Brian Perrino Ph.D.: Biography/Education

Associate Professor

Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology & Physiology | Department of Physiology and Cell Biology


  • PhD, Cell Biology, Boston University, 1989
  • BS, Biology, Syracuse University


The primary focus of my research is to generate a better understanding of how contractile agonists control the Ca2+ sensitization mechanisms in gastric smooth muscles that manage myosin light chain phosphorylation and adjust the smooth muscle mechanical responses that underlie motility responses. Here in the Dept. of Physiology & Cell Biology at the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine, we have developed effective methods of analyzing low abundance signaling proteins in smooth muscles by SDS-PAGE-western blotting, and more recently, by utilizing the high throughput, high sensitivity Wes system from ProteinSimple, and have developed in situ PLA imaging to analyze protein phosphorylation and protein-protein interactions in cryostat sections from gastric smooth muscles. Using human gastric muscles from patients undergoing weight loss surgery, we are now investigating how gastric prokinetics might improve gastric motility be examining how these compounds affect basal CPI-17 and MYPT1 phosphorylation. Increasing basal CPI-17 and MYPT1 phosphorylation would inhibit myosin phosphatase, increase myosin light chain phosphorylation, and augment agonist-evoked contractions. Analyses of the intracellular phosphorylation-dependent signaling pathways in smooth muscles will generate a more complete under-standing of how gastric motor function is generated. These studies may help in developing novel therapeutics for patients suffering from functional dyspepsia and diabetic gastroparesis.

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