Stochastic properties of ion channel openings and bursts in a membrane patch that contains two channels: evidence concerning the number of channels present when a record containing only single openings is observed.
ABSTRACT If a single ion channel record is observed in which two ion channels are never simultaneously open, then it is often of interest to know whether the observations indeed arose from the activity of only one ion channel. This question can be answered if it is possible to calculate the distribution of the duration of runs of single openings in a membrane patch that contains two active channels. If the observed run of single openings is much longer than that expected for a patch with two channels it is likely that only one channel was active. An approximate method is presented for calculating the distribution of the duration of runs of single openings in a patch with two active channels; this method has the advantage that it can be calculated from observable quantities, and requires no knowledge of the details of the ion-channel mechanism or its rate constants. The accuracy of this approximation is tested by exact calculations of the properties of runs of single openings, and of single bursts, for two specific mechanisms and a large range of rate constants. The approximation is good in all cases in which openings occur singly, or in closely spaced bursts. If, as is common in practice, openings occur in clusters that are separated by long shut periods, then overlap of clusters from two different channels may be detected, if no double opening is produced, as a period in the middle of a cluster in which the probability of being open doubles. The results derived here can be applied to such a period to test whether it results from the simultaneous activity of two channels, rather than from a change in the properties of a single channel.
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ABSTRACT: We present a novel computational model that detects temporal configurations of a given human neuronal pathway and constructs its artificial replication. This poses a great challenge since direct recordings from individual neurons are impossible in the human central nervous system and therefore the underlying neuronal pathway has to be considered as a black box. For tackling this challenge, we used a branch of complex systems modeling called artificial self-organization in which large sets of software entities interacting locally give rise to bottom-up collective behaviors. The result is an emergent model where each software entity represents an integrate-and-fire neuron. We then applied the model to the reflex responses of single motor units obtained from conscious human subjects. Experimental results show that the model recovers functionality of real human neuronal pathways by comparing it to appropriate surrogate data. What makes the model promising is the fact that, to the best of our knowledge, it is the first realistic model to self-wire an artificial neuronal network by efficiently combining neuroscience with artificial self-organization. Although there is no evidence yet of the model's connectivity mapping onto the human connectivity, we anticipate this model will help neuroscientists to learn much more about human neuronal networks, and could also be used for predicting hypotheses to lead future experiments.Journal of Computational Neuroscience 07/2013; · 2.44 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Coassembly of potassium voltage-gated channel, KQT-like subfamily, member 1 (KCNQ1) with potassium voltage-gated channel, Isk-related family, member 1 (KCNE1) the delayed rectifier potassium channel I(Ks). Its slow activation is critically important for membrane repolarization and for abbreviating the cardiac action potential, especially during sympathetic activation and at high heart rates. Mutations in either gene can cause long QT syndrome, which can lead to fatal arrhythmias. To understand better the elementary behavior of this slowly activating channel complex, we quantitatively analyzed direct measurements of single-channel I(Ks). Single-channel recordings from transiently transfected mouse ltk(-) cells confirm a channel that has long latency periods to opening (1.67 ± 0.073 s at +60 mV) but that flickers rapidly between multiple open and closed states in non-deactivating bursts at positive membrane potentials. Channel activity is cyclic with periods of high activity followed by quiescence, leading to an overall open probability of only ∼0.15 after 4 s under our recording conditions. The mean single-channel conductance was determined to be 3.2 pS, but unlike any other known wild-type human potassium channel, long-lived subconductance levels coupled to activation are a key feature of both the activation and deactivation time courses of the conducting channel complex. Up to five conducting levels ranging from 0.13 to 0.66 pA could be identified in single-channel recordings at 60 mV. Fast closings and overt subconductance behavior of the wild-type I(Ks) channel required modification of existing Markov models to include these features of channel behavior.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 02/2013; · 9.74 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Glutamate-gated ion channels embedded within the neuronal membrane are the primary mediators of fast excitatory synaptic transmission in the CNS. The ion channel of these glutamate receptors contains a pore-lining transmembrane M3 helix surrounded by peripheral M1 and M4 helices. In the NMDA receptor subtype, opening of the ion channel pore, mediated by displacement of the M3 helices away from the central pore axis, occurs in a highly concerted fashion, but the associated temporal movements of the peripheral helices are unknown. To address the gating dynamics of the peripheral helices, we constrained the relative movements of the linkers that connect these helices to the ligand-binding domain using engineered cross-links, either within (intra-GluN1 or GluN2A) or between subunits. Constraining the peripheral linkers in any manner dramatically curtailed channel opening, highlighting the requirement for rearrangements of these peripheral structural elements for efficient gating to occur. However, the magnitude of this gating effect depended on the specific subunit being constrained, with the most dramatic effects occurring when the constraint was between subunits. Based on kinetic and thermodynamic analysis, our results suggest an asynchrony in the displacement of the peripheral linkers during the conformational and energetic changes leading to pore opening. Initially there are large-scale rearrangements occurring between the four subunits. Subsequently, rearrangements occur within individual subunits, mainly GluN2A, leading up to or in concert with pore opening. Thus, the conformational changes induced by agonist binding in NMDA receptors converge asynchronously to permit pore opening.Journal of Neuroscience 07/2013; 33(29):12052-66. · 6.91 Impact Factor