Research Group: Ion-Channels

Prof. Dr. Thomas Baukrowitz

Molecular Biophysics of Ion Channels

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Potassium channels enable basic functions of life like action potential development and progression, muscle contraction or hormone secretion by regulating the plasma membrane potential of cells. Hence they are involved in numerous physiological and pathophysiological processes like pain, anesthesia, sleep, or migraine. the influences on gating of these K+ channels are manifold, besides de-/ hyper polarization and protein phosphorylation also temperature, intra- or extracellular pH, calcium ions, mechanical forces or pharmacological substances regulate ion channel function.
We are especially interested in structural changes in the channel protein underlying these regulation modalities in members or the K2P-, Kv- and Kir potassium channel families. Structure-function relationships are primarily examined by electrophysiological measurements with rapid fluid exchange systems, and in conjunction with molecular biology, biochemistry and fluorescence-optical methods mechanisms of regulation can be studied.

Structural Movements in Potassium Channel Gating

Pharmacological Modulation of K2P Channel Gating

Synthetic Modification of Potassium Channels

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Funding

DFG Forschergruppe FOR 2518:  

Funktionale Dynamik von Ionenkanälen und Transportern  -DynIon -

Projekt: Die Bedeutung des Ionenbesatzes des Selektivitätsfilters für das Spannungs- und Inaktivierungsschaltverhalten in K+ Kanälen