Stretch-inactivated ion channels coexist with stretch-activated ion channels

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Science  10 Feb 1989:
Vol. 243, Issue 4892, pp. 807-809
DOI: 10.1126/science.2536958


Stretch-activated ion channels of animal, plant, bacterial, and fungal cells are implicated in mechanotransduction and osmoregulation. A new class of channel has now been described that is stretch-inactivated. These channels occur in neurons, where they coexist with stretch-activated channels. Both channels are potassium selective. The differing stretch sensitivities of the two channels minimize potassium conductance over an intermediate range of tension, with the consequence that, over this same range, voltage-gated calcium channels are most readily opened. Thus, by setting the relation between membrane tension and transmembrane calcium fluxes, stretch-sensitive potassium channels may participate in the control of calcium-dependent motility in differentiating, regenerating, or migrating neurons.

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