Our research focuses on the functional and pharmacological properties of ligand-gated ion channels. Our main goals are to elucidate the relationship between the structure and the function of ligand-gated ion channels, to characterize the molecular mechanisms of action of different pharmacological agents influencing them, and to better understand the physiological and pathological processes in which ligand-gated ion channels participate.
We use advanced electrophysiology methods, primarily the patch-clamp technique, to study ligand-gated ion channel activity at the level of whole cells, synapses, or even single channels. For a complex understanding of ion channel properties, we combine electrophysiology with quantitative analytical techniques, molecular biology, biochemistry, immunohistochemistry and microfluorometric methods (e.g. Ca2+ imaging).
Projects on Glutamate Receptors
Genetic variants of NMDA receptor genes in schizophrenia patients
Regulation of NMDA receptor function by N-glycosylation
NMDA receptor transport
Influence of membrane lipids on NMDA receptor function
Synaptic effects and neuroprotective properties of NMDA receptor modulators
Role of linker regions in the signal transduction between the ligand-binding domain and the ion channel of the NMDA receptor
Modulation of NMDA receptors by neurosteroids
Our research is carried out by Czech and foreign students and researchers, and is supported by Czech and European grant agencies.
As part of the research on neuroactive steroids we have established several collaborations, namely with Eva Kudová, Ph.D. and Hana Chodounská, Ph.D. (Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry CAS, Prague) on the synthesis of steroids; and with prof. Jiří Horáček, M.D., Ph.D. (National Institute of Mental Health, Klecany) on the genetic analysis of psychiatric patients.