Volume exclusion in calcium selective channels

Dezso' Boda, Wolfgang Nonner, Douglas Henderson, Bob Eisenberg, Dirk Gillespie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Another research group has proposed an interesting model for calcium channel selectivity. However, on the basis of their reported results we find it impossible to assess the merits of their model because their results and claims concerning selectivity are based on an extrapolation over four orders of magnitude to low Ca 2+ concentration. Their results and claims have been presented in several articles and reviews in several journals and, thus, need attention. In this article, we first establish that we obtain results on electrostatics and channel occupancies similar to the high-concentration simulations they present. We then perform grand canonical ensemble simulations that enable us to study micromolar Ca 2+ concentrations. We find that their model channel is only weakly Ca 2+ selective. A crucial problem with their model appears to be the placement of the negatively charged glutamate structural elements in fixed positions inside the protein rather than as flexible units inside the filter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3486-3496
Number of pages11
JournalBiophysical journal
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 1 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics


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