The channel properties of possible gramicidin dimers

Shen Shu Sung, Peter C. Jordan

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Extending previous work (Sung & Jordan, 1987a, Biophys. J. 51, 661-672; 1988, Biophys. J. 54, 519-526), we describe channel properties of five possible gramicidin dimers by studying dimerization energies and axial electrical potentials. Unlike the head-to-head dimer (the predominant channel former), both tail-to-tail and head-to-tail dimers with the same β-helical monomer structure as the head-to-head dimer only form four intermonomer hydrogen bonds and are much less stable. Were channels formed from these dimers to be observed, their electrical potential profiles suggest that they should be cation selective, probably conduct less than the head-to-head dimer, have a central cation binding site, bind cations preferentially if crystallizable, and in the case of the head-to-tail dimer, rectify. Like the antiparallel double stranded helical dimer (a possible minor conducting pathway) the parallel double stranded helical dimer has 28 interstrand hydrogen bonds, but its hydrogen bond network is quite distorted and it is much less stable. If it formed, its electrical potential profile suggests that it would be cation selective, bind anions preferentially if crystallizable, rectify, and at high enough voltages, might exhibit a conductance greater than that of the antiparallel form.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)369-380
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 9 1989

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • Applied Mathematics


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