After opening, many ion channels spontaneously close by inactivation, a process distinct from that involved in opening. The inactivation of channels is important for a variety of biological processes, including the timing of action potentials and the control of calcium permeability, which affects many aspects of intracellular signaling. Although the events of Ca2+-dependent inactivation (CDI) and voltage-dependent inactivation (VDI) have been unveiled in the past decade, the downstream mechanisms remained unclear.
Tadross et al. studied both CDI and VDI in Cav1.3 channels and showed them to differ not only in their initiation mechanisms but also in their distinct molecular endpoints. For CDI, a clear pattern emerges: activation-enhancing mutations proportionately weaken inactivation, supporting the idea that CDI reduces channel permeability by allosteric hindrance of the activation gate. For VDI, the data implicate a "hinged lid–shield" mechanism, similar to a hinged-lid process, with a previously unrecognized feature, a "shield" in Cav1.3 channels that is specialized to repel lid closure.
In a Commentary accompanying the papers, Jianmin Cui (Washington University, St. Louis) examines the mechanisms of inactivation and provides context for the importance of the new findings by Tadross et al.
About The Journal of General Physiology
Founded in 1918, The Journal of General Physiology (JGP) is published by The Rockefeller University Press. All editorial decisions on manuscripts submitted are made by active scientists. JGP content is posted to PubMed Central, where it is available to the public for free six months after publication. Authors retain copyright of their published works and third parties may reuse the content for non-commercial purposes under a creative commons license. For more information, please visit www.jgp.org.Cui, J. 2010. J. Gen. Physiol. doi:10.1085/jgp.201010421.
Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung
High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...
'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.
Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine
21.10.2016 | Information Technology
21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences