[Cite as http://purl.org/au-research/grants/nhmrc/254504]
A/Pr Livia Hool
Brief description Oxygen occupies a key role in cellular metabolism and function. Oxygen delivery to cells is critical and lack of oxygen such as occurs during a heart attack can be lethal. Death occurs commonly by induction of arrhythmia or a disturbance in the heart beat. The abnormal heart beat cannot enable the heart to pump blood efficiently and vital organs are then deprived.Exactly how arrhythmia is induced is not understood. The normal heart beat occurs as a result of propogation of electrical signals through heart muscle cells. The electrical activity is generated and sustained by movement of salts or ions through membrane proteins known as ion channels. One of these channels, the L-type calcium channel plays a vital role in cardiac excitation and contraction. A reduction in oxygen alters the function of the L-type calcium channel. However, the exact mechanism for this is uncertain. An oxygen sensing mechanism in the cell is responsible for the regulation of channel function during hypoxia. The exact identity of the oxygen sensor is currently the centre of debate. Four hypotheses have been proposed. This proposal aims to examine in detail the four hypotheses of oxygen sensing to definitively determine the identity of the oxygen sensor. This information should increase our understanding of how calcium channels function during stressful conditions such as during a heart attack.
Funding Amount $AUD 475,517.00
Funding Scheme NHMRC Project Grants
New Investigator Grant