Document Type

Article

Publication Title

Frontiers in Pharmacology

ISSN

1663-9812

Volume

11

DOI

10.3389/fphar.2020.579596

Publication Date

11-2-2020

Abstract

An ever-growing body of evidence has shown that voltage-gated ion channels are likely molecular systems that display hysteresis in their activity. This phenomenon manifests in the form of dynamic changes in both their voltage dependence of activity and their deactivation kinetics. The goal of this review is to provide a clear definition of hysteresis in terms of the behavior of voltage-gated channels. This review will discuss the basic behavior of voltage-gated channel activity and how they make these proteins into systems displaying hysteresis. It will also provide a perspective on putative mechanisms underlying hysteresis and explain its potential physiological relevance. It is uncertain whether all channels display hysteresis in their behavior. However, the suggested notion that ion channels are hysteretic systems directly collides with the well-accepted notion that ion channel activity is stochastic. This is because hysteretic systems are regarded to have “memory” of previous events while stochastic processes are regarded as “memoryless.” This review will address this apparent contradiction, providing arguments for the existence of processes that can be simultaneously hysteretic and stochastic.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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