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Yue lab calcium signaling study published in Nature

February 19, 2010

BME faculty member David Yue and colleagues Xiaodong Liu, Phil Yang, and Wanjun Yang, all of the Calcium Signals Laboratory, have published a study in the international journal Nature (Advanced Online Publication 2/7/2010, http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v463/n7283/abs/nature08766.html).

The authors simultaneously combined patch-clamp electrophysiology to characterize calcium ion channel function with genetically-encoded optical sensors to measure cell signaling factors, all in live single cells. This novel approach translates quantitative biochemistry of ion channels from the traditional test-tube context into the realm of functioning holochannels within intact cells. From this perspective, Yue and colleagues discovered a novel molecular mechanism by which cells can tune the gain of negative feedback control of calcium entry into cells.

This tuning mechanism holds major consequences for calcium regulation throughout the body, with important implications for both cardiac diseases such as arrhythmias and heart failure and neurodegenerative diseases including Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and schizophrenia.