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Research interests

Research in my lab focuses on the function and regulation of ion channels with particular emphasis on:

  • Impact of mechanical forces (shear stress and pressure)
  • Fluid homeostasis in the lung
  • Auto-/paracrine signalling via non-neuronal acetylcholine

Clinical conditions and keywords

Hypertension, cardiovascular disease, pulmonary oedema, cystic fibrosis, pain/touch sensation, epithelial Na+ channel (ENaC), CFTR, mechanotransduction

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Expertise

Technical expertise of the lab:

  • Electrophysiology (patch-clamp, Ussing chamber, microelectrode recordings)
  • Pressure myography
  • Electron microscopy

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Projects

  • Identifying the mechanism how ENaC senses shear stress
  • Characterising the role of vascular ENaC for blood pressure regulation in health and disease
  • The role of the extracellular matrix for shear stress sensation and ENaC regulation

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Current funding

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Teaching

  • HUBS 191 Human Body Systems 1
  • PHSL 233 Cellular, Gastrointestinal and Renal Physiology
  • PHSL 345 Physiological Aspects of Health and Disease
  • PHSL 472 Neurophysiology
  • 400-level Convener in Physiology

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Selected publications

Perkinson, M., Augustine, R. A., Bouwer, G. T., Brown, E. F., Cheong, I., Seymour, A. J., Fronius, M., & Brown, C. H. (2021). Plasticity in intrinsic excitability of hypothalamic magnocellular neurosecretory neurons in late-pregnant and lactating rats. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 22(13), 7140. doi: 10.3390/ijms22137140

Barth, D., Knoepp, F., & Fronius, M. (2021). Enhanced shear force responsiveness of epithelial Na+ channel’s (ENaC) δ subunit following the insertion of N-glycosylation motifs relies on the extracellular matrix. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 22(5), 2500. doi: 10.3390/ijms22052500

Saw, E. L., Pearson, J. T., Schwenke, D. O., Munasinghe, P. E., Tsuchimochi, H., Rawal, S., Coffey, S., … Bunton, R., Van Hout, I., … Williams, M. J. A., … Fronius, M., & Katare, R. (2021). Activation of the cardiac non-neuronal cholinergic system prevents the development of diabetes-associated cardiovascular complications. Cardiovascular Diabetology, 20, 50. doi: 10.1186/s12933-021-01231-8

Paudel, P., McDonald, F. J., & Fronius, M. (2021). The δ subunit of epithelial sodium channel in humans: A potential player in vascular physiology. American Journal of Physiology: Heart & Circulatory Physiology, 320, H487-H493. doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.00800.2020

Paudel, P., McDonald, F., & Fronius, M. (2020). Epithelial Na+ channel (ENaC) in human arteries: An emerging player in hypertension. FASEB Journal, 34(Suppl. 1). doi: 10.1096/fasebj.2020.34.s1.03713

Brown, E., Brown, C. H., & Fronius, M. (2020). Mechanosensitivity of TRPV channels: Implications for vasopressin neuron activity. FASEB Journal, 34(Suppl. 1). doi: 10.1096/fasebj.2020.34.s1.03561

Kumar, P., Scholze, P., Fronius, M., Krasteva-Christ, G., & Hollenhorst, M. I. (2020). Nicotine stimulates ion transport via metabotropic β4 subunit containing nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. British Journal of Pharmacology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/bph.15270

Baldin, J.-P., Barth, D., & Fronius, M. (2020). Epithelial Na+ channel (ENaC) formed by one or two subunits forms functional channels that respond to shear force. Frontiers in Physiology, 11, 141. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2020.00141

SawKatare, E. E. L., Rawal, S., Pearson, J., Schwenke, D., Kakinuma, Y., Fronius, M., & Katare, R. (2020). Diabetes induced dysregulation of cardiac non-neuronal cholinergic system impairs heart metabolism. Journal of Molecular & Cellular Cardiology, 140, Suppl., (pp. 14). doi: 10.1016/j.yjmcc.2019.11.031

Knoepp, F., Ashley, Z., Barth, D., Baldin, J.-P., Jennings, M., Kazantseva, M., Saw, E. L., Katare, R., … Fronius, M. (2020). Shear force sensing of epithelial Na+ channel (ENaC) relies on N-glycosylated asparagines in the palm and knuckle domains of αENaC. PNAS, 117(1), 717-726. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1911243117

Shuang, G., & Fronius, M. (2019, September). Effects of shear stress and carbon monoxide on epithelial sodium channels. Poster session presented at the Medical Sciences Congress (MedSci), Queenstown, New Zealand.

Shah, V. K., & Fronius, M. (2019, September). Epithelial sodium channel (ENaC): Mediator of the aldosterone induced stiffness in endothelial cells. Poster session presented at the Medical Sciences Congress (MedSci), Queenstown, New Zealand.

Brown, E., Brown, C. H., & Fronius, M. (2019, August-September). Mechanosensitivity of TRPV channels: Implications for vasopressin neuron activity. Poster session presented at the Queenstown Molecular Biology (QMB) Meetings, Queenstown, New Zealand.

Saw, E., Tsuchimochi, H., Pearson, J. T., Yoshihiko, K., Schwenke, D. O., Fronius, M., & Katare, R. (2019). Non-neuronal cholinergic system prevents coronary vascular dysfunction in diabetic heart. European Heart Journal, 40(Suppl. 1), (pp. 319). doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehz747.0317

Barth, D., & Fronius, M. (2019). Shear force modulates the activity of acid-sensing ion channels at low pH or in the presence of non-proton ligands. Scientific Reports, 9, 6781. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-43097-7

Futi, T., Fronius, M., Bahn, A., & Ashley, Z. (2018). Soluble klotho decreases the shear stress response of epithelial sodium channels. In A. Finigan, R. Richards & P. Vakaoti (Eds.), Proceedings of the Pacific Postgraduate Symposium: Pacific Voices XV. (pp. 11). Dunedin, New Zealand: Pacific Islands Centre, University of Otago. Retrieved from https://www.otago.ac.nz/pacific

Ware, A. W., McQueen, S., Cunliffe, H., Fronius, M., & McDonald, F. J. (2018, August). Epithelial sodium channel, ENaC, as a potential therapeutic target for breast cancer. Verbal presentation at the Medical Sciences Congress (MedSci), Queenstown, New Zealand.

Mugloo, S., Ashley, Z., Leader, C., Bahn, A., Sammut, I. A., Walker, R., McDonald, F. J., & Fronius, M. (2018, August). Characterising the role of vascular ENaC for blood pressure regulation. Verbal presentation at the Medical Sciences Congress (MedSci), Queenstown, New Zealand.

Lal, P., Ashley, Z., & Fronius, M. (2018, August). Elucidating the effect of shear stress on the expression of ENaC in endothelial cells. Verbal presentation at the Medical Sciences Congress (MedSci), Queenstown, New Zealand.

Paudel, P., Ashley, Z., Mugloo, S., McDonald, F. J., & Fronius, M. (2018, August). Epithelial sodium channel in human arteries: An emerging player for blood pressure regulation. Poster session presented at the Medical Sciences Congress (MedSci), Queenstown, New Zealand.

Mamgain, A., Fronius, M., & Katare, R. (2018, August). Identifying the role of connexin-43 gap junctions as intracellular transporter of microRNAs. Poster session presented at the Medical Sciences Congress (MedSci), Queenstown, New Zealand.

Futi, T., Fronius, M., Bahn, A., & Ashley, Z. (2018, August). Soluble klotho changes epithelial sodium channel activity. Poster session presented at the Medical Sciences Congress (MedSci), Queenstown, New Zealand.

Brown, E., Brown, C. H., & Fronius, M. (2018, August). Mechanosensitivity of transient receptor potential vanilloid channels. Poster session presented at the Medical Sciences Congress (MedSci), Queenstown, New Zealand.

Twyman, C., Bahn, A., & Fronius, M. (2018, August). Uric acid as a modulator of endothelial sodium channels in the vasculature. Poster session presented at the Medical Sciences Congress (MedSci), Queenstown, New Zealand.

Fronius, M., Ashley, Z., Baldin, J.-P., Barth, D., & Knöpp, F. (2018, December). The extracellular matrix facilitates mechanical activation of epithelial Na+ channel in response to shear force to regulate blood pressure. Verbal presentation at the 41st Scientific Meeting of the Matrix Biology Society of Australia and New Zealand (MBSANZ), Auckland, New Zealand.