Peter Lauf Lecture
Bacterial Mechanosensitive Channels as a Paradigm for Mechanosensory TransductionMartinac B.
Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, Darlinghurst NSW 2010 and St. Vincent’s Clinical School, The University of New South Wales, Sydney
Dr. Boris Martinac
Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute
405 Liverpool St, Darlinghurst NSW 2010 (Australia)
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Research on bacterial mechanosensitive (MS) channels has since their discovery been at the forefront of the MS channel field due to extensive studies of the structure and function of MscL and MscS, two of the several different types of MS channels found in bacteria. Just a few years after these two MS channels were cloned their 3D structure was solved by X-ray crystallography. Today, the repertoire of multidisciplinary approaches used in experimental and theoretical studies following the cloning and crystallographic determination of the MscL and MscS structure has expanded by including electronparamagnetic resonance (EPR) and Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) spectroscopy aided by computational modelling employing molecular dynamics as well as Brownian dynamics simulations, which significantly advanced the understanding of structural determinants of the gating and conduction properties of these two MS channels. These extensive multidisciplinary studies of MscL and MscS have greatly contributed to elucidation of the basic physical principles of MS channel gating by mechanical force. This review summarizes briefly the major experimental and conceptual advancements, which helped in establishing MscL and MscS as a major paradigm of mechanosensory transduction in living cells.
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