Suppose that one could pull directly on the gate of an ion channel, and that the gate swings through 2 nm as it goes from the closed to the open position. If, in the absence of force, the channel spends half its time open and half its time closed, how much force is needed to increase the open probability to 0.9?


put on hold as off-topic by David, James, theforestecologist Sep 15 at 16:12

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  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Biology.SE! This appears to be a [homework] question and is thus off-topic unless you show your efforts to answer the question. ——— Please also take the time to check out the tour and then the help pages starting with How to Ask questions effectively on this site. Thanks! 😊 $\endgroup$ – tyersome Aug 26 at 17:05
  • $\begingroup$ Interesting question, but there are key details missing which is why I think it sounds like "homework". Ion channels are a diverse group of proteins with different structures and mechanisms. I imagine that the forces will differ from protein to protein. I would expect hundreds or thousands of pico Newtons would be required as a ballpark guess. You would have to perform something like a steered molecular dynamics simulation or do a literature dive to find out the exact answer for your specific protein. I hope that gives you somewhere to start! $\endgroup$ – James Aug 28 at 9:08
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    $\begingroup$ Adding to @James comments, I would say that the direction you are pulling will also affect the outcome. $\endgroup$ – BPinto Sep 3 at 19:04

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