laboratory of membrane excitability & disease

Basic functions in the brain, such as making decisions, consuming food and forming memories, rely on a proper balance of excitatory and inhibitory neuronal signals. Our research focuses on the function of potassium ion channels, which generate one of the inhibitory signals in the brain. We are particularly interested in G protein-regulated potassium channels and their role in drug addiction and mental disorders. We have unraveled the molecular details underlying G protein modulation, elucidated a structural mechanism of alcohol-mediated activation, and discovered drug-induced plasticity for these G protein-gated potassium channels. As potassium channels emerge as critical gatekeepers of neuronal excitability, the results of our research may lead to the development of more effective treatments for diverse neurological diseases such as epilepsy, Down syndrome, alcohol abuse and drug addiction.

Patrick HofPaul Slesinger, PhD
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j Neuroscience Bodhinathan K and Slesinger PA. (2013) Molecular mechanism underlying ethanol activation of G-protein-gated inwardly rectifying potassium channels. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 110(45):18309-14.
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