Edited by
Kenton J Swartz et al.

Ion channels: A Collection of Articles

eLife has published papers on topics related to the molecular structure and functional mechanisms of a diverse array of ion channel proteins.
Collection
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Ion channel proteins open and close ion permeation pathways in response to changes in membrane voltage, neurotransmitters and other chemical ligands, temperature and mechanical forces, enabling ions to move between cellular compartments to generate electrical and chemical signals that are fundamental for a diverse array of physiological cellular process. This collection highlights a series of important papers that delve into fundamental questions concerning the structure, mechanisms and physiological roles of a diverse array of ion channel proteins.

Collection

    1. Evolutionary Biology
    2. Structural Biology and Molecular Biophysics

    OSCA/TMEM63 are an evolutionarily conserved family of mechanically activated ion channels

    Swetha E Murthy et al.
    A family of proteins (OSCA/TMEM63) that encode mechanosensitive ion channels has been characterized in plants, flies, and mammals.
    1. Neuroscience

    Optical electrophysiology for probing function and pharmacology of voltage-gated ion channels

    Hongkang Zhang et al.
    Optogenetic tools enable sophisticated measurements of a voltage-gated sodium channel implicated in pain, as well as high-throughput screening of candidate channel blockers.
    1. Biochemistry and Chemical Biology
    2. Structural Biology and Molecular Biophysics

    Molecular mechanisms of gating in the calcium-activated chloride channel bestrophin

    Alexandria N Miller et al.
    Cryo-EM structures of the gating cycle of bestrophin reveal the molecular underpinnings of activation and inactivation gating in this calcium-activated chloride channel and reveal a surprisingly wide pore.
    1. Structural Biology and Molecular Biophysics
    2. Cell Biology

    Polycystin-2 is an essential ion channel subunit in the primary cilium of the renal collecting duct epithelium

    Xiaowen Liu et al.
    The primary cilia polycystin proteins, polycystin-1 and polycystin-2, affect cilia length in the kidney collecting duct epithelia, but only polycystin-2 is required for the functional ion channel in this organelle.
    1. Structural Biology and Molecular Biophysics
    2. Neuroscience

    A selectivity filter at the intracellular end of the acid-sensing ion channel pore

    Timothy Lynagh et al.
    Sodium selectivity of acid-sensing ion channels is mediated by negatively charged side chains and not by a size-exclusion mechanism.
    1. Structural Biology and Molecular Biophysics

    Cryo-EM structures and functional characterization of the murine lipid scramblase TMEM16F

    Carolina Alvadia et al.
    While activated by a common mechanism, both functions in TMEM16F - lipid scrambling and ion conduction - are likely mediated by alternate protein conformations that are at equilibrium in the ligand-bound state.
    1. Cell Biology
    2. Structural Biology and Molecular Biophysics

    Identification of TMEM206 proteins as pore of PAORAC/ASOR acid-sensitive chloride channels

    Florian Ullrich et al.
    TMEM206 proteins are identified as constituting the pore of the widely expressed acid-activated chloride channel PAORAC/ASOR, which is important in acid toxicity.
    1. Structural Biology and Molecular Biophysics

    Structure of the human epithelial sodium channel by cryo-electron microscopy

    Sigrid Noreng et al.
    The first structure of the human epithelial sodium channel provides vital insight into the assembly, stoichiometry and molecular mechanism of the ion channel central to sodium homeostasis.
    1. Biochemistry and Chemical Biology
    2. Structural Biology and Molecular Biophysics

    A family of fluoride-specific ion channels with dual-topology architecture

    Randy B Stockbridge et al.
    Efflux of xenobiotic fluoride from microorganisms occurs through a novel family of ion channels with stringent selectivity for fluoride ion and dual-topology molecular architecture.
    1. Structural Biology and Molecular Biophysics

    Domain–domain interactions determine the gating, permeation, pharmacology, and subunit modulation of the IKs ion channel

    Mark A Zaydman et al.
    Contrary to a generally accepted principle, the pore properties of KCNQ1 channels depend on the states of voltage-sensing domains activation; KCNE1 alters the voltage-sensing domains-pore coupling to modulate KCNQ1 channel properties.
    1. Structural Biology and Molecular Biophysics

    Single molecule FRET reveals pore size and opening mechanism of a mechano-sensitive ion channel

    Yong Wang et al.
    Observation by single molecule FRET of MscL, a prokaryotic mechanosensitive channel, reveals that MscL opens via the helix-tilt model and its pore reaches 2.8 nm in diameter.
    1. Structural Biology and Molecular Biophysics

    Irreversible temperature gating in trpv1 sheds light on channel activation

    Ana Sánchez-Moreno et al.
    Temperature-activated TRPV1 ion channels respond to increased temperatures by opening and then entering an inactivated state from which they cannot recover, suggesting that this form of irreversible gating results from partial unfolding during heat absorption.
    1. Structural Biology and Molecular Biophysics

    Gating and selectivity mechanisms for the lysosomal K+ channel TMEM175

    SeCheol Oh et al.
    Structures of the non-canonical potassium channel TMEM175 in open and closed states reveal unique mechanisms for channel gating and the selective permeation of K+ ions.
    1. Structural Biology and Molecular Biophysics

    Ligand discrimination and gating in cyclic nucleotide-gated ion channels from apo and partial agonist-bound cryo-EM structures

    Jan Rheinberger et al.
    High resolution SthK channel cryo-EM structures in different ligand-bound states combined with single-channel functional data in the same conditions constrain a gating mechanism for CNG channels.
    1. Biochemistry and Chemical Biology
    2. Structural Biology and Molecular Biophysics

    Crystal structure of a natural light-gated anion channelrhodopsin

    Hai Li et al.
    The atomic structure of GtACR1 provides new insight into the chemical mechanism of natural light-gated anion membrane conductance, and enables its optimization for optogenetic photoinhibition of neuron firing.
    1. Structural Biology and Molecular Biophysics

    Regulatory switch at the cytoplasmic interface controls TRPV channel gating

    Lejla Zubcevic et al.
    C-terminal domain of thermoTRPV channels regulates channel gating at the cytoplasmic interface through a switch-like process.
    1. Structural Biology and Molecular Biophysics

    Structural mechanisms of phospholipid activation of the human TPC2 channel

    Ji She et al.
    Cryo-EM structures of human TPC2 channel in the ligand-bound and apo states reveal the structural mechanism of PI(3,5)P2 lipid regulated gating of TPC2.
    1. Structural Biology and Molecular Biophysics

    Voltage-dependent dynamics of the BK channel cytosolic gating ring are coupled to the membrane-embedded voltage sensor

    Pablo Miranda et al.
    Allosteric modulation of BK channels, vital for the physiology of nerve, muscle and endocrine cells, is determined by direct coupling between gating ring RCK1 domains and the voltage sensor function.
    1. Structural Biology and Molecular Biophysics

    Electron cryo-microscopy structure of the canonical TRPC4 ion channel

    Deivanayagabarathy Vinayagam et al.
    Structural insights into the architecture and functional properties of zebrafish TRPC4 are revealed by high-resolution cryo-EM.
    1. Biochemistry and Chemical Biology
    2. Structural Biology and Molecular Biophysics

    A comprehensive search for calcium binding sites critical for TMEM16A calcium-activated chloride channel activity

    Jason Tien et al.
    The identification of four acidic amino acids as potential calcium-binding residues in the TMEM16A calcium-activated chloride channel furthers the molecular understanding of this ion channel family.
    1. Biochemistry and Chemical Biology
    2. Structural Biology and Molecular Biophysics

    Hydrogen bonds as molecular timers for slow inactivation in voltage-gated potassium channels

    Stephan A Pless et al.
    Tuning the strength of inter- and intra-subunit hydrogen bonds can control potassium flux across biological membranes.
    1. Structural Biology and Molecular Biophysics

    Structure-based membrane dome mechanism for Piezo mechanosensitivity

    Yusong R Guo, Roderick MacKinnon
    Mechanosensitive Piezo channel induces local membrane curvature to mediate mechanical gating.
    1. Structural Biology and Molecular Biophysics
    2. Neuroscience

    Chemical activation of the mechanotransduction channel Piezo1

    Ruhma Syeda et al.
    A chemical activator of the mechanosensitive Piezo1 ion channel has been identified.

Contributors

  1. Kenton J Swartz
    Senior Editor
  2. Richard Aldrich
    Richard Aldrich
    Senior Editor