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


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}, dcorey{at}

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

Stretch-induced actin remodeling requires targeting of zyxin to stress fibers and recruitment of actin regulators.
L. M. Hoffman, C. C. Jensen, A. Chaturvedi, M. Yoshigi, and M. C. Beckerle (2012)
Mol. Biol. Cell 23, 1846-1859
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Radial stretch reveals distinct populations of mechanosensitive mammalian somatosensory neurons.
M. R. C. Bhattacharya, D. M. Bautista, K. Wu, H. Haeberle, E. A. Lumpkin, and D. Julius (2008)
PNAS 105, 20015-20020
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Mechanotransduction - a field pulling together?.
C. S. Chen (2008)
J. Cell Sci. 121, 3285-3292
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
An integrative approach to understanding mechanosensation.
C. C. Poirier and P. A. Iglesias (2007)
Brief Bioinform 8, 258-265
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Two Interdependent TRPV Channel Subunits, Inactive and Nanchung, Mediate Hearing in Drosophila.
Z. Gong, W. Son, Y. Doo Chung, J. Kim, D. W. Shin, C. A. McClung, Y. Lee, H. W. Lee, D.-J. Chang, B.-K. Kaang, et al. (2004)
J. Neurosci. 24, 9059-9066
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Mechanosensitive ion channels: molecules of mechanotransduction.
B. Martinac (2004)
J. Cell Sci. 117, 2449-2460
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »

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