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Excitation energy transport with noise and disorder in a model of the selectivity filter of an ion channel

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journal contribution
posted on 31.10.2018 by Amir Jalalinejad, Hassan Bassereh, Vahid Salari, Tapio Ala-Nissila, Achille Giacometti
A selectivity filter is a gate in ion channels that is responsible for the selection and fast conduction of particular ions across the membrane (with high throughput rates of 108ions s-1and a high 1:104discrimination rate between ions). It is made of four strands as the backbone, and each strand is composed of sequences of five amino acids connected by peptide units H-N-C=O in which the main molecules in the backbone that interact with ions in the filter are carbonyl (C=O) groups that mimic the transient interactions of ion with binding sites during ion conduction. It has been suggested that quantum coherence and possible emergence of resonances in the backbone carbonyl groups may play a role in mediating ion conduction and selectivity in the filter. Here, we investigate the influence of noise and disorder on the efficiency of excitation energy transfer (EET) in a linear harmonic chain of N = 5 sites with dipole-dipole couplings as a simple model for one P-loop strand of the selectivity filter backbone in biological ion channels. We include noise and disorder inherent in real biological systems by including spatial disorder in the chain, and random noise within a weak coupling quantum master equation approach. Our results show that disorder in the backbone considerably reduces EET, but the addition of noise helps to recover high EET for a wide range of system parameters. Our analysis may help for better understanding of the coordination of ions in the filter as well as the fast and efficient functioning of the selectivity filters in ion channels.



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  • Mathematical Sciences

Published in

Journal of Physics Condensed Matter






JALALINEJAD, A. ... et al, 2018. Excitation energy transport with noise and disorder in a model of the selectivity filter of an ion channel. Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter, 30 (41), 415101.


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This is an author-created, un-copyedited version of an article published in Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter. IOP Publishing Ltd is not responsible for any errors or omissions in this version of the manuscript or any version derived from it. The Version of Record is available online at

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