Richard Hume
3095C Nat. Sci.
(734) 764-2071

The major interests of this lab are the molecular basis of synaptic transmission and synaptic development. For a number of years we worked on glutamate receptors because glutamate is the dominant excitatory transmitter in mammalian brain.

However, the majority of current work is focused on a second system that also mediates excitatory transmission in mammalian brain. ATP (adenosine triphosphate) is released from many synaptic terminals, and
The function of P2X receptors can be detected with quantitative imaging. A. Phase contrast image of a field of HEK293 cells.
B. Cells transfected with a plasmid encoding the P2X2 receptor
were identified by co-expression of green fluorescent protein. C.D. False color images of the fluorescence intensity of the calcium specific dye Fura-2. In D the cells were exposed to 20 ÁM ATP.
The fluorescence intensity of Fura-2 changed due to calcium entry through the P2X2 receptors.
one action of this ATP
is to gate a class of ion channels referred to as P2X receptors. Genes encoding seven different P2X receptors have recently been identified in mammals and members of the P2X gene family are widely expressed in the central and peripheral nervous system.

The major goals of current research in this lab include:

1) To identify the molecular motifs of P2X receptors that account for ATP binding, channel gating and modulation of channel function.

2) To test the importance of P2X receptors in synaptic development.

3) To understand the role that P2X receptor mediated signaling plays in the mature brain.

3095C Natural Science
830 N. University Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1048
Phone: (734) 764-2071 Lab: (734) 647-2965