The June issue of JPG is a collection of peer-reviewed articles contributed by participants of the very special Society of General Physiologists (SGP) 73rd Annual Symposium, hosted jointly with the Society of Latin American Biophysicists (SOBLA).
Large-conductance Ca2+-activated K+ channels (BK channels) are key drug targets due to their association with a wide variety of neurological disorders. Rockman et al. reveal that the smooth muscle relaxant NS11021 activates BK channels by shifting the pore-gate equilibrium toward the open state.
The fragile X syndrome–associated protein FMRP is thought to influence BK channel function in neurons via direct interaction with the regulatory β4 subunits. Kshatri et al. reveal that FMRP also regulates BK channels in the absence of β subunits and that these effects are altered by a disease-associated mutation in FMRP.
Suárez-Delgado et al. reveal that the rat voltage-gated K+ channel KV1.2 undergoes a slow inactivation similar to the C-type inactivation observed in Drosophila Shaker channels. However, mutational analyses indicate that there are subtle but important structural differences between the inactivated states of each channel.
Methods and Approaches
Zhang et al. derivatize wheat germ agglutinin with small-molecule fluorescent pH sensors to visualize proton fluxes over the extracellular surfaces of transfected cells and primary cardiomyocytes and neuron–astrocyte cocultures.