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J Gen Physiol. 2011 Dec;138(6):641-9. doi: 10.1085/jgp.201110723. Epub 2011 Nov 14.

Expression and characterization of the bacterial mechanosensitive channel MscS in Xenopus laevis oocytes.

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  • 1Department of Biology, Washington University in Saint Louis, Saint Louis, MO 63130, USA.


We have successfully expressed and characterized mechanosensitive channel of small conductance (MscS) from Escherichia coli in oocytes of the African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis. MscS expressed in oocytes has the same single-channel conductance and voltage dependence as the channel in its native environment. Two hallmarks of MscS activity, the presence of conducting substates at high potentials and reversible adaptation to a sustained stimulus, are also exhibited by oocyte-expressed MscS. In addition to its ease of use, the oocyte system allows the user to work with relatively large patches, which could be an advantage for the visualization of membrane deformation. Furthermore, MscS can now be compared directly to its eukaryotic homologues or to other mechanosensitive channels that are not easily studied in E. coli.

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