Norma Adragna (Committee Member), David Cool (Committee Member), Mauricio Di Fulvio (Advisor), Peter Lauf (Committee Member)
Master of Science (MS)
The Slc12a5 gene encodes the neuron-specific electroneutral K+Cl- cotransporter-2 (KCC2), a constitutively active Cl- extruder. In mature neurons, KCC2 functionally predominates over other members of the Slc12a family, particularly the Na+K+2Cl- cotransporter-1 (NKCC1), a ubiquitous Cl- loader. Therefore, KCC2 keeps and maintains the intracellular chloride concentration ([Cl-]i) below values predicted by thermodynamic equilibrium and in doing so, KCC2 plays a key role in neuron physiology: it makes possible the inhibitory action of neurotransmitters such as gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and glycine. Neurons and insulin-secreting pancreatic ß-cells share many genes and functions. Indeed, neuron-specific genes have been also found in ß-cells whereas both neurons and ß-cells are electrically excitable. Our experiments demonstrate that, like in neurons, KCC2 is expressed in ß-cells and suggest that the functional balance NKCC1/KCC2 modulates insulin secretion in response to glucose.
Department or Program
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology
Year Degree Awarded
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