Gating the bacterial mechanosensitive channels: MscS a new paradigm?

Michelle D Edwards, Ian R Booth, Samantha Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


Mechanosensitive channels play major roles in protecting bacteria from hypo-osmotic shock. In the millisecond timescale they must achieve the transition from tightly closed oligomers to large, relatively non-discriminating pores. The crystal structure for MscL, combined with genetic and biochemical analysis, provided the initial insights for the mechanism by which this structural transition might be made. Discovery of the gene for a second class of mechanosensitive channel, MscS, and its subsequent crystallisation, has provided a new paradigm for mechanosensation, enabling a deeper understanding of the mechanisms of sensing membrane tension.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-167
Number of pages4
JournalCurrent Opinion in Microbiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2004


  • escherichia-coli MSCS
  • ion-channel
  • crystal-structure
  • closed state
  • mechanism
  • design
  • domain


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