Dr Kerry Price

University position

Research Associate


Department of Biochemistry

Home page


Research Theme

Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


My research involves receptors from the pentameric (Cys-loop) ligand gated ion channel superfamily. A couple of recent advances in the field have given some insight into the structure of related proteins, but the molecular details of the transitions involved in receptor activation and desensitization are still unclear. I have been using site-directed mutagenesis combined with radioligand binding, electrophysiology and structural modelling, to further define the residues involved in ligand binding and channel gating. I have also been testing different protein expression systems with a view to performing high resolution structural studies on this receptor.

A model of the pentameric 5-HT3 receptor highlighting loops thought to be involved in channel gating transitions
A model of the pentameric 5-HT3 receptor highlighting loops thought to be involved in channel gating transitions
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Research Focus


ligand-gated ion channel

cys-loop receptor


Clinical conditions

Alzheimer's disease

Anxiety disorders

Chemotherapy-induced emesis

Eating disorders

Post-operative nausea and vomiting


Calcium imaging

Cell culture

Computational modelling

Confocal microscopy

Electrophysiological recording techniques

Fluorescence assays (Flexstation)

Fluorescence microscopy




Protein purification

Recombinant protein expression

Whole cell patch clamp


No collaborators listed

Associated News Items

    Key publications

    Spurny R, Ramerstorfer J, Price K, Brams M, Ernst M, Nury H, Verheij M, Legrand P, Bertrand D, Bertrand S, Dougherty DA, de Esch IJ, Corringer PJ, Sieghart W, Lummis SC, Ulens C (2012), “Pentameric ligand-gated ion channel ELIC is activated by GABA and modulated by benzodiazepines.” Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 109(44):E3028-34 Details

    Price KL, Millen KS, Lummis SC (2007), “Transducing agonist binding to channel gating involves different interactions in 5-HT3 and GABAC receptors.” J Biol Chem 282(35):25623-30 Details

    Price KL, Lummis SC (2005), “FlexStation examination of 5-HT3 receptor function using Ca2+ - and membrane potential-sensitive dyes: advantages and potential problems” J Neurosci Methods 149(2):172-7 Details



    Spurny R, Billen B, Howard RJ, Brams M, Debaveye S, Price KL, Weston DA, Strelkov SV, Tytgat J, Bertrand S, Bertrand D, Lummis SC, Ulens C (2013), “Multisite binding of a general anesthetic to the prokaryotic pentameric Erwinia chrysanthemi ligand-gated ion channel (ELIC).” J Biol Chem 288(12):8355-64 Details


    Ashby JA, McGonigle IV, Price KL, Cohen N, Comitani F, Dougherty DA, Molteni C, Lummis SC (2012), “GABA binding to an insect GABA receptor: a molecular dynamics and mutagenesis study.” Biophys J 103(10):2071-81 Details


    Alqazzaz M, Thompson AJ, Price KL, Breitinger HG, Lummis SC (2011), “Cys-loop receptor channel blockers also block GLIC.” Biophys J 101(12):2912-8 Details

    Pless SA, Hanek AP, Price KL, Lynch JW, Lester HA, Dougherty DA, Lummis SC (2011), “A cation-π interaction at a phenylalanine residue in the glycine receptor binding site is conserved for different agonists.” Mol Pharmacol 79(4):742-8 Details

    Thompson AJ, Price KL, Lummis SC (2011), “Cysteine modification reveals which subunits form the ligand binding site in human heteromeric 5-HT3AB receptors.” J Physiol Details


    Bartos M, Price KL, Lummis SC, Bouzat C (2009), “Glutamine 57 at the complementary binding site face is a key determinant of morantel selectivity for {alpha}7 nicotinic receptors.” J Biol Chem 284(32):21478-87 Details


    Bower KS, Price KL, Sturdee LE, Dayrell M, Dougherty DA, Lummis SC (2008), “5-Fluorotryptamine is a partial agonist at 5-HT3 receptors, and reveals that size and electronegativity at the 5 position of tryptamine are critical for efficient receptor function.” Eur J Pharmacol 580(3):291-7 Details

    Price KL, Bower KS, Thompson AJ, Lester HA, Dougherty DA, Lummis SC (2008), “A hydrogen bond in loop A is critical for the binding and function of the 5-HT3 receptor.” Biochemistry 47(24):6370-7 Details


    Melis C, Chau PL, Price KL, Lummis SC, Molteni C (2006), “Exploring the binding of serotonin to the 5-HT3 receptor by density functional theory.” J Phys Chem B 110(51):26313-9 Details

    Sullivan NL, Thompson AJ, Price KL, Lummis SC (2006), “Defining the roles of Asn-128, Glu-129 and Phe-130 in loop A of the 5-HT3 receptor.” Mol Membr Biol 23(5):442-51 Details


    Thompson AJ, Price KL, Reeves DC, Chan SL, Chau PL, Lummis SC (2005), “Locating an antagonist in the 5-HT3 receptor binding site using modeling and radioligand binding.” J Biol Chem 280(21):20476-82 Details


    Beene DL, Price KL, Lester HA, Dougherty DA, Lummis SC (2004), “Tyrosine residues that control binding and gating in the 5-hydroxytryptamine3 receptor revealed by unnatural amino acid mutagenesis.” J Neurosci 24(41):9097-104 Details

    Price KL, Lummis SC (2004), “The role of tyrosine residues in the extracellular domain of the 5-hydroxytryptamine3 receptor.” J Biol Chem 279(22):23294-301 Details


    Reeves DC, Sayed MF, Chau PL, Price KL, Lummis SC (2003), “Prediction of 5-HT3 receptor agonist-binding residues using homology modeling.” Biophys J 84(4):2338-44 Details


    Fragale A, Aguanno S, Kemp M, Reeves M, Price K, Beattie R, Craig P, Volsen S, Sher E, D'Agostino A (2000), “Identification and cellular localisation of voltage-operated calcium channels in immature rat testis.” Mol Cell Endocrinol 162(1-2):25-33 Details