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Drosophila sensory neurons tile the larval body wall, Dr. Chun Han

Faculty

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Campus Address: GH N272F Box: 2140
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(415) 476-6310

Yuriy Kirichok

Electrical Signaling at the Mitochondrion in Health and Disease

Mitochondria are ubiquitous intracellular organelles responsible for diverse cellular processes including ATP production, intracellular Ca2+ signaling, aging, and programmed cell death. Given the paramount significance of mitochondria in cell physiology, it is not surprising that they have also emerged as key contributors to many pathological conditions, including diabetes, obesity and neurodegenerative diseases. Electrical potential across the inner mitochondrial membrane (IMM) generated by mitochondrial respiration is fundamental to physiology of this organelle. Several types of mitochondrial ion channels that mediate fast ion transport across the IMM control this membrane potential and thus directly affect all aspects of mitochondrial function. Our lab uses state-of-the-art patch clamp electrophysiology in combination with genetics and molecular biology to provide physiological and molecular characterization of mitochondrial ion channels and signaling pathways that regulate their activity. Results from this work will uncover the fundamental physiological mechanisms that control mitochondrial functions and will help to understand the origins of numerous diseases associated with mitochondria.