PI: Dr. Sharona Gordon
Location: UW Physiology and Biophysics, UW School of Medicine
Conformational dynamics of ion channels in a membrane environment
The Gordon lab is broadly interested in the molecular mechanisms that underlie ion channel gating. As integral membrane proteins, the conformational dynamics of ion channels are influenced by both specific chemical interactions with membrane lipids and by the bulk membrane properties. Understanding these protein-lipid interactions is essential to designing therapeutic approaches for a wide variety of diseases. Computation methods will be applied to map the full dynamic conformome of the pain transducing ion channel, TRPV1, using sparse, experimentally-determined constraints. Changes in the conformome induced by small molecules in solution as well as in the membrane will be used in iterative rounds of experiments to stabilize the channel pore in conducting and non-conducting states.