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J Comput Neurosci. 2002 Mar-Apr;12(2):123-37.

Computing transient gating charge movement of voltage-dependent ion channels.

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Department of Neuroscience, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis 55455, USA.


The opening of voltage-gated sodium, potassium, and calcium ion channels has a steep relationship with voltage. In response to changes in the transmembrane voltage, structural movements of an ion channel that precede channel opening generate a capacitative gating current. The net gating charge displacement due to membrane depolarization is an index of the voltage sensitivity of the ion channel activation process. Understanding the molecular basis of voltage-dependent gating of ion channels requires the measurement and computation of the gating charge, Q. We derive a simple and accurate semianalytic approach to computing the voltage dependence of transient gating charge movement (Q-V relationship) of discrete Markov state models of ion channels using matrix methods. This approach allows rapid computation of Q-V curves for finite and infinite length step depolarizations and is consistent with experimentally measured transient gating charge. This computational approach was applied to Shaker potassium channel gating, including the impact of inactivating particles on potassium channel gating currents.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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