H. Miso Misono, PhD
|Neural & Pain Sciences|
Our brain precisely controls the electrical excitability to function properly. However, in certain cases the brain fails to effectively regulate excitability and falls into pathological conditions such as stroke and epilepsy. Controlling electrical excitability is a major role of potassium channels by counteracting membrane depolarization. Neurons express wide varieties of voltage-gated potassium (Kv) channels, either on the somata, dendrites, or axons. These potassium channels act to achieve rapid and precise control of the local and global membrane excitability. In doing so, they effectively regulate the overall input-output relationship between synaptic stimuli to dendrites and neurotransmitter release from axon terminals. Altering the surface density, location, or functional characteristics of potassium channels profoundly affects neuronal signaling. The goal of my research is to understand the molecular basis of the constitutive and regulated mechanisms that determine the localization and function of potassium channels, and how these impact the regulation of excitability in neurons in epilepsy, ischemia, and persistent pain.