Philip C. Biggin

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Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are important for fast synaptic cholinergic transmission. They are targets of drugs/chemicals for human and animal health as well as for pest control. With the advent of genome sequencing, entire nAChR gene families have now been described for vertebrates and invertebrates. Mostly, these are extensive with a large(More)
Ionotropic GABA receptors are abundant in both vertebrate and invertebrate nervous systems, where they mediate rapid, mostly inhibitory synaptic transmission. A GABA-gated chloride channel subunit from Drosophila melanogaster [Resistant to Dieldrin (RDL)] has been cloned, functionally expressed, and found to exhibit many aspects of the pharmacology of(More)
Membrane proteins function in a polarized ionic environment with sodium-rich extracellular and potassium-rich intracellular solutions. Glutamate receptors that mediate excitatory synaptic transmission in the brain show unusual sensitivity to external ions, resulting in an apparent requirement for sodium in order for glutamate to activate kainate receptors.(More)
Infection with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) has a huge impact on global health putting more than 170 million people at risk of developing severe liver disease. The HCV encoded p7 ion channel is essential for the production of infectious viruses. Despite a growing body of functional data, little is known about the 3-dimensional (3D) structure of the channel.(More)
The alpha4beta2 subtype is the most abundant nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) in the brain and possesses the high-affinity binding site for nicotine. The alpha4 and beta2 nAChR subunits assemble into two alternate stoichiometries, (alpha4)(2)(beta2)(3) and (alpha4)(3)(beta2)(2), which differ in their functional properties and sensitivity to chronic(More)
The structure of a homopentameric alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor is modelled by combining structural information from two sources: the X-ray structure of a water soluble acetylcholine binding protein from Lymnea stagnalis, and the electron microscopy derived structure of the transmembrane domain of the Torpedo nicotinic receptor. The alpha7(More)
Nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) α4 and β2 subunits assemble in two alternate stoichiometries to produce (α4β2)(2)α4 and (α4β2)(2)β2, which display different agonist sensitivities. Functionally relevant agonist binding sites are thought to be located at α4(+)/β2(-) subunit interfaces, but because these interfaces are present in both receptor(More)
Cecropins are positively charged antibacterial peptides that act by permeating the membrane of susceptible bacteria. To gain insight into the mechanism of membrane permeation, the secondary structure and the orientation within phospholipid membranes of the mammalian cecropin P1 (CecP) was studied using attenuated total reflectance Fourier-transform infrared(More)
Molecular dynamics simulations of a bacterial potassium channel (KcsA) embedded in a phospholipid bilayer reveal significant differences in interactions of the selectivity filter with K(+) compared with Na(+) ions. K(+) ions and water molecules within the filter undergo concerted single-file motion in which they translocate between adjacent sites within the(More)