Michael Bründl


Graduate Student

email: michael.bruendl@univie.ac.at


Start of project: 15.05.2019
Title of the project: Gating and conduction regulation of inward rectifier K+ channels
Research topic: Inwardly rectifying potassium (Kir) channels play important roles in control of cellular excitability and K+ ion homeostasis. Under physiological conditions, Kir channels allow large K+ influx at potentials negative to the equilibrium potential of K+ but permit little outward current at potentials positive to the equilibrium potential of K+, due to voltage-dependent block of outward K+ flux by endogenous, cytoplasmic polyamines. They block K+ ion movement through the channel at depolarized potentials, thereby ensuring, for instance, the long plateau phase of the cardiac action potential. Pathophysiological reduction of inward rectification in the channel, for example, increases the risk of cardiac arrhythmias and sudden death.
To gain an insight into how members of the Kir channel family are regulated, I will use Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulation to study Kir channel interactions with endogenous polyamines, and drugs.

PI: Anna Weinzinger