Instagram View Richard Barrett-Jolley's profile on LinkedIn

Sunday, 17 November 2013

King Richard III's spine and the "ion channels", "TRPV4".

Richard III skeleton
Funky ion channels in King Richard III's skeleton
I am sure that most sensible scientists, medics and vets would appreciate that ion channels are *the* most important proteins in the body? …OK all proteins are important, but none are as exciting as ion channels, which sit in the membrane of every cell and can control their functions.  …but I think it is about time to bring the word “ion channel” to the attention of archaeologists and historians through the medium of… Richard III’s skeleton.
The official line from University of Leicester (if there can be an official line) is that Ricky 3 had an idiopathic adolescent onset scoliosis.  Now the “scoliosis” bit just means “bent spine”, the “adolescent onset” bit is obvious and “idiopathic” is a posh way of saying “unknown cause”.
Therefore he had a bent spine since adolescence of unknown cause.  He also apparently had osteoarthritis.  It seems likely that a funky ion channel was at fault.  I have in mind, a particular ion channels with a gene name “TRPV4”.  In lay terms, it allows calcium to enter cells in response to movement.  Now what evidence do I have… .  eeerm…. none! That’s the great thing about blogs BUT just check-out the similarity of spine curvature with the bones of King Richard III and this well-studied literature example of a TRPV4 “channelopathy” below.

Parastremmatic dysplasia patient, with an ion channel disease

Not proof, I agree… but perhaps the many fans of Richard III should now start wearing tee-shirts with a TRPV4 channel on them… I present this suggestion below.  Have fun!!! 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Be Nice!