Associate Professor of Cell Physiology and Molecular Biophysics
Affiliate Faculty - Biotechnology
Associate Faculty - Pharmacology and Neuroscience

michaela jansen
Department of Cell Physiology and Molecular Biophysics
Center for Membrane Protein Research
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
3601 4th Street, STOP 6551
Lubbock, Texas 79430
Phone: (806) 743-4059
FAX: (806) 743-1512

Research Interest:

Research in the Jansen laboratory focuses on structure and function studies of diverse membrane proteins, specifically, ligand-gated ion channels and transporters. The major focus are neurotransmitter receptors. Our research thus directly relates to neuroscience and also pharmacology.

We apply techniques out of the areas of molecular biology (genetic engineering), biochemistry, chemical biology, and biophysics (electrophysiology, spectroscopy, X-ray crystallography)  to study these proteins at a molecular level. We are especially interested in the superfamily of pentameric ligand-gated ion channels (pLGIC) that includes the nACh, GABA, 5HT3, and Gly families. The pLGICs function mainly as neurotransmitter receptors, transforming the chemical signal contained in the neurotransmitter into an electrical signal. 

Additionally, we study the molecular mechanism and structure of the proton-coupled folate tranporter (PCFT) that mediates dietary folate uptake. PCFT has been shown to be pivotal for folate uptake into tumors and cancer cells and thus presents a promising therapeutic target.


Current and past funding fromt he following sources is gratefully acknowledged:

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

The CH Foundation

South Plains Foundation



Office of Research at TTUHSC

Recent Publications:

ncbi Swapneeta S. Date, Mariana C. Fiori, Guillermo A. Altenberg, Michaela Jansen  (2017). Expression in Sf9 insect cells, purification and functional reconstitution of the human proton-coupled folate transporter (PCFT, SLC46A1) PLOS One.
ncbi Akash Pandhare, Aneesh Satya Pappu, Henrik Wilms, Michael Paul Blanton, Michaela Jansen (2017).  The antidepressant bupropion is a negative allosteric modulator of serotonin type 3A receptors. Neuropharmacology. 2017 Feb;113(Pt A):89-99. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2016.09.021. Epub 2016 Sep 24.
ncbi Akash Pandhare, Petar N. Grozdanov & Michaela Jansen (2016). Pentameric quaternary structure of the intracellular domain of serotonin type 3A receptors. Scientific Reports 6.
ncbi Sita Nirupama Nishtala, Nelli Mnatsakanyan, Akash Pandhare, Chun Leung, Michaela Jansen (2016). Direct interaction of the resistance to inhibitors of cholinesterase type 3 protein with the serotonin receptor type 3A intracellular domain. Journal of Neurochemistry/ Volume 137, Issue 4.
ncbi Swapneeta S. Date, Cheng‐Yen Charles Chen, Yidong Chen, Michaela Jansen (2016). Experimentally optimized threading structures of the proton‐coupled folate transporter. FEBS Open Bio Volume 6, Issue 3.
ncbi Mnatsakanyan N, Nishtala SN,  Pandhare A, Fiori MC, Goyal R, Pauwels JE, Navetta AF, Ahrorov A, Jansen M (2015). Functional Chimeras of GLIC Obtained by Adding the Intracellular Domain of Anion- and Cation-Conducting Cys-Loop Receptors. Biochemistry. 2015 Apr 28;54(16):2670-2682. doi: 10.1021/acs.biochem.5b00203. Epub 2015 Apr 17.
ncbi Phaneendra Kumar Duddempudi, Raman Goyal, Swapneeta Sanjay Date, Michaela Jansen (2013). Delineating the Extracellular Water-Accessible Surface of the Proton-Coupled Folate Transporter. PLOS One.
ncbi Phaneendra K. Duddempudi, Prachi Nakashe, Michael P. Blanton, Michaela Jansen (2013). The monomeric state of the proton‐coupled folate transporter represents the functional unit in the plasma membrane. The FEBS Journal Volume 280, Issue 12.
ncbi Nelli Mnatsakanyan, Michaela Jansen (2013). Experimental determination of the vertical alignment between the second and third transmembrane segments of muscle nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. Journal of Neurochemistry Volume 125, Issue 6.
ncbi Jonathan M. Labriola, Akash Pandhare, Michaela Jansen, Michael P. Blanton, Pierre-Jean
Corringer, John E. Baenziger (2013). Structural sensitivity of a prokaryotic pentameric ligand-gated ion channel to its membrane environment. JBC Papers in Press. Published on March 5, 2013 as Manuscript M113.458133.
ncbi Akash Pandhare, Ayman K. Hamouda, Brandon Staggs, Shaili Aggarwal, Phaneendra K. Duddempudi, John R. Lever, David J. Lapinsky, Michaela Jansen, Jonathan B. Cohen, Michael P. Blanton (2012). Bupropion Binds to Two Sites in the Torpedo Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Transmembrane Domain: A Photoaffinity Labeling Study
with the Bupropion Analogue [125I]-SADU-3-72
ncbi Raman Goyal, Ahmed Abdullah Salahudeen, Michaela Jansen (2011). Engineering a Prokaryotic Cys-loop Receptor with a Third Functional Domain. Published, JBC Papers in Press, August 15, 2011, DOI 10.1074/jbc.M111.269647.
ncbi A. Bauman, M. Piel, S. Höhnemann, A. Krauss, M. Jansen, C. Solbach, G. Dannhardt,b and F. Rösch (2010). Synthesis, labelling and evaluation of hydantoin‐substituted indole carboxylic acids as potential ligands for positron emission tomography imaging of the glycine binding site of the N‐methyl‐D‐aspartate receptor.
ncbi Moez Bali, Michaela Jansen and Myles H. Akabas (2009). GABA-Induced Intersubunit Conformational Movement in the GABAA Receptor α1M1-β2M3 Transmembrane Subunit Interface: Experimental Basis for Homology Modeling of an Intravenous Anesthetic Binding Site. Journal of Neuroscience 11 March 2009, 29 (10) 3083-3092; DOI:
ncbi Roger Ernest Wiltfong and Michaela Jansen (2009). Probing Protein Packing Surrounding the Residues in and Flanking the Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor M2M3 Loop. The Journal of Neuroscience, February 11, 2009 • 29(6):1626 –1635.
ncbi Michaela Jansen, Holger Rabe, Axelle Strehle, Sandra Dieler, Fabian Debus, Gerd Dannhardt, Myles H. Akabas, and Hartmut Lu¨ddens (2007). Synthesis of GABAA Receptor Agonists and Evaluation of their r-Subunit Selectivity and Orientation in the GABA Binding Site.

ncbi Rongbao Zhao, Andong Qiu, Eugenia Tsai, Michaela Jansen, Myles H. Akabas, and
I. David Goldman (2008). The Proton-Coupled Folate Transporter: Impact on Pemetrexed Transport and on Antifolates Activities Compared with the Reduced Folate Carrier.
ncbi Michaela Jansen , Moez Bali , and Myles H. Akabas (2008). Modular Design of Cys-loop Ligand-gated Ion Channels: Functional 5-HT 3 and GABA 1 Receptors Lacking the Large Cytoplasmic M3M4 Loop. J. Med. Chem. 2008, 51, 4430–4448.
ncbi Andong Qiu, Sang Hee Min, Michaela Jansen, Usha Malhotra, Eugenia Tsai, Diane C. Cabelof, Larry H. Matherly, Rongbao Zhao, Myles H. Akabas, and I. David Goldman (2007). Rodent intestinal folate transporters (SLC46A1): secondary structure, functional properties, and response to dietary folate restriction. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol 293: C1669–C1678, 2007.
ncbi Andong Qiu, Michaela Jansen, Antoinette Sakaris, Sang Hee Min, Shrikanta Chattopadhyay, Eugenia Tsai, Claudio Sandoval, Rongbao Zhao, Myles H. Akabas, and I. David Goldman (2006). Identification of an Intestinal Folate Transporter and the Molecular Basis for Hereditary Folate Malabsorption. DOI 10.1016/j.cell.2006.09.041.
ncbi Michaela Jansen and Myles H. Akabas (2006). State-Dependent Cross-Linking of the M2 and M3 Segments: Functional Basis for the Alignment of GABAA and Acetylcholine Receptor M3 Segments. The Journal of Neuroscience, April 26, 2006 • 26(17):4492– 4499.
ncbi David C. Reeves, Michaela Jansen, Moez Bali, Thomas Lemster, and Myles H. Akabas (2005). A Role for the 1 – 2 Loop in the Gating of 5-HT3 Receptors. The Journal of Neuroscience, October 12, 2005 • 25(41):9358 –9366.


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Michaela Jansen

(806) 743 - 4059