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.
The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change
17.11.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig
Win-win strategies for climate and food security
02.10.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
High-precision measurement of the g-factor eleven times more precise than before / Results indicate a strong similarity between protons and antiprotons
The magnetic moment of an individual proton is inconceivably small, but can still be quantified. The basis for undertaking this measurement was laid over ten...
Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...
The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.
Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
24.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.11.2017 | Health and Medicine
24.11.2017 | Earth Sciences