2022.06.16 3.8 billion years of mechanosensory transduction: From osmoregulation to the sense of touch

2022-07-06 16:02:18



    : 3.8 billion years of mechanosensory transduction: From osmoregulation to the sense of touch

报告人Professor Boris Martinac

Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, Darlinghurst, NSW 2010, Australia


    : ZOOM线上报告

Meeting ID: 910 9636 7823


主持人: 宋晨 研究员


As the primary molecular transducers of mechanical force in living cells mechanosensitive (MS) ion channels have been implicated in a myriad of mechanosensory physiological processes. Touch, hearing, and blood pressure control are just a few examples of these processes. In the life of bacterial cells MS channels are indispensable for survival when the external environment becomes hypo-osmotic relative to the cell interior and increase in cellular turgor threatens to kill the microbes. Since their discovery in Escherichia coli over 30 years ago MscL and MscS channels have been at the forefront of the MS channel research field. Studies of MscL and MscS have greatly contributed to elucidation of the “force-from-lipids” (FFL) gating paradigm as a fundamental physicochemical principle based on the large and anisotropic forces defined by the transbilayer pressure profile inherent to biological membranes. From the evolutionary perspective, the knowledge gained from the MscL and MscS studies has also greatly advanced the research on mammalian MS channels, including and TRAAK and TREK, the two-pore-domain K+ channels as well as the Piezo1 ion channels, which like MscL and MscS, are inherently mechanosensitive membrane proteins gated according to the FFL paradigm. Together, these promising developments have significantly contributed to our understanding of basic physical principles and evolutionary origins of the mechanosensory transduction in living organisms. In my talk, I will present a brief history of the research in mechanosensory transduction by focusing on the biophysical principles of MS channel gating by mechanical force.


Boris Martinac is an experimental biophysicist, who majored in physics from the RWTH Aachen University (Rheinish–Wesphälische Technische Hochschule Aachen) in Germany where he received his PhD degree in biophysics as well. He is internationally known for his pioneering studies of ion channels in microbes, particularly the discovery, cloning and structural and functional characterization of mechanosensitive ion channels in bacteria. His discovery of bacterial mechanosensitive channels has recently been highlighted by the Nobel Prize Assembly as the ground-breaking work proving the existence of mechanosensitive channels, which led the way to the 2021 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine (https://lnkd.in/gRUQjPBb). In his laboratory at the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute his work expanded into studies of the role mechanosensitive ion channels play in cardiac diseases.

Prof Martinac has received numerous honors and awards including Bob Robertson Medal of the Australian Society for Biophysics (2011) and election to the Fellowship of the Australian Academy of Science (2013).