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Curr Opin Chem Biol. 2000 Apr;4(2):148-51.

Ion channels: doing hard chemistry with hard ions.

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  • Department of Biochemistry, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts, USA. cmiller@brandeis.edu


For years, the mechanisms and structural underpinnings of ion selectivity by ion channel proteins have been inferred by indirect experiments. The recently determined structure of a K(+) channel has put flesh on these bones, revealing the coordination chemistry responsible for the unusual combination of high selectivity and high transport rates in ion channels.

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