For this year’s annual Ion Channel Retreat, Aurora is excited to announce the inclusion of a special program on transporters, pumps and exchangers. With submissions from leading membrane transport researchers already coming in, this year’s event will prove to be an exciting meeting, offering attendees a chance to share knowledge, exchange ideas, and establish partnerships.
Membrane transport proteins are generally divided into two categories: ion channels and transporters. Ion channels allow for the fast diffusion of charged atoms that flow down their electrochemical gradient into or out of cells, whereas transporters often work “uphill”, pumping ions and other charged molecules against their concentration gradients. By separating positive and negative charges across the membrane, ion transporters help to create a “driving force” – potential energy – that is harnessed by ion channels to generate electrical signals in the body. A diverse array of transporter proteins have also been found to have essential roles controlling the flow of neurotransmitters, hormones, nutrients and other important molecules into and out of cells and tissues. Recently, membrane transporters have been of especially high interest to drug discovery researchers, because they mediate the absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion (ADME) of pharmaceutical drugs and toxins.
The rapidly expanding capabilities of modern drug screening technology make it possible to study the effects of thousands of molecules in a relatively short time. For drugs that interact with ion channels, the automated patch clamp technique has allowed researchers to measure changes in ionic current without having to rely on slow and expensive manual techniques. However, because transporters lack voltage sensors and produce very little current compared to ion channels, patch clamping and other techniques that rely on membrane potential are not as suitable for transporter screening. For this reason, ion flux assays are the most accurate means of assessing transporter function.
Aurora Biomed’s Ion Channel Reader (ICR) series instruments use atomic absorption spectroscopy to measure the absolute intracellular and extracellular concentrations of trace elements. Rubidium, for example, is often used to assess the activity of potassium channels and transporters because it is chemically similar to potassium but not found in physiological systems. Thus, it can serve as an indicator of ion flux without interfering with endogenous processes. Other trace elements can be used to measure the activity of a variety of channels and transporters using Aurora’s ICR series instruments.
With the ICR 8000 and ICR 12000, Aurora Biomed is proud to offer the solution for attaining highly accurate high throughput channel and transporter screening results at a low cost per data point. Screening up to 5,000 samples per day can be achieved with the ICR 8000, and up to 60,000 samples per day with the ICR 12000. Direct sample analysis results in a high level of sensitivity – up to 0.05 ppm – and sample volumes can be as low as 50 µl while maintaining high detection levels. Although there are several methods for evaluating membrane transport activity, only the ICR series can deliver unparalleled speed, precision and reproducibility.
We are currently accepting abstracts for both oral and poster presentations. Please send abstracts to email@example.com , or visit our website for registration information and abstract submission guidelines: www.aurorabiomed.com.cn/retreat. The early bird registration deadline is April 20.