Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Physiology and Biophysics

First Advisor

Dr. Clive M. Baumgarten


Ebselen (Ebs) is considered as a glutathione peroxidase (GPx) mimetic and primarily thought to function by scavenging intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS). Previous to our work, Deng et al. (2010a) demonstrated complete block of ICl,swell with 15 microM Ebs following endothelin-1 (ET-1) induced activation of the current in cardiomyocytes. This block was presumed to take effect mainly via the quenching of ROS. Nonetheless, our work with DI TNC1 astrocytes strongly emphasizes that Ebs might function by an alternative mechanism based on its kinetic profile in blocking ICl,swell. Our experiments showed that 45 nM Ebs can fully block ICl,swell thus suggesting an apparent IC50 result, we predicted Ebs to possess a high kon with a low koff close to zero. As predicted, Ebs failed to washout in the timescale covered by our patch-clamp experiments. The block was also distal to H2O2, previously considered as the most proximate regulator of ICl,swell. And based on further evidence demonstrating irreversible block of ICl,swell distal to H2O2 with Ebs congeners, complete suppression of native ICl,swell with MTS reagents, and failure of Ebs to block ICl,swell from the cytosol, we concluded that Ebs and its congeners can covalently modify important –SH groups required for current activation while functioning as sulfhydryl reagents. Complete irreversible block of ICl,swell with 110 mM cell impermeant MTSES in native DI TNC1 astrocytes contrasts sharply to SWELL1 (Qiu et al., 2014) or LRRC8A (Voss et al., 2014), the latest molecular entity presumably responsible for ICl,swell, where 3.33 mM MTSES failed to demonstrate block of ICl,swell in the wild-type stably expressing SWELL1 (Qiu et al., 2014). Our data with Ebs, its congeners, and MTS reagents indicate the existence of a common extracellular binding site which involves a selenenylsulfide (Se-S) bond that critically modulates ICl,swell. We, therefore, synthesized a derivative of Ebs called ebselen-para-yne (Ebs-p-yne), which provided an even higher affinity for blocking ICl,swell with a presumed IC50 ~picomolar range. Ebs-p-yne is a promising novel molecule that may serve as a tag in identifying the molecular fingerprint ultimately responsible for ICl,swell. Furthermore, we can take advantage of click chemistry to ultimately pull out the channel or channel component which has remained elusive for greater than two decades.


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