The Ion Channel Research Group is focused
on understanding the structure/function relationships of temperature- and
mechano-sensitive ion channels. These proteins are the building blocks of
sensory responses such avoiding noxious heat and the sense of touch. Additionally,
they are involved in several pathophysiological processes in cancer, asthma and
other diseases, making them an attractive therapeutic target.
Line 1: Temperature sensing in Thermo-TRP channels.
The thermo-Transient Receptor Potential are ion channels whose activity exhibits an unparalleled temperature dependence. Despite the structure of several thermo-TRP channels has been determined by Cryo-electron microscopy the channel domain that detects the temperature remains unknown. Thus, our main goal in this project is to determine the structure responsible for temperature sensing (“the temperature sensor”) and thermodynamic principles driving its function.
Line 2: Gating mechanism of Mechanosensitive ion channels.
The activity of several ion channels is controlled by the mechanical force. Different to other molecular sensors -that display extensive structural homology- mechanosensitive ion channels do not show similarity in both sequence and structure. Thus, our main goal is to determine the structure and mechanisms allowing mechanical energy to drive the ion channel activity.
A folding reaction at the C-terminal domain drives temperature sensing in TRPM8 channels
Ignacio Díaz-Franulic , Natalia Raddatza, Karen Castilloa, Fernando D. González-Nilo and Ramon Latorre