Rm: A215 Botterell Hall
Tel: (613) 533-6000 x 78665
RESEARCH AREA/POTENTIAL PROJECT(S)
Our research is focused on how hepatocytes, the major epithelial cells of the liver, use the electrochemical gradients of inorganic ions to maintain their many metabolic and exocrine functions, and to support proliferative or apoptotic events characteristic of most liver diseases. We use electrophysiological and molecular approaches to understand how ion channels contribute to the physiology of the liver. Currently we are focused on understanding the role of a non‐selective cation channel (TRPM7) in cell survival and in the response of the hepatocyte to inflammation.
TRPM7 is an ion channel with a kinase domain. It conducts divalent cations such as magnesium across the plasma membrane into the cell to support synthetic processes in rapidly dividing cells. A role for the kinase domain has not been established. We recently showed that TRPM7 is also expressed in the nuclear envelope. Both differentiation of liver cells and their response to inflammatory cytokines are associated with increased nuclear envelope expression and decreased plasma membrane channel activity. The following questions could be addressed:
How does the subcellular location of TRPM7 affect cell cycle progression?
Are putative localization sequences required for TRPM7 retention in the nuclear envelope?
How does TRPM7 function and location affect hepatocellular inflammatory responses?