A mechanosensitive ion channel in the yeast plasma membrane

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Science  04 Nov 1988:
Vol. 242, Issue 4879, pp. 762-765
DOI: 10.1126/science.2460920


Mechanosensitive ion channels use mechanical energy to gate the dissipation of electrochemical gradients across cell membranes. This function is fundamental to physiological processes such as hearing and touch. In electrophysiological studies of ion channels in the plasma membrane of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, channels were observed that were activated by, and adapted to, stretching of the membrane. Adaptation of channel activity to mechanical stimuli was voltage-dependent. Because these mechanosensitive channels pass both cations and anions, they may play a role in turgor regulation in this walled organism.

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