Brink, Professor and Chairman, Department of Physiology and Biophysics
of Illinois, Urbana 1976 Physiology
The research effort in my laboratory focuses on intercellular communication
mediated by gap junctions. The laboratory has an ongoing interest in
connexins of cardiac myocytes and vascular smooth muscle cells. They
are essential to processes such as vaso-motor tone and cardiac arrhythmias.
Much of our effort focuses on quantification of gap junction selectivity
to solutes of the size and charge of metabolites and second messengers.
Our most recent data suggests that PKC is able to effect a selective
alteration of Cx43 selectivity. We utilize site-directed mutagenesis
along with electrophysiological and fluorometric methods to probe the
nature of selectivity in gap junction channels.