Sarah England, Ph.D.

Obstetrics and Gynecology
Basic Research Division

Molecular Cell Biology Program

  • 314-286-1798

  • 747-6665

  • 10164 BJCIH

  • englands@WUSTL.EDU


  • women`s health, potassium channels, uterine, muscle excitability, pregnancy

  • Molecular mechanisms underlying uterine function during pregnancy

Research Abstract:

My long-term research interest lies in the role of ion channels in smooth muscle as they pertain to women’s health and fetal outcomes. The main objective of my laboratory is to determine the role of ion channels in modulation of uterine and vascular smooth muscle excitability and contractility. A major focus of the laboratory is to determine how ion channels in the myometrium modulate uterine excitability and contractility during gestation and parturition. We are also pursuing studies on channel activity in the vascular system during pregnancy. Research aimed at smooth muscle relaxation will have a wide range of benefits including alleviation of uterine dysfunction that results in preterm birth and enhanced relaxation of vascular smooth muscle.


• Assessment of the regulation of maxi-K channel N-terminal domain
• Role of novel modulatory proteins in mediating channel activity in both uterine and vascular smooth muscle cells
• Identifying ion channels that underlie the leak current in myometrial cells
• Deciphering how genetic mutations in ion channels translate into aberrant myometrial activity
• Determining whether chronodisruption is a risk factor for preterm birth

Selected Publications:

Reinl, E.L., Cabeza, R., Gregory, I.A., Cahill, A.G., & England, S.K. (2015). Sodium leak channel, non-selective contributes to the leak current in human myometrial smooth muscle cells from pregnant women. Molecular Human Reproduction, pii: gav038. PMID: 26134120

Reinl, E.L., & England, S.K. (2015). Fetal-to-maternal signaling to intiate parturition. The Journal of Clinical Investigation, 125(7):2569-71. PMID 26098297

Rada, C.C., Pierce, S.L., Grotegut, C.A., & England, S.K. (2015). Intrauterine telemetry to measure mouse contractile pressure in vivo. The Journal of Visualized Experiments, (98):e52541. PMID: 25867820

Schickling, B.M., England, S.K., Aykins-Burns, N., Norian, L.A., Leslie, K.K., & Frieden-Korovkina, V.P. (2015). BKCa channel inhibitor modulates the tumorigenic ability of hormone-independent breast cancer cells via the Wnt pathway. Oncology Reports, 33(2): 533–538. PMID: 25422049

Rada, C.C., Murray, G., & England, S.K. (2014) The SK3 channel promotes placental vascularization by enhancing secretion of angiogenic factors. American Journal of Physiology, 307(10):E935-43. PMID: 25249506 PMCID: PMC4315447

Frey, H.A., Tuuli, M.G., England, S.K., Roehl, K.A., Odibo, A.o., Macones, G.A., & Cahill, A.G. (2014). Factors associated with higher oxytocin requirements in labor. The Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine, 1-6. PMID: 25204333 PMCID: PMC4377306

Yao, J., Shcherbakova, D.M., Li, C., Krumholz, A., Lorca, R.A., Reinl, E., England, S.K., Verkhusha, V.V., and Wang, L.V. (2014). Reversibly switchable fluorescence microscopy with enhanced resolution and image contrast. Journal of Biomedical Optics, 19(8):086018. PMID: 25144452 PMCID: PMC4140226

Lorca, R.A., Prabagaran, M., & England, S.K. (2014). Functional insights into modulation of BKCa channel activity to alter myometrial contractility. Frontiers in Physiology, 5:289. PMID: 25132821 PMCID: PMC4116789

Stilley, J.A., Christensen, D.E., Dahlem, K.B., Guan, R., Santillan, D.A., England, S.K., Al-Hendy, A., Kirby, P.A., & Segaloff, D.L. (2014). FSH receptor (FSHR) expression in human extragonadal reproductive tissues and the developing placenta, and the impact of its deletion on pregnancy in mice.
Biology of Reproduction, 91(3):74. PMID: 25100706 PMCID: PMC4435062

McCloskey, C., Rada, C., Bailey, E., McCavera, S., van de Berg, H.A., Atia, J., Rand, D.A>, Shmygol, A., Chan, Y.W., Quenby, S., Brosens, J.J., Vatish, M., Zhang, J., Denton, J.S., Taggart, M.J., Kettleborough, C., Tickle, D., Jerman, J., Wright, P., Dale, T., Kanumilli, S., Trezise, D.J., Thornton, S., Brown, P., Catalano, R., Lin, N., England, S.K., Marazita, M.L., Dagle, J.M., & Murray, J.C. (2014). The inwardly rectifying K+ channel KIR7.1 controls uterine excitability throughout pregnancy. EMBO Molecular Medicine, 6(9):1161-74. PMID: 25056913 PMCID: PMC4197863

Last Updated: 9/1/2015 11:14:09 AM

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