Home of the Electrosome


Home of the Electrosome We run on electricity.

Bioelectricity made by ion channel proteins drives our thoughts, feelings, and actions. These complex macromolecular devices give the spark to life by controlling the passage of ions across cell membranes in nerves, muscles, and the brain. Our laboratory focuses on using functional, chemical, and structural approaches to uncover the molecular mechanisms by which diverse types of ion channels work and to develop new reagents that can manipulate ion channel function. We are particularly interested in ion channels that respond to physical forces and that are important in pain and sensory physiology.

Latest Publications

K2P2.1(TREK-1):activator complexes reveal a cryptic selectivity filter binding site. Lolicato, M., Arrigoni, C., Mori, T., Sekioka, Y., Bryant, C., Clark, K.A., Minor, D.L., Jr., Nature (2017)

Stapled voltage-gated calcium channel (CaV) α-Interaction Domain (AID) peptides act as selective protein-protein interaction inhibitors of CaV Function. Findeisen, F., Campiglio, M., Jo, H., Abderemane-Ali, F., Rumpf, C.H., Pope, L., Rossen, N.D., Flucher, B.E., DeGrado, W.F., and Minor D.L., Jr., ACS Chemical Neuroscience  8 1313−1326 (2017)

Unfolding of a temperature-sensitive domain controls voltage-gated channel activation.  Arrigoni, C., Rohaim, A., Shaya, D., Findeisen ,F., Stein, R.A. Nurva, S.R., Mishra, S., Mchaourab, H.S.,  and Minor, D.L., Jr., Cell 164 922-936 (2016) PMID: 26919429 PMCID:PMC4769381

Bacterial voltage-gated sodium channels (BacNaVs) from the soil, sea, and salt lakes enlighten molecular mechanisms of electrical signaling and pharmacology in the brain and heart. Payandeh, J. and Minor, D.L., Jr., Journal of Molecular Biology 427 3-30 (2015) PMID: 25158094 PMCID: PMC4277928

Transmembrane helix straightening and buckling underlies activation of mechanosensitive and thermosensitive K2P channels. Lolicato, M., Riegelhaupt, P.M., Arrigoni, C., Clark, K.A., Minor, D.L., Jr., Neuron 84 1198-1212 (2014) PMID: 25500157 PMCID: PMC427089

Journal of Molecular Biology
Journal of Molecular Biology


Our lab employs a range of biochemical, biophysical, structural, and chemical biology approaches to examine the molecular structures and functions of various classes of ion channels including members of the voltage-gated potassium, voltage-gated calcium, voltage-gated sodium, and K2P channel families. Our research relies heavily on X-ray crystallography, cryo-electron microscopy, isothermal titration calorimetry, circular dichroism, and other biophysical methods. Because ion channel structure is intimately tied to function, an equally crucial part of our efforts implements structure-based tests of ion channel function using electrophysiological recordings in live cells.

Because most channels suffer from poor pharmacological profiles that limit the ability to connect ion channel genes with their physiological functions, our lab also has a strong effort to develop novel ion channel modulators. The development of new selective inhibitors and activators of channel function should provide new tools for ion channel research and may lead to the development of novel, ion channel directed pharmaceuticals.



The Minor lab is located in the Smith Cardiovascular Research Building at the UCSF Mission Bay Campus in San Francisco. If you are interested in joining us, please see here.

Affiliate UCSF Graduate Programs