Poisson sampling-based inference for single ion channel data with time interval omission
Ball FG., Chen A., Sansom MSP.
Patch-clamp recording allows investigations of the gating kinetics of single ion channels. Statistical analysis of kinetic data can enhance our understanding of channel gating at a molecular level. Experimental channel records suffer from time interval omission, i.e. failure to detect brief channel openings and closings. It is important to incorporate this phenomenon into statistical analyses of ion channel data. When time interval omission is ignored, the method of maximum likelihood can usually be used to estimate gating parameters from a single channel record. However, it is far more difficult to apply this method when time interval omission is incorporated. We present an alternative approach to parameter estimation based on Poisson sampling. A simulated homogeneous Poisson process is superimposed onto the channel record and inference is based on the numbers of points in successive open and closed sojourns, rather than on the sojourn times themselves. We describe the method for the two-state Markov model C ⇆ O, although it is applicable to more general models. Computer-simulated data are used to demonstrate the efficacy of the method. Modifications of the method are discussed briefly.