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Sci. STKE, 10 February 2004
Vol. 2004, Issue 219, p. re4
[DOI: 10.1126/stke.2192004re4]

REVIEWS

Mechanosensitive Channels: Multiplicity of Families and Gating Paradigms

Sergei Sukharev1* and David P. Corey2*

1Department of Biology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA.
2Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Department of Neurobiology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

Gloss: Mechanical senses represent a diverse group of adaptations, such as hearing and touch responses in animals, gravitropism in plants, and osmoregulation in all cellular forms of life. This group of phenomena is not well understood in comparison to our knowledge of the mechanisms underlying vision, smell, and gustation. Is animal hearing similar in any way to the bacterial perception of osmotic stress? There is a clear similarity, but only in terms of biophysical principles, not in terms of particular molecular design. This STKE Review, with 11 figures, 1 table, and 221 references, outlines our current knowledge of the molecules that function as primary transducers of mechanical force into the form of electrical or chemical signals in cells.

*Corresponding authors. E-mail: ss311{at}umail.umd.edu, dcorey{at}hms.harvard.edu

Citation: S. Sukharev, D. P. Corey, Mechanosensitive Channels: Multiplicity of Families and Gating Paradigms. Sci. STKE 2004, re4 (2004).


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