Table of Contents: June 2009

An article in the June issue of PLoS Biology reports the crystal structure of a gated aquaporin from yeast at the highest resolution so far obtained for a membrane protein (see Fischer et al., e1000130). At this resolution it is possible to view the specific orientation of water molecules as they pass through the channel and to see how the co-transport of protons is excluded. The structure reveals that yeast aquaporins are gated, providing an energetically economical solution to the need to respond to the numerous stresses associated with rapidly changing environments, aiding the organism's quest to survive.

Image Credit: Urszula Kosinska-Eriksson, Gerhard Fischer (University of Gothenburg).

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