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Journal Article

Mechanosensitive channel activation by diffusio-osmotic force


Golestanian,  Ramin       
Department of Living Matter Physics, Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Max Planck Society;

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Bonthuis, D. J., & Golestanian, R. (2014). Mechanosensitive channel activation by diffusio-osmotic force. Physical Review Letters, 113(14): 148101. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.113.148101.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0001-76E4-9
For ion channel gating, the appearance of two distinct conformational states and the discrete transitions between them are essential, and therefore of crucial importance to all living organisms. We show that the physical interplay between two structural elements that are commonly present in bacterial mechanosensitive channels - namely, a charged vestibule and a hydrophobic constriction - creates two distinct conformational states, open and closed, as well as the gating between them. We solve the nonequilibrium Stokes-Poisson-Nernst-Planck equations, extended to include a molecular potential of mean force, and show that a first order transition between the closed and open states arises naturally from the diffusio-osmotic stress caused by the ions and the water inside the channel and the elastic restoring force from the membrane. © 2014 American Physical Society.