First-passage-time analysis of atomic-resolution simulations of the ionic transport in a bacterial porin

Carles Calero, Jordi Faraudo, Marcel Aguilella-Arzo

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    Abstract

    We have studied the dynamics of chloride and potassium ions in the interior of the Outer membrane porin F (OmpF) under the influence of an external electric field. From the results of extensive all-atom molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of the system, we computed several first-passage-time (FPT) quantities to characterize the dynamics of the ions in the interior of the channel. Such FPT quantities obtained from MD simulations demonstrate that it is not possible to describe the dynamics of chloride and potassium ions inside the whole channel with a single constant diffusion coefficient. However, we showed that a valid, statistically rigorous description in terms of a constant diffusion coefficient D and an effective deterministic force Feff can be obtained after appropriate subdivison of the channel in different regions suggested by the x-ray structure. These results have important implications for popular simplified descriptions of channels based on the one-dimensional Poisson-Nernst-Planck equations. Also, the effect of entropic barriers on the diffusion of the ions is identified and briefly discussed. © 2011 American Physical Society.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number021908
    JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
    Volume83
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 16 Feb 2011

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