The influence of surface charges on the conductance of the human connexin37 gap junction channel

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Abstract

The single-channel conductance of the hCx37 homotypic gap junction channel does not saturate with transjunctional voltages up to ±75 mV, nor does it depend linearly on the intracellular electrolyte concentration. The average maximum unitary conductances measured in KCl were 175 pS (30 mM), 236 pS (55 mM), 343 pS (110 mM), and 588 pS (270 mM) in the presence of 0.1 mM MgCl2. The unexpectedly high unitary conductance at low salt concentrations can be explained by fixed charge groups within or near the channel orifice. Fixed cytoplasmic surface charges (3.4 e) positioned adjacent (15 Å) to the channel pore adequately model the data (surface charge density of 0.24 e/(nm)2). In other experiments, high Mg2+ reduced the unitary conductance of hCx37 homotypic gap junction channels more than predicted by screening alone, consistent with specific effects of Mg2+ on the channel.

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Banach, K., Ramanan, S. V., & Brink, P. R. (2000). The influence of surface charges on the conductance of the human connexin37 gap junction channel. Biophysical Journal, 78(2), 752–760. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0006-3495(00)76633-1

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