2022 Student Research Conference:
35th Annual Student Research Conference

Analyzing the effects of the potassium channel KCNJ6 on the mu Opioid Receptor

Anna E. Burns* and Christina M. Jurotich
Dr. Yohei Norimatsu (ATSU Department of Physiology) and Dr. Stephen Hudman, Faculty Mentors

The opioid epidemic has been an important healthcare concern for decades. Opioids are a class of highly addictive drugs that bind to and desensitize opioid receptors, like mu opioid receptor (μOR), producing morphine-like effects. The goal of this project is to determine how μOR  interacts with Inwardly Rectifying Potassium Channel 6 (KCNJ6) to ultimately elucidate the activation mechanism of μOR using partial and full agonists and molecular models to design a new class of analgesics with reduced desensitization to decrease risk of addiction. To do that, KCNJ6 plasmid DNA was extracted and purified to synthesize mRNA. This mRNA will be micro-injected into Xenopus oocytes, and electrophysiology will be used to study the activation mechanism and signal transduction pathway with three different opioids, thereby allowing us to better understand the mechanisms contributing to desentization of opioid receptors and the differences between partial and full agonists on the μOR. 


Keywords: opioids, molecular biology, electrophysiology

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Presentation Type: Poster Presentation

Session: 2-20
Location: SUB Activities Room
Time: 3:00

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