Kathryn McMenimen

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The nicotinic acetylcholine receptor and related Cys-loop receptors are ligand-gated ion channels that mediate fast synaptic transmission throughout the central and peripheral nervous system. A highly conserved aspartate residue (D89) that is near the agonist binding site but does not directly contact the ligand plays a critical part in receptor function.(More)
The N -methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor plays a central role in learning and memory in the mammalian CNS. At normal neuronal resting membrane potentials, the pore of this glutamate-gated ion channel is blocked by a Mg(2+) ion. Previous work suggests that the Mg(2+) binding site is quite novel, involving several asparagine residues and a cation-pi(More)
Cataracts reduce vision in 50% of individuals over 70 years of age and are a common form of blindness worldwide. Cataracts are caused when damage to the major lens crystallin proteins causes their misfolding and aggregation into insoluble amyloids. Using a thermal stability assay, we identified a class of molecules that bind α-crystallins (cryAA and cryAB)(More)
Small heat shock proteins (sHSPs) are present in all kingdoms of life and play fundamental roles in cell biology. sHSPs are key components of the cellular protein quality control system, acting as the first line of defense against conditions that affect protein homeostasis and proteome stability, from bacteria to plants to humans. sHSPs have the ability to(More)
Small heat shock proteins (sHsps) are a ubiquitous part of the machinery that maintains cellular protein homeostasis by acting as molecular chaperones. sHsps bind to and prevent the aggregation of partially folded substrate proteins in an ATP-independent manner. sHsps are dynamic, forming an ensemble of structures from dimers to large oligomers through(More)
A protein's function is determined by the wide range of motions exhibited by its 3D structure. However, current experimental techniques are not able to reliably provide the level of detail required for elucidating the exact mechanisms of protein motion essential for effective drug screening and design. Computational tools are instrumental in the study of(More)
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