The hypothesis that the gramicidin A channel stability depends on the level of ion occupancy of the channel was used to derive a mathematical model relating channel lifetime to channel occupancy. Eyring barrier permeation models were examined for their ability to fit the zero-voltage conductance, current-voltage, as well as lifetime data. The simplest permeation model required to explain the major features of the experimental data consists of three barriers and four sites (3B4S) with a maximum of two ions occupying the channel. The average lifetime of the channel was calculated from the barrier model by assuming the closing rate constant to be proportional to the probability of the internal channel sites being empty. The link between permeation and lifetime has as its single parameter the experimentally determined averaged lifetime of gramicidin A channels in the limit of infinitely dilute solutions and has therefore no adjustable parameters. This simple assumption that one or more ions inside the channel completely stabilize the dimer conformation is successful in explaining the experimental data considering the fact that this model for stabilization is independent of ion species and configurational occupancy. The model is used to examine, by comparison with experimental data, the asymmetrical voltage dependence of the lifetime in asymmetrical solutions, the effects of blockers, and the effects of elevated osmotic pressure. © 1988, The Biophysical Society. All rights reserved.
Ring, A., & Sandblom, J. (1988). Modulation of gramicidin A open channel lifetime by ion occupancy. Biophysical Journal, 53(4), 549–559. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0006-3495(88)83135-7