A Common Pathway for Charge Transport through Voltage-Sensing Domains

Baron Chanda, Francisco Bezanilla

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Voltage-gated ion channels derive their voltage sensitivity from the movement of specific charged residues in response to a change in transmembrane potential. Several studies on mechanisms of voltage sensing in ion channels support the idea that these gating charges move through a well-defined permeation pathway. This gating pathway in a voltage-gated ion channel can also be mutated to transport free cations, including protons. The recent discovery of proton channels with sequence homology to the voltage-sensing domains suggests that evolution has perhaps exploited the same gating pathway to generate a bona fide voltage-dependent proton transporter. Here we will discuss implications of these findings on the mechanisms underlying charge (and ion) transport by voltage-sensing domains.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)345-351
Number of pages7
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 7 2008


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