Liposomes pp 31-53 | Cite as

Studying Mechanosensitive Ion Channels Using Liposomes

  • Boris MartinacEmail author
  • Paul R. Rohde
  • Andrew R. Battle
  • Evgeny Petrov
  • Prithwish Pal
  • Alexander Fook Weng Foo
  • Valeria Vásquez
  • Thuan Huynh
  • Anna Kloda
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology™ book series (MIMB, volume 606)


Mechanosensitive (MS) ion channels are the primary molecular transducers of mechanical force into electrical and/or chemical intracellular signals in living cells. They have been implicated in innumerable mechanosensory physiological processes including touch and pain sensation, hearing, blood pressure control, micturition, cell volume regulation, tissue growth, or cellular turgor control. Much of what we know about the basic physical principles underlying the conversion of mechanical force acting upon membranes of living cells into conformational changes of MS channels comes from studies of MS channels reconstituted into artificial liposomes. Using bacterial MS channels as a model, we have shown by reconstituting these channels into liposomes that there is a close relationship between the physico-chemical properties of the lipid bilayer and structural dynamics bringing about the function of these channels.

Key words

MscL MscS NMDA Liposome reconstitution Patch clamp EPR spectroscopy FRET spectroscopy Confocal microscopy 



We wish to thank Dr Stephen Hughes for his contribution to studies of magnetic field effects on the MscL channels using liposome reconstitution technique. This research has been supported by grants of the Australian Research Council and the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia to B. Martinac and A. Kloda.


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Copyright information

© Humana Press, a part of Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Boris Martinac
    • 1
    Email author
  • Paul R. Rohde
    • 1
  • Andrew R. Battle
    • 2
  • Evgeny Petrov
    • 1
  • Prithwish Pal
    • 1
  • Alexander Fook Weng Foo
    • 2
  • Valeria Vásquez
    • 3
  • Thuan Huynh
    • 1
  • Anna Kloda
    • 1
  1. 1.Molecular Biophysics Laboratory, School of Biomedical SciencesThe University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
  2. 2.Molecular Biophysics Laboratory, School of Biomedical Sciences and Institute for Molecular BioscienceThe University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
  3. 3.Biochemistry Department, Gordon Center for Integrative ScienceThe University of ChicagoChicagoUSA

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