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Stanko S. Stojilkovic, Ph.D., Senior Investigator

Dr. Stojilkovic received a Ph.D. in Physiology and Neuroendocrinology from the University of Novi Sad, Serbia, in 1982. He was Assistant Professor of Physiology at the Institute of Biology, University of Novi Sad, before joining NICHD as a Guest Researcher in 1985, where he worked in the laboratory of Dr. Kevin J. Catt. Dr. Stojilkovic became an Investigator in 1993 and Senior Investigator in 1998, both within the Endocrinology and Reproduction Research Branch of NICHD. His laboratory investigates calcium signaling pathways at the cellular and molecular levels, and determines the manner in which hormones and neurotransmitters utilize calcium as an intracellular messenger in neuroendocrine cells.
Photo of Stanko S. Stojilkovic, Ph.D., Senior Investigator


Research Interests:
Over one hundred neurotransmitters and hormones, acting on their respective receptors and receptor-channels, relay their signals by altering intracellular calcium concentration. For the generation of calcium signals, cells depend on the large electrochemical gradient of calcium across the plasma membrane, or across the endoplasmic reticulum membrane. There are several pathways controlling calcium influx, including ligand-gated receptor-channels and voltage-gated calcium channels. Calcium release from endoplasmic reticulum is activated by G protein-coupled and tyrosine kinase receptors, and is mediated through inositol (1,4,5)-trisphosphate)-sensitive receptor-channels. Many excitable cells also express ryanodine-sensitive calcium release channels in their endoplasmic/sarcoplasmic reticulum, and these are coupled to voltage-gated calcium channels by a mechanism termed calcium-induced calcium release.

The main objectives of current investigations in the Section on Cellular Signaling are to clarify the mechanisms that control calcium signaling and to elucidate the role of calcium ions as intracellular messenger in neuroendocrine and endocrine cells. The approach in the laboratory has been to characterize calcium signaling in these cells from biophysical, physiological, and pharmacological points of view. More recently, we have begun to use molecular biological approaches to identify molecules participating in the generation and control of calcium signals, as well as to address the issues of how the calcium signaling function in these cells is related to the structure of individual receptors and channels. Current research includes studies on the receptor- and intracellular messenger-mediated control of voltage-gated calcium influx; the structure and function of purinergic receptor-channels; cyclic nucleotide-controlled membrane excitability and calcium signaling; the role of calcium in controlling plasma membrane and endoplasmic reticulum excitability; the dependence of cyclic nucleotide production on calcium; and the relevance of the pattern of calcium signaling to cell-type specific hormone secretion patterns.

Selected Recent Publications:
  • Yan Z, Khadra A, Sherman A, Stojilkovic SS (2011) Calcium-dependent block of P2X7 receptor channel function is allosteric, J Gen Physiol 138, 437-452. Full Text/Abstract

  • Coddou C, Yan Z, Obsil T, Huidobro-Toro JP, Stojilkovic SS (2011) Activation and regulation of purinergic P2X receptor channels, Pharmacol Rev 63, 641-683. Full Text/Abstract

  • Stojilkovic SS, Tabak J, Bertram R (2010) Ion channels and signaling in the pituitary gland, Endocr Rev 31, 845-915. Full Text/Abstract

  • Yan Z, Khadra A, Li S, Tomic M, Sherman A, Stojilkovic SS (2010) Experimental characterization and mathematical modeling of P2X7 receptor channel gating, J Neurosci 30, 14213-14224. Full Text/Abstract

  • Kucka M, Kretschmannova K, Murano T, Wu CP, Zemkova H, Ambudkar SV, Stojilkovic SS (2010) Dependence of multidrug resistance protein-mediated cyclic nucleotide efflux on the background sodium conductance, Mol Pharmacol 77, 270-279. Full Text/Abstract

  • Coddou C, Codocedo JF, Li S, Lillo JG, Acuna-Castillo C, Bull P, Stojilkovic SS, Huidobro-Toro JP (2009) Reactive oxygen species potentiate the P2X2 receptor activity through intracellular Cys430, J Neurosci 29, 12284-12291. Full Text/Abstract

  • Korzeniowski MK, Popovic MA, Szentpetery Z, Varnai P, Stojilkovic SS, Balla T (2009) Dependence of STIM1/Orai1-mediated calcium entry on plasma membrane phosphoinositides, J Biol Chem 284, 21027-21035. Full Text/Abstract

All Selected Publications

Contact Information:

Dr. Stanko S. Stojilkovic
Cellular Signalling Section
Endocrinology and Reproduction Research Branch, NICHD
Building 49, Room 6A36
49 Convent Drive MSC 4510
Bethesda, MD 20892-4510

Telephone: (301) 496-1638 (office), (301) 594-7031 (fax)


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