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Biology Articles » Biochemistry » Studies Shed New Light on Early Transmembrane Signaling
Two new studies by researchers at the University of Washington further
our understanding of the molecular steps in the PLC cascade, a G
protein-coupled receptor signaling mechanism that underlies a wide
variety of cellular processes, including egg fertilization, hormone
secretion, and the regulation of certain potassium channels.
The studies appear online January 25 in the Journal of General Physiology.
Falkenburger et al. take advantage of recent progress in
fluorescence technology -- which allows for analysis of biochemical
events in single living cells -- to perform a systematic analysis of
the PLC signal transmission process.
According to Tamas Balla (National Institutes of Health) in a
Commentary accompanying the articles, the new studies extend the
kinetic model of the signaling cascade to cover the entire process,
from the activation of the M1 muscarinic receptors to the regulation of
the potassium channels. Specifically, Falkenburger et al. show the
steps that link changes in PtdIns(4,5)P2 -- an important plasma
membrane regulatory lipid -- to changes in KCNQ potassium channel
Balla, T. 2010. J. Gen. Physiol. doi:10.1085/jgp.200910396.
Falkenburger, B.H., et al. 2010. J. Gen. Physiol. doi:10.1085/jgp.200910344.
Falkenburger, B.H., et al. 2010. J. Gen. Physiol. doi:10.1085/jgp.200910345.
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