Statistical theory of selectivity and conductivity in biological channels

Luchinsky, D. G. and Gibby, W. A. T. and Kaufman, I. and Timucin, D. A. and McClintock, P. V. E. (2016) Statistical theory of selectivity and conductivity in biological channels.

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We present an equilibrium statistical-mechanical theory of selectivity in biological ion channels. In doing so, we introduce a grand canonical ensemble for ions in a channel's selectivity filter coupled to internal and external bath solutions for a mixture of ions at arbitrary concentrations, we use linear response theory to find the current through the filter for small gradients of electrochemical potential, and we show that the conductivity of the filter is given by the generalized Einstein relation. We apply the theory to the permeation of ions through the potassium selectivity filter, and are thereby able to resolve the long-standing paradox of why the high selectivity of the filter brings no associated delay in permeation. We show that the Eisenman selectivity relation follows directly from the condition of diffusion-limited conductivity through the filter. We also discuss the effect of wall fluctuations on the filter conductivity.

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Journal Article
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10 pages, 3 figures
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08 Nov 2016 08:56
Last Modified:
11 Jan 2024 00:17