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Generalized epilepsy with febrile seizures plus (GEFS+), a clinical subset of febrile seizures (FS), is characterized by frequent episodes beyond 6 years of age (FS+) and various types of subsequent epilepsy. Mutations in beta1 and alpha(I)-subunit genes of voltage-gated Na(+) channels have been associated with GEFS+1 and 2, respectively. Here, we report a(More)
Voltage-gated channel proteins sense a change in the transmembrane electric field and respond with a conformational change that allows ions to diffuse across the pore-forming structure. Site-specific mutagenesis combined with electrophysiological analysis of expressed mutants in amphibian oocytes has previously established the S4 transmembrane segment as an(More)
Scn8a encodes an abundant, widely distributed voltage-gated sodium channel found throughout the central and peripheral nervous systems. Mice with different mutant alleles of Scn8a provide models of the movement disorders ataxia, dystonia, tremor and progressive paralysis. We previously reported that the phenotype of the hypomorphic allele of Scn8a, medJ, is(More)
Glutamate receptor channels of the NMDA-type (N-methyl-D-aspartate) and non-NMDA-type (GluR) differ in their pore properties. The N-site in the M2 transmembrane segment of NMDA receptors (NMDAR), or the corresponding Q/R-site in GluRs, is a pivotal structural determinant of their permeation and blockade characteristics. Substitutions at a second site in M2,(More)
Excitotoxic neuronal death, associated with neurodegenerative disorders and hypoxic insults, results from excessive exposure to excitatory neurotransmitters. Glutamate neurotoxicity is triggered primarily by massive Ca2+ influx arising from overstimulation of the NMDA subtype of glutamate receptors. The underlying mechanisms, however, remain elusive. We(More)
Mechanotransduction has an important role in physiology. Biological processes including sensing touch and sound waves require as-yet-unidentified cation channels that detect pressure. Mouse Piezo1 (MmPiezo1) and MmPiezo2 (also called Fam38a and Fam38b, respectively) induce mechanically activated cationic currents in cells; however, it is unknown whether(More)
Neural activity is crucial for cell survival and fine patterning of neuronal connectivity during neurodevelopment. To investigate the role in vivo of sodium channels (NaCh) in these processes, we generated knockout mice deficient in brain NaChalpha(II). NaChalpha(II)(-/-) mice were morphologically and organogenically indistinguishable from their(More)
The structures of functional peptides corresponding to the predicted channel-lining M2 segments of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (AChR) and of a glutamate receptor of the NMDA subtype (NMDAR) were determined using solution NMR experiments on micelle samples, and solid-state NMR experiments on bilayer samples. Both M2 segments form straight(More)
Excitotoxic neuronal death, associated with neurodegeneration and stroke, is triggered primarily by massive Ca2+ influx arising from overactivation of glutamate receptor channels of the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) subtype. To search for channel blockers, synthetic combinatorial libraries were assayed for block of agonist-evoked currents by the human(More)
Identification of the minimum number of ways in which open and closed states communicate is a crucial step in defining the gating kinetics of multistate channels. We used certain correlation functions to extract information about the pathways connecting the open and closed states of the cation channel of the purified nicotinic acetylcholine receptor and of(More)