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Research Abstracts Online
January 2010 - March 2011

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University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Medical School
Department of Pharmacology

PI: Jonathan S. Marchant

Modeling Local Calcium Release Events Evoked by Inositol Trisphosphate

This study aims to combine experimental data with high-resolution stochastic modeling to demonstrate the viability of a structural model for the clustered organization of IP3 receptors in the endoplasmic reticulum. Recent electrophysiological data has implied that IP3 receptors form a tightly clustered Ca2+ channel unit ("contact” model) within intracellular membranes. However, a more loosely corralled architecture of IP3Rs ("corral” model) may also support local Ca2+ release channel activity, and indeed has more congruence with optical imaging data collected from native endoplasmic reticulum membranes. The message of this research is that both alternatives need to be considered by experimentalists in the context of recent debate over IP3R clustering.