Investigation area: ion channels biophysics and physiology
Laboratory of Molecular Sensors. Centro Interdisciplinario de Neurociencia de Valparaíso.
B.S Biotechnology, University of Chile ( 2003 )
Molecular Biotechnology Engineer, University of Chile ( 2005 )
PhD in Sciences, University of Chile ( 2008 ).
E-mail: karen.castillo at cinv.cl, karencitakc at gmail.com
Phone: (56)-(32)-2508189 or -8088
Address: Centro Interdisciplinario de Neurociencias de Valparaíso, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Valparaíso. Gran Bretaña 1111. Playa Ancha, Valparaíso-Chile.
Research Statement:Cells sense the environment conditions through diverse molecular machines, to adapt their functioning to changing surrounding conditions, from nutrient starvation to temperature variations. To accomplish this, cells are enabled with proteins that transduce chemical or physical variations in particular cell activities such as autophagy and ion channels activation. Both, are altered in pathological conditions including cancer, diabetes and neurodegeneration. My challenge is to understand the role of temperature dependent channels (e.g. TRPM8, TRPV1) in normal physiological conditions and in pathological models, with emphasis in the role of temperature sensors harbored in the ion channels, with the activation of intracellular pathways, particularly autophagy. I envisioned that the precise identification of these molecular sensors, and the understanding of their function and regulation offer great potential for developing novel therapeutic targets against medical conditions.
- Sara T Granados, Karen Castillo, Felipe Bravo, Romina Sepulveda, Danilo GonzalezNilo, Janneth Gonzalez, Yolima P Torres and Ramon Latorre. BK channel modulation by 17β-estradiol is related through direct binding to β1 auxiliary subunit. Under preparation.
- Ramírez-Barrantes R, Cordova C, Muñoz P, Simon, F, Martinez A, Gonzalez, C, Castillo K, Latorre R, Olivero P. 2016. 17b-Estradiol improves TRPV1-dependent cell protection against oxidative cell death. Submitted.
- Amauy Pupo, David Baez-Nieto, Ester Otarola, Karen Castillo, Feng Qiu, Gustavo F. Contreras, German Miño, Wendy Gonzalez, Osvaldo Yañez, Alan Neely, Peter H Larsson, Ramon Latorre and Carlos Gonzalez. 2016. Permeation mechanism of Hv1 voltage-gated proton cannel. Submitted.
- Karen Castillo, Vicente Valenzuela, Maritza Oñate, and Claudio Hetz. 2016. A molecular reporter for monitoring autophagic flux in nervous system in vivo. Methods in Enzymology, Accepted
- Ramón Latorre, Karen Castillo, Willy Carrasquel-Ursulaez, Romina V. Sepulveda, Fernando González-Nilo, Carlos Gonzalez and Osvaldo Alvarez. 2016. Molecular determinants of BK cannel functional diversity and functioning. Physiological Reviews, Accepted.