Pore-lining residues of MEC-4 and MEC-10 channel subunits tune the Caenorhabditis elegans degenerin channel's response to shear stressThe Caenorhabditis elegans MEC-4/MEC-10 channel mediates the worm's response to gentle body touch and is activated by laminar shear stress (LSS) when expressed in Xenopus oocytes. Substitutions at multiple sites within the second transmembrane domain (TM2) of MEC-4 or MEC-10 abolish the gentle touch response in worms, but the roles of these residues in mechanosensing are unclear. The present study therefore examined the role of specific MEC-4 and MEC-10 TM2 residues in the channel's response to LSS.
Activation of the Caenorhabditis elegans Degenerin Channel by Shear Stress Requires the MEC-10 SubunitMechanotransduction in Caenorhabditis elegans touch receptor neurons is mediated by an ion channel formed by MEC-4, MEC-10, and accessory proteins. To define the role of these subunits in the channel's response to mechanical force, we expressed degenerin channels comprising MEC-4 and MEC-10 in Xenopus oocytes and examined their response to laminar shear stress (LSS). Shear stress evoked a rapid increase in whole cell currents in oocytes expressing degenerin channels as well as channels with a MEC-4 degenerin mutation (MEC-4d), suggesting that C.