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Control of the Aquaporin‑4 Channel Water Permeability by Structural Dynamics of Aromatic/Arginine Selectivity Filter Residues

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journal contribution
posted on 17.11.2015, 00:00 by Philip Kitchen, Alex C. Conner
The aquaporins (AQPs) make up a family of integral membrane proteins that control cellular water flow. Gating of the water channel by conformational changes induced by phosphorylation or protein–protein interactions is an established regulatory mechanism for AQPs. Recent in silico and crystallographic analyses of the structural biology of AQPs suggest that the rate of water flow can also be controlled by small movements of single-amino acid side chains lining the water pore. Here we use measurements of the membrane water permeability of mammalian cells expressing AQP4 mutants to provide the first in vitro evidence in support of this hypothesis.