- Exceptionally high reactivity of TRPA1 Cys
Electrophiles produced during oxidative stress trigger pain responses by reacting with TRPA1 ion channels on sensory nerves. Bahia et al. show that residue C621 on TRPA1 has remarkable reactivity with electrophiles—more than cellular antioxidants—and is crucial for this sensory response.
- Structure–function relationship of calcins
Calcins are a new and expanding family of ryanodine receptor agonists found in scorpion venom. Xiao and colleagues characterize the structure–function relationships of all known calcins and show both similarities and differences in their form and function.
- Subspecialization of human ocular muscles
Facial muscles are skeletal muscles that control facial expression. Sekulic-Jablanovic et al. characterize orbicularis oculi and extraocular muscles and find divergence in the expression of key molecules for muscle function between facial, extraocular, and quadriceps muscles.
- Ae4 is a Cl−/K+(Na+)-HCO3− exchanger
AE4 is an anion exchanger known to counter transport Cl− and HCO3− across secretory cell membranes. Peña-Münzenmayer et al. show that AE4 is an electroneutral exchanger and that it also transports monovalent cations in the same direction as HCO3−.
- Asymmetrical construction of CFTR’s pore
CFTR is a chloride channel and a member of the ABC transporter superfamily; however, its structure is unknown. By making a series of cysteine mutants, Gao and Hwang show that CFTR lacks the twofold pseudo-symmetry seen in the permeation pathway of bone fide ABC transporters.