The mkm laboratory has studied transmembrane proteins for over 25 years. We have chosen systems that were both challenging in themselves and parts of larger pictures that were exciting. We have worked on the voltage-gated K+ channel, which soon became the best-studied membrane protein of its time. Our model of the mechanism coupling changes in transmembrane potential to the opening or closing of the channel is, arguably, the one that best explains the available data. More recently, we have studied ion channels in the heart and shown that the electrical systems in the heart are sensitive to mechanical forces. And now for something completely different: transporters involved in cell death and mechanisms involved in conferring salt tolerance to crop plants. Our studies have shown that the Voltage Dependent Anion Channel is a key player in mitochondrial pathways leading to cell death. Indeed, we demonstrate that trafficking and localisation of VDAC modulates cell death. Finally, we have discovered at least 3 previously unreported mechanisms that contribute to salt tolerance in crop plants and now look forward to both discovering additional mechanisms and to fleshing out the details of the extant mechanisms.


Highlighted publications (in chronological order)