Genetic approaches to mechanosensory transduction

Curr Opin Neurobiol. 1995 Aug;5(4):443-8. doi: 10.1016/0959-4388(95)80003-4.


Genetic approaches in several organisms provide the means of solving a previously intractable problem: characterizing the molecular foundations of the mechanical senses. In nematode mechanosensory cells, members of a novel class of epithelial ion channel subunits have been implicated as components of a mechanically gated channel. In insect mechanosensory bristles, mutations specifically defective in mechanoreceptor potentials have been identified. And in bacteria, a stretch-activated channel has been molecularly characterized for the first time. Although mechanosensitivity can be a property of an isolated channel, sensory transduction in eukaryotic mechanosensory cells probably requires the interaction of several membrane and cytoskeletal components.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Mechanoreceptors / physiology*
  • Microtubules / metabolism
  • Microtubules / ultrastructure
  • Signal Transduction / genetics*