Thursday, July 18, 2019
at 2 pm – amphi 206
Electrifying proton channels in health and disease
Associate Professor, Physiology & Biophysics, School of Medicine UC Irvine
Voltage-gated proton channels (Hvs) are small membrane proteins conserved across evolution. They are involved in dinoflagellate bioluminescence and coccolithophore biomineralization. In the human body, they play important roles in pH homeostasis and in the regulation of NOX enzymes, particularly in the immune system. Each channel is made of two identical subunits, which work cooperatively. The subunits are held together by a cytoplasmic coiled-coil domain and contain transmembrane voltage-sensing domains that conduct protons very selectively. Hv channel function is affected by a variety of stimuli, including transmembrane pH gradients, mechanical force, and temperature. Excessive proton channel activity has pathological consequences, such as increased invasiveness in cancer, and enhanced brain damage in ischemic stroke. This presentation will cover the physiological and pathological functions of Hv channels, as well as recent efforts to elucidate their mechanism of activation and to develop small-molecule inhibitors that could find applications as anticancer drugs and neuroprotective agents.
Contact : Alexis De Angeli