Computational Studies of the Bacterial Mechanosensitive Channels

  • Ben Corry
  • Boris Martinac
Part of the Mechanosensitivity in Cells and Tissues book series (MECT, volume 1)


Bacterial mechanosensitive (MS) channels were first documented in giant spheroplasts of Escherichia coli during a survey of the bacterial cell membrane by the patch clamp some twenty years ago. Two major events that greatly advanced and kept the research on bacterial MS channels at the forefront of the MS channel research field include: (i) cloning of MscL and MscS, the MS channels of Large and Small conductance, and (ii) solving their 3D crystal structure. In addition to advancing further experimental studies of the bacterial MS channels by enabling the use of new techniques, such as EPR and FRET spectroscopy, these events also enabled theoretical approaches to be employed. In this chapter we will review recent computational approaches used to elucidate the molecular dynamics of MscL and MscS, which has significantly contributed to our understanding of basic physical principles of the mechanosensory transduction in living organisms.


MS channels Patch clamp Bilayer model Mechanosensory transduction EPR spectroscopy FRET Molecular dynamics Brownian dynamics 


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© Springer 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ben Corry
  • Boris Martinac

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