The research of Yuchi’s group centers on the structure and function of ion channels. Ion channels are the second largest and the largest target class for approved drugs and insecticides, respectively. Drugs targeting ion channels are used to treat arrhythmia, neuropathic pain, epilepsy, anxiety, and more, while insecticides targeting them are used to control a wide range of agricultural pests and disease vectors. The ultimate goal of our group is to understand the physiological and pathological/resistant roles of ion channels at the molecular level. The specific questions we are tackling include:
1) the interaction network and regulation of ion channels involved in skeletal and cardiac muscles;
2) how disease-causing and resistance mutations perturb the structure and function of critical ion channels;
3) how to target ion channels to develop novel therapeutic and insecticidal compounds.
To answer these questions, our lab combines a variety of complementary techniques, including X-ray crystallography, cryo-electron microscopy, electrophysiology, calorimetry, in-silico drug screening, as well as many other biochemical, biophysical and computational methods.
Cryo-electron microscopy (Cryo-EM)
Structural model of ryanodine receptor bound with diamide