Carlos Alberto Báez-Pagán

Learn More
Inflammatory responses to stimuli are essential body defenses against foreign threats. However, uncontrolled inflammation may result in serious health problems, which can be life-threatening. The α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor, a ligand-gated ion channel expressed in the nervous and immune systems, has an essential role in the control of inflammation.(More)
High cholesterol levels are an established risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD), the world's leading cause of death. Inhibitors of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase (statins) are prescribed to lower serum cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of CVD. Despite the success of statins, many patients abandon treatment owing to(More)
We traced the cause of a slow-channel syndrome (SCS) in a patient with progressive muscle weakness, repetitive compound muscle action potential and prolonged low amplitude synaptic currents to a V --> F substitution in the M1 domain of the beta subunit (betaV229F) of the muscle acetylcholine receptor (AChR). In vitro expression studies in Xenopus oocytes(More)
Cholesterol modulates the plasmalemma's biophysical properties and influences the function and trafficking of membrane proteins. A fundamental phenomenon that remains obscure is how the plasmalemma's lipid composition regulates the activatable pool of membrane receptors. An outstanding model to study this phenomenon is the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor(More)
Membrane proteins constitute a large fraction of all proteins, yet very little is known about their structure and conformational transitions. A fundamental question that remains obscure is how protein domains that are in direct contact with the membrane lipids move during the conformational change of the membrane protein. Important structural and functional(More)
Lipid rafts, specialized membrane microdomains in the plasma membrane rich in cholesterol and sphingolipids, are hot spots for a number of important cellular processes. The novel nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) mutation αC418W, the first lipid-exposed mutation identified in a patient that causes slow channel congenital myasthenia syndrome was shown(More)
Despite the fact that they are orphan diseases, congenital myasthenic syndromes (CMS) challenge those who suffer from it by causing fatigable muscle weakness, in the most benign cases, to a progressive wasting of muscles that may sentence patients to a wheelchair or even death. Compared to other more common neurological diseases, CMS are rare. Nevertheless,(More)
Membrane proteins constitute a large fraction of all proteins, yet very little is known about their structure and conformational transitions. A fundamental question that remains obscure is how protein domains that are in direct contact with the membrane lipids move during the conformational change of the membrane protein. Important structural and functional(More)
Although Fourier transform (FT) and tryptophan-scanning mutagenesis (TrpScanM) have been extremely useful for predicting secondary structures of membrane proteins, they are deemed to be low-resolution techniques. Herein, we describe the combined use of FT and TrpScanM (FT-TrpScanM) as a more reliable approach for the prediction of secondary structure. Five(More)
Over the past three decades, the Torpedo californica nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) has been one of the most extensively studied membrane protein systems. However, the effects of detergent solubilization on nAChR stability and function are poorly understood. The use of lipid-analog detergents for nAChR solubilization has been shown to preserve(More)