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Researchers 'see' structure of open nicotinic acetylcholine ion channels
Date:4/7/2008

nnels are meant to be quick, he said. If they are too slow, we have disease.

Grosman said that the approach developed in his lab is the first to allow scientists to infer the structure of an ion channel in its open conformation as it functions in a living cell.

I know when the protein is open, because in single-molecule experiments the distinction between open and closed conformations is simple; the channel either passes a current or not, he said.

In a living cell the protein responds, in measurable ways, to changes in its structure and environment, he said. Its not frozen at super low temperatures. Its not in a crystalline lattice. The cells are alive at the beginning of the experiment and when we finish the experiment, the cells keep living.


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Contact: Diana Yates
diya@uiuc.edu
217-333-5802
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Source:Eurekalert  

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