Neurobiology: X-raying ion channels shows they widen and narrow to adapt to what’s passing

22 junio 2015

The Nobel Prize winner Roderick MacKinnon suggested that ion channels (the pores on the cell membrane that regulate the exchange of ions between the inside and outside of cells) were like rigid tubes through which molecules of varying size move. Now it seems that he was wrong: a team of scientists used the most robust technique in this field, x-ray crystallography, to watch ionic channels to change their diameter as they adjust to the size of the ions crossing them.