PubMed 24560138

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: Kv10.1

Title: Markov modeling of ion channels: implications for understanding disease.

Authors: Angelika Lampert, Alon Korngreen

Journal, date & volume: Prog Mol Biol Transl Sci, 2014 , 123, 1-21

PubMed link:

Ion channels are the bridge between the biochemical and electrical domains of our life. These membrane crossing proteins use the electric energy stored in transmembrane ion gradients, which are produced by biochemical activity to generate ionic currents. Each ion channel can be imagined as a small power plant similar to a hydroelectric power station, in which potential energy is converted into electric current. This current drives basically all physiological mechanisms of our body. It is clear that a functional blueprint of these amazing cellular power plants is essential for understanding the principle of all aspects of physiology, particularly neurophysiology. The golden path toward this blueprint starts with the biophysical investigation of ion channel activity and continues through detailed numerical modeling of these channels that will eventually lead to a full system-level description of cellular and organ physiology. Here, we discuss the first two stages of this process focusing on voltage-gated channels, particularly the voltage-gated sodium channel which is neurologically and pathologically important. We first detail the correlations between the known structure of the channel and its activity and describe some pathologies. We then provide a hands-on description of Markov modeling for voltage-gated channels. These two sections of the chapter highlight the dichotomy between the vast amounts of electrophysiological data available on voltage-gated channels and the relatively meager number of physiologically relevant models for these channels.