Rebecca J. Howard

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Ethanol alters nerve signalling by interacting with proteins in the central nervous system, particularly pentameric ligand-gated ion channels. A recent series of mutagenesis experiments on Gloeobacter violaceus ligand-gated ion channel, a prokaryotic member of this family, identified a single-site variant that is potentiated by pharmacologically relevant(More)
E1 enzymes initiate ubiquitin-like protein (ubl) transfer cascades by catalyzing adenylation of the ubl's C terminus. An E1's selectivity for its cognate ubl is essential because the E1 subsequently coordinates the ubl with its correct downstream pathway. We report here the structure of the 120 kDa quaternary complex between human APPBP1-UBA3, a(More)
Kv7.x (KCNQ) voltage-gated potassium channels form the cardiac and auditory I(Ks) current and the neuronal M-current. The five Kv7 subtypes have distinct assembly preferences encoded by a C-terminal cytoplasmic assembly domain, the A-domain Tail. Here, we present the high-resolution structure of the Kv7.4 A-domain Tail together with biochemical experiments(More)
Pentameric ligand-gated ion channels (pLGICs), such as nicotinic acetylcholine, glycine, γ-aminobutyric acid GABA(A/C) receptors, and the Gloeobacter violaceus ligand-gated ion channel (GLIC), are receptors that contain multiple allosteric binding sites for a variety of therapeutics, including general anesthetics. Here, we report the x-ray crystal structure(More)
Cys-loop receptors constitute a superfamily of pentameric ligand-gated ion channels (pLGICs), including receptors for acetylcholine, serotonin, glycine and γ-aminobutyric acid. Several bacterial homologues have been identified that are excellent models for understanding allosteric binding of alcohols and anesthetics in human Cys-loop receptors. Recently, we(More)
Defining the sites of action of ethanol on brain proteins is a major prerequisite to understanding the molecular pharmacology of this drug. The main barrier to reaching an atomic-level understanding of alcohol action is the low potency of alcohols, ethanol in particular, which is a reflection of transient, low-affinity interactions with their targets. These(More)
Alcohols and other anesthetic agents dramatically alter neurologic function in a wide range of organisms, yet their molecular sites of action remain poorly characterized. Pentameric ligand-gated ion channels, long implicated in important direct effects of alcohol and anesthetic binding, have recently been illuminated in renewed detail thanks to the(More)
BACKGROUND Mutagenesis and labeling studies have identified amino acids from the human α1 glycine receptor (GlyR) extracellular, transmembrane (TM), and intracellular domains in mediating ethanol (EtOH) potentiation. However, limited high-resolution structural data for physiologically relevant receptors in this Cys-loop receptor superfamily have made(More)
Despite its long history of use and abuse in human culture, the molecular basis for alcohol action in the brain is poorly understood. The recent determination of the atomic-scale structure of GLIC, a prokaryotic member of the pentameric ligand-gated ion channel (pLGIC) family, provides a unique opportunity to characterize the structural basis for modulation(More)
Ionotropic GABA(A) receptors (GABA(A)Rs), which mediate inhibitory neurotransmission in the central nervous system, are implicated in the behavioral effects of alcohol and alcoholism. Site-directed mutagenesis studies support the presence of discrete molecular sites involved in alcohol enhancement and, more recently, inhibition of GABA(A)Rs. We used Xenopus(More)