Dr. Vasanthi Jayaraman
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
- Structure and function
- Membrane bound proteins
- Ion channels
The research in my laboratory is aimed at elucidating the structural dynamic processes that constitute the allosteric functional regulation in membrane bound proteins, such as ligand gated ion channels. In keeping with this central goal, we use a combination of spectroscopic and rapid electrophysiological techniques to investigate the function and structure of these proteins. One class of proteins that we are currently investigating is the ionotropic glutamate receptors. These are membrane bound proteins that mediate signal transmission between neurons through the formation of ligand gated-transmembrane ion channels. The phenomenological explanation of this process invokes a global structural rearrangement of the multi-subunit receptor protein in response to the binding of the ligand that is specific for the receptor. The focus of the research is to determine these structural motions and correlate the structural motions to the function of the protein.
Depending on the student's interests, a tutorial in my laboratory would provide experience with molecular biology of ion channels, electrophysiological measurements to investigate the function of ion channels, and spectroscopic measurements to investigate the structure.
Jayaraman V (1998) Channel-opening mechanism of a kainate-activated glutamate receptor: Kinetic investigations using a laser-pulse photolysis technique. Biochemistry 37:16735-16740.
Jayaraman V, Keesey R, Madden D (2000) Ligand protein interactions in the glutamate receptor ligand binding site. Biochemistry 39:8693-8697.
Chen Q, Thiran S, Yernool D, Gouaux E, Jayaraman V (2002) Interactions of agonists with a prokaryotic glutamate receptor. Biochemistry 41:1602-1608.
Office: MSB 6.174
Title: Associate Professor
Ph.D. - Princeton University - 1995