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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1990 Aug 31;171(1):280-6.

Cooperative mechanosensitive ion channels in Escherichia coli.

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CNR Unit, Institute of General Pathology, Padova, Italy.


A patch-clamp investigation was carried out on giant Escherichia coli spheroplasts. The membrane exhibited stretch-induced as well as "spontaneous" activity, with similar characteristics, i.e., a large number of conductance values arising from the cooperative behavior of channels in functional clusters. It appears likely that the same molecular species are responsible for both stretch-induced and "spontaneous" current conduction; the channel multiplexes can either respond to membrane stretch or function in an activate state, presumably brought about by the previous application of the mechanical stimulus.

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