A gramicidin channel in a fluid phase DMPC bilayer with excess lipid and water has been simulated. By use of the formal correspondence between diffusion and random walk, a permeability for water through the channel was calculated, and was found to agree closely with the experimental results of Rosenberg and Finkelstein (Rosenberg, P. A., and A. Finkelstein. 1978. J. Gen. Physiol. 72:327-340; 341-350) for permeation of water through gramicidin in a phospholipid membrane. By using fluctuation analysis, components of resistance to permeation were computed for movement through the channel interior, for the transition step at the channel mouth where the water molecule solvation environment changes, and for the process of diffusion up to the channel mouth. The majority of the resistance to permeation appears to occur in the transition step at the channel mouth. A significant amount is also due to structurally based free energy barriers within the channel. Only small amounts are due to local friction within the channel or to diffusive resistance for approaching the channel mouth.
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