pS measured at 75 mV. On this basis, we propose that the antiamoebin channel consists of six monomers. Its pore is large enough to accommodate K+ and Cl with their first solvation shells intact. The free energy barrier encountered by K+ is only 2.2 kcal/mol whereas Cl encounters a substantially higher barrier of nearly 5 kcal/mol. This difference makes the channel selective for cations. Ion crossing events are shown to be uncorrelated and follow Poisson statistics.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cell Press , 2011. Vol. 100, no 10, 2394-402 p.
National Category
Theoretical Chemistry
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-63439DOI: 10.1016/j.bpj.2011.03.054OAI: diva2:453184
Available from: 2011-11-01 Created: 2011-10-18 Last updated: 2011-11-09Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Modeling of voltage-gated ion channels
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Modeling of voltage-gated ion channels
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The recent determination of several crystal structures of voltage-gated ion channels has catalyzed computational efforts of studying these remarkable molecular machines that are able to conduct ions across biological membranes at extremely high rates without compromising the ion selectivity.

Starting from the open crystal structures, we have studied the gating mechanism of these channels by molecular modeling techniques. Firstly, by applying a membrane potential, initial stages of the closing of the channel were captured, manifested in a secondary-structure change in the voltage-sensor. In a follow-up study, we found that the energetic cost of translocating this 310-helix conformation was significantly lower than in the original conformation. Thirdly, collaborators of ours identified new molecular constraints for different states along the gating pathway. We used those to build new protein models that were evaluated by simulations. All these results point to a gating mechanism where the S4 helix undergoes a secondary structure transformation during gating.

These simulations also provide information about how the protein interacts with the surrounding membrane. In particular, we found that lipid molecules close to the protein diffuse together with it, forming a large dynamic lipid-protein cluster. This has important consequences for the understanding of protein-membrane interactions and for the theories of lateral diffusion of membrane proteins.

Further, simulations of the simple ion channel antiamoebin were performed where different molecular models of the channel were evaluated by calculating ion conduction rates, which were compared to experimentally measured values. One of the models had a conductance consistent with the experimental data and was proposed to represent the biological active state of the channel.

Finally, the underlying methods for simulating molecular systems were probed by implementing the CHARMM force field into the GROMACS simulation package. The implementation was verified and specific GROMACS-features were combined with CHARMM and evaluated on long timescales. The CHARMM interaction potential was found to sample relevant protein conformations indifferently of the model of solvent used.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics. Stockholm University, 2011. 65 p.
Molecular modeling, Molecular dynamics, Voltage-gating, Ion channels, Protein structure prediction
National Category
Theoretical Chemistry Bioinformatics (Computational Biology)
Research subject
Biochemistry with Emphasis on Theoretical Chemistry
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-63437 (URN)978-91-7447-336-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2011-12-16, Magnélisalen, Kemiska övningslaboratoriet, Svante Arrhenius väg 16 B, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
At the time of the doctoral defense, the following paper was unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 3: Manuscript.Available from: 2011-11-24 Created: 2011-10-18 Last updated: 2011-11-23Bibliographically approved

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Bjelkmar, Pär
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