Faculty List

Ligia Toro, Ph.D.

Work Email Address: ltoro@mednet.ucla.edu

Office Phone Number: 310 794 7809

Laboratory Address:
CHS BH-530

Work Address:
CHS BH-528

Department / Division Affiliations
Professor, Anesthesiology
Member, Molecular Medicine, Brain Research Institute
Faculty, Cardiovascular Research Laboratory

Research Interests
Our laboratory main focus is to elucidate potassium channel-signaling networks in the vascular and cardiac systems in health and disease. One emerging concept is that ion channels not only have conductive functions but are also signaling molecules. We are particularly interested in the remodeling of potassium channel (MaxiK)-signaling networks by circulating and local hormones (estrogen, thromboxane A2, angiotensin II), and by pathophysiological stimuli like stress. These studies are performed in native vascular smooth muscle (e.g. human coronaries), in cardiac myocytes and mitochondria, and in expression systems. We apply modern technologies including molecular genetics, physiological proteomics, and novel nanomicroscopies and optical methods to map at the subcellular level signaling complexes and follow their dynamics. Key elements in our investigations are the recognition of genomic, molecular and cell biological mechanisms and the visualization of protein interactions/remodeling in individual cells.

Danesh Shahab M, Kundu Pallob, Lu Rong, Stefani Enrico, Toro Ligia Distinct transcriptional regulation of human large conductance voltage- and calcium-activated K+ channel gene (hSlo1) by activated estrogen receptor alpha and c-Src tyrosine kinase. The Journal of Biological Chemistry. 2011; 286(36): 31064-71.
Singh Harpreet, Lu Rong, Rodriguez Pedro Felipe Gardeazabal, Wu Yong, Bopassa Jean Chrisostome, Stefani Enrico, Toro Ligia Visualization and quantification of cardiac mitochondrial protein clusters with STED microscopy. Mitochondrion. 2011; 12 : 230–236.
Alioua Abderrahmane, Li Min, Wu Yong, Stefani Enrico, Toro Ligia Unconventional myristoylation of large-conductance Ca2+-activated K+ channel (Slo1) via serine/threonine residues regulates channel surface expression. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2011; 108(26): 10744-9.
Li Min, Tanaka Yoshio, Alioua Abderrahmane, Wu Yong, Lu Rong, Kundu Pallob, Sanchez-Pastor Enrique, Marijic Jure, Stefani Enrico, Toro Ligia Thromboxane A2 receptor and MaxiK-channel intimate interaction supports channel trans-inhibition independent of G-protein activation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2010; 107(44): 19096-101.
Bopassa Jean Chrisostome, Eghbali Mansoureh, Toro Ligia, Stefani Enrico A novel estrogen receptor GPER inhibits mitochondria permeability transition pore opening and protects the heart against ischemia-reperfusion injury. American Journal of Physiology. Heart and Circulatory Physiology. 2010; 298(1): H16-23.