Mechanisms of permeation and selectivity in calcium channels

Ben Corry, Toby W. Allen, Serdar Kuyucak, Shin Ho Chung*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    165 Citations (Scopus)


    The mechanisms underlying ion transport and selectivity in calcium channels are examined using electrostatic calculations and Brownian dynamics simulations. We model the channel as a rigid structure with fixed charges in the walls, representing glutamate residues thought to be responsible for ion selectivity. Potential energy profiles obtained from multi-ion electrostatic calculations provide insights into ion permeation and many other observed features of L-type calcium channels. These qualitative explanations are confirmed by the results of Brownian dynamics simulations, which closely reproduce several experimental observations. These include the current-voltage curves, current-concentration relationship, block of monovalent currents by divalent ions, the anomalous mole fraction effect between sodium and calcium ions, attenuation of calcium current by external sodium ions, and the effects of mutating glutamate residues in the amino acid sequence.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)195-214
    Number of pages20
    JournalBiophysical Journal
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2001


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