Keyhole limpet hemocyanin forms ion-conducting channels in planar lipid bilayer membranes. Ionic current through the open hemocyanin channel presents the following characteristics: (a) it is carried mainly by cations; (b) it is a nonlinear function of membrane potential; (c) channel conductance is a saturating function of ion activity; (d) it shows ionic competition. A model for the open hemocyanin channel is developed from absolute reaction rate theory. The model calls for three energy barriers in the channel. Two energy barriers represent the entrance and exit of the ion into and out of the channel. The third barrier separates two energy minima that represent two binding sites. Furthermore, only one ion is allowed inside the channel at a given time. This model is able to recreate all the hemocyanin characteristics found experimentally in negatively charged and neutral membranes.

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