Navigation Links
Gatekeeping: Penn researchers find new way to open ion channels in cell membranes

Using an enzyme found in the venom of the brown recluse spider, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have discovered a new way to open molecular pores, called ion channels, in the membrane of cells. The research team ?Zhe Lu, MD, PhD; Yajamana Ramu, PhD; and Yanping Xu, MD, PhD of the Department of Physiology at Penn ?screened venoms from over 100 poisonous invertebrate species to make this discovery.

The enzyme, sphingomyelinase D (SMase D), splits a lipid called sphingomyelin that surrounds the channel embedded in the cell membrane. As a result, the channel opens to allow the passage of small ions into and out of the cell, thereby generating electrical currents.

The new study, published online earlier this month in the journal Nature, describes how SMase D opens one type of ion channel called a voltage-gated potassium channel (from brain, but experimentally expressed in the membrane of an oocyte, or egg cell) without changing the membrane voltage. The finding introduces a new paradigm for understanding the gating of ion channels and lays the conceptual groundwork for designing new drugs to control ion-channel activity in medical intervention.

Voltage-gated ion channels are embedded in the cell membranes of most types of cells. It has been known for over half a century that the channels open and close in response to changes in electric voltage across the cell membrane, hence their name. In some the cells, (commonly called "excitable"), such as nerve, muscle, heart, and hormone-secreting cells, the channels underlie electrical signaling. They selectively allow the passage of small ions such as sodium, potassium, or calcium into and out of the cell. The precisely controlled passage of ions generates the electrical currents that enable nerve impulse transmission, hormone secretion, and muscle contraction and relaxation. When there are changes to the channel, such as by mutations in a channel gene, disease can re
'"/>

Source:University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. NYU researchers simulate molecular biological clock
2. Vital step in cellular migration described by UCSD medical researchers
3. ASU researchers finds novel chemistry at work to provide parrots vibrant red colors
4. UCSD researchers maintain stem cells without contaminated animal feeder layers
5. Why do insects stop breathing? To avoid damage from too much oxygen, say researchers
6. New protein discovered by Hebrew University researchers
7. First real-time view of developing neurons reveals surprises, say Stanford researchers
8. Agilent Technologies releases automated literature search tool for biology researchers
9. Self-assembled nano-sized probes allow Penn researchers to see tumors through flesh and skin
10. Yale researchers identify molecule for detecting parasitic infection in humans
11. US life expectancy about to decline, researchers say
Post Your Comments:
(Date:7/11/2014)... A new report from the Wildlife Conservation Society ... only help economically valuable species such as lobster, ... also help re-colonize nearby reef areas. , The ... a systematic review of research literature from no-take ... by Dr. Craig Dahlgren, a recognized expert in ...
(Date:7/11/2014)... Mills Canyon fire started near the City of Entiat ... local resources, the fire quickly grew to over 1,000 ... of the fire is under investigation by the Washington ... working with existing local resources in developing fire control ... Service (USFS), Washington State Department of Natural Resources, (WA ...
(Date:7/11/2014)... available in German . ... that uses the refraction of X-rays through a specimen ... with this method are often of much higher quality ... team of Prof. Franz Pfeiffer are particularly interested in ... including X-ray phase-contrast imaging. One main goal is ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Belize's lobster, conch, and fish populations rebuild in no-take zones 2New simple setup for X-ray phase contrast 2
... the planet. They thrive in almost every known environment, ... that provide the capabilities essential for survival. These genetic ... mutation and exchange of genes and other bits of ... which then becomes an intrinsic part of the genome. ...
... URBANA - When University of Illinois researchers surveyed over 3,500 ... accurately, and overweight and obese men were more likely to ... because the first step in dealing with a weight problem ... U of I professor of food science and human nutrition. ...
... Most medical imaging equipment is not designed with overweight and ... be exposed to higher levels of radiation during routine X-ray ... Polytechnic Institute is the first to calculate exactly how much ... results show the internal organs of obese men receive 62 ...
Cached Biology News:Study shows unified process of evolution in bacteria and sexual eukaryotes 2Study shows unified process of evolution in bacteria and sexual eukaryotes 3Misperception of weight is an important barrier to weight loss 2Obese patients face higher radiation exposure from CT scans -- but new technology can help 2
(Date:7/10/2014)... , July 10, 2014 On ... Dmitry Medvedev , presented Russia,s ... BIOCAD . The Company is developing a unique project ... project BIOCAD develops a number of innovative drugs based ... diseases. The ceremony took place at the International Exhibition ...
(Date:7/10/2014)... 2014 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Tute Genomics, the leader ... an agreement with Lineagen, Inc., to provide ... Dx PLUS.  Lineagen, focused on the ... currently offers FirstStep Dx PLUS, a ... by healthcare providers as a first-line genetic ...
(Date:7/10/2014)... THOUSAND OAKS, Calif., July 10, 2014   Ceres, ... biotechnology and seed company, announced today financial results for ... an update on its business. Ceres reported ... progress in product performance this growing season in Brazil, ... that affected the company,s sorghum evaluation areas for part ...
(Date:7/10/2014)... Adelaide research may help in the fight against terrorism ... tiny quantities of explosives with the use of light ... Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical , the researchers ... explosives in concentrations as low as 6.3 ppm (parts ... a few minutes. , "Traditionally explosives detection has involved ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Dmitry Medvedev Presented BIOCAD the First National "Industry" Award 2Tute Genomics Platform Selected to Provide Clinical Interpretation for Lineagen's NextStepDx PLUS Next-Generation Sequencing-Based Diagnostic Test 2Tute Genomics Platform Selected to Provide Clinical Interpretation for Lineagen's NextStepDx PLUS Next-Generation Sequencing-Based Diagnostic Test 3Tute Genomics Platform Selected to Provide Clinical Interpretation for Lineagen's NextStepDx PLUS Next-Generation Sequencing-Based Diagnostic Test 4Ceres Announces Fiscal Third Quarter 2014 Financial Results 2Ceres Announces Fiscal Third Quarter 2014 Financial Results 3Ceres Announces Fiscal Third Quarter 2014 Financial Results 4Ceres Announces Fiscal Third Quarter 2014 Financial Results 5Ceres Announces Fiscal Third Quarter 2014 Financial Results 6Ceres Announces Fiscal Third Quarter 2014 Financial Results 7Ceres Announces Fiscal Third Quarter 2014 Financial Results 8Ceres Announces Fiscal Third Quarter 2014 Financial Results 9Detecting trace amounts of explosives with light 2
... - NovaScan, an early-stage medical imaging company developing what ... of breast cancer, had to bypass angel tax credits from ... for its emerging technology. , ,The company instead has raised ... a state loan, and grants. , ,According to CEO Larry ...
... rural Wisconsin, one company is earning their bread and ... Networks, Inc. , a global satellite communications provider, has ... , a satellite-based broadband access provider. , ,IsoTropic operates ... set on 21 acres in rural Wisconsin, and it ...
... Last week, the nation marked the five-year anniversary of ... restrictions have unquestionably set back the progress of this ... Congress passed legislation that would have lifted President Bush's ... ones are suffering from a wide range of debilitating ...
Cached Biology Technology:NovaScan decides against tax credits 2Rural company works to improve broadband 2Stem cell research holds the promise for tomorrow 2Stem cell research holds the promise for tomorrow 3
... is the only PCR system that ensures ... time. It provides accuracy, consistency, and dependability ... the property of the DNA templates. This ... a unique blend of thermostable enzymes that ...
Special grade: for molecular biology Density: 1.000 g/mL (20 C)...
... to meet the needs of ... component-free medium supports fast cell ... densities, while maintaining high cell ... production using the Baculovirus Expression ...
... This CLS number ... number, created to easily ... If showing no availability ... the old Sigma-Aldrich number ...
Biology Products: