Planar lipid bilayers in recombinant ion channel research

Methods. 2018 Sep 1;147:206-212. doi: 10.1016/j.ymeth.2018.03.003. Epub 2018 Mar 9.


There are a number of methods of investigating the function of recombinant proteins such as ion channels. However, after channel purification there are few methods to guarantee that the protein still functions. For ion channels, reconstituting back into planar lipid bilayers and demonstrating preserved function is a convenient and trusted method. It is cell free and even inaccessible, intracellular ion channels can be studied. We have used this method to study the function of recombinant channels of known subunit composition and have found it convenient for investigating the mode of action of ion channel modulators.

Keywords: BK channel; Electrophysiology; Lipids; Pharmacology; Planar lipid bilayer; Single channel gating.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • HEK293 Cells
  • Humans
  • Ion Channel Gating
  • Large-Conductance Calcium-Activated Potassium Channels / physiology*
  • Lipid Bilayers / metabolism*
  • Recombinant Proteins / metabolism*
  • Signal-To-Noise Ratio


  • Large-Conductance Calcium-Activated Potassium Channels
  • Lipid Bilayers
  • Recombinant Proteins