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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Identification of a translocated protein segment in a voltage-dependent channel.

Voltage-gated channels undergo a conformational change in response to changes in transmembrane voltage. Here we use site-directed biotinylation to create conformation-sensitive sites on colicin Ia, a bacteriocidal protein that forms a voltage-sensitive membrane channel, which can be monitored by electrophysiological methods. We investigated a model of gating developed for the partly homologous colicin E1 that is based on the insertion of regions of the protein into the membrane in response to cis-positive voltages. Site-directed cysteine mutagenesis, followed by chemical modification, was used to attach a biotin molecule covalently to a series of unique sites on colicin Ia. The modified protein was incorporated into planar lipid membranes, where the introduced biotin moiety served as a site to bind the water-soluble protein streptavidin, added to one side of the membrane or the other. Our results show that colicin gating is associated with the translocation across the membrane of a segment of the protein of at least 31 amino acids.[1]


  1. Identification of a translocated protein segment in a voltage-dependent channel. Slatin, S.L., Qiu, X.Q., Jakes, K.S., Finkelstein, A. Nature (1994) [Pubmed]
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