Damien S. K. Samways
Department of Biology
210 Science Center
PO Box 5805
Potsdam, NY 13699-5805
Ph.D., Department of Pharmacology, University of Bristol, (2003)
Courses Currently Taught
BY360/BY362 Comparative Physiology
Ligand-gated ion channels are specialized membrane spanning proteins that open and form an ion permeable pore in response to binding by a specific chemical ligand. These transport ions, such as Na+ and Ca2+, into the cell, which subsequently regulate nerve and muscle cell excitability and influence numerous Ca2+-dependent processes including secretion, contraction, gene expression and cell survival.
My current research interest is in the structure, function and regulation of Ca2+ permeable ligand-gated ion channels known to be involved in pain sensation, such as the capsaicin-sensitive TRPV1 receptor that mediates the painful burning sensation associated with eating red hot chili peppers. Understanding the molecular basis of ion channel function in human cells is an important step towards designing new drugs capable of targeting these proteins for therapeutic purposes.
Publications (last 5 years)
D.S.K. Samways, B.S. Khakh, and T. M. Egan (2012). Allosteric modulation of Ca2+ flux in ligand-gated cation channel (P2X4) by actions on lateral portals. J. Biol. Chem. Mar 2;287(10):7594-602
D.S.K. Samways and T. M. Egan (2011). Calcium-dependent decrease in TRPV1 conductance. Pflugers Arch. Nov;462(5):681-91.
D.S.K. Samways, B. Khakh , S. Dutertre , T. M. Egan (2011). Preferential use of unobstructed lateral portals as the access route to the pore of a human P2X receptor. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. Aug 16;108:13800-5.
E. Toulme, A. Garcia, D.S.K. Samways, T.M. Egan, M.J. Carson, and B.S. Khakh (2010). P2X4 receptor specificity, functional properties, trafficking and pharmacology of upregulated P2X responses in activated cerebellar microglia. J. Gen. Physiol. 135, 333-353
D.S.K. Samways, A.B. Harkins and T.M. Egan (2009). Native and recombinant ASIC1a receptors conduct negligible calcium entry. Cell Calcium. 45, 319-25
J.C. Scatizzi, M.Mavers, J. Hutcheson, B. Young, B. Shi, R.M. Pope, D.S.K. Samways, J. A. Corbett, T.M. Egan, and H. Perlman (2009). The cyclin dependent kinase domain of p21 is a suppressor of IL-1beta-mediated inflammation in activated macrophages. Euro. J. Immunol. 39,820-5
D.S.K. Samways, B.S. Khakh, and T.M. Egan (2008). Tunable calcium current through TRPV1 receptor channels. J. Biol. Chem. 283, 31274-31278.
D.S.K. Samways, K. Megita, Z. Li, and T.M. Egan (2008). Role of TM1 in regulating Ca2+ permeability and flux through the ATP-gated P2X2 receptor. J. Biol. Chem. 283, 5110-7
D.S.K. Samways and T.M. Egan (2007). Acidic amino acids impart enhanced Ca2+ permeability and flux in two members of the ATP-gated P2X receptor family. J. Gen. Physiol.129, 245-256.
D.S.K. Samways and G. Henderson (2006). Opioid elevation of intracellular free calcium: Possible mechanisms and physiological significance. Cell Signal. 18, 151-61. Review
D.S.K. Samways, Z. Li and T.M. Egan (2006). In: Biological and Biophysical Aspects of Ligand-Gated Ion Channel Receptor Superfamilies. Edited by Hugo R. Arias. Research Signpost. Trivandrum, India 419-444. ISBN: 81-7736-254-2. Chapter 16, 419-443.
T.M. Egan, D.S.K. Samways, and Z. Li (2006) Biophysics of P2X receptors. Pflugers Arch. 452,151-61 Review