Methods in Signal Transduction

New book release, edited by Wright State associate professor of neuroscience, cell biology and physiology, J. Ashot Kozak

The concept of signal transduction is a well-established tenet of biological sciences. Calcium ion plays an essential role primarily through cell signaling. Over the past two decades, considerable advances have been made in the molecular and biophysical properties of calcium entry pathways in non-excitable cells. The term "non-excitable" refers to cells that are not capable of firing action potentials. With the exception of neurons, muscle cells and some endocrine cells, all cells in the body are non-excitable. 

 J. Ashot Kozak, Ph.D. and James W. Putney, Jr., Ph.D. edited a recently published volume in the Methods in Signal Transduction Series, CRC Press, titled Calcium Entry Channels in Non-Excitable Cells. The volume focuses on the structure and function of non-voltage gated calcium channels in the cellular plasma membrane.  The chapters feature expert authors who describe procedures and protocols in a reader-friendly format to ensure maximum practical value to a broad audience of students and researcher.

Each chapter presents important discoveries in calcium-selective channels, such as store-operated and TRPV5/6 channels. Crystallographic, electrophysiological, optogenetic, single-molecule and pharmacological approaches for studying these calcium channels are discussed in detail. Whereas voltage-gated calcium channels present in neurons and muscle have been studied extensively, the non-voltage gated calcium entry channel genes have only been identified relatively recently.  The book aims to fill this important niche. It can be used as a reference for diverse approaches/techniques for ion channel researchers and as a teaching aid for graduate level courses.

Kozak's research interests focus on Cation channels expressed in leukocytes; Transient Receptor Potential (TRP) channels; ion channels involved in nociception.  And he participates in the BMS PH.D. program Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology and Neuroscience and Physiology areas of concentration.