Studying mechanosensitive ion channels using liposomes

Methods Mol Biol. 2010:606:31-53. doi: 10.1007/978-1-60761-447-0_4.


Mechanosensitive (MS) ion channels are the primary molecular transducers of mechanical force into electrical and/or chemical intracellular signals in living cells. They have been implicated in innumerable mechanosensory physiological processes including touch and pain sensation, hearing, blood pressure control, micturition, cell volume regulation, tissue growth, or cellular turgor control. Much of what we know about the basic physical principles underlying the conversion of mechanical force acting upon membranes of living cells into conformational changes of MS channels comes from studies of MS channels reconstituted into artificial liposomes. Using bacterial MS channels as a model, we have shown by reconstituting these channels into liposomes that there is a close relationship between the physico-chemical properties of the lipid bilayer and structural dynamics bringing about the function of these channels.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CHO Cells
  • Cricetinae
  • Cricetulus
  • Escherichia coli / chemistry
  • Escherichia coli / genetics
  • Escherichia coli / metabolism*
  • Escherichia coli Proteins / genetics
  • Escherichia coli Proteins / isolation & purification*
  • Escherichia coli Proteins / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression
  • Ion Channels / genetics
  • Ion Channels / isolation & purification*
  • Ion Channels / metabolism*
  • Liposomes / chemistry*
  • Mechanotransduction, Cellular
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • Patch-Clamp Techniques
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate / genetics
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate / isolation & purification


  • Escherichia coli Proteins
  • Ion Channels
  • Liposomes
  • MscL protein, E coli
  • MscS protein, E coli
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate