Regulation of voltage gated ion channels.
Using enhanced tarantula toxins to modulate voltage gated potassium channels.
The physiological functions of voltage gated potassium (Kv) channels are not well understood. To better understand the roles of Kv channels, one must first determine pharmacological drugs that intrinsically have a high affinity for certain Kv channels (there are 40 different subtypes). By modifying these high affinity allosteric inhibitors of Kv channels, I will be able to minimize the promiscuity these drugs and make them highly specific for one certain Kv subtype. Doing so will allow me to unravel the conundrums of Kv channel physiology. I am currently studying a mutant form of a tarantula toxin called Guangxitoxin (GxTX) to determine the physiological function of Kv2.1 channels.