Features | Partner Sites | Information | LinkXpress
Sign In
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING LLC
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING LLC
GLOBETECH MEDIA

Microsystem Reduces Cost of Developing Ion Channel Drugs

By BiotechDaily International staff writers
Posted on 11 Dec 2013
Image: Schematic diagram of an ion channel. 1 - channel domains (typically four per channel), 2 - outer vestibule, 3 - selectivity filter, 4 - diameter of selectivity filter, 5 - phosphorylation site, 6 - cell membrane (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons).
Image: Schematic diagram of an ion channel. 1 - channel domains (typically four per channel), 2 - outer vestibule, 3 - selectivity filter, 4 - diameter of selectivity filter, 5 - phosphorylation site, 6 - cell membrane (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons).
The use of a microsystem that generates ion channels in a cell-free medium is expected to boost development of drugs that target these channels in the treatment of diseases such as cystic fibrosis, myasthenia gravis, and epilepsy.

The effect of drugs on ion channels is currently studied by electrophysiology, which measures an electric current across ion channel proteins. This, however, is a slow and expensive process that is carried out using ion channels in living cell membranes.

In a paper published in the October 18, 2013, online edition of the journal Analyst, investigators at the University of Southampton (United Kingdom) in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Quebec (Montreal, Canada) described the development of a cell-free expression mixture that allows ion channels to be inserted into stable artificial "cell membranes."

Results of the study showed that single-channel current measurements of the potassium channels KcsA and hERGS5–S6 could be obtained by direct insertion in interdroplet lipid bilayers from microliters of a cell-free expression medium.

"By putting the ion channel into an artificial membrane, we only have one type of channel, no living cells, and a relatively inexpensive method for testing for several of these types of channels at once," said senior author Dr. Maurits de Planque, lecturer in electronics and computer science at the University of Southampton. "Researchers have experimented with cell-free mixtures before, but they found that this method was not economical due to the amount of expensive biochemicals required. Our proposal to develop a new platform, which uses a couple of microliters instead of milliliters, will be a very cost-effective way of doing this, particularly when the produced channel is directly inserted in a membrane for drug testing."

Related Links:

University of Southampton
University of Quebec



Channels

Genomics/Proteomics

view channel
Image: Bacteriophage EFDG1 visualized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) at a magnification of 20,000–30,000 times. Note that some phages are still bound to remains of the dead bacteria (Photo courtesy of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem).

Bacteriophage Therapy Eliminates Multidrug Resistant Bacterial Infections

Bacteriophage therapy has been shown to be an effective approach for treating infections caused by drug-resistant strains of the bacterium Enterococcus faecalis. E. faecalis, a bacterium inhabiting... Read more

Biochemistry

view channel

Possible New Target Found for Treating Brain Inflammation

Scientists have identified an enzyme that produces a class of inflammatory lipid molecules in the brain. Abnormally high levels of these molecules appear to cause a rare inherited eurodegenerative disorder, and that disorder now may be treatable if researchers can develop suitable drug candidates that suppress this enzyme.... Read more

Lab Technologies

view channel
Image: The FLUOVIEW FVMPE-RS Gantry microscope (Photo courtesy of Olympus).

New Multiphoton Laser Scanning Microscope Configurations Expand Research Potential

Two new configurations of a state-of-the-art multiphoton laser scanning microscope extend the usefulness of the instrument for examining rapidly occurring biological events and for obtaining images from... Read more

Business

view channel

Roche Acquires Signature Diagnostics to Advance Translational Research

Roche (Basel, Switzerland) will advance translational research for next generation sequencing (NGS) diagnostics by leveraging the unique expertise of Signature Diagnostics AG (Potsdam, Germany) in biobanks and development of novel NGS diagnostic assays. Signature Diagnostics is a privately held translational oncology... Read more
 
Copyright © 2000-2015 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.