Role of Potassium Channels in Neurotransmitter and Insulin Release in Diabetes

Prof. Ilana Lotan, Ph.D.
Department of Physiology and Pharmacology

Main research projects currently in the lab:

  1. Study of the novel role of Kv2.1 potassium channel in insulin secretion from pancreatic islet β cells, as a target for novel drug design for the treatment of type-2 diabetes;
  2. Study of structure-function and modulations by presynaptic modulators of Kv2.1 and other Kv channels, specifically KCNQ2 and KCNQ3, important in axonal and synaptic excitability.


Research methods:

  • Biophysical: 1) Two-electrode voltage clamp and patch clamp techniques for the study of whole cell and single channel currents. 2) Membrane capacitance and amperometry measurements for the study of exocytosis.
  • Biochemical: co-immunoprecipitation, immunohystochemistry, recombinant protein purification, etc, for the study of in vivo and in vitro protein-protein interactions.
  • Imaging: 1) Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) for the study of protein-protein interactions. 2) Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence Microscopy (TIRFM) for the study of neurotransmitter vesicles behavior.
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