2010 Bio 328 McKinnon Textbook

2010 Bio 328 McKinnon Textbook - Molecular and Cellular...

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Molecular and Cellular Physiology of Electrically Excitable Cells David McKinnon Stony Brook University
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1 Index Chapter 1 Membrane Potential I Chapter 2 Membrane Potential II Chapter 3 Basic Cell Physiology Chapter 4 Structure and Function of Ion Channels Chapter 5 Action Potentials in Neurons Chapter 6 Functional Diversity of Voltage Gated Ion Channels Chapter 7 Molecular Biology of Voltage Gated Ion Channels Chapter 8 Action Potentials in Heart Chapter 9 Electrophysiology of a Simple Neuron Chapter 11 Structure and Function of Neurotransmitter Receptors Chapter 12 Basic Synaptic Transmission Chapter 13 Slightly more Complex Synaptic Transmission Chapter 14 Basic Pharmacology Chapter 15 Regulation of Synaptic Connectivity Chapter 16 Genetics of Ion Channel Diseases This document is designed for the sole use of students in the class BIO 328. It contains images adapted from multiple copyrighted sources and is not to be reproduced in any form other than for the purposes of teaching.
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2 Chapter 1 Membrane Potential I Neurons and muscle cells have developed highly sophisticated mechanisms to allow signaling of electrical impulses both within and between cells of the nervous system and with effector organs such as the skeletal muscle system. The proteins that underlie these very specialized functions are evolutionarily ancient, however, and in most cases considerable similarity can be found between proteins used by the human brain for electrical signaling and proteins found in single cell prokaryotes (bacteria). This is because cells, no matter how primitive or complex, have to solve a common set of basic cellular physiological problems, which include maintenance of salt balance, maintenance of osmotic balance, transport of solutes into the cell and transport of waste products out of the cell. In general, the proteins that underlie these basic cellular functions have been elaborated and modified during the course of evolution to generate the more complex functions found in the electrically excitable cells of animals. This process has limits, however, and the complexity of a neuron in a fruit fly brain and one in a human brain are similar. The more complex behaviors seen in humans is generally a function of a more complex nervous system, not of more complex neurons. Biological electricity is an electrochemical phenomenon that is underpinned by a very complex web of biochemical processes. This chapter focuses on the most basic aspect of cellular electrical function, generation of the membrane potential . The membrane potential is an electrical potential across the cell membrane that is found, to a lesser or greater degree, in all cells. 1. Bioelectricity There are good reasons why we fear being shocked by an electrical current. Many of our cells communicate using electrical currents and our bodies are relatively good electrical conductors. The problem with household voltages and currents is that they are large compared to those of our bodies. Voltages in cells are generally less than
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This note was uploaded on 03/28/2011 for the course BIO 328 taught by Professor Cabot during the Fall '07 term at SUNY Stony Brook.

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2010 Bio 328 McKinnon Textbook - Molecular and Cellular...

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