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Mirela Milescu

Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences
PhD, 2005 SUNY Buffalo, NY

Office: 205C Lefevre Hall
Phone: 573-882-3397
Additional: Website
Headshot of Mirela Milescu


Research summary

Molecular physiology and biophysics of voltage-gated ion channels

Research description

We study the molecular mechanisms underlying the function and regulation of voltage-gated ion channels. We are also interested in the interactions between ion channels and neurotoxins isolated from venomous animals. We use molecular biology, biochemistry, electrophysiology, computational modeling, and imaging.

Select Publications

Select Publications

Navarro, M.A., Milescu, L.S., Milescu, M. Unlocking the gating mechanism of Kv2.1 using guangxitoxin (2019) Journal of General Physiology, 151 (3), pp. 275-278. DOI: 10.1085/jgp.201812254

Mishra A, Salari A, Berigan BR, Miguel KC, Amirshenava M, Robinson A, Zars BC, Lin JL, Milescu LS*, Milescu M*, and Zars T*. (2018) The Drosophila GR28B-d product is a non-specific cation channel that can be used as a novel thermogenetic tool. Scientific Reports 8(1): 901. (*Co-corresponding authors)

Navarro MA, Salari A, Milescu M, Milescu LS. (2018). Estimating kinetic mechanisms with prior knowledge II: Behavioral constraints and numerical tests. J. Gen. Physiol., DOI: 10.1085/jgp.201711912

Salari A, Navarro MA, Milescu M, Milescu LS. (2018) Estimating kinetic mechanisms with prior knowledge I: Linear parameter constraints. J. Gen. Physiol., DOI: 10.1085/jgp.201711911

Salari, A., Vega, B.S., Milescu, L.S., Milescu, M. Molecular interactions between tarantula toxins and low-voltage-activated calcium channels (2016) Scientific Reports, 6, art. no. 23894,

Gupta K, Zamanian M, Bae C, Milescu M, Krepkiy D, Tilley DC, Sack JT, Yarov-Yarovoy V, Kim JI, and Swartz KJ (2015) Tarantula toxins use common surfaces for interacting with Kv and ASIC ion channels. eLife, 4(MAY):e06774.

Kalia J, Milescu M, Salvatierra J, Wagner J, Klint JK, King GF, Olivera BM, Bosmans F. From Foe to Friend: Using Animal Toxins to Investigate Ion Channel Function (2014), J Mol Biol 427, 158-175

Mihailescu M, Krepkiy D, Milescu M, Gawrisch K, Swartz KJ, White S. Structural interactions of a voltage sensor toxin with lipid membranes (2014), Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 111, E5463.

Milescu M, Lee HC, Bae CH, Kim JI, Swartz KJ (2012) Opening the Shaker K+ channel with hanatoxin. J Gen Physiol 141, 203-216.

Bosmans F, Milescu M,and Swartz KJ (2011) Palmitoylation influences the function and pharmacology of sodium channels. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 108, 20213-8.

Jung HH, Jung HJ, Milescu M, Lee CW, Lee S, Lee JY, Eu YJ, Kim HH, Swartz KJ, and Kim JI (2010) Structure and orientation of a voltage-sensor toxin in lipid membranes. Biophys J 99:638-46.

Lee S, Milescu M, Jung HH, Lee JY, Bae CH, Lee CW, Kim HH, Swartz KJ, and Kim JI (2010) Solution structure of GxTX-1E, a high-affinity tarantula toxin interacting with voltage sensors in Kv2.1 potassium channels. Biochemistry 49:5134-42.