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The Patch Clamp Technique in Ion Channel Research

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To understand the pathogenesis of a given ion channel disorder, knowledge of the mutation alone is insufficient, instead, the description of the associated functional defect is decisive. The patch clamp technique enables to achieve this both in native tissue as well as heterologous expression systems. By this technique, structure-function relationships of ion channels were elucidated that not only support the homology already suggested by amino acid alignments of different channel types, but that also pointed to regions important for gating, ion selectivity, or subunit interaction. Currently, effort is being made to develop automation of the technique which will result in a cost-effective, fast, and highly accurate method to test for drug actions on high throughput scales. This review contains an overview of channel structures, channel diseases, and methods to study channel function by the patch clamp technique.
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Keywords: channelomics; channelopathies; drugs; pharmacology; screening; voltage clamp technique

Document Type: Review Article

Affiliations: Abteilung Angewandte Physiologie, Universitat Ulm, D-89081 Ulm, Germany

Publication date: August 1, 2004

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  • Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology aims to cover all the latest and outstanding developments in Pharmaceutical Biotechnology. Each issue of the journal contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of current topics in both pre-clinical and clinical areas of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology. Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology is an essential journal for academic, clinical, government and pharmaceutical scientists who wish to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.
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