Ion Channels

Koichi Takimoto

Koichi Takimoto

Work in Laboratory for Molecular Physiology centers on physiological roles of ion channels. Ion channels constitute a diverse group of membrane proteins that allow passive flows of ions. They differ in ion selectivity, gating properties, subcellular locations and expression patterns, serving for unique physiological roles. Particular emphasis is placed on voltage-gated potassium channels. Proper expression of these channels is essential for rhythmic contraction of the heart and neuronal excitability. Physical interaction with other molecules and post-translational modifications are involved in subcellular targeting and activity of these channels. Thus, our studies are aimed at elucidating these channel regulatory mechanisms and their alterations in disease. The goal of these studies is to identify therapeutic targets and strategies for treatment of cardiac and neuronal disorders. We are also interested in developing cell- or tissue-based therapeutic tools for cardiac and other diseases. We use molecular biological, biochemical methods, as well as patch clamp techniques for our studies.

  1. Proteolytic cleavage of EAG channels and cancer cell proliferation
  2. Region-selective expression of potassium channels in the heart
  3. Development of channel inactivation-specific drugs
  4. Devising efficient methods for direct reprogramming of adult stem cells