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J Bioenerg Biomembr. 2012 Feb;44(1):199-205. doi: 10.1007/s10863-012-9407-6.

Transferring knowledge towards understanding the pore stabilizing variations in K(+) channels: pore stability in K(+) channels.

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School of Molecular and Systems Medicine, Alberta Diabetes Institute, University of Alberta, 6126 HRIF East, Edmonton AB T6G 2E1, Canada.


Recent advances in structural biology underlying mechanisms of channel gating have strengthened our knowledge about how K(+) channels can be inter-convertible between conductive and non-conductive states. We have reviewed and combined mutagenesis with biochemical, biophysical and structural information in order to understand the critical roles of the pore residues in stabilizing the pore structure and channel open state. We also discuss how the latest knowledge on the K(+) channel KcsA may provide a step towards better understanding of distinct pore stabilizing differences among diversified K(+) channels.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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