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Mechanotransduction by Membrane Proteins

Piezo2 is a membrane protein that activates in response to mechanical signals and plays key roles in humans. Lipids in the membrane such as cholesterol and phosphoinositides modulate Piezo2’s function. We used computational simulations of Piezo2 in a realistic mammalian membrane to investigate how lipids interact with Piezo2.


Channels and Transporters in Immunity

Ca2+ release–activated Ca2+ (CRAC) channels mediate store-operated Ca2+ entry (SOCE) in many nonexcitable cells. In contrast to the CRAC channel subunit ORAI1, its homologue ORAI3 is dispensable for SOCE in lymphocytes and macrophages and not essential for immune cell function.

Epithelial Na+ channels are major regulators of fluid volumes and ultimately blood pressure in terrestrial vertebrates. We found that the amounts of protein comprising these channels in the kidneys and colons of rats and mice exceed what is required to explain the transport of Na+ by these tissues. This excess may facilitate regulation of the channels.

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