Part I (continued). The Shape of the Channel

The dimensions of the selectivity filter are determined by the strength of hydrogen bonds and van der Waals interactions with the remainder of the channel protein.
It will be seen that these "molecular springs" are the key to the functionality of this biological ion channel. For simplicity, we only show that part of the protein forming the selectivity filter.
The conduit formed by the four peptide chains is lined with carbonyl oxygen atoms, shown here in red.
A succession of carbonyl oxygen rings appears as an ion traverses the selectivity filter.

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Last modified: Fri Nov 20 12:04:46 "EST 1998