NS Diagnostic C/P #27

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NS_Tutor_Will
Posts: 126
Joined: Fri May 25, 2018 9:15 am

NS Diagnostic C/P #27

Post by NS_Tutor_Will » Fri Aug 24, 2018 10:12 am

A student recently asked, "How does the removal of amino acids decrease the diameter of the channel? Shouldn't removing them increase the diameter?"

Membrane channels are proteins that are built from amino acids. Typically, there will be membrane bound domains as well as a domain that acts as a tube through the membrane. We can understand the channel itself as a circle or a short tube that is constructed of amino acids. If we remove amino acids, then the circle must shrink; whereas, if we add amino acids, then the circle can grow larger. In other words, with more amino acids, we can construct a larger channel because we have more material.

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NS_Tutor_Will
Posts: 126
Joined: Fri May 25, 2018 9:15 am

Re: NS Diagnostic C/P #27

Post by NS_Tutor_Will » Mon Oct 15, 2018 3:35 pm

On this question, I also wanted to point out that sometimes it's best to focus on the larger point of the given answer choice rather than getting caught up in specifics. In this case, we are trying to decrease the size of the channel to select for the smaller ion. Thus, "Decreasing the diameter of the channel by removing amino acids" is the only answer that would fit the question. Unless it is clearly scientifically inaccurate, we'd want to stick with the broader point of that option as the best choice.
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