New research identifies enzyme that slows heart beat

An international team of scientists has found that the Pak 1 enzyme acts on the body's 'pacemaker' cell to slow down a person's heartbeat. The researchers note that while much is known about speeding up a heart beat, little has been done to study how to slow it down. And their work could influence the way that cardiovascular disease is diagnosed and treated while offering a new avenue for drug design.

"The enzyme works through calcium and potassium channels that we know to be key players in the generation and regulation of pacemaker activity," first author Yunbo Ke, a research assistant professor of physiology and biophysics at the University of Illinois at Chicago, said in a prepared statement.

- here's the report from The Washington Post

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