PerspectiveBiochemistry

Potassium ions line up

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Science  17 Oct 2014:
Vol. 346, Issue 6207, pp. 303
DOI: 10.1126/science.1260555

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Summary

Potassium channels are involved in many biological functions, most notably the generation and shaping of electrical signals in neurons. These transmembrane proteins function by conducting potassium ions selectively across biological membranes. On page 352 of this issue, Köpfer et al. (1) report molecular dynamics simulations of ion conduction through potassium channels. The results challenge the established picture derived from x-ray crystallography (2, 3), electrophysiology (4), and earlier simulations (5, 6).