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!
Microscope measures muscle weakness
16.11.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
Good preparation is half the digestion
16.11.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Stoffwechselforschung
Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.
Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...
Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.
Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...
Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.
In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...
On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.
When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure
Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...
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16.11.2018 | Life Sciences