1. Structural Biology and Molecular Biophysics
  2. Neuroscience
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Piezo Ion Channels: Portraits of a pressure sensor

  1. Alexander T Chesler  Is a corresponding author
  2. Marcin Szczot  Is a corresponding author
  1. National Institutes of Health, United States
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Cite this article as: eLife 2018;7:e34396 doi: 10.7554/eLife.34396
1 figure

Figures

Details of the Piezo1 ion channel.

(A) The schematic structure of Piezo1 viewed from above, showing the three 'propeller blades' surrounding a central pore. A single propeller blade is highlighted in blue. (B) A side view of the structure of Piezo1 as revealed by cryo-electron microscopy, with a single propeller blade highlighted in dark and medium blue: the interior of the cell is at the bottom of the figure. Each propeller blade contains at least six piezo-repeats, but only the three nearest to the central pore are shown (medium blue). Each propeller blade also includes a 'beam' domain (dark blue) that is parallel to the cell membrane, and a structure called the 'latch' (dark blue) that is in contact with the intracellular ends of the inner helices (dark grey) that form the central pore. Each propeller also contains a 'clasp' domain (medium blue): this domain interacts further from the pore, but its structure has not been determined yet. (C) When the cell is not submitted to pressure, Piezo1 bends the membrane to make a dome-like structure pointing inside the cell, and the channel is closed. When the membrane is stretched the complex flattens out, opening the channel.

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