Protein P trimers isolated and purified from Pseudomonas aeruginosa outer membrane were reconstituted in planar lipid bilayer membranes from diphytanoyl phosphatidylcholine. The protein trimers formed highly anion-specific channels with an average single channel conductance of 160 pS in 0.1 M Cl solution. A variety of different nonvalent anions were found to be permeable through the channel, which suggests a channel diameter between 0.5 and 0.7 nm. The selectivity for the halides followed the Eisenman sequence AVI (without At-). The ion transport through the protein P channel could be explained reasonably well by a one-site, two-barrier model. The stability constant of the binding of Cl- to the site was 20 M-1 at neutral pH. The binding of anions to the site was pH dependent, which suggested that several charges are involved in the closely spaced selectivity filter. Permeability ratios for different anions as calculated from bi-ionic potentials showed agreement with corresponding ratios of single channel conductances. The protein P channels were not voltage-gated and had lifetimes of the order of several minutes. The current-voltage curves were linear for membrane potentials up to 150 mV, which suggested that Nernst-Planck-type barriers rather than Eyring barriers were involved in the movement of anions through the protein P channel.

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