The seminars take place on the Montpellier Institut Agro/INRA Campus of La Gaillarde (2, place P. Viala Montpellier)
Friday july 1, 2022 at 3pm – Amphi 2 (Bât 2bis)
(University of Milan, Italy)
Engineering potassium channels for remote control of cellular function
Opening of potassium (K+) channels controls key cellular functions, from nutrient uptake and gas exchange in plants to membrane excitation in animals. Controlling K+ channel activity by remote stimuli allows to modulate and/or improve physiological functions in the organism “in vivo” in a non-invasive manner. We use protein engineering to modify the functional features of existing channels and/or to create novel channels that respond to physical stimuli that can penetrate through tissues, such as light, from blue to near-infra red, ultrasound waves and magnetic fields. We use protein engineering to add orthogonal sensory domains to the simplest known K+ channel, the viral Kcv channel. I will illustrate successful and less successful strategies that we have applied in engineering light and temperature activated channels and their applications in model organisms like Arabidopsis, zebrafish, mouse and rat.
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