Three dimensional structure of the VDAC membrane protein
Here, for your consideration, is the three dimensional structure of the VDAC membrane protein. As the name suggests it is found in the outer membrane of the mitochondria - the cellular energy source. Ain’t she pretty?
VDAC stands for “voltage-dependent anion channel” which means this protein functions as a pore, or channel, enabling the passage of small molecules from one side of the membrane to the other. The channel is able to adopt either an open or closed conformation depending on voltage differences between each side of the membrane.
VDACs are predominantly expressed in heart, liver and skeletal muscles, where concentrations of mitochondria are at their highest.