Understanding the conformational motions of RCK gating rings


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Abstract

Regulator of conduction of K+ (RCK) domains are ubiquitous regulators of channel and transporter activity in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. In humans, RCK domains form an integral component of large-conductance calcium-activated K channels (BK channels), key modulators of nerve, muscle, and endocrine cell function. In this review, we explore how the study of RCK domains in bacterial and human channels has contributed to our understanding of the structural basis of channel function. This knowledge will be critical in identifying mechanisms that underlie BK channelopathies that lead to epilepsy and other diseases, as well as regions of the channel that might be successfully targeted to treat such diseases.

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