Ernesto Gómez Vargas

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Olfaction in Drosophila is mediated by a large family of membrane-bound odorant receptor proteins (Ors). In heterologous cells, we investigated whether the structural features and signalling mechanisms of ligand-binding Drosophila Ors are consistent with them being G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). The detailed membrane topology of Or22a was determined(More)
Developing an understanding of the mechanism of voltage-gated ion channels in molecular terms requires knowledge of the structure of the active and resting conformations. Although the active-state conformation is known from x-ray structures, an atomic resolution structure of a voltage-dependent ion channel in the resting state is not currently available.(More)
Voltage-sensing domains (VSDs) undergo conformational changes in response to the membrane potential and are the critical structural modules responsible for the activation of voltage-gated channels. Structural information about the key conformational states underlying voltage activation is currently incomplete. Through the use of experimentally determined(More)
The expression of Na(+)-K(+)-2Cl(-) cotransporter (NKCC1) is responsible for high intracellular Cl(-) resulting in the excitatory action of GABA(A) receptor activation in the developing brain. Giant depolarizing potentials (GDPs) are spontaneous network oscillations that involve GABA(A) receptors and are thought to be important in establishing neuronal(More)
Changes in voltage-dependent gating represent a common pathogenetic mechanism for genetically inherited channelopathies, such as benign familial neonatal seizures or peripheral nerve hyperexcitability caused by mutations in neuronal K(v)7.2 channels. Mutation-induced changes in channel voltage dependence are most often inferred from macroscopic current(More)
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is an extremely prevalent cause of dementia. It is characterized by progressive memory loss, confusion, and other behavioral and physiological problems. The amyloid-β (Aβ) protein is thought to be involved in the pathogenesis of AD, and there is evidence that Aβ may act through the p75 neurotrophin receptor (p75) to mediate its(More)
The GABAAγ2(R43Q) mouse is an established model of absence epilepsy displaying spontaneous spike-and-wave discharges (SWD) and associated behavioral arrest. Absence epilepsy typically results from cortico-thalamic networks. Nevertheless, there is increasing evidence for changes in hippocampal metabolism and electrical behavior, consistent with a link(More)
Obesity is associated with reduced levels of growth hormone (GH) and the disruption of pulsatile GH secretion. This results in relative GH deficiency. It is likely that a regulatory relationship between GH secretion and adipose tissue exists as the secretion of GH recovers to normal levels after a reduction in body weight. This report characterise the(More)
During brain development, many factors influence the assembly and final positioning of cortical neurons, and this process is essential for proper circuit formation and normal brain function. Among many important extrinsic factors that guide the maturation of embryonic cortical neurons, the secreted neurotransmitter GABA has been proposed to influence both(More)