Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

CWRU scientists reveal how magnesium works on ion channels important for regulating blood pressure

23.08.2002


Researchers at Case Western Reserve University report in the August 22 issue of Nature how magnesium activates microscopic ion channels in the membrane of a cell. These particular ion channels are important in controlling blood pressure. Scientists, the researchers say, can use this new finding in the quest to understand how magnesium helps to decrease blood pressure and also treat heart failure and stroke.



Calcium activated potassium channels are important microscopic pathways in the cell membrane that relax the smooth muscle in a blood vessel, according to the researchers. They also modify electrical impulses, which travel in nerve cells throughout the brain.

"Research of this kind may help to understand why some therapies such as magnesium supplements are important in the prevention and management of hypertension or heart failure," said Jianmin Cui, the lead researcher and assistant professor in the department of biomedical engineering at CWRU. "Along with some other groups, we have discovered that when magnesium is applied to calcium-activated potassium channels, these channels will open. We know from literature that the opening of these channels can reduce blood pressure."


The Nature article ("Mechanism of magnesium activation of calcium activated potassium channels") was written by Jianmin Cui, the principal researcher, who was assisted by Jingyi Shi, senior researcher in the department of biomedical engineering; Gayathri Krishnamoorty and Lei Hu, graduate students in the department of biomedical engineering; and Neha Chaturvedi and Dina Harilal, undergraduates students. The team is collaborating with Yanwu Yang and Jun Qin, structural biologists at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. The research is supported by a $1 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, Heart Lung and Blood Institute.

"The completion of stage one of the project is due to the combination of state-of-the-art bioelectric facilities and advanced structural biology results," Cui said. "The collaboration between the department of biomedical engineering and The Cleveland Clinic Foundation was key."

CWRU researchers used cloned ion channel DNA to express the ion channels in frog eggs. The ion channels are proteins made of various amino acids; the researchers mutated some of these amino acids and recorded functional change that resulted from the mutations.

Hypertension, Cui explained, results from the contraction of blood vessels, which causes an increase in blood pressure. "The diameter of blood vessels is controlled by smooth muscle cells around them," he said. "When magnesium reaches these potassium channels, the channels open causing blood vessels to dilate and therefore reduce hypertension."

According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey conducted between 1988 and 1994 by The National High Blood Pressure Education Program, an estimated 42.3 million people in the U.S had hypertension. Doctors had told an additional 7.7 million on two or more occasions that they had hypertension, which gives a total of 50 million hypertensives.

"Our research is basic science, however, we hope that the results can help to explain why some treatments would work and provide rationale for development of new drugs for hypertension," Cui said.

Marci E. Hersh | EurekAlert!

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Cryo-electron microscopy achieves unprecedented resolution using new computational methods
24.03.2017 | DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

nachricht How cheetahs stay fit and healthy
24.03.2017 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>