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Issue 4, 2014
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Ruled surface underlying KcsA potassium channels

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Recent experiments have revealed that the opening and closing of the channel is controlled by concertedly rotating and tilting the ends of the alpha-helices in the KcsA ion channels. We recognize these transmembrane alpha-helices as the generating lines of the ruled surface: the hyperboloid of one sheet. The twist-to-shrink feature of the hyperboloid is adopted by KcsA channels in gating the pore as observed in experiments. Our model may shed light on understanding nature's design principles of ion channels. And the conclusions drawn from this study have implications for the design of artificial channels.

Graphical abstract: Ruled surface underlying KcsA potassium channels

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The article was received on 09 Oct 2013, accepted on 19 Nov 2013 and first published on 20 Nov 2013

Article type: Opinion
DOI: 10.1039/C3SM52612G
Citation: Soft Matter, 2014,10, 540-543
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    Ruled surface underlying KcsA potassium channels

    Z. Yao and M. Olvera de la Cruz, Soft Matter, 2014, 10, 540
    DOI: 10.1039/C3SM52612G

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