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Electrophysiological Characterization of Membrane Transport Proteins

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Grewer,  Christof
Department of Biophysical Chemistry, Max Planck Institute of Biophysics, Max Planck Society;

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Mager,  Thomas
Department of Biophysical Chemistry, Max Planck Institute of Biophysics, Max Planck Society;

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Fendler,  Klaus
Department of Biophysical Chemistry, Max Planck Institute of Biophysics, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Grewer, C., Gameiro, A., Mager, T., & Fendler, K. (2013). Electrophysiological Characterization of Membrane Transport Proteins. Annual Review of Biophysics, 42, 95-120.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0024-D4C8-E
Abstract
Active transport in biological membranes has been traditionally studied using a variety of biochemical and biophysical techniques, including electrophysiology. This review focuses on aspects of electrophysiological methods that make them particularly suited for the investigation of transporter function. Two major approaches to electrical recording of transporter activity are discussed: (a) artificial planar lipid membranes, such as the black lipid membrane and solid supported membrane, which are useful for studies on bacterial transporters and transporters of intracellular compartments, and (b) patch clamp and voltage clamp techniques, which investigate transporters in native cellular membranes. The analytical power of these methods is highlighted by several examples of mechanistic studies of specific membrane proteins, including cytochrome c oxidase, NhaA Na+/H+ exchanger, ClC-7 H+/Cl exchanger, glutamate transporters, and neutral amino acid transporters. These examples reveal the wealth of mechanistic information that can be obtained when electrophysiological methods are used in combination with rapid perturbation approaches.