Accession Number:

ADA433188

Title:

Bio-Inspired Engineering of Protein-Based Heat Sensors

Descriptive Note:

Final rept.

Corporate Author:

TEXAS UNIV MEDICAL BRANCH AT GALVESTON

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2004-01-01

Pagination or Media Count:

28.0

Abstract:

The thermosensing organs of pit vipers are prototypical ultrasensitive biosensors for heat. Although these sensory capabilities are emergent properties of the pit organ and the CNS, the molecules responsible for thermoreception code for many of the properties of the whole receptor. Recent data suggest that thermoreceptors are heat-gated ion channel proteins. We used electrophysiology to study dissociated cultures of neurons that project to characteristics of these conductances verifies they are distinct. It is unclear, however, how these currents are integrated into a thermosensory response. Additionally, the kinetics of these channels could not be resolved with available temperature control systems and necessitated the design and implementation of a new rapid focal heating apparatus, now in its second phase of development. We were unable to identify homologues of the mammalian heat sensitive ion channel family TRPV using either low-stringency PCR or by screening a cDNA library isolated from trigeminal ganglion of the western diamondback rattlesnake. Our findings further expand the information base on thermosensation in animals and the technical tools for these studies, but we have not resolved questions of the mechanism of cellular transduction of heat in snake neurons.

Subject Categories:

  • Biology
  • Miscellaneous Detection and Detectors

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE