Collective response of self-organized clusters of mechanosensitive channels

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Mechanosensitive channels are ion channels activated by membrane tension. We investigate the influence of the spatial distribution of bacterial mechanosensitive channels on activation (gating). Based on elastic short-range interactions we map this physical process onto an Ising-like model, which enables us to predict the clustering of channels and the effects of clustering on their gating. We conclude that the aggregation of channels and the consequent interactions among them leads to a global cooperative gating behavior with potentially dramatic consequences for the cell.

Original languageEnglish
Article number020901(R)
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical Review. E, Statistical, Nonlinear and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • bacteria
  • proteins
  • model


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