Single Channel analysis of the mechanism basis of Zn 2+ and H+ medical block of Kv1.5

A goal that scientists have long hoped for — the ability to design drugs based specifically on the known properties of their targets — motivated Daniel Kwan’s Masters research. In order to develop such target-specific drugs, the molecular structure of potential targets needs to be well-defined. Daniel contributed to this goal by combining techniques in electrophysiology, cell biology and molecular biology to study Kv1.5, a protein controlling the movement of potassium ions from heart muscle cells. The protein acts as a pathway for ions to pass through cell membranes. Results from the research show that zinc ions and protons can block these pathways by causing a reduction in the channels available. Daniel also examined how nickel ion affects these channels and results from this study point to a possible link between zinc and epileptic seizures. These findings could help in developing drugs to block the channels as a treatment for diseases such as irregular heartbeat and epilepsy