Mechanosensitive channels play major roles in protecting bacteria from hypo-osmotic shock. In the millisecond timescale they must achieve the transition from tightly closed oligomers to large, relatively non-discriminating pores. The crystal structure for MscL, combined with genetic and biochemical analysis, provided the initial insights for the mechanism by which this structural transition might be made. Discovery of the gene for a second class of mechanosensitive channel, MscS, and its subsequent crystallisation, has provided a new paradigm for mechanosensation, enabling a deeper understanding of the mechanisms of sensing membrane tension.
- escherichia-coli MSCS
- closed state