January 2017 | Volume 149, No. 1
- Progressive Cl− channel defects reveal disrupted skeletal muscle maturation in R6/2 Huntington’s mice
The R6/2 mouse model of Huntington’s disease exhibits reduced skeletal muscle ClC-1 currents. Miranda et al. investigate early stages of disease in these mice and find an early and progressive disruption of ClC-1 as well as altered muscle maturation based on myosin heavy chain isoform expression.
- Diabetes induced by gain-of-function mutations in the Kir6.1 subunit of the KATP channel
Kir6.2-containing KATP channels are prominent in pancreatic β cells, and gain-of-function mutations in these channels are the most common cause of human neonatal diabetes mellitus. Remedi et al. find that Kir6.1 subunits are also present in pancreatic KATP channels and that gain-of-function mutations can also cause impaired glucose tolerance and insulin secretion.
- A mechanism for acetylcholine receptor gating based on structure, coupling, phi, and flip
Gupta et al. use single-channel electrophysiology to investigate the gating mechanism of acetylcholine receptor ion channels. They propose that channel opening starts at the M2–M3 linker and ligand-binding sites and proceeds through four brief intermediate conformations before ending with the collapse of a gate bubble.
- Structural identifiability of equilibrium ligand-binding parameters
Precise mathematical descriptions of ligand–protein interactions are hindered by the inability to experimentally measure affinity and cooperativity, although these parameters can be estimated from agonist binding models. Middendorf and Aldrich present a method to determine the accuracy of parameters estimated in this way.
- The structure of binding curves and practical identifiability of equilibrium ligand-binding parameters
In their preceding paper, Middendorf and Aldrich describe a method to determine the accuracy of binding parameters estimated from models of agonist binding. Here, they present an approach to determine whether binding parameters can be accurately estimated from experimental, or noisy, data.
Methods and Approaches
- A novel method for culturing stellate astrocytes reveals spatially distinct Ca2+ signaling and vesicle recycling in astrocytic processes
Communication between astrocytes and neurons has been difficult to study because cultured astrocytes do not resemble those in vivo. Wolfes et al. develop a stellate astrocyte monoculture with physiological characteristics and find that VAMP2 and SYT7 mark distinct vesicle populations in astrocytes.