LAGUNA DESIGN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY LAGUNA DESIGN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Potassium ion channel beta subunit. Molecular model showing the structure a beta subunit of a voltage-dependent potassium (K+) channel. Ion channels are membrane-spanning proteins that form a pathway for the movement of inorganic ions across cell membranes. Beta subunits, which help modify K+ channel gating, form a four-fold symmetric structure. The subunits here enclose the central channel. Each subunit is an oxidoreductase enzyme complete with a nicotinamide co-factor in its active site. This example is modelled on the beta subunit in a potassium ion channel from a brown rat (Rattus norvegicus).
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