Localizing Ion Channels with Scanning Probe Microscopes: A Perspective

  • Daniel M. Czajkowsky
  • Zhifeng Shao
Part of the Methods in Pharmacology and Toxicology book series (MIPT)


It is now widely appreciated in cell biology that there are two significant modes, beyond synthesis and degradation, by which the cell can regulate its enzymes: covalent modification and subcellular localization. The former mode may be studied with isolated components, and so may be investigated, to great detail, under a variety of well-controlled conditions. However, the localization of proteins must be studied within the context of the more complicated environment of a cell, and as such, is much more technically challenging. Clear examples of the importance of the subcellular location of proteins on the proper functioning of a cell is well-known in the membrane channel field, with the clusters of channels in the opposing membranes of a synapse or the aggregates of channels within the nodes of Ranvier. However, as studies of rafts (domains within the plasma-membrane-enriched in selected lipids and proteins [1]) have demonstrated, active control of the spatial distribution of membrane proteins, lipids, and cytosolic components at the level of the plasma membrane is likely to be a general mechanism underlying many cellular processes.


Atomic Force Microscope Mica Substrate Phenyl Ketone Cantilever Oscillation Tapered Optical Fiber 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc., Totowa, NJ 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel M. Czajkowsky
    • 1
  • Zhifeng Shao
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics and Biophysics ProgramUniversity of Virginia School of MedicineCharlottesville

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