Volume 17, Issue 7, p1739–1746, 8 November 2016
Piezo1 Channels Are Inherently Mechanosensitive
Ruhma Syeda 6, correspondence, Maria N. Florendo, Charles D. Cox, Jennifer M. Kefauver, Jose S. Santos5, Boris Martinac, Ardem Patapoutian
5Present address: Dart NeuroScience, 12278 Scripps Summit Drive, San Diego, CA 92131, USA
• Purified wild-type and mutant Piezo1 channels are active in lipid bilayers
• Piezo1 and MscS, but not KcsA, are active in bilayers with osmotic gradient
• Piezo1 and MscS, but not KcsA, respond to perturbations in membrane tension
• Piezo1 is activated in the absence of other cellular components
The conversion of mechanical force to chemical signals is critical for many biological processes, including the senses of touch, pain, and hearing. Mechanosensitive ion channels play a key role in sensing the mechanical stimuli experienced by various cell types and are present in organisms from bacteria to mammals. Bacterial mechanosensitive channels are characterized thoroughly, but less is known about their counterparts in vertebrates. Piezos have been recently established as ion channels required for mechanotransduction in disparate cell types in vitro and in vivo. Overexpression of Piezos in heterologous cells gives rise to large mechanically activated currents; however, it is unclear whether Piezos are inherently mechanosensitive or rely on alternate cellular components to sense mechanical stimuli. Here, we show that mechanical perturbations of the lipid bilayer alone are sufficient to activate Piezo channels, illustrating their innate ability as molecular force transducers.
Keywords: mechanosensitive ion channel, Piezo1, lipid bilayer, membrane tension, membrane asymmetry, mechanotransduction
Received: December 29, 2015; Received in revised form: February 26, 2016; Accepted: October 10, 2016; Published: November 8, 2016
© 2016 The Authors.
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