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Annu Rev Biophys. 2010;39:111-37. doi: 10.1146/annurev.biophys.37.032807.125836.

Eukaryotic mechanosensitive channels.

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Department of Biological Sciences, Columbia University, New York, New York 10027, USA.


Mechanosensitive ion channels are gated directly by physical stimuli and transduce these stimuli into electrical signals. Several criteria must apply for a channel to be considered mechanically gated. Mechanosensitive channels from bacterial systems have met these criteria, but few eukaryotic channels have been confirmed by the same standards. Recent work has suggested or confirmed that diverse types of channels, including TRP channels, K(2P) channels, MscS-like proteins, and DEG/ENaC channels, are mechanically gated. Several studies point to the importance of the plasma membrane for channel gating, but intracellular and/or extracellular structures may also be required.

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