Ion channels are not only important determinants of normal intra- and intercellular signaling, but they are also involved in pathogenesis of a multitude of human diseases, including such widespread and dangerous ones as cardiovascular, neurodegenerative, diabetes, and cancer.
It is no longer a question of whether or not malfunction of ion channels contributes to certain pathology - it is important to establish what their specific types and how they affect the pathological process and how their pharmacological targeting can be exploited to combat this pathology.
The focus of scientific interests and research of the Department of Neuromuscular Physiology (NMF) is the molecular mechanisms of the functioning and regulation of ion channels and establishment of the type and manner of their involvement in the progression of human diseases, primarily such as cancer, epilepsy and diabetes.
We are trying to understand how changes in the functioning of the ion channels affect the pathophysiological characteristics of various cells and tissues that are the hallmarks of these diseases and, on the basis of such understanding, to develop practically significant recommendations on the possible use of ion channels as therapeutic targets.
By applying the methods of electrophysiology, fluorescence microscopy, molecular biology, immunochemistry to animal and cell models of diabetes, cancer and epilepsy we try to make as much as possible of a contribution to understanding the pathophysiological role of ion channels in the framework of the following projects:
- Role of ion channels and calcium signaling in malignant transformation and carcinogenesis
- Involvement of thermo- and mechanosensitive ion channels in the functioning of smooth muscles of the male urogenital system
- The influence of diabetes on neuromuscular transmission and excitation-contraction coupling in smooth muscles of the male urogenital system
- Targets of pharmacological action of new openers of ATP-dependent potassium channels (KATP) and their selectivity towards tissue-specific KATP subtypes of these channels
- Expression, biophysical properties, pharmacology and epigenetic regulation of low-threshold calcium channels in norm and in experimental abscess epilepsy