High-resolution imaging techniques have shown that many ion channels are not static, but subject to highly dynamic processes, including the transient association of pore-forming and auxiliary subunits, lateral diffusion, and clustering with other proteins. However, the relationship between lateral diffusion and function is poorly understood. This paper describes how to use TIRF microscopy to track individual ion channels and determine their activity in supported lipid membranes, thereby defining the interplay between lateral membrane movement and channel function.
For reference, see Single-Molecule Imaging of Lateral Mobility and Ion Channel Activity in Lipid Bilayers using TIRF Microscopy. Wang, S. & Nussberger, S. J. Vis. Exp. 192: 1-21, e64970, doi 10.3791/64970 (2023)