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Ion Channels: Life’s Electronic Hardware
Wednesday, October 27, 2004,
3:00:00 PM Time displayed is Eastern Time, Washington DC Local
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Ion channels are responsible for generating electrical impulses and mediating numerous cellular processes. To accomplish their tasks in biology ion channels must exhibit two basic properties, selectivity and gating. Selectivity refers to the property of high fidelity discrimination among similar ions, while gating refers to protein conformational changes that open a channel in response to specific stimuli such as ligand binding or membrane voltage. Recent developments on the molecular principles of selectivity and gating in potassium channels will be presented.