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Channel formation by annexins; plant nanopores?

Annexins are soluble, multifunctional proteins which have proposed roles in coordinating reactive oxygen species and Ca2+ signalling networks (1). Annexins are capable of calcium-dependent membrane attachment or insertion and can form calcium-permeable channels in plants and animals (1). We have shown previously that maize annexin channel activity is strongly influenced by the lipid environment (2,3). We need now to understand how annexin channels form and are regulated in order to relate to in vivo context and exploit the possibility that they may act as nanopores for biotechnological application. This project is in collaboration with Dr. Ulrich Keyser, Department of Physics.

  1. New Phytologist 189 40
  2. Plant Cell 21: 479
  3. Plant Physiology 152: 1824