Mechano-sensitive channels are ubiquitous membrane proteins that activate in response to increasing tension in the lipid membrane. They facilitate a sudden, nonselective release of solutes and water that safeguards the integrity of the cell in hypo-or hyper-osmotic shock conditions. We have simulated the rapid release of content from a pressurized liposome through a particular mechano-sensitive protein channel, MscL, embedded in the liposomal membrane. We show that a single channel is able to relax the liposome, stressed to the point of bursting, in a matter of microseconds. We map the full activation-deactivation cycle of MscL in near-atomic detail and are able to quantify the rapid decrease in liposomal stress as a result of channel activation. This provides a computational tool that opens the way to contribute to the rational design of functional nano-containers.
|Tijdschrift||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|Nummer van het tijdschrift||46|
|Status||Published - 16-nov-2010|