For the Latest Information, Tune to Channel KcsA

Science  02 Jul 1999:
Vol. 285, Issue 5424, pp. 59-61
DOI: 10.1126/science.285.5424.59

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The solving of the crystal structure of a bacterial Kchannel (KcsA) last year yielded valuable information about how the central pore of the channel allows Kions (but not Naions) to enter the pore and pass into the cell cytosol. As Zagrovic and Aldrich explain in their Perspective, two new studies (Roux and MacKinnon, and Perozo et al.) build on this work, providing new information about how KcsA opens and closes (gates) and how the Kions are stabilized inside the pore's central cavity.