Molecule of the Month: Piezo1 Mechanosensitive Channel
Mechanosensitive ion channels give our cells a sense of touch.
Putting Pressure on Piezos
Piezo1 in the Microscope
Piezo1 and Parasites
Exploring the Structure
The Piezo1 structures reveal many functional domains within the long protein chains. The blades (blue) are composed of a series of similar domains that are embedded in the membrane. As you can see in the structure, the blades are not flat, but instead bend the membrane into a cup shape. A cluster of acidic amino acids (magenta) in the CED domain (orange) is though to help manage access of calcium ions to the central channel, which is surrounded by three helices (red). A beam (green) connects the blades and the channel, presumably linking changes in the shapes of the blades to opening of the channel. To explore this structure in more detail, click on the image for an interative JSmol.
Topics for Further Discussion
- You can view the cryoelectron reconstructions for these channels at the EMDataBank, for example, in entry EMD-7128.
- Other proteins involved in sensing and the nervous system are included in the PDB-101 category “Cellular Signaling”.
Related PDB-101 Resources
- Browse Cellular Signaling
- Browse You and Your Health
- Browse Drugs and the Brain
- Browse Nobel Prizes and PDB structures
- Ma, S., Cahalan, S., LaMonte, G., Grubaugh, N.D., Zeng, W., Murthy, S.E., Paytas, E., Gamini, R., Lukacs, V., Whitwam, T., Loud, M., Lohia, R., Berry, L., Khan, S.M., Janse, C.J., Bandell, M., Schmedt, C., Wengelnik, K., Su, A.I., Honore, E., Winseler, E.A., Andersen, K.G., Patapoutian, A. (2018) Common PIEZO1 allele in African populations causes RBC dehydration and attenuates Plasmodium infection. Cell 173, 1-13.
- 6bpz: Saotome, K., Murthy, S.E., Kefauver, J.M., Whitwam, T., Patapoutian, A., Ward, A.B. (2018) Structure of the mechanically activated ion channel Piezo1. Nature 554: 481-486
- 5z10: Zhao, Q., Zhou, H., Chi, S., Wang, Y., Wang, J., Geng, J., Wu, K., Liu, W., Zhang, T., Dong, M.Q., Wang, J., Li, X., Xiao, B. (2018) Structure and mechanogating mechanism of the Piezo1 channel. Nature 554: 487-492
- 6b3r: Guo, Y.R., MacKinnon, R. (2017) Structure-based membrane dome mechanism for Piezo mechanosensitivity. eLIFE 6: e33660.
- 5vkq: Jin, P., Bulkley, D., Guo, Y., Zhang, W., Guo, Z., Huynh, W., Wu, S., Meltzer, S., Cheng, T., Jan, L.Y., Jan, Y.N., Cheng, Y. (2017) Electron cryo-microscopy structure of the mechanotransduction channel NOMPC. Nature 547: 118-122
- Wu, J., Lewis, A. H., Grandl, J. (2017) Touch, tension, and transduction – the function and regulation of Piezo ion channels. Trends Biochem. Sci. 42, 57-71.
- 3jac: Ge, J., Li, W., Zhao, Q., Li, N., Chen, M., Zhi, P., Li, R., Gao, N., Xiao, B., Yang, M. (2015) Architecture of the mammalian mechanosensitive Piezo1 channel. Nature 527: 64-69
- 3um7: Brohawn, S.G., del Marmol, J., MacKinnon, R. (2012) Crystal structure of the human K2P TRAAK, a lipid- and mechano-sensitive K+ ion channel. Science 335: 436-441
July 2018, David Goodselldoi:10.2210/rcsb_pdb/mom_2018_7