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A deficiency of Ca2+ fluxes arising from dysfunctional voltage-gated calcium channels has been associated with a list of calcium channelopathies such as epilepsy, hypokalemic periodic paralysis, episodic ataxia, etc. Apart from analyzing the pathogenic channel mutations, understanding how the channel regulates the ion conduction would be instructive to the treatment as well. In the present work, in relating the free energetics of Ca2+ transport to the calcium channel, we demonstrate the importance of bridging Ca2+ hydration waters, which form hydrogen bonds with channels.

By firing a terahertz waves, which resonates with the stretching mode of the channels, significant enhancement was obtained on the conductance of Ca2+ channels.

The Ca2+ free energy negatively grows nearly 5-fold with terahertz waves. The direct evidence is the reinforced hydrogen bonds.

Since the resonant terahertz field could manipulate the conduction of calcium channels, it has potential applications in therapeutic intervention such as rectifying a Ca2+ deficiency in degraded calcium channels, and inducing apoptosis of tumor cells with overloaded calcium etc.

https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/jacs.0c09401

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