Ion channels as drug targetsDate Added: 6/3/2011 2:00:00 PM
Last Updated: 6/10/2011 11:29:00 AM
Description of projects available to graduate students:
Pentameric ligand gated ion channels (pLGICs) are important drug targets. Tang’s group works on both structural and functional characterizations of these ion channels. Students will learn how to determine high-resolution structures of pLGICs and how to characterize low-affinity drugs, particularly general anesthetics and alcohols, affect protein functions. The functional study will be correlated with the structural determination. The student can also have first hand experience on molecular dynamics simulations of pLGICs. The goal is to elucidate structural and dynamics effects of certain drugs on the ion channels through simulations. The combined structural and functional efforts will provide us mechanistic understanding action of general anesthetics on these channel proteins that have significant implication to signal transduction in the central nervous system.
Techniques graduate student will learn:
NMR, and X-ray will be used for structural studies. Electrophysiology measurements will be used to characterize channel functions. Ligand docking, molecular dynamics simulations, normal mode analysis will be used in computations.
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