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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.


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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