PubMed 24958207

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: Kir6.2

Title: The activation mode of the mechanosensitive ion channel, MscL, by lysophosphatidylcholine differs from tension-induced gating.

Authors: Nobina Mukherjee, Mac Donald Jose, Jan Peter Birkner, Martin Walko, Helgi I Ingolfsson, Anna Dimitrova, Clément Arnarez, Siewert J Marrink, Armagan Koçer

Journal, date & volume: FASEB J., 2014 Jun 23 , ,

PubMed link:

One of the best-studied mechanosensitive channels is the mechanosensitive channel of large conductance (MscL). MscL senses tension in the membrane evoked by an osmotic down shock and directly couples it to large conformational changes leading to the opening of the channel. Spectroscopic techniques offer unique possibilities to monitor these conformational changes if it were possible to generate tension in the lipid bilayer, the native environment of MscL, during the measurements. To this end, asymmetric insertion of l-α-lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC) into the lipid bilayer has been effective; however, how LPC activates MscL is not fully understood. Here, the effects of LPC on tension-sensitive mutants of a bacterial MscL and on MscL homologs with different tension sensitivities are reported, leading to the conclusion that the mode of action of LPC is different from that of applied tension. Our results imply that LPC shifts the free energy of gating by interfering with MscL-membrane coupling. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the fine-tuned addition of LPC can be used for controlled activation of MscL in spectroscopic studies.