The history of the water channel and recent structural and functional analyses of aquaporins are reviewed. These ubiquitous channels are important for bacteria, plants and animals, exhibit a pronounced sequence homology and share functional as well as structural similarities. Aquaporins allow water or small specific solutes to pass unhindered, but block the passage of ions to prevent dissipation of the transmembrane potential. Besides advances in structure determination, recent experiments suggest that many of these channels are regulated by pH variations, phosphorylation and binding of auxiliary proteins.
- Atomic force microscopy
- Electron crystallography
- Electron microscopy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)