Stanko Stojilkovic, who heads the Section on Cellular Signaling, and colleagues investigate signaling pathways in pituitary cells. The Section characterized the role of multidrug-resistance proteins 4 and 5 in cyclic nucleotide efflux and the dependence of these transporters on membrane potential in cultured pituitary cells. In related studies, the Section investigated the role of calmodulin kinase II in stimulus-secretion coupling as well as the role of prostaglandins in autoregulation of GnRH receptors. The Section also characterized molecular, pharmacological, and functional properties of P2X4 receptor channels in normal and immortalized pituitary cells and their roles in electrical activity, calcium signaling, and secretion. The Section showed that heavy metals and reactive oxygen species are allosteric modulators of P2X2 receptor channels cloned from the pituitary gland.
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