The gating transition of the RR and SS dioxolane ring-linked gramicidin A channels were studied with molecular dynamics simulations using a detailed atomic model. It was found that the probable reaction path, describing the transition of the ring from the exterior to the interior of the channel where it blocked the permeation pathway, involved several steps including the isomerization of the transpeptide plane dihedral angle of Val1. Reaction coordinates along this pathway were defined, and the transition rates between the stable conformers were calculated. It was found, in good accord with experimental observations, that the calculated blocking rate for the RR-linked channel was 280/s with a mean blocking time of 0.04 ms, whereas such blocking did not occur in the case of the SS-linked channel. An important observation is that the resulting lifetime for the blocked state of the RR-linked channel was in good accord with the experimental observations only when the calculations were performed in the presence of a potassium ion inside the channel.
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