Mechanosensitive channels are ubiquitous amongst bacterial cells and have been proposed to have major roles in the adaptation to osmotic stress, in particular in the management of transitions from high to low osmolarity environments. Electrophysiological measurements have identified multiple channels in Escherichia coli cells, One gene, mscL, encoding a large conductance channel has previously been described, but null mutants were without well-defined phenotypes, Here, we report the characterization of a new gene family required for MscS function, YggB and KefA, which has enabled a rigorous test of the role of the channels. The channel determined by KefA does not appear to have a major role in managing the transition from high to low osmolarity, In contrast, analysis of mutants of E,coli lacking YggB and MscL shows that mechanosensitive channels are designed to open at a pressure change just below that which would cause cell disruption leading to death.
|Number of pages||8|
|Publication status||Published - 1999|
- mechanosensitive channels
- turgor maintenance
- CYTOPLASMIC MEMBRANE