The mitochondrial channel VDAC has a cation-selective open state

Evgeny Pavlov, Sergey M. Grigoriev, Laurent M. Dejean, Chaninah L. Zweihorn, Carmen A. Mannella, Kathleen W. Kinnally

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The mitochondrial channel VDAC is known to have two major classes of functional states, a large conductance "open" state that is anion selective, and lower conductance substates that are cation selective. The channel can reversibly switch between open and half-open states, with the latter predominant at increasing membrane voltages of either polarity. We report the presence of a new functional state of VDAC, a cation-selective state with conductance approximately equal to that of the canonical open state. This newly described state of VDAC can be reached from either the half-open cation-selective state or from the open anion-selective state. The latter transition implies that a mechanism exists for selectivity gating in VDAC that is separate from partial closure, which may be relevant to the physiological regulation of this channel and mitochondrial outer membrane permeability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)96-102
Number of pages7
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Bioenergetics
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Dec 20 2005


  • Gating
  • Ion selectivity
  • Mitochondria
  • Mitochondrial porin
  • Patch clamp
  • VDAC

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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