Role of Lipid Bilayer Mechanics in Mechanosensation
Mechanosensation is a key part of the sensory repertoire of a vast array of different cells and organisms. The molecular dissection of the origins of mechanosensation is rapidly advancing as a result of both structural and functional studies. One intriguing mode of mechanosensation results from tension in the membrane of the cell (or vesicle) of interest. The aim of this review is to catalogue recent work that uses a mix of continuum and statistical mechanics to explore the role of the lipid bilayer in the function of mechanosensitive channels that respond to membrane tension. The role of bilayer deformation will be explored in the context of the well known mechanosensitive channel MscL. Additionally, we make suggestions for bridging gaps between our current theoretical understanding and common experimental techniques.
KeywordsLipid bilayer mechanics Statistical mechanics Mechanosensitive ion channels Membrane-protein interactions
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