Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, MCDB; Director, Undergraduate Program in Neuroscience
MCDB Office - 4118 Biological Sciences Building
UPiN Directors Office - 1144 Undergraduate Science Building
4118 Biological Sciences Building
1105 North University Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1085
phone: 734.764.2071 -- Please leave a voicemail.
Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology
The majority of the work done in the Hume lab has focused on the structure and function of ligand-gated ion channels. These molecules mediate rapid signaling from one neuron to the next, by opening ion selective pores in the surface membrane in response to the binding of neurotransmitter released from the adjacent presynaptic terminal. The opening of these pores elicits ion flows that cause excitation or inhibition. When ligand-gated channels spend too much or too little time open, the brain cannot process information correctly. Furthermore, alterations in ligand-gated channel activity can result in overt neurological disease, including epilepsy and neurodegenerative diseases. For a number of years we examined receptors for glutamate, the major excitatory transmitter in the mammalian brain, but more recently, our work focused on P2X receptors, which are activated by extracellular ATP (adenosine 5′ phosphate), the same molecule that is the major energy source for cell metabolism.
The focus of the current NIH grant directed by Professor Hume is the role of ion channels in tubulovesicles, a lysosome related organelle found in the acid secreting parietal cells of the stomach. This project was initiated in the lab of Haoxing Xu, and Professor Hume took over directing it when Professor Xu stepped aside as the PI. MCDB faculty members Mohammed Akaaboune and Wanlu Du are the co-PIs. This project uses electrophysiological, biochemical and imaging studies of cell lines in vitro, as well in vitro and in vivo studies of cells from knock-out mice generated in the Xu lab.
Field(s) of Study
- Molecular Neurobiology, Ion Channel Function, Developmental Neurobiology
Areas of Focus
- Cell Biology
- Neurobiology & Animal Physiology