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)


Anna Moroni

(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.

contact :