Does the Na channel conduct ions through a water-filled pore or a condensed-state pathway?
Pertenece a: PubMed Central (PMC) Descripción: Many investigators assert that the ion-conducting pathway of the Na channel is a water-filled pore. This assertion must be reevaluated to clear the way for more productive approaches to channel gating. The hypothesis of an aqueous pore leaves the questions of voltage-dependent gating and ion selectivity unexplained because a column of water can neither serve as a switch nor provide the necessary selectivity. The price of believing in an aqueous pore therefore is a futile search for separate ad hoc mechanisms for gating and selectivity. The fallacy is to assume that only water is available to carry ions rapidly, ignoring the role of the glycoprotein, which can form an elastomeric phase with water. The elastomer is a state of matter, neither liquid nor solid, in which the molecules of a liquid are threaded together with cross-linked polymer chains; it supports fast ion motion (Owen, 1989). An alternative hypothesis for channel gating, based
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- Does the Na channel conduct ions through a water-filled pore or a condensed-state pathway?