Thanks for your helpful ideas Gary. I incorporated them and made a new figure as well as other minor improvements. Bertil 9/25/08
<review>The piece is very well-written, accurate, and lucid. My main suggestion is to beef up item 3 in the introduction: "A few ions, notably Ca2+, make regulatory signals inside cells" seems to undersell this central signaling mechanism. I might add that "This is the primary mechanism for translation of electrical signals into chemical signals. It is used to couple electrical signals in various cells to hormone secretion, neurotransmitter release, muscle contraction, and changes in gene expression." (I realize that this neglects the E-C coupling mechanism of skeletal muscle, which could also be mentioned.)
I also think that Figure 1 should be moved near to its callout in the text, where the architecture is described. A better ‘headliner’ figure could be substituted – e.g. a cartoon showing a lipid bilayer with channels embedded, and with one channel shown in cross-section at the cutaway ‘edge’ of the membrane.
But in general – a beautiful overview.</review> --Yellen 10:50, 23 September 2008 (EDT)
The article is concise, clear, and complete. It is enviably lucid, and reads like a distillation of Hille's authoritative textbook. I have only very minor suggestions to consider: 1) In Figure 2, the P2X diagram has one subunit much smaller than the others, which I assume is not intentional. 2) The use of "tandem repeats" in Figure 2 is formally correct since "tandem" can mean more than two, but since it is used most commonly to mean two, maybe simply "repeated domains in a single protein" would be clearer. 3) The second and third sentences under "Ligand-gated ion channel families" seem meant to be connected into a single sentence. 4) The first instance of "Eion" should be "Eions" to match the equation that follows. 5) "Their use of the voltage clamp allowed Alan L. Hodgkin and Andrew F. Huxley…" might be preferable to "Their introduction…."