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Imaging the Coupling Between Ion-Channel Conformational Change and Gating

Mark Wallace Research Image

Although we have high-resolution information on the structures of many ion channels, they only provide a static snapshot of the 3D motions that these molecular machines must undergo. This is in sharp contrast to the rapid on-off gating in the flow of ions through these channels that we can measure using other techniques. You will use new microscopy methods capable of measuring both the conformational changes and the flow of ions through an individual channel. This will allow us to understand how the conformational changes in channel structure are linked to the flow of ions through the channel.

Disciplines and Techniques
Project supervisor/s
Professor Mark Wallace
Mark's research is to build artificial mimics of cell membranes; both to improve our understanding of membrane biology, and to engineer new devices inspired by biology.
King's College London
Professor Bonnie Wallace
Bonnie's research focuses on structure/function studies of membrane proteins and polypeptides, especially those involved in ion translocation and transport.
Birkbeck University of London
The complete crystal structure of an activated open sodium channel
Sula, A., Booker, J., Ng, L., Naylor, C.E., DeCaen, P., Wallace, B.A
Nature Comms. 8, 14205
Interpreting the Functional Role of a Novel Interaction Motif in Prokaryotic Sodium Channels
Sula, A. and Wallace, B.A
J. Gen. Physiol. 149:613-622.
Role of the interaction motif in maintaining the open gate of an open sodium channel
Ke, S., Ulmschneider, M.B., Wallace, B.A.*, and Ulmschneider, J.P.*
Biophysical Journal. 115:1-11. NaC, US partnering
High-throughput optical sensing of nucleic acids in a nanopore array
Huang S, Romero-Ruiz M, Castell OK, Bayley H, Wallace MI
Nature Nano doi:10.1038/nnano.2015.189. Highlighted by GenomeWeb.
Constructing Droplet Interface Bilayers from the Contact of Aqueous Droplets in Oil
Leptihn S, Castell OK, Cronin B, Lee EH, Gross LCM, Marshall DP, Thompson JR, Holden M, Wallace MI.
Nature Protocols 8, 1048