Strathcona Anatomy & Dentistry Building, Room W-309
Maintenance of normal brain function requires efficient control of neuronal communication and defects in inhibition lead mildly to increases in anxiety and severely to epilepsy. GABAA receptors localized at specialized sites of cell-cell contact termed synapses are the predominant mediators of inhibitory control in the brain. Drugs that can modulate GABAA receptor activity, such as barbiturates and benzodiazepam, which are used clinically as anxiolytics, anti-epileptics and sedatives, clearly illustrate the crucial role of GABAA receptors in the brain. Our laboratory is interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms used by neurons to control receptor localization and synapse stability. This is essential research as potentially these mechanisms will directly regulate the formation and efficiency of inhibitory synaptic connections. In particular, we focus on the roles of the intracellular trafficking pathways and regulated protein degradation in controlling both the localization and stability of the receptor and complex associated proteins at inhibitory synapses. We combine molecular, cellular and biological techniques to examine the functional interactions between the GABAA receptor and these pathways and to identify the intracellular proteins that contribute to these processes.
Celine Ablasou, Research Assistant
Christine Fagotti, Research Assistant
Beibei Zhao, PhD student 2003 -
Renu Heir, MSc Student 2004 -
Back to Basics - 4th year medical students Cell and Developmental
Biology course 540-690D - graduate course