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Dynamic clustering regulates activity of mechanosensitive membrane channels

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    Rights statement: This is the final version of the following article: Dynamic Clustering Regulates Activity of Mechanosensitive Membrane Channels Alexandru Paraschiv, Smitha Hegde, Raman Ganti, Teuta Pilizota, and Anđela Šarić Phys. Rev. Lett. 124, 048102 – Published 31 January 2020, which has been published in final form at https://journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevLett.124.048102.

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Original languageEnglish
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2020


Experiments have suggested that bacterial mechanosensitive channels separate into 2D clusters,the role of which is unclear. By developing a coarse-grained computer model we find that clustering promotes the channel closure, which is highly dependent on the channel concentration and membrane stress. This behaviour yields a tightly regulated gating system, whereby at high tensions channels gate individually, and at lower tensions the channels spontaneously aggregate and inactivate. We implement this positive feedback into the model for cell volume regulation, and find that the channel clustering protects the cell against excessive loss of cytoplasmic content.

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