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How far will you go to sense voltage?

Francesco Tombola, Medha M Pathak, Ehud Y Isacoff

Neuron, 2005 Dec 8 , 48, 719-25

Despite tremendous progress in the study of voltage-gated channels, the molecular mechanism underlying voltage sensing has remained a matter of debate. We review five new studies that make major progress in the field. The studies employ a battery of distinct approaches that have the common aim of measuring the motion of the voltage sensor. We interpret the results in light of the recent crystal structure of the mammalian potassium channel Kv1.2. We focus on the transmembrane movement of the voltage sensor as a key element to the detection of membrane potential and to the control of channel gating.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16337910