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Zervamicin-IIB (Zrv-IIB) is a 16 residue peptaibol which forms voltage-activated, multiple conductance level channels in planar lipid bilayers. A molecular model of Zrv-IIB channels is presented. The structure of monomeric Zrv-IIB is based upon the crystal structure of Zervamicin-Leu. The helical backbone is kinked by a hydroxyproline residue at position 10. Zrv-IIB channels are modelled as helix bundles of from 4 to 8 parallel helices surrounding a central pore. The monomers are packed with their C-terminal helical segments in close contact, and the bundles are stabilized by hydrogen bonds between glutamine 11 and hydroxyproline 10 of adjacent helices. Interaction energy profiles for movement of three different probes species (K+, Cl- and water) through the central pore are analyzed. The conformations of: (a) the sidechain of glutamine 3; (b) the hydroxyl group of hydroxyproline 10; and (c) the C-terminal hydroxyl group are "optimized" in order to maximize favourable interactions between the channel and the probes, resulting in favourable interaction energy profiles for all three. This suggests that conformational flexibility of polar sidechains enables the channel lining to mimic an aqueous environment.


Journal article


Eur Biophys J

Publication Date





369 - 383


Anti-Bacterial Agents, Chlorides, Ion Channels, Models, Chemical, Models, Molecular, Peptaibols, Peptides, Potassium, Protein Conformation, Protein Structure, Secondary, Water