department of pharmacology

Vera Moiseenkova-Bell, Ph.D.

Vera Moiseenkova

Mt. Sinai Scholar
Associate Professor

Phone: (216) 368-2641
Fax: (216) 368-1300
W151D Wood Building


Molecular mechanisms and structural basis of pain sensation.

Pain, while serving beneficial functions in provoking our attention to dangerous situations, is an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience. Millions of people suffer from unrelenting sensations of pain that are no longer serving a beneficial purpose. TRP channels are integral membrane proteins that involved in the transduction of chemical, inflammatory and neuropathic pain signals. The key question in understanding ion channel function is how do the protein domains that respond to stimuli communicate with the pore gates to mediate channel opening. We use multiple approaches including biochemistry, electrophysiology, mass spectrometry, and single-particle cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) to elucidate activation and gating mechanism of these channels. Obtained information could be used towards advancing our understanding of the molecular processes that underlie pain sensation and development of novel analgesic agents.

Selected Publications:

Wang L., Cvetkov T.L., Chance M.R., Moiseenkova-Bell V.Y. Identification of in vivo Disulfide Conformation of the TRPA1 Ion Channel. J. Biol. Chem., Epub 2011 Dec 29.

Cvetkov T.L., Huynh K., Cohen M., Moiseenkova-Bell V.Y. Molecular architecture and subunit organization of TRPA1 channel revealed by electron microscopy. J. Biol. Chem., 286(44):38168-76, 2011. Epub 2011 Sep 9.

Jastrzebska B., Ringler P., Lodowski D., Moiseenkova-Bell V., Golczak M., Müller S.A., Palczewski K., Engel A. Rhodopsin-transducin heteropentamer: three-dimensional structure and biochemical characterization. J. Struct. Biol., 176(3):387-94, 2011. Epub 2011 Sep6.

Ludtke S.J, Tran T.P, Ngo Q.T., Moiseenkova-Bell V.Y., Chiu W., Serysheva I.I. Flexible architecture of IP3R1 by cryo-EM. Structure, 19(8):1192-9, 2011.

Moiseenkova-Bell V., Wensel, T.G. Functional and structural studies of TRP channels heterologously expressed in budding yeast. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, 704:25-40, 2011.

Goc A., Chami M., Lodowski D., Bosshart P., Moiseenkova-Bell V., Baehr W., Engel A., Palczewski K. Biochemical and Structural Characterization of the rod cGMP Phosphodiesterase 6. J. Mol. Biol., 401 (3):363-73, 2010.

Yao C-K., Lin Y.Q., Ly C.V., Ohyama T., Haueter C.M., Moiseenkova-Bell V.Y., Wensel T.G., Bellen H.J. A Synaptic Vesicle-Associated Ca2+ Channel Promotes Endocytosis and Couples Exocytosis to Endocytosis. Cell, 138 (5): 947-960, 2009.

Moiseenkova-Bell V.Y., Wensel T.G. Hot on the trail of TRP channel structure. J.Gen. Physiol., 133 (3): 239-244, 2009.

Moiseenkova-Bell V.Y., Stanciu L., Serysheva I., Tobe B., Wensel T.G. Structure of TRPV1 channel revealed by electron cryomicroscopy. PNAS USA, 105 (21): 7451-7455, 2008.

Moiseenkova V.Y., Hellmich H., Christensen B.N. Overexpression and purification of the vanilloid receptor in yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae). Biochem. Biophys. Resear.Comm., 310: 196-201, 2003.

Moiseenkova V. Y., Bell B.A., Motamedi M., Wozniak E., Christensen B.N. Wide-band spectral tuning of heat receptors in pit organ of the copperhead snake (Crotalinae). Amer. J. Physiol. Regul. Integr. Comp. Physiol., 284: R598-R606, 2003.