A paper resulting from a collaboration between the Brannigan group and the Joseph Martin group in Rutgers-Camden Biology has just been published! “L-3,3’,5-triiodothyronine and pregnenolone sulfate inhibit Torpedo nicotinic acetylcholine receptors” is primarily an experimental paper that tests hypotheses about how the electrostatic charge of hormones changes their effects on acetylcholine receptors.
Understanding this information helps clarify why certain molecules bind to these receptors and others don’t, which is important for designing new molecules like drugs.
The study takes advantage of a very convenient property of thyroid hormone: thyroid hormone changes its charge (or protonation state) with a very slight decrease in physiological pH. The experiments were mainly carried out by Steven Moffett, a PhD student in the Martin Lab. Congratulations Steve!