Research topic: Voltage-gated potassium (Kv) channels and their interaction with synaptic proteins (SANREs): structure-function and role in neurotransmitter and hormone release.
Biophysical: 1) Two-electrode voltage clamp and patch clamp techniques for the study of ion channel activity. 2) Membrane capacitance and amperometry measurements for the study of exocytosis.
Biochemical: co-immunoprecipitation, immunohystochemistry, recombinant protein purification, etc, for the study of in vivoand in vitro protein-protein interactions.
Imaging: 1) Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET). 2) Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence Microscopy (TIRFM) for the study of neurotransmitter vesicles behavior.
Molecular Biology: Gene manipulations
Main projects in the lab include:
- Molecular mechanism underlying the novel role, identified and characterized in the lab, of the Kv2.1 potassium channel in the facilitation of activity-dependent Ca2+ regulated dense-core vesicle release, which relies on the channel’s protein-protein interaction with the fusion SNARE complex.
- Tracking SNARE complex formation during exocytosis in live endocrine cells, using novel fluorescent syntaxin 1A-based probes constructed in the lab.
- Structure-function of Kv7.2/Kv7.3 potassium channels in complex with presynaptic modulators, syntaxin 1A and calmodulin: gating, assembly and implications for neuronal excitability.