Molecular Staging

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  • images18It is well known by all the activity of ion channels on the cell surface is essential for nerve signal transmission between neurons. Clearly, many factors regulate the activation and the level of traffic through these ion channels specific protein .

    The group of Jose Ramon Naranjo, at the National Center for Biotechnology, has spent years focussing on the different mechanisms of regulation of gene expression in neurons in response to external signals that induce membrane depolarization. In these complex networks of control, the role of calcium and potassium channels focuses the latest hospitality group.

    In this paper just published in The Journal of Biological Chemistry, the authors try to unravel the effect of the interaction of the protein DREAM (DRE sites antagonist modulator) with GRK2 and GRK6 kinases. Repressor DREAM is a calcium-dependent transcription in the nucleus and a regulator of trafficking of potassium channels in cell membranes. The interaction of DREAM with kinases occurs by phosphorylation. The experiments have uncovered that this reaction occurs specifically on serine at position 95 of the protein but no effect on repressor activity of DREAM. Interestingly, when this amino acid serine is mutated to aspartic acid, DREAM blocks membrane expression of Kv4.2 potassium channel.

    Well, all these repressive effects and deregulation appear to be mediated, in turn, by cations Ca2 +, since treatment with calcineurin inhibitors block the potassium channels by interaction with DREAM and DREAM dephosphorylates complex in vitro.

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  • images51The astrocytic Ca2 + signal is essential in the exchange of infor mation between astrocytes and neurons. Cannabinoid receptors are key to brain physiology, but its expression and function in astrocytes in situ is unknown. Marta Navarrete and Alfonso Araque, Cajal Institute, have investigated the expression of cannabinoid receptors by astrocytes and its involvement in astrocyte-neuron communication. Read the rest of this entry »

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