The binding site of sodium in the gramicidin A channel

Benoît Roux, Thomas B. Woolf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The available information concerning the structure and location of the main binding site for sodium in the gramicidin A channel is reviewed and discussed. Results from molecular dynamics simulations using an atomic model of the channel embedded in a lipid bilayer are compared with experimental observations. The combined information from experiment and simulation suggests that the main binding sites for sodium are near the channel's mouth, approximately 9.2 Å from the centre of the dimer channel, although the motion along the axis could be as large as 1 to 2 Å. In the binding site, the sodium ion is lying off axis, making contact with two carbonyl oxygens and two single-file water molecules. The main channel ligand is provided by the carbonyl group of the Leu10-Trp11 peptide linkage, which exhibits the largest deflection from the ion-free channel structure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-127
Number of pages15
JournalNovartis Foundation Symposium
StatePublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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