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Piezo proteins are pore-forming subunits of mechanically activated channels. Coste B1, Xiao B, Santos JS, Syeda R, Grandl J, Spencer KS, Kim SE, Schmidt M, Mathur J, Dubin AE, Montal M, Patapoutian A.
Coste, B. et al. Gain-of-function mutations in the mechanically activated ion channel PIEZO2 cause a subtype of distal Arthrogryposis. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 110, 4667–4672 (2013).
(2013). "Dehydrated hereditary stomatocytosis linked to gain-of-function mutations in mechanically activated PIEZO1 ion channels. ". Nature Communications 4: 1884. doi:10. 1038/ncomms2899. PMID 23695678.
The area compression modulus Ka, bending modulus Kb, and edge energy , can be used to describe them. Solid lipid bilayers also have a shear modulus, but like any liquid, the shear modulus is zero for fluid bilayers. These mechanical properties affect how the membrane functions. Ka and Kb affect the ability of proteins and small molecules to insert into the bilayer, and bilayer mechanical properties have been shown to alter the function of mechanically activated ion channels.