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Voltage-gated Calcium Channels

Voltage

Research interests

The pancreatic beta-cell is equipped with multiple types of voltage-gated calcium (CaV) channels including CaV1.2, CaV1.3, CaV2.1, CaV2.2, CaV2.3, CaV3.1 and CaV3.2. These CaV channels are critical for beta-cell function and viability. Well-regulated beta-cell CaV channels mediate appropriate Ca2+ entry to ensure adequate functional beta-cell mass, thereby maintaining satisfactory insulin release and glucose homeostasis in the body. Disturbances in beta-cell CaV channels, resulting from their mutation, altered expression and dysregulation, impair insulin secretion and even drive beta-cell destruction due to insufficient or excessive Ca2+ influx. Consequently, this leads to insulin deficiency, resultant hyperglycemia and diabetes. Effective treatments for diabetes critically rely on molecular target- and mechanism-based therapies. Beta-Cell CaV channels and their regulation mechanisms and signaling pathways most likely serve as druggable targets for medical intervention of Ca2+-dependent beta-cell death in association with diabetes. Our research primarily focuses on beta-cell CaV channels and their regulation mechanisms and signaling pathways in health and diabetes.

We perform our research work both in vitro and in vivo by combining the patch clamp technique, fluorescence microscopy, biochemical methods, cellular and molecular approaches. Our research aims to gain in-depth understanding of the role of CaV channels in pancreatic beta-cell physiology and pathophysiology, to acquire mechanistic knowledge on the development of diabetes and to develop innovative therapeutic approaches against diabetes.

Project leader

Shao-Nian Yang

Senior researcher
Signal Transduction
Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery (MMK), K1

People working on Voltage-gated Calcium Channels

Jia Yu

Senior researcher
08-517 794 56
Signal Transduction
Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery (MMK), K1

Yue Shi

Postdoc
Signal Transduction
Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery (MMK), K1

Lina Yu

Research assistant
Signal Transduction
Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery (MMK), K1

Publication

The role of voltage-gated calcium channels in pancreatic beta-cell physiology and pathophysiology.
Yang SN, Berggren PO
Endocr. Rev. 2006 Oct;27(6):621-76