Ion channels are pore-forming proteins that provide pathways for the controlled movement of ions into or out of cells. The processes of ionic movement across cell membranes is critical for essential and physiological processes ranging from control of the strength and duration of the heartbeat to the regulation of insulin secretion in pancreatic beta cells. Diseases caused by mutations in genes that encode ion channel subunits or regulatory proteins are referred to as channelopathies. As might be expected based on the diverse roles of ion channels, channelopathies range from inherited cardiac arrhythmias, to muscle disorders, to forms of diabetes. This series of reviews examines the roles of ion channels in health and disease.
Published August 2005
The remarkable achievements in human genetics over the years have been due to technological advances in gene mapping and in statistical methods that relate genetic variants to disease. Nearly every Mendelian genetic disorder has now been mapped to a specific gene or set of genes, but these discoveries have been limited to high-risk, variant alleles that segregate in rare families. With a working draft of the human genome now in hand, the availability of high-throughput genotyping, a plethora of genetic markers, and the development of new analytical methods, scientists are now turning their attention to common, complex disorders such as diabetes, obesity, hypertension, and Alzheimer disease. In this series, the
Published June 2005
Published March 2005
Immune protection is achieved by the elaboration of many molecules that together can not only destroy invading organisms, pathogenic cells, and tumors but also injure normal cells. This review series focuses on recent advances indicating that distinct subsets of regulatory T cells and natural killer T cells control potentially pathogenic antigen-reactive T cells. These suppressor cells may play important roles in transplantation, allergic disease, vaccination, and the prevention and treatment of autoimmune disease.
Published November 2004
This series examines six different pathogens in order to illustrate the selective forces that drive the emergence of new infectious diseases and the implications for public health and our survival.
Published March 2004
Cellular life span is restrained by signaling pathways activated by DNA damage, telomere dysfunction, and environmental stresses. Cells entering a state of senescence undergo a permanent cell cycle arrest, and functional and morphological changes. This series investigates the molecular pathways associated with execution of the senescence program and how it contributes to aging and tumor suppression.
Published January 2004
Researchers have only recently realized that bacteria use cell-to-cell communication in order to orchestrate gene expression during infection - a phenomenon known as quorum sensing. This series explores the role of these signaling mechanisms and bacterial group behavior in evading host defenses and antibiotics.
Published November 2003
This series examines the inspired techniques utilized in targeted gene repair for the simple correction of genetic defects and the hurdles that must be overcome in order to make clinical use of molecular therapeutics in the treatment of diseases such as cystic fibrosis, hemophilia, sickle cell anemia, muscular dystrophy, and ß-thalassemia.
Published August 2003
Advances in medical imaging have allowed for further understanding of human diseases. This series covers new developments in imaging from novel techniques to the ethics of whole body scans.
Published May 2003
This series discusses various mechanisms by which oxygen and reducing equivalents create cellular damage and how they have been adapted to transmit information within cells.
Published March 2003