Dr. Oleh M. Pochynyuk
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
McGovern Medical School
Department of Integrative Biology and Pharmacology
My research program is devoted to unravel physiological roles of various plasma membrane proteins in water-electrolyte transport in the distal nephron (DN), which includes the distal convoluted tubule (DCT), the connecting tubule (CNT) and the collecting duct (CD). My lab, among very few others, routinely uses sophisticated split-opened preparation of rat and mouse DNs to probe function of different G-protein coupled receptors, such as V2R, AT1R, P2Y2, B2R; H+-K+ ATPase and NCC transporters; and plasma membrane channels, including TRPV4, Orai1, AQP2, ENaC, Kir4.1/5.1, TRPC3, TRPV5, ClC-K2 at multiple levels. Our experimental arsenal ranges from electrophysiological examination in situ to whole animal balance studies and combines 1) functional assessment of the activity of different ion channels with patch clamping and [Ca2+]i imaging; expression levels of different proteins measured by Western blotting and immunofluorescent microscopy in the split-open murine DNs and 2) balance studies to assess renal excretion of water and electrolytes with molecular genetic tools in rats and mice. Integration our unique experimental arsenal with systemic pharmacological interventions in murine genetic models allows us to address physiologically relevant questions about involvement of a particular signaling cascade in whole body homeostasis.