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Issue No. 25

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CRACking STIM and Orai Currents

Changes in the intracellular free Ca2+ concentration [Ca2+] in regulate a large number of physiological processes and have a major impact on cell development and function. The identification of STIM, the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) Ca2+ sensor, and Orai, a key subunit of the Ca2+ release-activated …


ENaC and ASIC Channels at a Glance

The ENaC/degenerin channel superfamily comprises channels that are not voltage-gated but do involve the passage of ions, namely Na+. These channels are involved in many physiological processes, implicating them therefore in various pathophysiological diseases. Amiloride, mainly an ENaC channel …


Tetrodotoxin – A Powerful Molecular Tool in Excitable Tissues

Tetrodotoxin (TTX) is an organic molecule that is very toxic to mammals and many other organisms. It is produced by certain species of bacteria and is accumulated in organs of organisms which consume it via the food chain. Tetrodotoxin is most commonly found in the puffer fish (tetradontidae) but …


In Focus: Two Pore Segment Channels (TPCs)

Among various vertebrate species, three genes are known to encode two pore segment channels (TPCs) termed TPC1-3. Interestingly, TPC3 seems to be absent from the genomes of primates and rodents9. The primary sequence of these channels indicates the presence of two putative pore-forming repeats. …


In Focus: Connexin and Pannexin Gap Junction Channels

Gap junctions are usually found in clusters and enable intercellular communication by allowing the passage of small molecules between cells2. They play important roles in different biological processes. These include differentiation, cell cycle synchronization, cellular development, neuronal …


In Focus: Ionotropic Glutamate Receptors

The excitatory effects of glutamate (the major excitatory neurotransmitter) are mediated by the activation of ionotropic and metabotropic receptors. These receptors differ in their molecular, biochemical, physiological and pharmacological properties6. The ionotropic glutamate receptors are divided …