Crystal structure of a voltage-gated K+ channel pore module in a closed state in lipid membranes

Jose S. Santos, Guillermo A. Asmar-Rovira, Gye Won Han, Wei Liu, Ruhma Syeda, Vadim Cherezov, Kent A. Baker, Raymond C. Stevens, Mauricio Montal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Voltage-gated K+ channels underlie the electrical excitability of cells. Each subunit of the functional tetramer consists of the tandem fusion of two modules, an N-terminal voltage-sensor and a C-terminal pore. To investigate how sensor coupling to the pore generates voltage-dependent channel opening, we solved the crystal structure and characterized the function of a voltage-gated K+ channel pore in a lipid membrane. The structure of a functional channel in a membrane environment at 3.1Åresolution establishes an unprecedented connection between channel structure and function. The structure is unique in delineating an ion-occupied ready to conduct selectivity filter, a confined aqueous cavity, and a closed activation gate, embodying a dynamic entity trapped in an unstable closed state.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43063-43070
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number51
StatePublished - Dec 14 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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