Ion Channels as Molecular Coulter Counters to Probe Metabolite Transport

Ion Channels as Molecular Coulter Counters to Probe Metabolite Transport J. Membrane Biol. 174, 1–13 (2000) The Journal of Membrane Biology © Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 2000 Topical Review S.M. Bezrukov Laboratory of Physical and Structural Biology, NICHD, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-0924, USA and St. Petersburg Nuclear Physics Institute, Gatchina, Russia 188350 Received: 8 September 1999/Revised: 16 November 1999 Introduction one can access not only the structural changes in the channel resulting from processes such as voltage or li- Traditionally, the functional properties of transmem- gand gating, but also the transport of larger molecules brane channels have been approached in terms of small- through their transient occlusion of ion current. Other- ion conduction. Since the inception of two groundbreak- wise, direct large-molecule flux determination requires ing techniques to observe single channels, namely, chan- heroic effort with multipore membranes (or even whole nel reconstitution into planar bilayers (Bean et al., 1969; cells and organelles) and long observation times using Miller, 1986) and patch-clamping (Neher & Sakmann, radioactive, fluorescent, or colorimetric probes (Weis- 1976; Sakmann & Neher, 1995), the same basic electro- man et al., 1989), electron-opaque tracers (Feldherr, physiological methods have been applied to two, distinc- 1986), liposome swelling (Jap & Walian, 1990), or sol- ute-specific reactions, The Journal of Membrane Biology Springer Journals

Ion Channels as Molecular Coulter Counters to Probe Metabolite Transport

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Copyright © Inc. by 2000 Springer-Verlag New York
Life Sciences; Biochemistry, general; Human Physiology
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