- Many cell surface stimuli cause calcium release from endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stores to regulate cellular physiology. Upon ER calcium store depletion, the ER-resident protein stromal interaction molecule 1 (STIM1) physically interacts with plasma membrane protein Orai1 to induce calcium release–activated calcium (CRAC) currents that conduct calcium influx from the extracellular milieu. Although the physiological relevance of this process is well established, the mechanism supporting the assembly of these proteins is incompletely understood.
- The unfolded protein response (UPR) is an adaptation mechanism activated to resolve transient accumulation of unfolded/misfolded proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum. Failure to resolve the transient accumulation of such proteins results in UPR-mediated programmed cell death. Loss of tumor suppressor gene or oncogene addiction in cancer cells can result in sustained higher basal UPR levels; however, it is not clear if these higher basal UPR levels in cancer cells can be exploited as a therapeutic strategy.
- Oxytocin is a potent uterotonic agent administered to nearly all patients during childbirth in the United States. Inadequate oxytocin response can necessitate Cesarean delivery or lead to uterine atony and postpartum hemorrhage. Thus, it may be clinically useful to identify patients at risk for poor oxytocin response and develop strategies to sensitize the uterus to oxytocin. Previously, we showed that the V281M variant in the oxytocin receptor (OXTR) gene impairs OXTR trafficking to the cell surface, leading to a decreased oxytocin response in cells.
- The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 envelope protein (S2-E) is a conserved membrane protein that is important for coronavirus (CoV) assembly and budding. Here, we describe the recombinant expression and purification of S2-E in amphipol-class amphipathic polymer solutions, which solubilize and stabilize membrane proteins, but do not disrupt membranes. We found that amphipol delivery of S2-E to preformed planar bilayers results in spontaneous membrane integration and formation of viroporin cation channels.