Brant Isakson


  • PhD, University of Wyoming

Primary Appointment

  • Associate Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics


Research Interest(s)

Intercellular communication as it relates to blood pressure regulation

Research Description

My lab focuses on intercellular communication in the microvasculature and how this regulates the critical proces of vessel dilation and constriction--elucidating this fundamental proces is key to understanding such diseases as hypertention.

To that end, our lab is keenly interested in the membrane bound proteins connexins (which link cellular cytoplasm together physically) and pannexins (which signal other cells by releasing ATP into the extracellular environment), as well as how nitric oxide may regulate these channels directly, or act independantly based on it's cellular localization in the vessel wall.

Our lab utilizes everything from transgenic animals and isolated intact blood vessels, to unique cell culture techniques and molecular biology, to biphysical techniques such as analytical size exclusion. We believe this is the best way to tackle the most pressing and interesting biological questions.

Selected Publications

  • Billaud M, Lohman A, Johnstone S, Biwer L, Mutchler S, Isakson B. Regulation of cellular communication by signaling microdomains in the blood vessel wall. Pharmacological reviews. 2014;66(2): 513-69. PMID: 24671377 | PMCID: PMC3973613
  • Cechova S, Zeng Q, Billaud M, Mutchler S, Rudy C, Straub A, Chi L, Chan F, Hu J, Griffiths R, Howell N, Madsen K, Jensen B, Palmer L, Carey R, Sung S, Malakauskas S, Isakson B, Le T. Loss of collectrin, an angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 homolog, uncouples endothelial nitric oxide synthase and causes hypertension and vascular dysfunction. Circulation. 2013;128(16): 1770-80. PMID: 24048198
  • Lohman A, Billaud M, Isakson B. Mechanisms of ATP release and signalling in the blood vessel wall. Cardiovascular research. 2012;95(3): 269-80. PMID: 22678409 | PMCID: PMC3400358
  • Lohman A, Weaver J, Billaud M, Sandilos J, Griffiths R, Straub A, Penuela S, Leitinger N, Laird D, Bayliss D, Isakson B. S-nitrosylation inhibits pannexin 1 channel function. The Journal of biological chemistry. 2012;287(47): 39602-12. PMID: 23033481 | PMCID: PMC3501028
  • Straub A, Lohman A, Billaud M, Johnstone S, Dwyer S, Lee M, Bortz P, Best A, Columbus L, Gaston B, Isakson B. Endothelial cell expression of haemoglobin α regulates nitric oxide signalling. Nature. 2012;491(7424): 473-7. PMID: 23123858 | PMCID: PMC3531883
  • Billaud M, Lohman A, Straub A, Looft-Wilson R, Johnstone S, Araj C, Best A, Chekeni F, Ravichandran K, Penuela S, Laird D, Isakson B. Pannexin1 regulates α1-adrenergic receptor- mediated vasoconstriction. Circulation research. 2011;109(1): 80-5. PMID: 21546608 | PMCID: PMC3135971
  • Chekeni F, Elliott M, Sandilos J, Walk S, Kinchen J, Lazarowski E, Armstrong A, Penuela S, Laird D, Salvesen G, Isakson B, Bayliss D, Ravichandran K. Pannexin 1 channels mediate 'find-me' signal release and membrane permeability during apoptosis. Nature. 2010;467(7317): 863-7. PMID: 20944749 | PMCID: PMC3006164