Structural Dynamics of Voltage-Gated Ion Channels: Implications for Health & Disease
Stream Seminar Video
Voltage-gated ion channels are the membrane proteins whose opening and closing are responsible for the propagation of action potential in excitable cells. Their dysfunction leads to diseases such as cardiac arrhythmias, epilepsy or muscle ataxia. As such, they constitute major drug targets.
Voltage-sensitive ion channels function depends in a large part on their structure, and high-resolution structures of prototype channels have been known since the early 2000s. Nevertheless, we still lack a detailed understanding of their dynamic behavior as well as the structural ensemble that make up their functional cycle. Both of these aspects are critical for designing innovative and targeted modulation for pharmaceutical development.
In this talk, she will explain how she uses molecular dynamics simulations to characterize the structural ensembles of voltage-sensitive ion channels at the atomic level. She will show that closely related voltage-sensitive ion channels have in fact widely different dynamical properties. These insights extend our understanding of disease-inducing genetic mutations, their effect and pave the way to the structure-based design of drugs with innovative modes of action.
Assistant Professor of Biophysics Science for Life Laboratory