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Papers of the Week

Papers: 27 Apr 2019 - 3 May 2019


Methods Mol Biol


Patch-Clamp Combined with Fast Temperature Jumps to Study Thermal TRP Channels.


Liu B, Qin F
Methods Mol Biol. 2019; 1987:125-141.
PMID: 31028678.


Patch-clamp recording combined with biophysical modeling and mutagenic perturbations provides an effective means to study structural functions of ion channels. The methodology has been successful for studying ligand- or voltage-gated channels and brought about much of the knowledge we know today on how ligand or voltage gates an ion channel. The approach, when applied to thermal channels, however, has faced unique challenges. For one problem, thermal channels can operate at high temperatures, and for these channels, prolonged temperature stimulation incurs excessive thermal stress to destabilize patches. For another problem, conventional temperature controls are slow and limit the attainment of high resolution data such as time-resolved activations of thermal channels. Due to these issues, thermal channels have been less accessible to biophysical studies at mechanistic levels. In this chapter we address the problems and demonstrate fast temperature controls enabling recording of time-resolved responses of thermal channels at high temperatures.