Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

About the PNAS Member Editor
Name Latorre, Ramon
Location Universidad de Valparaiso
Primary Field Physiology and Pharmacology
Secondary Field Biophysics and Computational Biology
 Election Citation
By incorporating single channels into lipid bilayers, Latorre first described the protein random walk that coexists with ionic conductances gating, and the two state kinetic conditions determining the open and close state for such channels. Additionally, he was the first to reconstitute a naturally occurring ionic channnel into lipid bilayers.
 Research Interests
As a biophysicist and a cellular physiologist, my research interest is focused on a class of integral membrane proteins denominated ion channels, which mediate all electrical signals in our nervous system. Ion channels can have two configurations: conductive (open) or nonconductive (closed). In its conductive configuration, a channel protein mediates the transfer of million of ions per second across the membrane. Through detailed studies of a calcium-activated voltage-dependent potassium channel, my coworkers and I developed a kinetic model able to account for the voltage- and calcium-dependence of these channels. We also demonstrated the multi-ion nature of these channels and its implication for selectivity and conduction. More recently, my laboratory made the discovery that a modulatory beta subunit of the smooth muscle calcium- and voltage-dependent potassium channel behaves as an estrogen receptor modulating the activity of the channel-forming alpha subunit, which may provide the first clue regarding the unknown nature of estrogen membrane receptors.

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