Developmental Therapeutics

Barbara E Ehrlich PhD

Professor of Pharmacology and of Cellular and Molecular Physiology

Research Interests

Intracellular calcium regulation

Research Summary

The Laboratory of Molecular Hermeneutics is interested in how cells regulate their intracellular calcium concentration. Cells use changes in calcium as a trigger for many cellular events, including cell growth, secretion, contraction, and neurotransmission. We have focused on one aspect of this process, the release of calcium from intracellular stores. We use calcium imaging combined with electrophysiological, biochemical, and molecular techniques to study the classes of calcium release channels known to exist inside virtually all cells: the InsP3-gated channel, the ryanodine receptor, and polycystin-2. Our first goal is to understand the basic question: how is the function of these channels regulated. Our second goal is to use the answers to the first question to understand the loss of calcium regulation observed in disease states as seen in cells from patients with polycystic kidney disease or leading to drug-induced neuropathy. We hypothesize that these abnormalities in function are consequences, at least in part, of altered intracellular calcium homeostasis.

Selected Publications

  • Jacob SN, Choe CU, Uhlen MP, DeGray B, Yeckel M, Ehrlich BE. Signaling micro-domains regulate InsP3-mediated intracellular Ca2+ transients in neurons. J Neurosci, 25:2853-64, 2005.
  • Boehmerle W, Splittgerber U, Lazarus MB, McKenzie KM, Johnston DG, Austin DJ, Ehrlich BE. Paclitaxel induces calcium oscillations via an inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor and neuronal calcium sensor 1-dependent mechanism. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 103(48):18356-61, 2006.
  • Estrada M, Uhlen P, Ehrlich BE. Ca2+ oscillations induced by testosterone enhance neurite outgrowth. J Cell Sci, 119(Pt 4):733-43, 2006.
  • Rengifo, J., C.J. Gibson, E. Winkler, T. Collin, B.E. Ehrlich. Regulation of the Inositol (1,4,5)-Trisphosphate Receptor by O-GlcNAc Glycosylation. Journal of Neuroscience 27: 13813-13821 (2007).
  • Heidrich, F.M., M. Estrada, Y., Huang, F.J. Giordano and B.E. Ehrlich. Chromogranin B regulates Ca2+ dependent and NF-kappaB mediated myocardial hypertrophic growth. Circulation Research 102(10):1230-8 (2008).
  • Celic, A., E.T. Petri, B. Demeler B.E. Ehrlich, T.J. Boggon Validated de novo structural model of the polycystin-2 cytoplasmic C-terminal tail. Journal of Biological Chemistry 283:28305-12 (2008).

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