Send to

Choose Destination
Neuron. 2008 Jul 10;59(1):98-109. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2008.05.006.

Extent of voltage sensor movement during gating of shaker K+ channels.

Author information

Department of Physics and Biophysics, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Urbana IL 61801, USA.


Voltage-driven activation of Kv channels results from conformational changes of four voltage sensor domains (VSDs) that surround the K(+) selective pore domain. How the VSD helices rearrange during gating is an area of active research. Luminescence resonance energy transfer (LRET) is a powerful spectroscopic ruler uniquely suitable for addressing the conformational trajectory of these helices. Using a geometric analysis of numerous LRET measurements, we were able to estimate LRET probe positions relative to existing structural models. The experimental movement of helix S4 does not support a large 15-20 A transmembrane "paddle-type" movement or a near-zero A vertical "transporter-type" model. Rather, our measurements demonstrate a moderate S4 displacement of 10 +/- 5 A, with a vertical component of 5 +/- 2 A. The S3 segment moves 2 +/- 1 A in the opposite direction and is therefore not moving as an S3-S4 rigid body.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center