In Escherichia coli (E. coli) the mechanosensitive channel of small conductance, MscS, gates in response to membrane tension created from acute external hypoosmotic shock, thus rescuing the bacterium from cell lysis. E. coli MscS is the most well studied member of the MscS superfamily of channels, whose members are found throughout the bacterial and plant kingdoms. Homology to the pore lining helix and upper vestibule domain of E. coli MscS is required for inclusion into the superfamily. Although highly conserved, in the second half of the pore lining helix (TM3B), E. coli MscS has five residues significantly different from other members of the superfamily. In superfamilies such as this, it remains unclear why variations within such a homologous region occur: is it tolerance of alternate residues, or does it define functional variance within the superfamily? Point mutations (S114I/T, L118F, A120S, L123F, F127E/K/T) and patch clamp electrophysiology were used to study the effect of changing these residues in E. coli MscS on sensitivity and gating. The data indicate that variation at these locations do not consistently lead to wildtype channel phenotypes, nor do they define large changes in mechanosensation, but often appear to effect changes in the E. coli MscS channel gating kinetics.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)