Of Rafts and Moving Water

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Science's STKE  09 Sep 2003:
Vol. 2003, Issue 199, pp. pe36
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2003.199.pe36

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The ability to respond rapidly to changes in tonicity is crucial for cellular and organismal survival. Sensors of osmotic stress are beginning to be discovered. For example, results from expression cloning in a heterologous system have implicated GAP43 as a component of a peripheral nervous system sensor of hypotonicity. These results and the role of lipid rafts, protein kinase C, and members of the phospholipase C-δ family are discussed in the context of cellular responses to osmotic stress. Calcium is also involved in the osmotic stress response, and both intracellular calcium released through inositol trisphosphate receptors and extracellular calcium transported through TRPV4 (a member of the transient receptor potential family) may contribute.

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