FRANCIS LEROY & OLIVIER WAUTIER, BIOCOSMOS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY FRANCIS LEROY & OLIVIER WAUTIER, BIOCOSMOS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Animation of an ionophore molecule transporting a potassium ion (green) across a cell membrane. Ionophores are highly selective for specific ions. Here the ionophore binds the potassium ion, enclosing it in its structure. This shields the ion's charge from the phospholipid membrane. A conformational change in the ionophore delivers the ion to the interior of the cell (bottom). Ionophores are disrupt the ion concentration gradients across cell membranes and so have antibiotic properties.
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