Article: article from journal or magazin.
Direct visualization of the trimeric structure of the ASIC1a channel, using AFM imaging.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
There has been confusion about the subunit stoichiometry of the degenerin family of ion channels. Recently, a crystal structure of acid-sensing ion channel (ASIC) 1a revealed that it assembles as a trimer. Here, we used atomic force microscopy (AFM) to image unprocessed ASIC1a bound to mica. We detected a mixture of subunit monomers, dimers and trimers. In some cases, triple-subunit clusters were clearly visible, confirming the trimeric structure of the channel, and indicating that the trimer sometimes disaggregated after adhesion to the mica surface. This AFM-based technique will now enable us to determine the subunit arrangement within heteromeric ASICs.
Aluminum Silicates/chemistry, Humans, Microscopy, Atomic Force, Nerve Tissue Proteins/chemistry, Nerve Tissue Proteins/ultrastructure, Protein Subunits/chemistry, Sodium Channels/chemistry, Sodium Channels/ultrastructure
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