Deciphering Voltage-gated Sodium and Calcium Channels through Prokaryotic Ancestors



Time:13:30 - 14:30, December 19, 2017

Venue: B323, Medicial Science Building, Tsinghua University

Speaker: Professor Ning Zheng, Pharmacology at the University of Washington School of Medicine, PI at Howard Hughes Medical Institute



Professor Bailong Xiao, Principle Investigator at Tsinghua-IDG/McGovern Institute for Brain Research


Deciphering Voltage-gated Sodium and Calcium Channels through Prokaryotic Ancestors. 


Voltage-gated sodium channels (NaVs) and calcium channels (CaVs) are involved in electrical signaling, contraction, secretion, synaptic transmission, and other physiological processes activated in response to membrane depolarization. Despite their physiological importance, the structural mechanisms underlying the functions of these closely related proteins have remained elusive. Bacterial NaVs have structures analogous to a single domain of eukaryotic NaVs and CaVs and are their likely evolutionary ancestor. In this talk, I will review recent work that has led to new understanding of NaVs and CaVs through functional and high-resolution structural studies of their prokaryotic ancestors. Despite being separated during evolution by more than two billion years, our studies of the bacterial channels have provided new insights into the voltage-dependent activation, ion conductance, ion selectivity, and drug block of their human counterparts.


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