Modulator

Issue No. 15

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Modulation of Heart Function by Natural Neurotoxins

Cardiac muscle cells (myocytes) are electrically excitable cells, interconnected in groups that respond to stimuli as a unit, contracting together whenever a single cell is stimulated. Unlike the cells of other muscles and nerves, these cells show a spontaneous, intrinsic rhythm generated by …

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HCN Family: The Pacemaking Channels

The ability of excitable cells to generate rhythmic, spontaneously firing action potentials is called pacemaking. In heart, pacemaking is accomplished by rhythmic discharge of the sinoatrial node (SA node). The firing rate is determined by a specific current slowly depolarizing a membrane to the …

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Membrane Water Transport Proteins: Aquaporins

The mechanism of water movement across cell membranes remained unclear until 1992, when the first water specific channel was identified in the human erythrocyte membrane1. It belongs to an ancient protein family (MIP) found in most living organisms, from prokaryotes to mammalians and plants2. This …

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Endothelin Receptors

In 1988, a 21-amino acid endothelium-derived bioactive peptide was cloned and named endothelin (ET)1. Later, two other isoforms differing from the original ET-1 in two or six residues, respectively, were cloned and named ET-2 and ET-32. All endothelins bear the common structure with two disulfide …

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Muscarinic Receptors

Acetylcholine, the major neurotransmitter in the central and the peripheral nervous system, can act through two kinds of receptors1: ionotropic and metabotropic. The ionotropic are rapidly activated ion channels2. The metabotropic receptors regulate ion channels and other physiological processes …

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Staurosporine and K252a Compounds

Protein phosphorylation constitutes one of the most important molecular mechanisms by which extracellular signals produce their biological responses in eukaryotic cells. Stimulation of protein kinases is considered to be the most common activation mechanism in signal transduction systems1. The …

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MAGUK’s Protein Family

An important family of membrane associated guanylate kinase proteins (MAGUK) are abundantly found in brain. They are also called SAP (synapse associated proteins) because of their location at synapses. The four identified members of this family (PSD95, CHAPSYN110, SAP102, SAP97) have three similar …

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