The role of solvation in the binding selectivity of the L-type calcium channel

Dezso Boda, Douglas Henderson, Dirk Gillespie

Research output: Article

15 Citations (Scopus)


We present grand canonical Monte Carlo simulation results for a reduced model of the L-type calcium channel. While charged residues of the protein amino acids in the selectivity filter are treated explicitly, most of the degrees of freedom (including the rest of the protein and the solvent) are represented by their dielectric response, i.e., dielectric continua. The new aspect of this paper is that the dielectric coefficient in the channel is different from that in the baths. The ions entering the channel, thus, cross a dielectric boundary at the entrance of the channel. Simulating this case has been made possible by our recent methodological development [D. Boda, D. Henderson, B. Eisenberg, and D. Gillespie, J. Chem. Phys. 135, 064105 (2011)]10.1063/1.3622857. Our main focus is on the effect of solvation energy (represented by the Born energy) on monovalent vs. divalent ion selectivity in the channel. We find no significant change in selectivity by changing the dielectric coefficient in the channel because the larger solvation penalty is counterbalanced by the enhanced Coulomb attraction inside the channel as soon as we use the Born radii (fitted to experimental hydration energies) to compute the solvation penalty from the Born equation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number055103
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - aug. 7 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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