Student Work

EFFECTS OF ALCOHOL ON THE LOCALIZATION OF INSERTLESS AND STREX, BK CHANNEL ALPHA SUBUNIT ISOFORMS

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Alcohol affects a variety of physiological and cellular processes. Large-conductance calcium-activated (BK) potassium channels are one such target. Ethanol binds to these receptors to alter cellular distribution and hinder cellular repolarization. BK channel alpha subunits are sensitive to ethanol's effects, and recently were shown to exist as different isoforms, including "Insertless" and "STREX". This project used immunofluorescence microscopy to analyze cell membrane distribution of Insertless and STREX in transfected HEK cells with and without ethanol exposure. The data show that ethanol downregulates Insertless and causes receptor declustering, while the STREX isoform is largely resistant to ethanol's effects, and overall BK membrane intensity decreases with exposure to ethanol.

  • This report represents the work of one or more WPI undergraduate students submitted to the faculty as evidence of completion of a degree requirement. WPI routinely publishes these reports on its website without editorial or peer review.
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  • E-project-042507-111332
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  • 2007
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  • 2007-04-25
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