PHOTODYNAMIC INACTIVATION OF AN ION CHANNEL: GRAMICIDIN A

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Abstract

Abstract— The ion channel formed by the peptide gramicidin A in planar lipid membranes is inactivated by visible light in the presence of the photosensitizer Rose Bengal. This is concluded from the strong decrease of the membrane conductance by more than two orders of magnitude.

Experiments performed at different oxygen concentrations, in the presence of the singlet oxygen quenchers β-carotene or α-tocopherol indicate, that presumably a type I process between the dye Rose Bengal and the tryptophan residues of the gramicidin channel with a subsequent oxidation of the tryptophans is responsible for the loss of the conductance properties of the channel.

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