Aquaporin Channel Mini Model Teacher Resources

Water molecules rapidly flow in single file through the aquaporin channel – a membrane-spanning protein. Aquaporin selectively binds water molecules and prevents other molecules from entering the channel. While the process is not fully understood, many researchers believe that the water molecules roll over as they bind with the first of 2 asparagine located at the narrowest part of the channel. Each water molecule then binds with the second asparagine before moving through the rest of the channel. Our Aquaporin Channel Mini Model separates to show water molecules passing through the channel.

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2003 was awarded "for discoveries concerning channels in cell membranes" jointly with one half to Peter Agre "for the discovery of water channels" and with one half to Roderick MacKinnon "for structural and mechanistic studies of ion channels".

Aquaporin Mini Model Student Handout

The movement of the water molecules through cell membranes is too rapid to be explained by unaided diffusion alone. Transport proteins called aquaporins facilitate the diffusion of water across the cell membrane.


Molecule of the Month on Aquaporin

The Molecule of the Month by scientist, author and artist Dr. David Goodsell includes an introduction to the structure and function of the chosen molecule and a discussion of its relevance to human health and welfare. Molecule of the Month articles are frequently referred to by teachers, students and researchers


Aquaporin Mini Model Osmosis Lesson

Living things must perform vital activities in order to maintain their existence, including moving water in and out of cells. It is important for your students to understand how water flows in and out of a cell through the membrane that surrounds cells, as it directly impact a cell’s ability to survive. The passive transport of water across a selectively permeable membrane is called osmosis.


Aquaporin Mini Model Animations and Videos

In this computer simulation the oxygen (red) atom of each water molecule points down as it moves through the channel toward the 2 asparagine.