Membrane protein-clusters

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Research Description

Membrane proteins are the gatekeepers of biological cells. In the recent years, evidence has emerged that certain membrane proteins organise in large clusters to fulfil their functions. Here we presenta a combined experimental and computational approach to study the organisation of membrane protein clusters under physiological conditions. In particular, the collection of experimental data on membrane protein clusters was enabled by using Dynamic Nuclear Polarization, a cutting-edge technique that can drastically enhance solid-state NMR sensitivity. The study demonstrates that potassium channels aggregate and dissociate during their gating cycle, which implies that cluster formation is an intrinsic functional property of certain ion channels.