Researchers at the University of Virginia Health System have defined a molecular mechanism by which the activity of low-voltage-activated calcium channels can be decreased. Low-voltage-activated, T-type calcium channels are found in many types of tissue and alterations in their activity can contribute to several pathological conditions, including congestive heart failure, hypertension, cardiac arrhythmias, epilepsy and neuropathic pain. The findings will be published in the July 10 edition of Nature. The team led by Paula Q. Barrett, professor of pharmacology and principle investigator of the study, found that G-protein beta gamma subunits, a class of cell membrane proteins that mediate the actions of hormones within the cell, markedly decrease the flow of calcium through these channels into the cell interior. Because elevation of calcium within cells stimulates cellular activity, regulation of calcium entry is an important way by which the function of cells can be controlled. The research uncovered that only one member of a large family of G-protein subunits binds directly to the calcium channel protein to inhibit channel activity.
"These studies identify the T-type calcium channel as a new target for G-protein beta gamma subunits," Barrett said. "The extraordinary specificity of the interaction between these regulatory molecules could be operative in many types of cells and provides exciting insight into the highly selective ways in which cells work. Knowledge of these interactions will lead to the development of new and more specific drugs in the future."
Abena Foreman-Trice | EurekAlert!
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In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
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The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
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07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine