It has been shown that alcohol and volatile anesthetics enhance the function of γ-aminobutyric acid type A (GABAA) receptors containing α, β, and γ subunits, and the presence of an alcohol and volatile anesthetic binding site has been identified in the α subunit. However, the specific role of the β subunit has not been elucidated. Therefore, my work in the Harris Lab has primarily focused on examining the role of the GABAA receptor β2 subunit in the actions of alcohol and anesthetics using site-directed mutagenesis, sulfhydryl-specific reagents, and Xenopus laevis oocyte electrophysiology. My recent findings suggest that amino acid residue Asparagine-265 of the β2 subunit, which is homologous to the implicated residue in the α subunit, may contribute to an alcohol and volatile anesthetic binding site.
McCracken ML, Borghese CM and Harris RA. (2006). Evidence of Alcohol and Volatile Anesthetic Binding in the GABAA Receptor α2 Subunit. 36th Annual Society for Neuroscience Abstracts.
Camp MC, Mayfield RD, McCracken ML, McCracken LM and Alcantara AA. (2006). Neuroadaptations of Cdk5 in Cholinergic Interneurons of the Nucleus Accumbens and Prefrontal Cortex of Alcohol-preferring Rats Following Voluntary Alcohol Drinking. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research 30: 1322-1335.
- Doctoral Candidate
- College of Pharmacy
- B.S., 2006
- The University of Texas at Austin
- Office: MBB 1.138A
- Phone: (512) 232-2487
- Fax: (512) 232-2525