Imaging the coupling between ion-channel conformational change and gating.

Mark Wallace (primary)
Bonnie Wallace (secondary)
Structural and Molecular Biology


Although we have high-resolution information on the structures of many ion channels, they only provide a static snapshot of the 3D motions that these molecular machines must undergo. This is in sharp contrast to the rapid on-off gating in the flow of ions through these channels that we can measure using other techniques. You will use new microscopy methods capable of measuring both the conformational changes and the flow of ions through an individual channel. This will allow us to understand how the conformational changes in channel structure are linked to the flow of ions through the channel.


Sula, A., Booker, J., Ng, L., Naylor, C.E., DeCaen, P., Wallace, B.A. (2017) The complete crystal structure of an activated open sodium channel, Nature Comms. 8, 14205.

Sula, A. and Wallace, B.A (2017). Interpreting the Functional Role of a Novel Interaction Motif in Prokaryotic Sodium Channels. J. Gen. Physiol. 149:613-622.

Ke, S., Ulmschneider, M.B., Wallace, B.A.*, and Ulmschneider, J.P.* (2018) Role of the interaction motif in maintaining the open gate of an open sodium channel. Biophysical Journal. 115:1-11. NaC, US partnering

Huang S, Romero-Ruiz M, Castell OK, Bayley H, Wallace MI. High-throughput optical sensing of nucleic acids in a nanopore array. Nature Nano (2015) doi:10.1038/nnano.2015.189. Highlighted by GenomeWeb.

Leptihn S, Castell OK, Cronin B, Lee EH, Gross LCM, Marshall DP, Thompson JR, Holden M, Wallace MI. Constructing Droplet Interface Bilayers from the Contact of Aqueous Droplets in Oil. Nature Protocols (2013) 8, 1048.

Molecules, cells and industrial biotechnology
Area of Biology
Techniques & Approaches
BiochemistryBiophysicsMicroscopy / ElectrophysiologyMolecular Biology