June 21 | Virtual

Flux-independent signaling by ionotropic receptors

Unforeseen roles and complexities

Flux-independent signaling by ionotropic receptors: Unforeseen roles and complexities
June 21, 2021 | Virtual | Paid registration required

This meeting will gather the scientists who made the first observations of flux-independent signaling by ionotropic receptors in neuronal cells two decades ago. In addition, a new generation of scientists studying this function in neuronal and non-neuronal cells will present their most recent findings.

Traditionally, ionotropic receptors (or channels) have been studied from the electrophysiological point of view because they mediate the passing of ions from one side of a biological membrane to the other, thus modulating the plasma membrane potential and therefore cell function. Several findings in the past 20 years have shown that ionotropic receptors also are able to signal intracellularly independently of channel opening and ion flux. These newly described functions have helped us to understand the physiology of different cells in the nervous system and, by extension, other somatic cells as these receptors are ubiquitous in cells and tissues.

The glutamate ionotropic receptors — which include kainite, AMPA and NMDA receptors — are among the most-studied groups in this context. There is also evidence for nicotinic ACh receptors, Kv channels and voltage-gated Ca2+ channels. These findings have stimulated the study of ionotropic receptors in non-electrically excitable cells, in which these channels are expressed, from molecular, biochemical and cellular perspectives.

This event will be of interest to neuroscientists, cell biologists, molecular biologists, biochemists and others involved in the study of cell physiology and function in health and disease.

A limited number of abstracts will be chosen for flash talks and poster presentations.

Important dates

June 17
11:59 p.m. Eastern
Regular registration deadline


Pavel Montes de Oca Balderas
Pavel Montes de Oca Balderas
Instituto de Fisiologia Celular — UNAM/Instituto Nacional de Neurologia y Neurocirugia — SSA


Program schedule

All times listed are U.S. Eastern Daylight Time (GMT-4)

Monday June 21

Monday agenda

9:45 AM - 10:00 AM


10:00 AM - 11:40 AM

Session 1

Chair: Karen Zito, University of California, Davis

Canonical and non-canonical signaling of ionotropic glutamate receptors: the case of Kainate receptors
Juan Lerma, Instituto de Neurociencias de Alicante
Voltage-gated calcium channels trigger synaptic transmission, muscle contraction and gene expression independently of Ca2+-influx, operating as Ca2+-activated signaling receptors
Daphne Atlas, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Gating of non-ionotropic signaling through NMDA receptors by alternative splicing of the GluN1 subunit
Michael Salter, Hospital for Sick Children
Metabotropic NMDA receptor signaling and synaptic depression
Kim Dore, University of California, San Diego
11:40 AM - 12:00 PM


12:00 PM - 1:40 PM

Session 2

Chair: Michael Salter, Hospital for Sick Children

Endogenous regulation of non-ionotropic NMDA receptor excitotoxicity
Roger J. Thompson, University of Calgary
Ion flux independent NMDA receptor signaling gates bidirectional structural plasticity of dendritic spines
Karen Zito, University of California, Davis
Differential regulation of evoked and spontaneous release by presynaptic NMDA receptors
Jesper Sjostrom, McGill University
Non-ionotropic NMDA signaling mediates activity-dependent reversal of spinal plasticity and pain hypersensitivity
Robert Bonin, University of Toronto
1:40 PM - 3:40 PM


3:40 PM - 4:10 PM

Flash talks

4:10 PM - 5:25 PM

Session 3

Chair: Juan Lerma, Instituto de Neurociencias de Alicante

Inhibition of ATP signaling in human monocytes by canonical and noncanonical nicotinic agonists
Veronika Grau, Justus Liebig University Giessen
A role for Kv1.3 channels as voltage sensors to induce proliferation in an ion-flux independent way
Maria Teresa Perez Garcia, Universidad de Valladolid
Flux-independent signaling by NMDAR in astrocytes and plasma membrane-mitochondria bridges
Pavel Montes de Oca Balderas, Instituto de Fisiologia Celular — UNAM/Instituto Nacional de Neurologia y Neurocirugia — SSA
5:25 PM - 5:35 PM


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