BME417HW1 - BME 417 HW1 1. Who recently received a Nobel...

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1. Who recently received a Nobel Prize for work on ion channel structure and function? Roderick MacKinnon of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at Rockefeller University, who worked out the structure and function of the potassium ion channel, shared the 2003 Nobel Chemistry Prize with Peter Agre of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, who discovered aquaporin. 2. Write a synopsis of his work. The Structure of the Potassium Channel: Molecular Basis of K+ Conduction and Selectivity The inception of the Hodgkin-Huxley Model in 1952 birthed the idea of voltage gated ion channels. In later research, it has been shown that the ion channels are highly selective. E.g. K+ ion channel is virtually impermeable to Na+ ion. It is obvious that size isn t the only factor in play; otherwise, the smaller Na+ ion would have passed more easily than the larger K+ ion. Multiple mechanisms for the working of K+ channels have been proposed, but none can say for sure until the actual 3D structure of the K+ channel is elucidated. 3D protein structures can be deduced using X-ray crystallography technique, in which a beam of X-ray is directed through a crystallized protein and the diffraction pattern recorded. Mammalian membrane proteins, however, are notoriously difficult to crystallize. By choosing an easier bacterial K+ channel and by showing that K+ channels are largely conserved across species, Roderick
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BME417HW1 - BME 417 HW1 1. Who recently received a Nobel...

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