Nanoscale organization of the MEC-4 DEG/ENaC sensory mechanotransduction channel in Caenorhabditis elegans touch receptor neurons

The Journal of Neuroscience : the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
Juan G CuevaM B Goodman

Abstract

Hearing, touch and proprioception are thought to involve direct activation of mechano-electrical transduction (MeT) channels. In Caenorhabditis elegans touch receptor neurons (TRNs), such channels contain two pore-forming subunits (MEC-4 and MEC-10) and two auxiliary subunits (MEC-2 and MEC-6). MEC-4 and MEC-10 belong to a large superfamily of ion channel proteins (DEG/ENaCs) that form nonvoltage-gated, amiloride-sensitive Na+ channels. In TRNs, unique 15-protofilament microtubules and an electron-dense extracellular matrix have been proposed to serve as gating tethers critical for MeT channel activation. We combined high-pressure freezing and serial-section immunoelectron microscopy to determine the position of MeT channels relative to putative gating tethers. MeT channels were visualized using antibodies against MEC-4 and MEC-2. This nanometer-resolution view of a sensory MeT channel establishes structural constraints on the mechanics of channel gating. We show here that MEC-2 and MEC-5 collagen, a putative extracellular tether, occupy overlapping but distinct domains in TRN neurites. Although channels decorate all sides of TRN neurites; they are not associated with the distal endpoints of 15-protofilament microtubules hypoth...Continue Reading

Citations

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Oct 20, 2010·The Journal of Cell Biology·Ellen A LumpkinAislyn M Nelson
Dec 3, 2015·Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America·Amy L EastwoodM B Goodman
Sep 2, 2015·Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America·Yushu ChenMartin Chalfie
May 25, 2012·Trends in Neurosciences·Bernd Nilius, Eric Honoré
Dec 20, 2011·Trends in Neurosciences·Piotr Kazmierczak, Ulrich Müller
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Jan 16, 2010·The EMBO Journal·Jing HuGary R Lewin
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Dec 3, 2020·The Journal of Cell Biology·Landi SunXin Liang

Related Concepts

Deg-1 protein, C elegans
Mec-4 protein, C elegans
Metazoa
Meissner's Corpuscle
Cell Surface Proteins
Neurons
Sensory Receptor Cells
Touch Sensation
Sodium Channel
Caenorhabditis elegans

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