Event Details

Tuesday, 05 April 2016 - Tuesday, 05 April 2016
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
QBI Level 7 Seminar Room
UQ Location:
Queensland Brain Institute (St Lucia)
Event category(s):

Event Contact

Ms Deirdre Wilson
3346 6300
Org. Unit:
Queensland Brain Institute

Event Description

Full Description:
Yan Zhang
Queensland Brain Institute, University of Queensland
Title: Physiological properties of glycinergic synapses with defined subunit compositions
Abstract: Glycine receptor (GlyR) chloride channels mediate fast inhibitory neurotransmission in the spinal cord and brainstem. Four GlyR subunits (α1-3, β) have been identified in humans, and their differential anatomical distributions lead to a diversity of synaptic isoforms with unique physiological and pharmacological properties. Hyperekplexia is a rare human neuromotor disorder caused by mutations that impair the efficacy of glycinergic inhibitory neurotransmission. Loss-of-function mutations in the GLRA1 genes, which encode the α1 GlyR subunits, are the major cause for hyperekplexia. Paradoxically, gain-of-function GLRA1 mutations also cause hyperekplexia, although the mechanism is unknown. During my PhD studies, I developed a spinal neuron-HEK293 cell coculture technique for generating inhibitory synapses incorporating defined combinations of GlyR subunits. Using artificial synapses, I characterized the inhibitory post-synaptic currents mediated by different synaptic GlyR isoforms, and investigated the synaptic signaling defects induced by gain-of-function hyperekplexia mutations. In addition, I used this approach to investigate the concentration to which Zn2+ rises in response to a single presynaptic stimulation.

Directions to UQ

Google Map:
To St Lucia Campus, UQ Ipswich, and UQ Gatton.

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