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Mechanical stimuli drive many physiological processes, including touch and pain sensation, hearing, and blood pressure regulation. Mechanically activated (MA) cation channel activities have been recorded in many cells, but the responsible molecules have not been identified. We characterized a rapidly adapting MA current in a mouse neuroblastoma cell line.(More)
Mechanosensation is perhaps the last sensory modality not understood at the molecular level. Ion channels that sense mechanical force are postulated to play critical roles in a variety of biological processes including sensing touch/pain (somatosensation), sound (hearing), and shear stress (cardiovascular physiology); however, the identity of these ion(More)
The sense of touch provides critical information about our physical environment by transforming mechanical energy into electrical signals. It is postulated that mechanically activated cation channels initiate touch sensation, but the identity of these molecules in mammals has been elusive. Piezo2 is a rapidly adapting, mechanically activated ion channel(More)
Touch submodalities, such as flutter and pressure, are mediated by somatosensory afferents whose terminal specializations extract tactile features and encode them as action potential trains with unique activity patterns. Whether non-neuronal cells tune touch receptors through active or passive mechanisms is debated. Terminal specializations are thought to(More)
How we sense touch remains fundamentally unknown. The Merkel cell-neurite complex is a gentle touch receptor in the skin that mediates slowly adapting responses of Aβ sensory fibres to encode fine details of objects. This mechanoreceptor complex was recognized to have an essential role in sensing gentle touch nearly 50 years ago. However, whether Merkel(More)
Red blood cells (RBCs) experience significant mechanical forces while recirculating, but the consequences of these forces are not fully understood. Recent work has shown that gain-of-function mutations in mechanically activated Piezo1 cation channels are associated with the dehydrating RBC disease xerocytosis, implicating a role of mechanotransduction in(More)
The mechanically activated non-selective cation channel Piezo1 is a determinant of vascular architecture during early development. Piezo1-deficient embryos die at midgestation with disorganized blood vessels. However, the role of stretch-activated ion channels (SACs) in arterial smooth muscle cells in the adult remains unknown. Here, we show that Piezo1 is(More)
Auditory hair cells contain mechanotransduction channels that rapidly open in response to sound-induced vibrations. We report here that auditory hair cells contain two molecularly distinct mechanotransduction channels. One ion channel is activated by sound and is responsible for sensory transduction. This sensory transduction channel is expressed in hair(More)
Respiratory dysfunction is a notorious cause of perinatal mortality in infants and sleep apnoea in adults, but the mechanisms of respiratory control are not clearly understood. Mechanical signals transduced by airway-innervating sensory neurons control respiration; however, the physiological significance and molecular mechanisms of these signals remain(More)