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Science. 1988 Nov 4;242(4879):762-5.

A mechanosensitive ion channel in the yeast plasma membrane.

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  • 1Laboratory of Molecular Biology, University of Wisconsin, Madison 53706.


Mechanosensitive ion channels use mechanical energy to gate the dissipation of electrochemical gradients across cell membranes. This function is fundamental to physiological processes such as hearing and touch. In electrophysiological studies of ion channels in the plasma membrane of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, channels were observed that were activated by, and adapted to, stretching of the membrane. Adaptation of channel activity to mechanical stimuli was voltage-dependent. Because these mechanosensitive channels pass both cations and anions, they may play a role in turgor regulation in this walled organism.

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