Research Abstracts Online
January - December 2011
University of Minnesota Twin Cities
PI: Jonathan S. Marchant
Functional Architecture of IP3-Evoked Local Ca2+ Signals
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.
John D. Chan, Graduate Student